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"Xeethra" is the tale of the orphaned goatherd Xeethra, who tolerates his abusive uncle and lives in dire poverty. One day, he spots a cave in a hidden valley, and descends to a beautiful but sinister garden, where he eats a weird fruit hanging from a tree. He starts having memories of being Amero, the ruler of a far-off country, and when he returns to the surface he sets off to seek his kingdom....

This short story is the first in the collection ZOTHIQUE, which was part of Ballantine's Adult Fantasy line, coming out in 1970. The story itself was first published in "Weird Tales", December 1934.

16 pages, Chapbook

First published December 1, 1934

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About the author

Clark Ashton Smith

712 books836 followers
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 magazine Weird Tales.

His writings are posted at his official website.

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Profile Image for Vincent.
125 reviews17 followers
April 17, 2023
Quite an interesting story, beautifully written. In the end, the fairytale-like roundness of the narrative and the theological mythology and morality were not exactly to my tastes, so I can't give it a perfect score, but I enjoyed it all the same.
Profile Image for Andrew.
561 reviews16 followers
July 15, 2021
And to think I was this close from moving on in my pulp reading, giving up Smith with uncertainty of what to read. His first story in the Zothique collection hints that Smith may be the pulper I most enjoy. But I will wait the collection to pronounce that with any degree of certainty.
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews

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