Monday, 13 January 2014

to the sorceror of auburn

Clark Ashton Smith (1912)
courtesy of Wikimedia
Today is Clark Ashton Smith's birthday.   As one of the Weird Tales triumvirate (with H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard), he helped to lay the foundations of the modern sword & sorcery genre. Smith was an artistic polymath, turning his hand to poetry, prose, painting and sculpture during his life and started writing at the tender age of 11.

The three of them borrowed elements from each other, with Smith creating the toad-god Tsathoggua, Mordiggian the Great Ghoul and the wizard Eibon whose presences in Cthulhu mythos and elsewhere are well-known.

Eldritch Dark is a prime resource for fans of Smith, with hypertext versions of his writing, a Zothique d20 guide and active forum.  You can find some stories in audiobook form at Huffduffer (hat-tip to Jim Garrison for that).

There is some contention around copyright for Smith's works especially for his Averoigne, Hyperborea, Poseidonis, Xiccarph and Zothique cycles, though this hasn't stopped some settings drawing inspiration from his tales (e.g. D&D Known World/Mystara).  While he's not explicitly referred to in Appendix N, he is surely one of the unnamed inspirations for AD&D.

1 comment:

  1. Happy CAS's birthday to you. Thanks for the links.


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