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The End of the Story: The Collected Fantasies, Vol. 1

The End of the Story: The Collected Fantasies, Vol. 1 - Ron Hilger, Scott Connors, Clark Ashton Smith This is a collection of short stories from a writer who was a contemporary to H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. The works of all three of them were published in the same magazines and they have some common themes (in case of Howard, I am talking about his horror stories, not sword and sorcery adventures).

As I already mentioned all of the stories can be qualified as horror with said element present to a lesser or a greater degree. Some of them have contemporary feel, some are more like fantasy, and some are undoubtedly science fiction.

Regarding the latter I want to mention "The Immeasurable Horror", "A Voyage to Snafomoe", "The Metamorphosis of the World", and "Marooned on Andromeda". It is interesting to note that while the humanity was always fascinated with planet Mars, Clark Ashton Smith turned his view to Venus as all of the stories I mentioned but the last one deal with this planet, or its inhabitants (hint: according to the author, Venus is a very nasty place - and I do not mean its proximity to the Sun, or its atmosphere).

The writing style of the author is somewhat similar to H.P. Lovecraft, but I found it easier to read; unlike the former he also wrote dialogs.

I really like author's imagination which shines in his depictions of different kinds of monsters: extraterrestrials and our own, lost cities and their architecture, people and their cultures. According to the book's blurb the best stories of the collection are "The Abominations of Yondo," "The Monster of the Prophecy," "The Last Incantation", and "The End of the Story". I agree with this, but I also think that the rest of the stories are well worth checking out.

The collection is worth 4 well-deserved stars. I would personally recommend to any fans of H.P. Lovecraft who are not familiar with Clark Ashton Smith to read his works; I definitely want to read more from him. He is not as well-known as his two colleagues I mentioned, and in this case the obscurity is not justified. His entire works are freely available from http://www.eldritchdark.com

This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/915598/if-you-are-a-fan-of-lovecraft-you-really-have-to-read-this