Out Of Space And Time Volume 1

By Clark Ashton Smith

214 ratings - 4.3* vote

Fantasmagical voyages into alien landscapes!Incredible worlds, impossibly beautiful cities, and still more fantastic creatures-Forays into the unnameable beyond the tomb-Macabre and ghoulish tales of weird-heroic fantasy and sheer terror-Clark Ashton SmithNone strikes the note of cosmic horror as well as Clark Ashton Smith. In sheer daemonic strangeness and fertility of co Fantasmagical voyages into alien landscapes!Incredible worlds, impossibly beautiful cities, and still more fantastic

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Book details

Paperback, 208 pages
February 21st 1974 by Panther Books Limited

(first published 1942)

Original Title
Out of Space and Time
ISBN
058603966X (ISBN13: 9780586039663)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Pam Baddeley

This collection of short stories seems to have been a reprint of the first collection of Smith's work, published by Arkham House in 1941. In this first volume, his first ever published story, 'The End of the Story' appears and a couple of other stories set in Averoigne, his imaginary province of France which I've encountered in collections read previously. In that first story a scholarly young man at the end of the 18th century has left behind an account which explains his disappeance after he was lost in the woods travelling to his father's house and was put up by a hospitable monastery. Unfortunately, the very select library, shown to him by the abbot, included a manuscript which the abbot warned him not to read because it was accursed and this acted on the young man's curiousity until the inevitable happened.......

In 'The City of the Singing Flame' Smith's imagination is given full rein, in an account of a man who inherits a manuscript left behind by his friend who has vanished, and who follows him through a gateway to another dimension. Strange wonders and creatures abound in this tale, but unlike some similar stories by Smith, this one has more of a proper plot and is less of a travelogue/description of odd lifeforms.

On the whole I liked the stories in the first part of the book better. One in the second half, 'The Dark Eidolon', was reminiscent of some of the very over the top tales of evil sorcerors which I have previously encountered in this writer's work. The last story, however, told by the apprentice of a wizard, has a creepier effect. Altogether, given the mix of effective and not so effective tales I rate this as a mid-range 3 star read.

Torgo

This was the first time I dipped my toes into the work of Clark Ashton Smith and, being a huge Lovecraft fan, I can say that I was not disappointed! It's winter right now in Australia, and the past couple weeks I've hurried home from work, shaking the rain off my back before putting the kettle on. Each evening I've settled in by the fireplace with a nice hot mug of tea, my cat purring nearby and rain belting violently on the windows while I settle in to absorb these spooky tales. It's the perfect atmosphere and weather for enjoying a book like this.
What makes these books special is how strange the stories are: they're rarely about vampires or ghosts or anything simple like that, but instead about ideas far more complex and often sinister.
It's difficult to judge which story was my favourite, but I can say that I enjoyed 'The City of the Singing Flame' and 'The Uncharted Isle', both of which were very peculiar and otherworldly. I can say that I enjoyed every story in this little volume, each has their perks.
The writing style is really beautiful and almost poetic, which isn't surprising since CAH is more of a poet than a storyteller. In many ways his writing is actually more beautiful and pleasing to read than even Lovecraft. I won't ramble on in this review, except to say that if you like Lovecraft or old spooky stories in general (especially the cosmic horror variety) then you should definitely read this book.
I'd give it 4.5 stars if it were possible.

Bill Hsu

I still have my Panther paperback from the 70s, with that great cover. Now I'm too old to deal with Smith's prose though.

Nancy Oakes

A very creepy book of stories filled with vampires, hidden planes of existence, secret arcane and occult ceremonies and eerie fantasy. Who could possibly want more? There are 10 stories in this book, divided into 2 categories: out of space and time (stories of spatial and temporal dislocation) and judgments and dooms (stories where evil catches up to those who shouldn't have meddled where they did). Each and every one of these stories was effectively creepy and there was definitely never a moment where I wanted to skim because I got so caught up in the details.

Of the 10 stories, I enjoyed Smith's Averoigne stories (The End of the Story; A Rendezvous in Averoigne)and one entitled The City of the Singing Flame the best. The stories are all a masterful mix of fantasy and horror, but the type of horror that you won't find on your grocery store's shelf. This is totally horror at its best, up there with the work of HP Lovecraft. In fact, HPL vastly admired Clark Ashton Smith, which is how I came to be reading these stories.

Would I recommend it? Most definitely, but to people who want their horror on an intellectual plane.

Christopher Riley

A wonderful and weird collection of tales. Being self-educated, best to read this with a dictionary to hand as, in the same way that Thomas Hardy was largely self-educated, there are plenty of near obsolete words utilised.

Sometimes the descriptions are so florid it can be difficult to keep up with the narrative flow, but this is by no means a negative thing and will no doubt find repeated readings more rewarding. The language in the Hyperborean tales is a little more archaic and I can imagine his writing being an influence on Michael Moorcock.

All stories are very fresh and arguably evidence that talking pictures and later television have had a negative impact upon the imaginative qualities of popular culture.

Tony Calder

As with most collections of short stories, this volume has some varying quality, the stand-outs being "The End of the Story", "The Second Interment", and "A Night in Malneant".

Smith was a close contemporary of Lovecraft, and contributed several books to the Mythos, but this collection is not a Mythos collection, but would still be classed as a collection of "eldritch horror" stories. However, whilst arguably a better wordsmith than Lovecraft, I find that Smith does not capture the reader to the same extent.

Fraser Sherman

A reprint of a collection Smith personally selected as his "Best Of." This half of the collection includes several of his stories of demon-haunted Averoigne, a Zothique and a Poseidonis story, and a few set more-or-less in the modern world. Effective if you enjoy Smith's style (and I certainly do) and "A Night in Malneant" is particularly chilling as a metaphor (whether or not Smith meant it that way) about losing your spouse.

James

So creepy, so good! Smith is a master of language in evoking wonder and horror. Instead of Smith being understood as part of the Lovecraft circle, maybe Lovecraft should be understood as part of the Smith circle!

Nicholas Gibas

Absolutely read this. Brilliant work from the master.

Eric

Smith was nothing less than a pure visionary. Such dreamlike, evocative wonders in his worlds, I just can’t believe a human mind could conceive them.

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