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'''Clark Ashton Smith''' (1893-1961) was an American writer of {{horror}}, {{fantasy}} and ScienceFiction. He is most notable for being one of the founders of the CthulhuMythos along with Creator/HPLovecraft, Creator/RobertEHoward and others.

Compared to Lovecraft's, Smith's stories tend to focus less on the CosmicHorrorStory and more on the pure exoticism of the setting. Some Mythos entities recur between them, such as the god Tsathoggua, but these entities tend to be less malevolent in Smith's portrayal than in Lovecraft's.

Also unlike Lovecraft, sexuality plays a strong role in many of Smith's works and female characters are a lot stronger and more prominent than in Lovecraft (most likely to Smith having a much more... ''active'' love life than Lovecraft). Unlike Howard, sorcerers in Smith [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards tend to have the upper hand against swordsmen]] and Smith has many sorcerer protagonists, both good and evil. And unlike Lovecraft, Smith was not a racist or a xenophobe, which can be seen best in stories like ''The Great God Awto'' and ''A Star-Change''.

Smith was fond of playing with tropes and his stories occasionally feature BlackComedy.

!!Tropes found in Clark Ashton Smith's works:
%%* ActionGirl: Vixeela in ''The Theft of Thirty-Nine Girdles''.
%%* ActionHero: Subverted.
* AfterTheEnd: The setting of the ''Zothique'' stories.
%%* AlienInvasion: In ''The Metamorphasis of Earth''.
* AlienSky: Suns of unusual color and non-standard numbers appear repeatedly.
%%* AncientTomb
%%* AnimateDead
%%* AnotherDimension
%%* AnyoneCanDie
* ApothecaryAlligator: In "The Return of the Sorcerer":
-->There were tables strewn with archaic instruments of doubtful use, with astrological charts, with skulls and alembics and crystals, with censers such as are used in the Catholic Church, and volumes bound in worm-eaten leather with verdigris-mottled clasps. In one corner stood the skeleton of a large ape; in another, a human skeleton; and overhead a stuffed crocodile was suspended.
* {{Atlantis}}: One of Smith's main cycles of stories is set in Poseidonis, the last isle of foundering Atlantis.
%%* TheBadGuyWins
%%* BalefulPolymorph: In ''The Maze of Maal Dweb''.
%%* BarbarianHero: Subverted.
%%* BeneathTheEarth
%%* BestServedCold
* BetterLivingThroughEvil: The EvilSorcerer Namirrha's backstory in ''The Dark Eidolon''
* BigScrewedUpFamily: One of Smith's more notable contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos is the idea that the various EldritchAbomination are all related to each other in some way or another like a classical pantheon, rather than a bunch of random, unrelated extradimensional aliens. For instance, Hastur is supposedly Cthulhu's half-brother. And he's married to Shub Niggurath and therefore, presumably the father of at least some of her enigmatic Thousand Young.
%%* BlackComedy
%%* BodyHorror
%%* BodyOfBodies: "The Colossus of Ylourgne".
%%* BuriedAlive: In ''The Second Internment''.
%%* BurnTheWitch: In ''The Necromantic Tale''.
%%* CelibateHero
* CharmPerson: Part of the repertory of every self-respecting evil female caster.
%%* ChasedByAngryNatives
%%* ColdBloodedTorture
%%* CometOfDoom
%%* CosmicHorrorStory: Used straight and subverted.
%%* CruelAndUnusualDeath
%%* {{Curse}}: In ''The Witchcraft of Ulua''.
%%* DarkestAfrica
%%* DeadAllAlong
%%* DeadManWriting
%%* DeadlyDecadentCourt: All of them.
%%* DealWithTheDevil: In ''Xeethra''.
%%* DeathByMaterialism: In ''The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan''.
%%* DisposingOfABody
* DisproportionateRetribution: ''The Dark Eidolon'' is all about this.
%%* DoomedProtagonist
* DownerEnding: Toyed with a lot. Sometimes we get a simple TheBadGuyWins downer; sometimes a KillEmAll ending, where the villains go down as well; and sometimes a straight happy ending.
* DraggedOffToHell: Inverted [[spoiler:in ''The Devotee of Evil''.]] Averted [[spoiler:in ''Xeethra'' to the surprise of the main character. It's still a DownerEnding though.]]
%%* DropDeadGorgeous
%%* DueToTheDead
%%* DyingAlone
%%* EgomaniacHunter: The main character in ''The Seven Geases''.
%%* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Vulthoom's.
%%* EldritchAbomination
%%* EmptyPilesOfClothing: In ''The Weaver in the Vault''.
%%* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt
%%* EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry
* EvenEvilHasStandards: In ''The Dark Eidolon'', the archdemon Thasaidon, Lord of the Seven Hells, refuses to help the sorcerer Namirrha in his plan for vengeance. This may be because all the people who would be killed by the plan are evil, and therefore unwitting servants of Thasaidon.
%%* EvilIsDeathlyCold: In ''The Coming of the White Worm'' and ''The Ice Demon''.
%%* EvilOverlord: Maal Dweb, Malygris...
** Nearly all of whom are also {{Sorcerous Overlord}}s too. Maal Dweb especially.
%%* EvilSorcerer: See above.
* EvilVersusEvil: Every single character in ''The Dark Eidolon'' is evil.
%%* EyeOfNewt
* FauxDeath: Played for horror in ''The Charnel God'' and ''The Second Internment''.
%%* FunctionalMagic
%%* TheFuture
%%* GardenOfEvil: Repeatedly.
%%* GeniusLoci: In ''Genius Loci''.
* GlamourFailure: Caused by the application of holy water in ''The End of the Story''.
%%* GodOfEvil: Thasaidon.
%%* GoingNative
%%* GoneHorriblyRight
%%* GrimUpNorth: In ''The Ice Demon'', and more extradimensionally also ''The Coming of the White Worm'' and ''The Light from the Pole''.
%%* HeroicSacrifice
%%* {{Hologram}}: Used by the villains in ''Vulthoom'' and ''The Immortals of Mercury''.
%%* HowDoYouLikeThemApples: In ''Xeethra''.
%%* HumanoidAliens
%%* HumanSacrifice
%%* ILoveTheDead
%%* ImAHumanitarian
%%* {{Irony}}
* KillEmAll: Repeatedly, to various degrees of scale and completeness.
* KissOfDeath: Most notably the non-vampiric one in ''The Kiss of Zoraida''.
%%* KissOfTheVampire
* LadyLand: A surprisingly proto-feminist version in ''The Root of Ampoi''.
%%* TheLegionsOfHell
%%* LibationForTheDead: A non-symbolic version in ''The Death of Ilalotha''.
%%* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards
%%* LivingShadow: Prominently in ''The Double Shadow'' and in a minor role in ''The Abominations of Yondo''.
%%* LoveableRogue: Satampra Zeiros.
%%* LovePotion: In ''The Mandrakes'' and ''The Mother of Toads''.
%%* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Subverted in ''The Dark Age''.
%%* MagicMirror: Present with different powers in ''Necromancy In Naat'' and ''The Enchantress of Sylaire''.
%%* MagicWand: Used by Maal Dweb in ''The Flower Women''.
%%* MalevolentMaskedMen: In ''The Charnel God''.
%%* ManEatingPlant
%%* UsefulNotes/{{Mars}}
* TheMiddleAges: Where the Averoigne stories take place.
%%* MuckMonster: Abhoth, appearing in "The Seven Geases".
%%* MummiesAtTheDinnerTable: In ''Necromancy in Naat''.
%%* {{Necromancer}}
%%* {{Necromantic}}: Malygris in ''The Last Incantation''.
%%* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: Played straight and subverted in ''The Root Of Ampoi''.
* NoSell: In ''The Double Shadow'', the CosmicHorror that Avyctes summons passes straight through magical barriers and can't even be perceived by his familiars.
%%* OminousFog
%%* OurDemonsAreDifferent
%%* OurGhoulsAreCreepier: Lovecraft-style ghouls are used.
%%* OurVampiresAreDifferent
%%* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent
%%* OurZombiesAreDifferent
* PhlebotinumDuJour: Rays can do anything.
%%* PirateBooty: In ''The Master of the Crabs''.
%%* PlanetaryRomance
%%* PlantAliens
%%* PrideBeforeAFall
* PurpleProse: Makes Lovecraft look like Creator/ErnestHemingway...
%%* PyrrhicVillainy
%%* {{Qurac}}: The Arabian Nights version.
%%* RayGun
%%* RingOfPower
%%* {{Satan}}: In ''Schizoid Creator''.
%%* SceneryPorn: Quite a bit.
%%* ScienceMarchesOn
%%* ShaggyDogStory: ''The Seven Geases''.
%%* SimSimSalabim
%%* SinisterMinister: The titular character in ''The Holiness of Azédarac''.
%%* SolarCPR: ''Phoenix''.
%%* SpaceMadness: In ''The Master of the Asteroid''.
%%* StarfishAliens
%%* SubvertedTrope
%%* SummoningRitual: Shown onscreen in ''The Double Shadow''.
%%* SummonMagic
%%* TakenForGranite: In ''The Maze of Maal Dweb''.
%%* TakingYouWithMe
%%* TheoryBeforePhenomenon: In ''The Devotee of Evil'' and ''The Tomb-Spawn.''
%%* TheTimeOfMyths: Where the Hyperborea and Poseidonis stories take place.
%%* TimeTravel
%%* TogetherInDeath
%%* TortureTechnician: A whole island of them in ''The Isle of the Torturers''.
%%* TheUndead
%%* UnholyMatrimony
* UnwantedRevival: ''The Empire of the Necromancers'' gives us the viewpoint of a corpse raised by the necromancers as their slave. It turns out that the dead preferred oblivion.
%%* VainSorceress
%%* TheVamp
%%* VictoryIsBoring: Affects Maal Dweb.
%%* VillainProtagonist: Repeatedly.
%%* WickedWitch: In ''The Mother of Toads''.
%%* WomanScorned: Ilalotha in ''The Death of Ilalotha''.