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‘Provender of the God’
The Charnel God Part 1 - Clark Ashton Smith

Pharion, a plaintive, beta male of a protagonist, nevertheless has the heart of a hero, demonstrating for the postmodern reader that the beta male of old was equal to the alphas of our fallen age.

Arriving at a strange city dedicated to the worship of a death god he knew not, the young traveler was a accompanied by his wife, who fell into one of her coma-like states, a reoccurring malady, which the local physician declares death. After this shocking declaration the priests of the death god come for his due and the young, well-to-do Pharion offers an ordinary level of cognition and above average, but not remarkable, physicality, essentially placing the reader in a Conan story lacking Conan.

Smith’s lack of attention to world building is immersing and attends the tale like the Devil’s boatman. The reading is excellent, with good characterizations and sound effects, making it something of a radio play.

A Well of Heroes: Two:

Literary Impressions of the Prose and Verse of Robert E. Howard

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