By Michael Dirda
Sunday, February 18, 2007; Page BW10
Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961) was one of the three great contributors to the magazine Weird Tales (along with H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan) -- and some would argue that he was the best of them all. Certainly, the evidence of two new paperback reissues, a collection of substantial critical essays, the first volume of a scholarly edition of his collected fantasies, a recent volume of letters, and much else hint at the ongoing literary vitality of this fascinating and controversial writer.