The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast

Archive for June, 2012

Smith and Lovecraft’s Letters To Be Collected Along With Sterling’s Poetry

Some exciting news from S.T. Joshi’s June 17th post:

David E. Schultz and I are working hard on two large projects for Hippocampus Press: the Complete Poetry of George Sterling in 3 volumes, and the joint correspondence of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith in 2 volumes. We are also wrestling with getting a paperback edition of Smith’s Complete Poetry and Translations ready for publication; we may be including one or two poems by Smith that escaped us when we prepared the hardcover edition.

I’m excited for this on multiple fronts. The HPL/CAS letters should be great. Since we all own various volumes of their letters, we’ve enjoyed discovering the playful back-and-forth, which we demonstrated in our two interludes. I can’t wait to have that spelled out in front of me.

I don’t know how much Sterling’s poetry will cost, but it could give us an insight into CAS’s writings and his admiration for the man. And a new CAS volume is always exciting, even if it’s the poetry…which I’m less interested in than the fiction.

The Double Shadow Has Forums!

Want to talk more about Smith and the weird? Have a question about something on the show? Check out our new forums!

We’ve set registration to require moderator approval, which we’re hoping will keep out the bots, etc. But if you sign up, we’ll get you approved as soon as possible!

Episode #6: “The Colossus of Ylourgne” pt.2

A transcript of this episode is available.

In this week’s episode, we finish “The Colossus of Ylourgne,” sections 5-8. Our site’s moved hosting, but we’re in the same spot on iTunes and our feed hasn’t changed. If you’re experiencing redownloaded episodes, that may occur because of the feed change.

Merriam-Webster defines an “oubliette” as a dungeon with a hole only at the top. Prisoners go in, they don’t come out. Unless it’s an ill-maintained oubliette. One example of an oubliette.

The phrase “Saracenic,” which was used several times to refer to Nathaire and to his surroundings, generally has an Arabic and Muslim connotation. The meaning, however, varies widely and could refer to Muslims at the time of the crusades, to Muslim art and architecture in Spain, to Muslim art and architecture in India, etc. In art and architecture (and furniture), it often contained intricate geometric designs that didn’t generally represent persons or even animals (as forbidden by strict Islamic practice). We couldn’t find an image of a Saracenic cushion, but one might imagine ornate and colorful designs.

Edited to add: Thanks to the reader who set us this pic of a saracenic cushion!

The story of two human-formed colossi, mentioned by Phil, is “In the Hills, the Cities” from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. The Hellboy story which was inspired by Colossus, called “Almost Colossus,” can be found in Hellboy collection #3: The Chained Coffin and Others. Lots of good stories in both those collections.

Next week, we’ll be talking about “The Mandrakes.”

Music by: Kevin MacLeod

Double Shadow Moves to a New Site

The podcast has successfully (we hope) moved to its new and permanent website. We wanted to use self-hosted WordPress so we could control more than one can on Tumblr, but Tumblr was very useful for us when we were just getting our feet and needed to concentrate on CAS, not tech stuff. We’ll still be using the Tumblr for updates for those who prefer to use it, only now it’ll be at

Your iTunes or Feedburner subscription should update automatically. However, it’s possible that iTunes may decide to re-download the episodes for everyone, in which case we apologize. We’re also going to be putting the episodes up one by one on Blubrry’s website so that we can have guaranteed hosting vs. our free hosting on I’m hoping that won’t cause any redownloads in iTunes. The fortunate thing about all this happening so early in the podcast’s history is that, if it does redownload, it will only be a few episodes.

Episode #5: “The Colossus of Ylourgne” pt.1

A transcription of this episode is available.

This week’s episode covers the first half of “The Colossus of Ylourgne,” sections 1-4. You can subscribe in iTunes or via RSS.

The illustration above was commissioned by Farnsworth Wright to go along with the story’s publication. According to his correspondence, Smith was dissatisfied with the piece as a whole, but liked the two torturing demons.

For our casting of Gaspard, do you prefer Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, or someone else? Let us know in the comments, otherwise Ruth and Tim will never settle this.

You still have the rest of today (6/13/12) to enter our weird fiction book giveaway. We’ll be posting and contacting winners sometime on Thursday or Friday.

Our next episode will be the second half (sections 5-8) of “The Colossus of Ylourgne.”

Music by: Kevin MacLeod