Just curious if anyone has either personal experience or can recall any quotes where Gary mentions a like or dislike for Clark Ashton Smith.
As others have noted, CAS's omission from Appendix N seems rather strange, given that Gary read Howard and Lovecraft and other contemporaries of Smith.
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Gary was never a fan of CAS. I find it hard to imagine Gary just never happened to read CAS (considering all the stuff Gary DID read), so maybe Gary just honestly disliked CAS or even found CAS distasteful.
That said, there were plenty other authors Gary read and enjoyed who did not make it into Appendix N — E.R. Eddison springs to mind — simply because he didn’t consider them particularly influential on D&D.
When I was developing Castle Zagyg for Gary, I was unabashed in my efforts to include CAS elements to the whole, including Tsathoggua-like gargoyles in the ruins in front of the castle; also, in "The Storerooms" a certain sorcerer who sequestered himself behind a series of illusions, and if the illusions were overcome (I'm looking at you, Ro(a)bilar!"), the sorcerer would place a geas on the intruders, directing them to confront the hill giant of the Storerooms (which could be an insurmountable task for low level PCs); and lastly (to my recollection), in the basement of the castle proper their was a summoning chamber carved of yellow ivory. Well, these are the CAS elements that immediately spring to mind, and Gary was not opposed to any of these, though I think he may have passed (i.e. post March 2008) before I developed the yellow ivory summoning chamber. Anyway, he may not have been as big a CAS fan as Rob is, but he certainly did not dislike him. Gary was never timid about expressing his opinions with me; if he didn't like CAS, these things would not have made their way into the ms.
CAS is my favorite, you know that Ghul. I just finished a piece about the integrated Lovecraft/CAS Elder One slant of the Greyhawk Campaign. It's about 3,000 words and also lists all of the material I created for it (about 100 pages and 20 maps) and with some hefty details. This story arc was pervasive 1973-1975. I'll publish it in the near future in tandem with some other pieces making up the whole.