The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast

Episode #19: “The Death of Malygris”

This week, we conclude the stories of Poseidonis with “The Death of Malygris.”

The story was originally rejected from Weird Tales because it (or that draft) too-closely resembled a prose poem, but it was accepted and published in April 1934.

Tim found this awesome track called “The Death of Malygris” by Aperion Project.

Next time, we’ll have readings of several Poseidonian poems by Smith.

Thanks to Erdenstern for the music and to Robert A Neri Jr for the Malygris art.

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  1. Genus Unknown says:

    I think it was the snake all along, which I like better anyway. It’s cool if Malygris can still mutter his horrible necromancies even in death, but it’s cooler if the coral viper is just that loyal, and the dead Malygris has, in effect, taken the place of the unicorn head.

    One of the things I love most about this story, and even “The Last Incantation” is the snake’s loyalty to his master. It’s almost sweet, in a demonic sort of way. In “The Last Incantation” there is a sense that even though he equivocates in the classic manner of demonic familiars, the snake really seems to have Malygris’ best interests at heart, doesn’t he? And in this story, he sticks around long after Mal has died to keep up appearances and wreak a little vengeance on his enemies. Maybe it was a deal that the two worked out before the death, but even so, I’m kind of impressed that the snake hung around to fulfill his part of the bargain. He’s like the demonic familiar equivalent of the faithful dog from that Futurama episode ‘Jurassic Bark’ that makes me cry every time I watch it.

  2. bluecthulhu says:

    Great episode and great story! Love the theory that Malygris was preventing the sinking of the isle. It is TOTALLY supported by the text. You just gotta read between the lines! Not quite sure which lines though…

    • bluecthulhu says:

      Oh and the snake was absolutely the one casting the spells and yeah, that Futurama episode is one of the saddest things ever put on video.

  3. Aywarista says:

    A quote from the Double Shadow: “Malygris, who lay dead for years while men believed him living; who, lying thus, still uttered potent spells and dire oracles with decaying lips.”