ENTER THE CURSED LAND OF AVEROIGNE
For the first time in paperback, all of Clark Ashton Smith's weird tales of Averoigne—the sinister, monster-haunted province of medieval France—are collected into one volume. In this notorious realm, werewolves and satyrs stalk the dark forests, witches and necromancers lurk in the swamps, and gargoyles and giants terrorize the cathedral city of Vyônes in the heart of Averoigne. Even the holy Abbey of Périgon is defiled by cursed pagan relics and demons from the stars. Come, explore the mysteries of Averoigne... if you dare.
THE HISTORY OF AVEROIGNE?
• Introduction by Ron Hilger
A Smith scholar explains what makes Averoigne unique from Clark Ashton Smith's other imaginary worlds
• Mother of Toads
A handsome young man falls afoul of a morbidly obese witch with a lustful eye and a love potion.
• The Maker of Gargoyles
A sculptor accidentally infuses with his suppressed rage lust into two cathedral gargoyles—which go on to terrorize Averoigne's capital city Vyônes.
• The Holiness of Azédarac
A young monk discovers the Bishop of Ximes is secretly a satanic sorcerer, and races to inform the Archbishop on Vyônes… but the Bishop's minions are close behind, hell-bent on stopping him.
• A Night in Malnéant
A young man with a broken heart and a guilty conscience stumbles into a ghostly city, where he is forced to confront his sins.
• The Colossus of Ylourgne
A dwarf necromancer seeking vengeance on the people of Averoigne transfers his mind and soul from his dying body into a new one-a hundred feet tall, and built from of corpses.
• The Enchantress of Sylaire
A hermit in the woods is led through an enchanted stone gate into a magical world by a beautiful sorceress-who is not all she appears to be...
• The Beast of Averoigne
When a red comet appears in the skies, a shadowy monster appears to feed on the terrified people of Averoigne. The church, unable to stop or even catch the beast, and desperate to end the massacre, turn to a warlock as their only hope.
• The Mandrakes
An alchemist murders his wife and buries her in the swamp. It seems he has gotten away with it-until his dead wife comes back for justice in a most unusual way.
• A Rendezvous in Averoigne
A troubadour hikes into the Woods of Averoigne for a lover's rendezvous, but both he and his paramour are caught in the web of a pair of sorcerous vampires.
• The Disinterment of Venus
When a long-buried pagan statue is unearthed in the gardens of Périgon Abbey, the naked stone Venus begins to exert a distressing influence of the chaste monks.
• The Satyr
A charming poet, an unfaithful wife, a jealous husband, and a secret lover's tryst in the Woods of Averoigne is already a recipe for trouble. Mix in a pagan spirit of desire and passion, and it turns into disaster.
• The End of the Story
Fascinating by the story of a knight who entered the cellars beneath the ruins of Château Fausseflammes and was never seen again, a young student decides to investigate the derelict castle himself.
A poem of the timeless, enchanted world of Averoigne
• PLUS a Map of Averoigne by legendary Tolkien artist and multiple Hugo-award winning artist Tim Kirk!
Clark Ashton Smith is considered one of the best contributors to seminal pulp magazines such as Weird Tales. Along with his contemporaries H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, he helped shape and define "weird fiction" in the early 20th century. Smith drew upon his background in poetry to portray an unparalleled richness of expression and imagination in his tales of the fantastical and bizarre. Not just any fantasy, horror, and science fiction author could impress H. P. Lovecraft into calling him "unexcelled by any other writer, dead or living". A self-educated poet, sculptor, painter, and author, Clark Ashton Smith's short stories of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and weird fiction have influenced and inspired generations of writers.