I’ve covered Clark Ashton Smith and his works a couple times here previously, but he has a lot more stories to be examined and each of these are very strong. So, with that in mind, let’s dive back in!
1. “The Willow Landscape” (1931) – An art-lover is forced to sell off his collection piece-by-piece after losing his position. When he got down to one last item, a painting called “The Willow Landscape”, he’s overtaken with extreme sorrow over the thought of parting with it. He longs to find a way to keep it forever. Perhaps there is a way. You can listen here for free: https://horrorbabble.bandcamp.com/album/the-willow-landscape
2. “The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis” (1932) – A group of archeologists take shelter within some ancient ruins on Mars in this novelette. They find disturbing hieroglyphics on the walls and discover strange, alien mummies entombed within, some missing the tops of their heads. Later, after being separated, they find one of their colleagues with a slug-like creature devouring his head as he continues to shamble forth. This is an excellent sci-if/horror tale by Smith. You can listen here for free: https://pseudopod.org/2018/09/07/pseudopod-611-yoh-vombis/
3. “The Gorgon” (1932) – A man finds himself unable to look away from a creepy looking, decrepit man he sees in a crowded London street. The creepy man approaches him and says he possesses the severed head of the legendary gorgon““““` Medusa. He wants to show him the head of this mythological creature whose gaze transforms men to stone. He says he can do so safely. Despite his reservations, the protagonist agrees. This is another strong, weird tale by Smith. Listen here for free: https://horrorbabble.podbean.com/e/the-gorgon-a-weird-tale-of-medusa-by-clark-ashton-smith/
4. “The Seed of the Sepulcher” (1933) – A pair of orchid hunters decide to go in search of ancient, lost treasure in some ruins in the Venezuelan jungle. While they don’t find any treasure there, they do return with something hideous and alien growing inside them. You can listen here for free: https://play.acast.com/s/nocturnaltransmissions/646c7cff-e4e7-4819-bf37-91ca21bda947
5. “The Plutonian Drug” (1934) – An artist agrees to sample a very rare, space drug as long as he can relate the subsequent visions he sees to the one administering it. The drug sends him psychically back and forth through time. The psychedelic visions seem to indicate something ominous in the man’s future. You can listen here for free: https://pseudopod.org/2018/04/20/pseudopod-591-the-plutonian-drug-and-the-hashish-eater/
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Article by Matt Cowan