Postscript: Clark Ashton Smith’s Jupiter

Unlike the smaller, rocky worlds closer to the sun, I could not find any stories by Clark Ashton Smith that take place on Jupiter or any of its moons.  If anyone can direct me to one I would really appreciate it.  However, I did find a few references to Jupiter in a number of his stories.  For example, as previously cited in the Clark Ashton Smith story Master of the Asteroid, originally published in Wonder Stories; October 1932, three psychologically unbalanced men decide to leave a Mars colony, for one of the moons of Jupiter.  They never make it to their destination and end up on one of the larger asteroids.

In another story called Phoenix, there was a brief mention of having rocket ships that could easily pull free from the gravitational pull of Jupiter.  I have to say that this was a good story but the plot was very similar to the Danny Boyle movie Sunshine (2007).  If you have not seen the movie or read the story I recommend you read the story first and then see the film.  If Clark Ashton Smith’s story Phoenix did not inspire the creators of the movie Sunshine then its an amazing coincidence.  Smith’s stories a filled with a variety of stunning visuals that would look great on the screen.

Danny Boyle’s movie Sunshine (2007).

Sadastor is a short tale about a demon telling a story to a depressed lamia to cheer her up.  In it he talks about traveling through the solar system, which included daring flight through the clouds of Jupiter.

The lamia from Clark Ashton Smith’s story Sadastor (from

Finally, the last Clark Ashton Smith story I could find where there was a reference to Jupiter was the tale The Epiphany of Death.  This story sort of reminds me of a “mash up” of a few HPL stories including The Hound and The Statement of Randolph Carter.  In it a man accompanies his friend down into his ancestral catacombs.  Before entering the tomb the narrator notes that the moon had gone down but that “…the rays of Mars and Jupiter in a sodden and funereal sky were not enough to illumine the perilous path we followed among mounds and fallen obelisks and broken graves.”

Thus, while Clark Ashton Smith did mention Jupiter and its moons in a few of his stories, none actually took place in the Jovian system – at least this was the conclusion I came up with in my review of his tales.  If anyone has any additional input on this matter, please feel free to interject.  Thank you – Fred





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