DEEPEST, DARKEST EDEN: New Tales of Hyperborea is a new fantasy anthology from Miskatonic River Press. Editor Cody Goodfellow has assembled 17 stories (and two poems) set in the primordial world of Clark Ashton Smith‘s Hyperborea.
Nick Mamatas – “Hostage”
Joe Pulver – “To Walk Night…Alone”
Darrell Schweitzer – “In Old Commoriom”
Ann K. Schwader – “Yhoundeh Fades” (poem)
Cody Goodfellow – “Coil Of The Ouroboros”
John R. Fultz – “Daughter Of The Elk Goddess”
Brian R. Sammons – “The Darkness Below”
Dieter Meier – “The Conquest Of Rhizopium”
Lisa Morton – “Zolamin And The Mad God”
Brian Stableford – “The Lost Archetype”
Ran Cartwright – “One Last Task For Athammaus”
Don Webb – “The Beauties Of Polarion”
Robert M. Price – “The Debt Owed Abhoth”
Marc Laidlaw – “The Frigid Ilk Of Sarn Kathool”
Charles Schneider – “The Return Of The Crystal”
John Shirley – “Rodney LaSalle Has A Job Waiting in Commoriom”
Zak Jarvis – “The Winter Of Atiradarinsept ”
Jesse Bullington – “The Door From Earth”
Ann K. Schwader – “Weird Of The White Sybil” (poem)
Most of Smith’s original Hyperborean tales ran in WEIRD TALES in the 1930s. They featured lost cities, haunted jungles, strange sorcery, and terrible demon-gods such as Tsathoggua and Abhoth. His entire cycle of these tales was gathered into a single volume first in 1971’s HYPERBOREA from Ballantine Books, then again in 1996 for THE BOOK OF HYPERBOREA from Necronomicon Press.
(See the entire wrap-around cover after the jump…)
Smith’s Hyperborea wasn’t wholly his own creation, but his interpretation of an ancient Greek legend. “In Greek mythology the Hyperboreans were a mythical people who lived far to the north of Thrace…Hyperborea was an unspecified region in the northern lands that lay beyond the north wind. [It] was perfect, with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day.” (Wikipedia.org) Smith took this ancient legend and brought it to life in all the brilliant, shimmering colors of his fantastic prose.
He also introduced the idea that a terrible force of evil was slowly devouring the land with ice and cold, moving inexorably southward from the northern regions. In “The Coming of the White Worm”, Smith reveals that the icy doom is being caused by the alien entity Rlim Shaikorth, a vast white worm that the Warlock Evagh tries to stop. It is a true classic of the sword-and-sorcery genre that wasn’t published until 1941, and was a sequel of sorts to his two other “icy doom” stories “The Ice Demon” (1933) and “The White Sybil” (1934).
Smith could deliver sparkling fantasy adventure in the style of Robert E. Howard, but he avoided “happy endings,” usually preferring to have his “heroes” meet with horrible deaths at the end of their stories. This placed him closer to H. P. Lovecraft on the fiction scale, and indeed he stands right between Howard and Lovecraft when people talk about the “Big Three” WEIRD TALES writers.
DEEPEST, DARKEST EDEN: New Tales of Hyperborea is available right here.