Monday, April 03, 2006

DeCamp on HPL, CAS, & REH

"WWI saw the disappearance of the lost continent theme from fiction .. revived in 1920 ... several tales in Clark Ashton Smith's Out of Space and Time and Lost Worlds are laid in Hyperborea, Atlantis, or the future continent Zothique.

"There are volumes of stories (in Weird Tales) carrying on this type of horror-fantasy tradition made popular by H. P. Lovecraft, who contributed a few short stories of his own to the genre.

"While some critics object to Smith's heavily euphuistic style, based ultimately on Poe and Dunsany, many connoisseurs of fantasy find the stories delightful.

"The Late Robert E. Howard presented a similar picture of prehistory in his Kull and Conan stories though he relied more on swashbuckling swordplay and less on sinister sorceries for his excitement.

"The Kull stories are laid in Atlantis while the Conan stories are set 12,000 years ago in Howard's "Hyborian Age", between the sinking of Atlantis andthe dawn of recorded history."

Lost Continents, The Atlantis Theme, L Sprague deCamp, p. 271, (*), 1954, 1970, ppb printed 1975, Ballantine (* Preface says deCamp wrote the book in 1948! and then published serially in Other Worlds Science Fiction 1952-53! Writers - be patient.

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