At the age of fourteen, Clark Ashton Smith wrote an Arabian Nights adventure novel called The Black Diamonds. At nearly 90,000 words, it is the longest work of fiction he would ever write in his long career. The thrilling and fast-paced story of seventeenth-century Bagdad deals with two mysterious black diamonds and the conflict they engender between an Arab family and the powerful thief who seeks to regain them. Kidnapping, piracy, and even a possibly supernatural "Lake of Fire" are all involved in this vibrant and well-crafted narrative.
Although a work of Smith's youth, The Black Diamonds can withstand comparison with any of his later tales of Zothique, Hyperborea, and Atlantis for compelling readability. This never-before published novel has been meticulously edited by leading fantasy scholar S.T. Joshi.
Clark Ashton Smith was born on January 13, 1893, and began writing fiction and poetry in his early teens. His first publication came in 1910, at the age of seventeen, when the Overland Monthly published two of his adventure tales set in the Orient. One of the "Lovecraft Circle" and a regular contributor to Weird Tales in the 1930s, he is highly regarded today for his works of exotic fantasy. Smith died in his sleep on August 14, 1961.
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First Published: 1907
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