This tale is setup as a space age telling of the marooning of a party of mutineers by Ferdinand Magellan in the straights that have since worn his name, on his circumnavigation of the globe. The space captain, Vomar is bent on circumnavigating the cosmos as Magellan was the earth, striking his associates with terror and necessitating their being cast off on a planet that holds more horrors than their imaginations.
Once the three mutineers are left to their own despairing devices on an earth type planet of slightly greater gravity, the bizarreties gather in horrifying intensity, following one on the other. At one point one of the mutineers says, “Even a fiction writer would not dare to imagine this.”
Yet Clark Ashton Smith did dare and the story becomes steadily stranger as the three men—with a very Victorian British sense of dutiful tenacity—as horror upon horror assail them.
In Marooned In Andomeda, Clark Aston Smith set himself the task of carrying a disturbing and gradually more unbelievable story on his literary shoulders, which proved eerily capable of bearing the burden of suspending the suspension of disbelief that harrows a writer of fantasy and science-fiction just as surely as the terrors of Andromeda dogged his protagonists.
Marooned In Andromeda partakes of the horrors of Lovecraft at the pace of Howard, with the grace Oscar Wilde.
In the reading below Nathan Kloske relates the tale in a cadence ideally suited for the finely tuned diction of its author.