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THE LAST HIEROGLYPH: THE COLLECTED FANTASIES OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH VOLUME 5 by Clark Ashton Smith, edited by Ron Hilger & Scott Connors. San Francisco, CA; Night AShade Books; 2010. 1st edition hardcover.

Product Description: The Last Hieroglyph is the fifth of the five volume Collected Fantasies series. Editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger have compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith's notes and letters, in order to prepare a definitive set of texts. The Last Hieroglyph includes, in chronological order, all of Clark Ashton Smith's stories from "The Dark Age" to "The Dart of Rasasfa."

From Publishers Weekly: The fifth and final volume in this definitive collection (following Red World of Polaris and The Maze of the Enchanter) reveals Smith in the twilight of his career. As the editors note, Smith, "A stranger in a world he never made nor lived in happily or comfortably," excelled at creating vivid, phantasmagorical worlds, from the rugged Hyperboria of "The Seven Geases" to the lush post-apocalyptic setting of "The Dark Age." Ordered chronologically as they were composed, these works also reveal recurring themes, like deadly obsession in "The Treader of the Dust," "The Garden of Adompha," and "Nemesis of the Unfinished." Heroes strive but fail against power-hungry sorcerers in "The Death of Malygris," "The Seven Geases," and "Necromancy in Naat." Alternate worlds claim the unwary in "The Primal City," "Symposium of the Gorgon," and "The Great God Awto," while "The Chain of Aforgomon," "Double Cosmos," and the title story draw readers into recursive realities worthy of Borges. Readers seeking dense, ornate fantasies will enjoy these classic stories knit from flickering shadows, dark secrets, and twisted magic. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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