Pioneering sci-fi and fantasy author C.L. Moore reads her 1933 story "Shambleau"

Originally published at: Pioneering sci-fi and fantasy author C.L. Moore reads her 1933 story "Shambleau" | Boing Boing


I remain peeved that there’s not a movie trilogy starring Jirel of Joiry.


If your tastes run more towards SF, look into C. L Moore’s stories about Northwest Smith and his Venusian sidekick. “Shambleau” is one of those stories, although there is a heavy Lovecraftian flavor to them.


Thanks for posting this. Listening now.


My favourite is “Dust of Gods” - it doesn’t have a feminine antagonist or the usual rich language but the imagery she evokes is stunning.

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Thanks for posting this - I am a fan of her work, although reading them in a collection (which is not how they were intended) does highlight some recurring issues. The majority of Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joiry stories turn out to be portal fantasies which does rather highlight that she’d rather be writing more… ethereal fantasy where she can really go to torn invoking an otherworldly atmosphere. However, because of the avenues available to her for publication, she had to wrap the stories in a more explicitly sci-fi or sword and sorcery setting (a bit like the kind of essay you had to write at school which starts out with some dull paragraph and you have to take it from there, which usually involves the next line being “Then, suddenly…”). It’s a pity, as I would have liked to have seen more of the fictional universes she created, not the pocket universes or dreamscapes her protagonists often end up in.

However, the writing is some of the richest and most evocative from the period, so it is well worth dipping in. Perhaps grab the individual stories online and dip into one every now and again, rather than binging the lot.


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