Sunday, December 2, 2007

Short Review of the Tale of Satampra Zeiros -- Clark Ashton Smith

Published in Weird Tales in 1931, The Tale of Satampra Zeiros is a masterpiece of short fantasy fiction. Unusually subtle and playful for an otherwise Poe-like author, Zeiros is an adventurous romp through the fetid jungles of Hyperborea with two would-be thieves:
"Tirouv Ompallios," I said, "is there any reason why you and I, who are brave men and nowise subject to the fears and superstitions of the multitude, should not avail ourselves of the kingly treasures of Commoriom? A day's journey from this tiresome town, a pleasant sojourn in the country, an afternoon or forenoon of archaeological research—and who knows what we should find?"

"You speak wisely and valiantly, my dear friend," rejoined Tirouv Ompallios. "Indeed, there is no reason why we should not replenish our deflated finances at the expense of a few dead kings or gods."
This story represents some of the very best of a prolific and visionary writer whose lackluster reputation should be a punishable crime. Highly recommended to any who fancy a yarn of sword and sorcery that detours through the maddening landscapes of Lovecraft. The tale itself can be read in its entirety (along with Smith's other short fiction) at The Eldritch Dark.

Cross-posted to Fantastic Fictions.

1 comment:

Jake Shore said...

I've never read this guy's stuff, but it sounds great. I love the sci-fi/fantasy writing from this time period.