In this week’s episode, we finish “The Colossus of Ylourgne,” sections 5-8. Come visit us on our new site at and check out this week’s post. We’ll be keeping the Tumblr blog as well for shorter media posts.

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

Music by: Kevin MacLeod

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

This week’s episode covers the first half of “The Colossus of Ylourgne,” sections 1-4. You can download the episode here or 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

This week covers “A Rendezvous in Averoigne,” the second story in Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne Cycle. Rendezvous was first published in the April/May 1931 issue of Weird Tales, alongside Robert E. Howard’s “The Children of the Night” and H.P. Lovecraft’s poem “Alienation” (#32 from Fungi from Yuggoth).

You can download the episode here or subscribe in iTunes or via RSS.

The Ray Bradbury quote was from the intro to Arkham House’s 1988 collection A Rendezvous in Averoigne: The Best Fantastic Tales of Clark Ashton Smith. The title is a trifle misleading, as this contains stories from throughout Smith’s career, not just his Averoigne works (nor all of them).

The film The Fearless Vampire Killers was released in 1967 and was written by and co-stars a young Roman Polanski.

And shout out to the Podcast to the Curious, about the works of M.R. James. We’re fans of more than their accents.

Join us again on May 30th as we read “The Maker of Gargoyles.”

Music by: Kevin MacLeod

Clark Ashton Smith’s letter to H.P. Lovecraft, Dec. 4 1933

While doing research for the show—picture us hunched over dusty books in an old library, a single desk lamp lighting a cavernous room filled with tomes and an aged librarian hovering in the darkness—we stumbled upon a set of letters from Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft. The two are discussing Roman history, and apparently Lovecraft, good-naturely, criticized his friends’ misrepresentation of the time period in his Averoigne stories.

Here is Ruth reading a selection from CAS’ response to HPL. These were formal letters of the time period, note the author’s playful subversion of the form by adding fantastic addresses.


H.P. Lovecraft’s letter to Clark Ashton Smith, Dec. 13 1933

Here is Lovecraft’s response to Smith’s previous letter. Perhaps by way of apology for correcting his friend’s mistake, Lovecraft delves into the fictional Roman history of Averoigne. This letter truly highlights HPL’s talent for verisimilitude and world-building.

Read by Tim.



The Double Shadow: Episode 2 - “The End of the Story”

You can download the episode here. Or subscribe in iTunes. Or subscribe via RSS.

 ”The End of the Story" was first published in Weird Tales in May of 1930.

(picture from Dark in the Dark)

If you’re looking for more lamia, “Lamia" by John Keats.

The novel Phil mentioned was The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers. This is a novel that concerns lamia and vampires and amounts to in-depth re-working of the lamia/vampire myth using Keats and historical accounts and all kinds of stuff. The title was taken from a CAS poem. (Ruth’s note—looks fascinating!)

Listener @GenusUnknown also pointed out to us when reading for this week that the “the almost vanished and evilly famous ruins of Château Faussesflammes” are mentioned in H.P. Lovecraft’s collaboration with Hazel Heald, “Out of the Aeons.”

Join us in 2 weeks (May 16th) for “A Rendezvous in Averoigne.”

Music by: Kevin MacLeod

The Double Shadow Episode: 01 - Introduction

Download the episode (and now available on iTunes!)

The very first episode of The Double Shadow, a podcast that will explore the life and works of 20th Century weird fiction author Clark Ashton Smith. Episode One talks about Ashton Smith’s importance as a Weird Fiction author, his place in history and an overview of what the show will cover.

Show Notes:

Intro & Outro music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod.

The Averoigne stories in the order in which we’ll cover them (publication order) (revised 6/17/12 because of an ordering issue):

A map of Averoigne (click to expand):

The map was created by Tim Kirk and posted on the Eldritch Dark website.

Phil’s quoted interview with Clark Ashton Smith came from Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle. The interviewer was George Haas. Phil notes:

Haas seems to have been kind of an interesting figure, very involved in Fortean activities throughout CA and San Francisco in particular.   He wrote two accounts of meeting CAS, in one of them he notes that they got together with Anton Szandor LaVey for a cook out.  I find that idea amazing. 

The book Ruth mentioned is Selected Letters of Clark Ashton Smith, published by Arkham House, 2003.

More biographical information about Clark Ashton Smith is available on the Eldritch Dark website and on Wikipedia.

Join us next time for The End of the Story!

Music by: Kevin MacLeod