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THE DOUBLE SHADOW Clark Ashton Smith 1st HC

THE DOUBLE SHADOW by Clark Ashton Smith. Holicong, PA; Wildside Press; 2003. 1st hardcover edition thus. Clark Ashton Smith -- one of the "big three" classic authors from the legendary pulp magazine Weird Tales (the others being H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard) -- began writing early in the twentieth century. By the 1920s, he became a regular poet and author in Weird Tales magazine, helping to usher in its golden age. "The Double Shadow" was originally published by the Auburn Journal in 1933 in an oversized edition limited to only 1,000 copies. Smith carefully signed and hand-corrected many typographical errors for years to come. A collection of six stories ranging from contemporary horror to weird alternate-world fantasy, it remains a fascinating introduction and showcase to his decadently jeweled prose. From Alan Gullette's web bio of Smith:

'In terms of self-assessment, Smith made various pronouncements on what he considered his best work. These included the six stories in Double Shadow (i.e., "The Voyage of King Euvoran," "The Maze of the Enchanter, " "The Double Shadow," "A Night in MalnTant," "The Devotee of Evil" and "The Willow Landscape") and the individual stories "The Eternal World" and "The City of the Singing Flame." He named "The Uncharted Isle" as the best "or at least favorite" of his "straight science fiction" stories. Toward the end of his life, Smith considered his "masterpiece" to be the blank verse play, "The Dead Will Cuckold You" (1951, 1956) set in Zothique, one of his last completed works. Of his Zothique story cycle taken as a whole, Smith said it was "in no wise inferior to Dunsany and Cabell." Regarding his poetry -- which he took the most seriously of all his creative work -- Smith felt (writing in 1936) that he had produced his best work in the years 1913-23. ' Fine in pictorial boards without dj as issued.

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