43. Northwest of Earth


Northwest of Earth is a near-exact duplicate of Shambleau and Others, each containing a mix of Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joiry stories.

The two books don’t quite exhaust the two series, although the omissions mostly started as fanzine fodder. The missing stories are:

• “Nymph of Darkness,” co-written with Forrest J. Ackerman (Fantasy Magazine, April 1935, reprinted in Weird Tales, December 1939) [Smith]

• “Quest of the Starstone,” co-written with Henry Kuttner (Weird Tales, November 1937) (Smith and Jirel]

• “Werewoman,” (Leaves #2, 1938) [Smith]

• “Song in a Minor Key,” (Scienti-Snap, February, 1940) [Smith]

L. Sprague de Camp not only noticed these omissions in his review in the August 1955 Science Fiction Quarterly, but complained about them to Greenberg. Apparently, at some previous time Grenberg had explained the odd mixing of Jirl and Smith stories by promising that the reprint volumes would end with “Quest of the Starstone,” the one story in which both appeared. “When, feeling swindled,” de Camp wrote, “I taxed the publisher with these outrageous omissions, I learned that the fault was that of the author herself. She had decided that these stories were not good enough for hard covers. A hideous curse upon you, Miss Moore! I shall make another waxen image for envoutement. If one likes a series of stories well enough to buy a book of them, one wants the complete series – regardless of unevenness.” Spoken like a true fan. Sadly, de Camp died several years before Paizo Publishing released Black God’s Kiss, all the Jirel stories, and The Complete Northwest Smith, as described, containing the missing four.

Gnome Notes

Greenberg had originally wanted to name the book Northwest Smith of Earth and even had a few copies of a dust jacket with that title printed up, but he eventually decided – correctly – that the shorter name would be better, according to Robert Weinberg, who bought the original covers as a dealer. I’ve never seen another mention of such a jacket in the wild, so some might loom out there as a prized Gnome associational.

Northwest is the second and last Gnome title to have the claim that it was distributed by Associated Booksellers, after The Forgotten Planet.


J. Francis McComas, New York Times Book Review, December 12, 1954
Once again the indestructible Northwest Smith blasts his way through various interplanetary underworlds and once more Jirel of Joiry pits her beauteous body and sharp sword against the sorcerers whose magicking disturbs the peace of the warrior maid’s realm. Which is about all that needs be said concerning this second volume of C. L. Moore’s youthful chronicles of this incredible pair.

Contents and original publication

• “Dust of Gods” (Weird Tales, August 1934) [Smith].
• “Lost Paradise” (Weird Tales, July 1936) [Smith].
• “The Dark Land” (Weird Tales, January 1936) [Jirel].
• “Juhli” (Weird Tales, March 1935) [Smith].
• “Hellsgarde” (Weird Tales, April 1939) [Jirel].
• “The Cold Grey God” (Weird Tales, October 1935) [Smith].
• “Yvala” (Weird Tales, February 1936) [Smith].

Bibliographic Information

Northwest of Earth, by C. L. Moore, 1954, copyright registration 25Oct54, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number, 54-12145, title #43, back panel #28, 212 pages, $3.00. 4000 copies printed. Hardback, teal cloth, spine lettered in red. Jacket Design by Ric Binkley. “First Edition” on copyright page. Composition by: Slugs Composition Company. Printing & binding by: H. Wolff. Manufactured in the U.S.A. Back panel: 31 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th Street, New York 3.


None known.