First The Cimmerian and then the Los Angeles Times picked up my tale of woe regarding my intent to put together an Averoigne collection. It’s an instructive case of the kicking and screaming that occurs when literature enters the public domain, yes, but it’s also a demonstration of the perils of the same agent representing both an author’s shade and the publisher who prints his work.
If I were an outsider reading these posts, not to mention the memorials uploaded back in January, I might be curious enough to give Clark Ashton Smith a try. Problem is, as a fan, it’s hard to tell newcomers where to go — which is my whole argument. But if you want to get started, try Out of Space and Time and Lost Worlds. Together they offer 44 stories that were hand-selected by Smith for their original publication in the 1940s, and since they’re paperbacks, they won’t break the bank.
Also, Eldritch Dark has all of Smith’s writing online — though, if you’re like me, that’s no substitute for an old-fashioned book.
Incidentally, Ron Hilger, who edited the Averoigne collection that Donald M. Grant, Publisher has been promising to print for fifteen years, posted in December on the Eldritch Dark forums that the project may have legs again. On the other hand, Grant has been teasing this volume for fifteen years. From what I’ve read, if it does appear, it will be hardback with full-color plates within. So not cheap.
Illo by the inimitable Jim Roslof for the Averoigne-inspired D&D adventure, Castle Amber.