The Emperor of Dreams

The Emperor of Dreams is a collection of American fantasy author and poet Clark Ashton Smith's short tales arranged in chronological order. It was published by Gollancz in 2002 as the 26th volume of their Fantasy Masterworks series. The collection contains stories from Smith's major story cycles of Averoigne, Hyperborea, Poseidonis, and Zothique. Most of the stories originally appeared in the magazines The Fantasy Fan, Weird Tales, Overland Monthly, Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, The Magic Carpet/Oriental Stories, The Auburn Journal, Stirring Science Stories, The Arkham Sampler, Saturn and Fantastic Universe.

The Emperor of Dreams
Emperor of dreams
Cover of the first edition
AuthorClark Ashton Smith
Cover artistJeffrey K. Potter
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreFantasy, horror, science fiction
Publication date
Media typePrint (paperback)


  • "On Fantasy"
  • "Song of the Necromancer"
  • "The Abominations of Yondo"
  • "The Ninth Skeleton"
  • "The Last Incantation"
  • "A Rendezvous in Averoigne"
  • "The Return of the Sorcerer"
  • "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros"
  • "The Door to Saturn"
  • "The Gorgon"
  • "The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan"
  • "The Nameless Offspring"
  • "The Empire of the Necromancers"
  • "The Hunters from Beyond"
  • "The Isle of the Torturers"
  • "The Beast of Averoigne"
  • "Genius Loci"
  • "Ubbo-Sathla"
  • "The Kiss of Zoraida"
  • "The Seed from the Sepulcher"
  • "The Weaver in the Vault"
  • "The Ghoul"
  • "The Charnel God"
  • "The Death of Malygris"
  • "The Tomb-Spawn"
  • "The Seven Geases"
  • "Xeethra"
  • "The Dark Eidolon"
  • "The Flower-Women"
  • "The Treader of the Dust"
  • "The Black Abbot of Puthuum"
  • "Necromancy in Naat"
  • "The Death of Ilalotha"
  • "The Garden of Adompha"
  • "Mother of Toads"
  • "The Double Shadow"
  • "The Coming of the White Worm"
  • "The Root of Ampoi"
  • "Morthylla"
  • "An Offering to the Moon"
  • "The Theft of Thirty-Nine Girdles"
  • "Symposium of the Gorgon"
  • "Told in the Desert"
  • "Prince Alcouz and the Magician"
  • "A Good Embalmer"
  • "The Mortuary "
  • Afterword: The Lost Worlds of Klarkash-Ton, by Stephen Jones


Donald Sidney-Fryer

Donald Sidney-Fryer (born September 8, 1934) is a poet and entertainer principally influenced by Edmund Spenser and Clark Ashton Smith.

Born and raised in the Atlantic coastal community of New Bedford, Massachusetts, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in October 1953. While in the Marines, he first became enamored of "imaginative literature" and began to compile A Checklist of the Ballet Scores of Cesare Pugni, eventually published in 1961 as Vol. VIII of Enciclopedia dello Spettacolo. Following his honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant in August 1956, he moved to California, where he enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles; during this period, he engaged in the concomitant study of classical ballet, working under David Lichine and Tatiana Riaboushinska for a year. In 1958 and 1959, he visited Smith's home in Monterey, California; during these two excursions, Smith introduced him to the oeuvre of George Sterling. After graduating from UCLA in January 1961 with a B.A. in French and the death of Smith in August of that year, Sidney-Freyer commenced work on the poetry that would eventually comprise Songs and Sonnets Atlantean (1971) and The Emperor of Dreams (1976), a bibliography of Smith completed in 1965. From 1965 to 1971, he edited three volumes of Smith's work for Arkham House, a task he would reprise for Pocket Books a decade later.

In 1969, he married Gloria Kathleen Braly, and started giving dramatic readings shortly thereafter at universities and other institutions, almost always incorporating material by Smith and Spenser. His poetry has continued to appear in a variety of weird fiction and speculative poetry-oriented journals.

Sidney-Fryer's verse is marked by a strong imagination, and a Francophilic focus. He is a strong believer in "pure poetry," and practices formalist verse, having developing his own specific poetic form: the Spenserian stanza-sonnet.

He remains a prolific historian of 19th century ballet, and is an expert on the ballet theatre of the romantic era.

Fantasy Masterworks

Fantasy Masterworks is a series of British paperbacks intended to comprise "some of the greatest, most original, and most influential fantasy ever written", and claimed by its publisher Millennium (an imprint of Victor Gollancz) to be "the books which, along with Tolkien, Peake and others, shaped modern fantasy."It has a companion series in the SF Masterworks line. A separate Future Classics line has also started featuring eight science fiction novels from the last few decades.

The books were numbered only through No. 50; in the 2013 reboot of the series the books are unnumbered, have a uniform look, and feature introductions by well-known writers and critics.

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