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Zothique, el último continente
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Zothique, el último continente

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  727 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Junto con sus colegas y amigos epistolares H.P. Lovecraft y R.E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, nacido en Long Valley, California, en 1893, formaba parte del grupo conocido como «los tres mosqueteros de Weird Tales», que nutrió las páginas del popular magacín con relatos fantásticos y de terror, contribuyendo al auge de la revista en su era dorada (1928-1939) y creando un nue ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 2011 by Valdemar (first published 1970)
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Jay Tangentially, yes.

The Cthulhu Mythos, Robert Howard's Conan, and Smith's Hyperborea all exist in the same universe.

Since Zothique exists in the same…more
Tangentially, yes.

The Cthulhu Mythos, Robert Howard's Conan, and Smith's Hyperborea all exist in the same universe.

Since Zothique exists in the same universe as Hyperborea, it and the Cthulhu Mythos share a universe though they are otherwise essentially unconnected.


Community Reviews

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J.G. Keely
I've spoken before about the constant invention and reinvention of the 'Mystical East' in Western fiction, but by and large, the reason authors do this isn't to malign the East, or to produce propaganda--these are just the secondary results--indeed, it isn't really about the East at all, it's about the author and their own personal self-invention.

It is the dark and coursing undercurrent of European perversity, sensuality, and violence which inspires these writers. It is an obsession with transgr
Bryan Alexander
A collection of Smith's Zothique stories.

If you haven't read Clark Ashton Smith, very quickly: know that Smith was one of the great fantasists of the early 20th-century American pulp era, contemporary with his friends H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Like them Smith wrote weird tales, stories of mystery and horror, often in outlandish locales. Like Howard, some of his stories involve medieval-ish kings, swordsmen, magicians, etc. Like Lovecraft, Smith is fond of extreme vocabulary and arcan
Dicen que es de sabios rectificar. Sabía que debía darle una nueva oportunidad a estos cuentos de Zothique de Clark Ashton Smith, y afortunadamente lo he hecho más pronto que tarde. Ahora que los he releído más pausada y detenidamente, puedo afirmar que ‘Zothique, el último continente’, es una absoluta obra maestra.

Esta magnífica edición de Valdemar, contiene los dieciséis relatos ambientados en Zotique escritos por Smith, y publicados en su momento en la ya mítica Weird Tales, los cuáles están
Ajeje Brazov
Zothique, ultimo continente rimasto sulla Terra, dove una qualche forma di vita riesce ancora a vivere. Le storie che vengono raccontate qui da Clark Ashton Smith, sono intrise di magia, reami decaduti, stirpi di nobili ormai disotterrati da una valanga di sabbia che non lascia scampo, Negromanti pronti a tutto per conquistare il potere assoluto, animali mostruosi...

Clark Ashton Smith, autore americano, scrive, racconti fantasy/horror/weird, praticamente soltanto negli anni '30, insieme all'amic
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sinister
It feels wrong that Clark Ashton Smith's works are included in the Cthulhu Mythos just because he was friends with H.P. Lovecraft and was also published in the Weird Tales magazine. As much as I love H.P.L.'s stories after reading 'Zothique' by C.A.Smith it's easy to see that their works have nothing in common (EDIT: ok, ok, they set a similar atmosphere)

But let's talk about the book itself, I simply loved it but since I'm in love with this kind of literature my opinion is probably not very par
Rodrigo Tello
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A medida que avanzan los relatos se nota la mejoría en la calidad de los mismos y la maestría de CA Smith en esto de crear unos mundos obscenos, depravados y moribundos que creo yo, ningún autor antes o después se atrevió a tanto. Y digo esto porque el aire malsano y a la vez épico y hasta paranormal que se respira en cada página de esta obra no lo he visto en ninguna otra ni creo que lo veremos ya, es uno de esos clásicos únicos e irrepetibles de la literatura fantástica que hoy, gracias a Dios ...more
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such beautiful decadence. I've enjoyed a lot of Clark Ashton Smith, but this is the collection that has moved me to place him as the best of the Weird Tales Trinity (Lovecraft, Howard, and Smith). I wonder if part of why he is the least appreciated of the three is fallout from things like the content censorship like the comics code in the 50's. There's a lot of squidgy bits and a not-infrequent reference to necrophilia.

Every word is carefully placed in these stories that rest between pulp horror
Ignacio Senao f
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Un mundo de muerte

La tierra Zothique esta plagada de desolación y oscuridad. Los relatos se desarrollan en estos lugares, acompañados de la desolación.

Monstruos, zombis, magos oscuros... Encontraremos todo esto. Y alguna que otra aventura que acaban en islas con sorpresas.

Este libro tiene todos los ingredientes que a mi me gustan, pero no consigue el pleno. Pues a veces se me hace ardua la lectura al estar la narración bastante sobrecargada.
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
This is the first book I've read that deals muchly with necromancy and dark fantasy. I can only say that I was quite hooked when I read the first story. A gloriously dark and entertainingly frightful read.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zothique, by Clark Ashton Smith, is typically lumped in with the Cthulhu Mythos along with its author, largely because Smtih was a regular correspondent of Lovecraft's. However, Zothique bears more in common with the Arabian Nights than dank, damp Cthulhu.

From the Epilogue by Lin Carter we learn that Smith's Zothique cycle of stores, all published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales between 1932 and 1948, are set in Earth's distant future, where high technology is but a memory and magic has once ag
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zothique is probably my favorite of the settings Clark Ashton Smith used for his stories. The setting: The distant future; all of Earth's continents have merged together into a single supercontinent under an ember-like dying sun. The surviving human kingdoms are decadent and perverse; the deserts are dotted with genii- and lamiae-haunted ruins. Without Zothique, there would be no The Dying Earth and no The Shadow of the Torturer.

Smith's prose is, as always, elegant and bejeweled.

Favorite stories
Fraser Sherman
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clark Ashton Smith was, in hindsight, one of the big names to come out of the 1930s Weird Tales (at the time neither he, Robert E. Howard or Lovecraft were as big as they've been since). These stories of the far future dying Earth where necromancers rule, everything is corrupt and decadent and dark magics intrude on human life are very stylish (Smith's prose is ornate and elegant) and rather on the dark side (a happy ending is where the villains die too). Well worth reading.
Timothy Boyd
Nice collection of the fantasy stories from this pulp era writer. While I am not a big Ashton Smith fan he has a very vivid imagination for plots, If you like H. P. Lovecraft you should like this writer as well. Recommended
Randy Money
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories about the last great city near the end of life of the sun. The stories are strange and weird and sometimes unsettling; Smith's imagination was extraordinarily fertile. The editor, Lin Carter, did his best to arrange the stories in some kind of continuity and the final product is greater than the sum of its parts. A terrific weird fiction collection.
Jack Pramitte
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De bien jolis contes fantastiques et macabres.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What words can do justice to the finest fantasy collection ever written? Zothique brings together the 16 short stories penned by Smith, set in the eponymous fantasy future continent.
Smith accomplishes more in a few pages than lesser contemporary authors such as George Martin accomplish in a thousand.The sublimity of the language, combines with an imagination so fervent, as to literally transport the reader into a fantasy world of sorcery and demonism; both beautiful and nightmarish in scope. Eac
Florin Pitea
Read a French translation, need to go through the original.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Lo más fascinante de Zothique, el último continente es la capacidad de Ashton Smith de situarnos en un continente moribundo, entregado a la corrupción y a las vilezas más oscuras, y hacerlo tan vívido, tan palpable; y es en parte gracias a la alta capacidad descriptiva de Ashton Smith, muy profuso en metáforas retorcidas y a usar de forma desenfrenada adjetivos de lo más barrocos. Zothique es un continente lleno de nigromantes, oscuras deidades, funestas ciudades e imperios en ruinas en las que ...more
Michelle B
Confess I read this a long time ago, although given the publication date I must have been in my stroller at the time. Perhaps I should amend that to say I "tried" reading it. Smith has a great reputation among his fans and many say he is better than Lovecraft. (I strongly disagree, but that's a discussion for another time.) I do remember struggling through some extremely dense prose (denser than Lovecraft, if such a thing can be imagined) but when all was said and done I couldn't see the point o ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
After hving very much liked Hyperborea, I found Zothique to be very disappointing. The stories don't really have any plot to speak of. Pretty much every single story can be perfectly described as "a blank protagonist stumbles into a strange place, observes something weird happening without taking any actions or making any decisions, and then everyone is dead."
I am hesistant to even call them stories. It's more like flowery descriptions without plot. Often very interesting descriptions, but not s
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the dying earth; those who like dark fantasy.
Set in the unimaginably remote future when the sun is dimmer and earth itself has totally changed, these stories show a depraved decadent world where technology has disappeared and magic has returned and even works. Written in the 1930's and published mostly in Weird Tales magazine (like H.P. Lovecraft who was a friend of Smith's), these tales probably inspired later fantasy writers like Jack Vance who wrote "The Dying Earth" and its sequels.
Esteban Guerrero
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Siendo completamente subjetivo, este es uno de los mejores libros de fantasía que he podido leer, no solo por el tono oscuro de cada una de las historias, que no lo las hace grandiosas por ser simplemente oscuras sino que la narración es sublime haciendo que cada historia destaque por si misma, a la vez que todas se siente parte de un mismo mundo, uno donde nosotros mismos podriamos crear nuestras historias.
Gerardo Emanuel
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasia, terror
“Durante casi un milenio he sufrido sin dormir la horrible angustia del arrepentimiento que no produce la expiación”

Como en toda antología la calidad de los relatos varía, personalmente los primeros son los que menos me gustaron no obstante los demás son sobresalientes. Ashton Smith supo crear ese ambiente opresivo / lúgubre que hace de Zothique un continente único, lleno de terrores y portentos.
Inti Ruiz cruz
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Múltiples y sutiles son las redes del Demonio que sigue a sus elegidos desde el nacimiento hasta la muerte y desde la muerte al nacimiento, a través de muchas vidas”

Caigo rendido ante uno de los grandes del Círculo de Lovecraft, Hyperborea y Zothique imprescindibles de los mitos de Cthulhu.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

One of the best fantasy books I've ever read. Dark fantasy at its best.

Amazing stories. Underrated writer.
Kilian García Reyes
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tenía ganas de leer a Clark Ashton Smith en profundidad del cual ya había leído algún relato. Smith junto con H.P. Lovecraft y R.E. Howard formaba parte del grupo conocido como "los tres mosqueteros de Weird Tales" los cuales nutrieron las páginas de la popular revista pulp contribuyendo al auge de su era dorada. Alguien dijo una vez que Lovecraft escribía con la cabeza, Howard con las entrañas y Smith con el corazón, y de esto último puedo dar fe tras haber leído los 16 relatos que conforman el ...more
Efrén Ayón
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Opino que esta colección de relatos es un poco demasiado densa para cumplir el objetivo de una lectura digerible y completamente entretenida. Es un mundo interesante y una clase de mitología que tiene una ambientación muy lograda y característica, pero tampoco va más allá. No puedo evitar pensar que en otro medio, por ejemplo en una serie de televisión, este enfoque estaría mejor logrado.
Given that Clark Ashton Smith’s ‘Zothique’ stories were a clear influence on Jack Vance’s ‘Dying Earth’ series, it seems a little churlish that Vance once referred to Smith as a ‘very bad’ writer. Vance was quite right, of course (perhaps he was tired of comparisons being made): Smith’s writing is a triumph of style over substance, and his capacity for characterisation is limited. And yet his style is so outrageously ornate that it often transcends what it is describing, and characterisation is ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last Aeon of earth...

Zothique is an odd collection of short stories set in the far, far, far future. The sun is a red ember in the sky and the remaining inhabitants of the earth eke out an existence among the buried remains of countless empires before them. The gods have died and only the gods of entropy and evil remain.

You might have heard this before, but frankly this is the original. OH, technically The Night Lands, The Time Machine, even ERB's "Barsoom" technically started this genre - b
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  • The Night Land
  • Jirel of Joiry
  • Noctuary
  • The Blue Star
  • Rhialto the Marvellous (The Dying Earth, #4)
  • Los mitos de Cthulhu
  • Land of Unreason
  • Kai Lung's Golden Hours (Kai Lung #2)
  • The Three Impostors and Other Stories
  • Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley
  • The High Place
  • Cuentos, 1
  • Dwellers in the Mirage
  • The World's Desire
  • A Quest for Simbilis (The Dying Earth, #2.5)
  • The Mezentian Gate
Clark Ashton Smith was a poet, sculptor, painter and author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. It is for these stories, and his literary friendship with H. P. Lovecraft from 1922 until Lovecraft's death in 1937, that he is mainly remembered today. With Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, also a friend and correspondent, Smith remains one of the most famous contributors to the pulp m ...more
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