(I've been working on a particularly difficult science post for a week now, and the end is still a ways off. In the meantime, I thought I'd catch up a little on my weird fiction posts.)
Author A. Merritt (1884-1943) was, in a sense, the exception that proves the rule in fiction writing. Though he was first and foremost a successful journalist and newspaper editor and only wrote weird fiction as a sideline, he was one of the most successful authors such stories of his day. On this blog, I've discussed a number of his works, including his first serialized novel The Moon Pool (1919), the sublimely alien The Metal Monster (1920), Dwellers in the Mirage (1932) and The Face in the Abyss (1923).
Unfortunately, Merritt has been largely neglected in recent years, with the exception of his fantasy adventure novel The Ship of Ishtar (1924), which seems to be considered a classic of the genre. I put off reading it until the release of the Planet Stories version this past October:
Curiously, though I enjoyed TSOI, I also felt like it had the least to offer of all of Merritt's books that I've read so far. There were also some rather unenlightened aspects of the story that I found rather unappealing and dated.