I could find only one reference to the planet Neptune in Clark Ashton Smith’s stories and it was one that was already mentioned in the discussion on Jupiter. “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 includes a daring flight through the clouds of Jupiter. In that same passage the demon also refers to “the black and freezing abysses of Neptune, which are crowned with eternal starlight.” Is this strange description somehow related to HPL’s Neptunian fungi? While not directly related to Smith’s description, more evidence of HPL’s white fungi is provided below.
Close up of the Great Dark Spot, the Small Dark Spot and “Scooter” on Neptune. Scooter is a large white cloud that moves quickly around the planet, thus its name. Is Scooter a community of atmospheric, planktonic fungi, feeding off the gaseous hydrogen or liquid methane and ammonia? (from tours-throughout-the-galaxy.blogspot.com)
The only other mention of Neptune in Smith’s writings that I came across was in a little article he wrote called “The Family Tree of the Gods,” which you can find on http://www.eldritchdark.com. In it Smith provides some information on the family history of some of the “Elder Gods,” which include members of his own mythos as well as those of HPL.
In the article he talks about how Hzioulquoigmnzhah (uncle of Tsathoggua, who we met on Saturn, called Cykranosh by the natives, in “The Door to Saturn”) left his home world in order to avoid being eaten by his parents. He ends up on Neptune (called Yaksh – by the natives I assume) but wearying of the strange religious devotions of the Yaksahians went on to Cykranosh. Are the Yaksahians the same group of white fungi that feed off of the atmospheric winds of Neptune or are they an entirely different race of Neptunians? Only HPL and CAS know for sure.
This article concludes the tour of the Lovecraftian Solar System – at least for now. I have discussed other parts of the solar sytem in pervous articles (e.g. Pluto (Yuggoth) and our moon) and I do intend to re-vsit the solar system to discuss other components (e.g. our sun, comets, metors, etc.) at a later time. However, for now I want to move away from the Lovecraftian Solar System and focus on another of HPL’s stories. Next time we will be discussing “Beyond the Wall of Sleep.” Thank you – Fred