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Works

A King Called Arthor and Other Morceaux A King Called Arthor and Other Morceaux

Donald Sidney-Fryer has been a towering presence in the world of fantasy literature for more than five decades. As an octogenarian he continues to exhibit his expertise and broad literary range in this volume of miscellany.

The volume leads off with a substantial work of fiction—the novel A King Called Arthor, in which the author retells the story of King Arthur, Merlin, Uther Pendragon, and the other memorable figures that constitute the legendry surrounding this Dark Age warrior. Applying his profound knowledge of Arthurian myth as well as his familiarity with the history of Britain in that remote age, Sidney-Fryer revivifies all the characters in this saga in a stirring narrative.

Sidney-Fryer’s recent essays and reviews speak eloquently of his passion for the best that weird and fantasy fiction has to offer. Numerous essays discuss Clark Ashton Smith, the chief focus of the author’s scholarship over the years. Sidney-Fryer also sees H. P. Lovecraft as a “beacon and a gateway” to the realms of the weird, and he also has high regard for the pulp fiction of Robert E. Howard. More recent poets, such as K. A. Opperman and Ashley Dioses, have received Sidney-Fryer’s imprimatur as worthy successors to the classic poets of the early 20th century.

Donald Sidney-Fryer is a legend in his own time, and this volume attests to the acuity, diversity, and humane scholarship that infuses every story, poem, essay, and review he has ever written.

A King Called Arthor and Other Morceaux.- New York: Hippocampus Press, 2020.- 406 p. ISBN 978-1-61498-294-4. 20$.

Cover art/design, map and "Key to Names" by Daniel V. Sauer. Cover based in part on artwork by Gustave Doré. All rights reserved.

This book may be ordered directly from the publisher:

Hippocampus Press

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Aesthetics Ho! Essays on Art, Literature, and Theatre Aesthetics Ho! Essays on Art, Literature, and Theatre

For more than fifty years, Donald Sidney-Fryer has been exhibiting his profound and wide-ranging sensitivity to all forms of art—music, painting, sculpture, ballet, and most of all, poetry. In this new collection of previously uncollected and unpublished essays, Sidney-Fryer displays the wealth of knowledge and the keen critical judgment he has developed in a lifetime of immersion in the fine arts.

The book opens with a fascinating diary-essay recounting a trip Sidney-Fryer took to El Salvador in 2016, in the company of master painter Jesse Allen, whose murals are described vividly and evocatively. Sidney-Fryer subsequently treats a wealth of other subjects, ranging from the poetic methodology of his own classic work, Songs and Sonnets Atlantean (1971), the prose and poetry of H. P. Lovecraft, the films of the 1930s and 1940s, and much else besides.

The second half of Aesthetics, Ho! is titled “Ends and Odds: A Poetic Miscellany,” an assemblage of nearly 60 poems and prose-poems that Sidney-Fryer has written in recent years. Here we find tributes to the work of Lovecraft, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and the imagination-stirring travel accounts of Marco Polo, an evocation of the King Arthur legend, and an amusing parody of Clark Ashton Smith (“The Nonsense Eater: By Quark Ashcan Smiff”), the author whom Sidney-Fryer has spent a lifetime in studying.

All told, this volume demonstrates Donald Sidney-Fryer’s continuing dynamism as an artist and critic in his eighth decade of life.

Aesthetics Ho! Essays on Art, Literature, and Theatre.- New York: Hippocampus Press, 2017.- 210 p. ISBN 978-1-61498-201-2. 20$.

Covert artwork by Hannes Bok. All rights reserved.

This book may be ordered directly from the publisher:

Hippocampus Press

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Hobgoblin Apollo: The Autobiography of Donald Sidney-Fryer Hobgoblin Apollo: The Autobiography of Donald Sidney-Fryer

In this epochal autobiography, Sidney-Fryer shares his memories of Clark Ashton Smith and Smith’s wife Carol; of working with Arkham House founder August Derleth to publish CAS’s Poems in Prose (which contained Sidney-Fryer’s introduction), as well as Sidney-Fryer’s first collection, Songs and Sonnets Atlantean, the final book to appear from Arkham House under the personal supervision of Derleth; of working with Helen French Hunt, the sister of Nora May French, to resurrect the works of this neglected poet; his long association with fantasy and science fiction great Fritz Leiber; and many other triumphs of a literary life.

Along the way, Sidney-Fryer treats his readers to intimate—and occasionally erotic—recollections of a life well lived, pungently related with admirable candor. Aptly compared to Samuel R. Delany’s memoir The Motion of Light in Water, HOBGOBLIN APOLLO will be of interest to poets and poetry readers, Clark Ashton Smith enthusiasts, Arkham House collectors, and those interested in the development of weird literature in the twentieth century and beyond.

As a bonus, ODDS & ENDS, a hundred-page collection comprising Donald Sidney-Fryer's latest poems, the vast majority previously unpublished, is included as an appendix.

Hobgoblin Apollo: The Autobiography of Donald Sidney-Fryer.- New York: Hippocampus Press, 2016.- 400 p. ISBN 978-1-61498-167-1. 25$.

Covert artwork by Norman Lindsay. All rights reserved.

This book may be ordered directly from the publisher:

Hippocampus Press

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The Atlantis Fragments - The Novel The Atlantis Fragments: The Novel

"The Atlantis Fragments: The Novel is to be looked upon as a companion volume to Sidney-Fryer’s poetry omnibus The Atlantis Fragments (Poems).  In one of his letters DSF wrote that 'the novel and the poetry omnibus are complementary, the later illuminating the novel "off-scene" and the former providing the main story.'  So obviously if you’ve got one, you’ll probably want to have the other.

"Donald Sidney-Fryer was very adamant about what he was trying to accomplish in the writing of this Atlantean novel, which takes us into the final days of that legendary civilization.  He wrote:  'I wanted to see if it were possible to create a narrative with little overt conflict or tension, holding it off until the very end, i.e., the conflict with the Athenians and then, especially, the Great Cataclysm.'   He added that he hopes his book may be read with pleasure, because then he will know he has succeeded.  Well I can state that for me it was a pleasurable experience; no failure there."

--Brian Leno, in REH: Two-Gun Raconteur

The Atlantis Fragments.- New York: Hippocampus Press, 2012.- 324 p. ISBN 978-1-61498-036-0. 20$.

Covert artwork by Gordon R. Barnett. Cover design by Lance Alexander. All rights reserved.

This book may be ordered directly from the publisher:

Hippocampus Press

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The Atlantis Fragments The Atlantis Fragments: Poems

Donald Sidney-Fryer’s massive, 550-page poetry omnibus is the most elaborate book ever published by Hippocampus Press. Its color frontispiece, printed end papers, profusion of interior illustrations, Smythe sewn signatures and illustrated dust wrapper destine it to be a collector’s item. This hardcover omnibus presents the collected edition of the trilogy SONGS AND SONNETS ATLANTEAN in a limited edition of 300 copies.

"These poems are of an unearthly beauty. They celebrate love, beauty, and humanity; and yet throughout many of them is a consciousness of impending apocalypse. The imagery, lush, exotic, full of colors and magic names, is a welcome relief from the sterile, prosaic poetry of today. If you enjoy tripping on language, this book is for you. Whether the poems really are from the Atlantean or whether they are the creations of poet Sidney-Fryer, they deserve to be read and experienced."
-- Charles K. Wolfe

"Sidney-Fryer is, in a very strong sense, a traditionalist; his creations, superlatively original as they are, yet give us a powerful feeling of continuity with our own past and culture; they make us see ... the ideals that moved us when we were less “secure” and more human: adventure, love of life, and above all, the intricate beauty of a world long vanished - yet not vanished, if only we had eyes to see."
-- Richard L. Tierney

"Sidney-Fryer has created, in his fictional Atlantis, an entire civilization and a body of absorbing literature. The book should appeal to lovers of poetry, to devotees of science fiction, and to those who admire writers who can fashion a realistic world from the materials of mythology and speculation."
-- Earl J. Dias

"Mr. Fryer is a profound student of Clark Ashton Smith, and the influence shows, but he is very much his own poet, and he structures and plays with a surety and deftness which is remarkable."
-- Gahan Wilson

"A delightful book of verse - purportedly fragments of poetry from the lost Empire of Atlantis - that is very much in the tradition of Spenser’s Faerie Queene. A work that reflects a glittering imagination and no mean talent."
-- James Gorski

The Atlantis Fragments.- New York: Hippocampus Press, 2008.- 562 p. ISBN 978-0-9793806-3-1. 55$.

Covert artwork by Gordon R. Barnett. Cover design by Lance Alexander. All rights reserved.
Interior illustrations by Lance Alexander and William Boddy.

This book may be ordered directly from the publisher:

Hippocampus Press

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The Sorcerer Departs (3rd edition) The Sorcerer Departs: Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961)

Clark Ashton Smith, best known today for his association with H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, stands as one of the most fascinating literary figures of his time. Poet and translator, heir and upholder of the California Romantics, creator of new poetical forms of expression, he was also a major founder of modern fantasy through his notable and original contributions to the pulp magazines of the 1930's. Smith was also a self-taught artist whose paintings, drawings and sculptures reflect the phantasmagoric worlds of his fiction.

The Sorcerer Departs, first published in 1963, is widely considered not only the first but still the best bio-critical essay on the life and works of Clark Ashton Smith. This newly expanded and revised edition of Donald Sidney-Fryer's classic study, not only serves as an excellent introduction to the writings of the Bard of Auburn, but is also an indispensable cornerstone in the library of every CAS scholar.

Contents:
Foreword of the publisher (Philippe Gindre), p. 5.
A biography of Clark Ashton Smith, p. 9.
Some general remarks on Smith’s poetry and prose, p. 38.
The Sorcerer Departs, p. 48.
Cycles (Clark Ashton Smith), p. 57.
Afterword, p. 58.
Clark Ashton Smith: a selective bibliography, p. 60.
About Donald Sidney-Fryer, p. 61.
Donald Sidney-Fryer: a bibliography, p. 64.

Cover art: Patrick Mallet.

ISBN 978-2-908254-54-9.
13 x 20 cm (5.12 x 7.87 in.). 84 p.

Price: 10 Euros.

This book may be ordered directly from the French publisher:

La Clef d'Argent

The Sorcerer Departs is also at Amazon.fr
 

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Songs & Sonnets Atlantean III Songs & Sonnets Atlantean - The Third Series

With the Third Series (the final one) of Songs and Sonnets Atlantean, an unique poetic experiment comes to an end:
a deliberate and sustained extension (begun in March of 1961, completed in March of 2005, and thus covering a span of 44 years) from the poetic output achieved by the California Romantics, that group of poets headed by Ambrose Bierce but embodied primarily in George Sterling, Nora May French, and Clark Ashton Smith.

To accomplish this development in a worthwhile and innovative manner, Donald Sidney-Fryer--taking his inspiration from the myth-making example of Edmund Spenser and his unique epic The Faerie Queene--has purposely revived and cultivated the Spenserian stanza and the Spenserian sonnet, combining from them a new form, the Spenserian stanza-sonnet, a major traditionalist but modern prosodic innovation.

However, Sidney-Fryer has achieved his own objective not only through his own original poems, as well as his translations from the French, but above all by translating into English the largest group of poems (in verse or in prose) ever made available from the ancient language of Atlantis, and thus through the unique recension of these texts by the French Renaissance poet Michel de Labretagne.

Songs & Sonnets Atlantean  - The Third Series.- Los Angeles, CA: Phosphor Lantern Press, 2005.- 244 p. ISBN 1-932983-58-9. 20.95$.

Covert art by Cynthia Goldstone. Cover design by Lance Alexander. All rights reserved.

Out of print. Reissued as part of The Atlantis Fragments.

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The Hashish-Eater and Other Poems The Hashish-Eater and Other Poems

Audio CD: six fantastic poems by Clark Ashton Smith performed by Donald Sidney-Fryer

Contents:

 The Hashish-Eater (1920)   48:40 [listen]
 Soliloquy in an Ebon Tower (1950) 8:29 
 O Golden-Tongued Romance (1950) 3:16 
 Song of the Necromancer (1937) 2:37 [listen]
 Cycles (1961) 1:37 
 The Sorcerer Departs (1944) 1:05 [listen]

The Hashish-Eater recorded by Ronald S. Hilger in 1994. All other tracks recorded on 21 March 2004 by Perry M. Grayson in Los Angeles, California using the Roland VS-840GX Digital Studio Workstation and a Shure Beta SM57 microphone. Mixed 28 March & 4 April 2004 by Perry M. Grayson using Soundforge 6.0. Copyright © 2004 by Donald Sidney-Fryer. Digital duplication & design by Philippe Gindre. Permission to reproduce the selected texts of poetry by Clark Ashton Smith used on this recording has been granted by CASiana, the Estate of Clark Ashton Smith, & by Arkham House. Total running time approx. 66 mn.

14$.

Opposite: C.A.Smith at the age of 19 - photo taken by Bianca Conti, all rights reserved.

This cd is now sold out.

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Gaspard de la Nuit Gaspard de la Nuit (1842) by Aloysius Bertrand (1807-1841)
Foreword, afterword and notes by Donald Sidney-Fryer

 Aloysius Bertrand's classic text of poetic and fantastic literature is presented in an entirely new translation by Donald Sidney-Fryer.

 This edition also includes extensive and definitive foreword, afterword and notes by Sidney-Fryer, as well as reproductions of 18 illustrations by Bertrand himself. The cover is by celebrated artist Gahan Wilson.

 An unique opus beloved by Sainte-Beuve, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Maurice Ravel, André Breton, and other leading artists, Sidney-Fryer's translation and presentation represents a modern poet's labor of love on behalf of a genius innovator who created the modern poème en prose, but who died young before he could achieve much beyond this one little book.

Gaspard de la Nuit.- Encino, CA: Black Coat Press, 2004.- ISBN 0-9740711-2-9. 20.95$.

This book may ordered directly from the publisher:

Black Coat Press

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Songs & Sonnets Atlantean II Songs & Sonnets Atlantean - The Second Series

 Thirty-two years after the publication of his first collection, Donald Sidney-Fryer has published a new collection of sonnets.

Songs & Sonnets Atlantean  - The Second Series.- Holicong, PA: Wildside Press, 2003.- 156 p. ISBN 1-59224-148-4. 15$.

Out of print. Reissued as part of The Atlantis Fragments.

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The Sorcerer Departs (2nd edition) Clark Ashton Smith: The Sorcerer Departs

   Contents:

Introduction: "In Tsathoggua's Domain" by Perry M. Grayson, p.5.
A Biography of Clark Ashton Smith, p.6.
Some General Remarks on Smith's Poetry & Prose, p.23.
The Sorcerer Departs, p.29.
Afterword, p.36.

Cover art by Robert H. Knox. All rights reserved.

Clark Ashton Smith: The Sorcerer Departs.- Tsathoggua Press, 6442 Pat Ave., West Hills, California 91307, USA, 1997.- 38 p. ISBN 1-887968-05-9. 7$.

This chapbook is now out of print. A new revised edition is available.

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Songs & Sonnets Atlantean Songs & Sonnets Atlantean

   Donald Fryer's first book embodies the first extensive selection of Atlantean poems translated into English--even if only through the French of the Renaissance Atlantologist, Michel de Labretagne. Dr. Ibid Massachusetts Andor, the premier Atlantologist in today's world, rightly hails this collection as a major contribution to Plato's Atlantis Myth.
To do justice to the original poetic forms in Atlantean, the translator has not only revived the Spenserian stanza but has also innovated a special form, the Spenserian stanza-sonnet, based upon both the Spenserian stanza and the Spenserian sonnet.
   Now retired and resident in the Azores for many years, Dr. Andor has provided an erudite and informative introduction, together with a concluding section of notes. These notes and Mr. Fryer's translations evoke the strange, opulent, and unforgettable pageant of the last days of the Empire of Atlantis, a world overwhelmed by the Great Cataclysm, circa 13,000 B. C.
   Upon these translations, the result of almost a decade of sustained labor, Donald Fryer as poet and scholar has brought to bear the fruits of a varied career in life and literature. The present volume also includes translations just from the French, as well as a selection of original poems expressly written for it.

Songs & Sonnets Atlantean.- Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1971.- xxx-136 p.- 2000 copies.- Printed by The Collegiate Press, George Banta Company, Inc., Menasha, Wisconsin.- Composé en Linotype Garamond on Winnebago Eggshell.- bound in Holliston Black Novelex.

Opposite: the jacket, fashioned after an original design invented by the author, is the work of the Denver artist Gordon R. Barnett. © 1971 Arkham House. All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction.

Out of print. Reissued as part of The Atlantis Fragments.

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© 2004-2021, Donald Sidney-Fryer.