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eBook Ship of Ishtar ePub

eBook Ship of Ishtar ePub

by A. Merritt

  • ISBN: 0854684611
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Subcategory: Science Fiction
  • Author: A. Merritt
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Imprint unknown; New edition edition (July 26, 1973)
  • Pages: 309
  • ePub book: 1357 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1865 kb
  • Other: lrf lit mobi docx
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 305

Description

The Ship of Ishtar is a fantasy novel by American writer A. Merritt. Originally published as a magazine serial in 1924, it has appeared in book form innumerable times.

The Ship of Ishtar is a fantasy novel by American writer A. The archaeologist hero, Kenton, receives a mysterious ancient Babylonian artifact, which he discovers contains an incredibly detailed model of a ship.

The Ship of Ishtar book. The Ship of Ishtar, a universally hailed classic of the fantasy novel by A. The Ship of Ishtar, a universally hailed classic of the fantasy. Merritt's writings were heavily influenced by H. Rider Haggard and Gertrude Barrows Bennett (writing as Francis Stevens), with.

The Ship of Ishtar, a universally hailed classic of the fantasy novel by A. Rider Haggard and Gertrude Barrows Bennett (writing as Francis Stevens), with Merritt having emulated Bennett's earlier style and themes.

The Ship of Ishtar," one of Abraham Merritt's finest fantasies, first appeared in the pages of "Argosy" magazine in 1924. An altered version appeared in book form in 1926, and the world finally received the original work in book form in 1949, six years after Merritt's death. In this wonderful novel we meet John Kenton, an American archaeologist who has just come into possession of a miniature crystal ship recently excavated "from the sand shrouds of ages-dead Babylon

Pulp Fiction Classic. The Ship of Ishtar by A.

John Kenton experiences eternity in one night when he becomes a pawn in the cosmic struggle between the Babylonian gods Nergal, the Destroyer, the Lord of Death, and Ishtar, the Mother, Goddess of Life. An academic, Kenton, contemplating a curious artifact from an archeological dig, is pulled from his quiet cultured New York apartments to treachery and war on the vast enchanted seas the ship sails upon. Pulp Fiction Classic. Product Availability.

This is Ishtar's Ship," he answered, "yet my DreadLord has claim upon it too, Sharane? The House of theGoddess brims with light-but tell me, does not Nergal'sshadow darken behind me?" And Kenton saw that the deck on which were thesemen was black as polished jet and again memory.

This is Ishtar's Ship," he answered, "yet my DreadLord has claim upon it too, Sharane? The House of theGoddess brims with light-but tell me, does not Nergal'sshadow darken behind me?" And Kenton saw that the deck on which were thesemen was black as polished jet and again memory stroveto make itself heard.

The Ship of Ishtar - Abraham Merritt. The Ship of Ishtar by Abraham Merritt. Abraham Grace Merritt was born on January 20, 1884 in Beverly, New Jersey. He was originally steered towards a career in law but this later diverted to journalism. It was an industry where he would excel. This is Ishtar's Ship, he answered, yet my Dread Lord has claim upon it too, Sharane? The House of the Goddess brims with light-but tell me, does not Nergal's shadow darken behind me? And Kenton saw that the deck on which were these men was black as polished jet and again memory strove to make itself heard.

Title: The Ship of Ishtar Author: Abraham Merritt A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook eBook N. 0601941h. This eBook was produced by Richard Scott and Colin Choat, and updated by Roy Glashan. Serialized in Argosy All-Story Weekly, November 8-December 13, 1924.

Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook Pages (PDF): 244 Publication Date: 1924. Last week, out of around 32,000 people who got books from the site - 8 people gave donations. These books can take me from 2 to 10 hours to create. I want to keep them free, but need some support to be able to do so. If you can, please make a small donation (the average is £. 0). PayPal: Stripe: PDF ePub Kindle.

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Comments

Modigas Modigas
"I enjoyed the rare and original fantasy of [The Ship of Ishtar], and have kept it longer than I should otherwise, for the sake of re-reading certain passages that were highly poetic and imaginative. Merritt has an authentic magic, as well as an inexhaustible imagination."

— Clark Ashton Smith

Klarkash-Ton, as usual, was right on the money. As one who recognized a kindred genius and spirit in Robert E. Howard long before the majority of his peers, CAS knew magic, poetry and imagination when he beheld it.

My copy of the Paizo edition of The Ship of Ishtar came in the other day. Despite the fact that I own three other imprints of this fantasy classic, I’d been anticipating the delivery of this edition for months. Erik Mona and his crack team of pulp-hounds at Planet Stories have outdone themselves on this project. Going back to the 1949 Borden “Memorial Edition,” they have issued the most complete text in sixty years, included all of the classic Virgil Finlay illustrations from two different editions (something never done before) and allowed Merritt (and CAS and REH and HPL) fan, Tim Powers, to write the introduction.

Powers, a noted author in his own right, was an inspired choice. The man gets Merritt. His introduction, entitled, “On These Strange Seas In This Strange World,” is one of the best analyses and tributes devoted to The Ship of Ishtar that I have read. Here’s one passage:

"This novel, like the Ship of Ishtar itself, is timeless — the opposite of timely — and in fact it may not be possible to write a book like this in these present times. Somehow, in the early 1920s, Merritt managed to write a genuinely pagan book, one that simply didn’t deal with, but assumed, the pre-Christian fatalist dualism, with its particular loyalties and indifferent cruelties. A modern writer would not let Kenton deal with slaves and conquered crews the way he does, and would be constantly aware of Freud and political correctness. A modern writer, that is to say, would not be able to unselfconsciously let his story play out naturally, with no placatory gestures toward modern sensibilities."

Exactly. When The Ship of Ishtar hit the stands in 1924 between the covers of Argosy All-Story magazine, nothing like it had ever seen print in American popular culture. Despite being drenched in blood, sex and the supernatural, the American public took to the novel like Islam to the desert. Merrit’s ground-breaking work would eventually go through twenty-plus printings and sell millions before the end of the twentieth century. It would seem almost certain that Robert E. Howard, a long-time and faithful reader of Argosy, was one of those millions of readers.

In all honesty, there is just too much coolness to cover in one review. Bottom line: buy this book. Perhaps then you’ll see what Clark Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore, Robert E. Howard, Edmond Hamilton, H.P. Lovecraft, Leigh Brackett, Michael Moorcock, Ray Bradbury, Jack Williamson, Karl Edward Wagner, Tim Powers and others saw in Merritt and The Ship of Ishtar. Speaking of Mr. Powers, I’ll end this review with another excerpt from Tim Powers’ “On These Strange Seas In This Strange World”:

"There’s no self-conscious auctorial irony here, no post-modern deflation of drama. This is pure adventure — like the protagonist John Kenton, the reader himself is swept out of his modern room into the tumultuous world where the goddess Ishtar and the god Nergal are perpetually in conflict, and the reader experiences the action, rather than simply notes it, as Kenton fights his way up from being a despised galley-slave to winning the priestess Sharane and ultimately to challenge the gods."
Bu Bu
I've reviewed paperback editions of "The Ship of Ishtar," and a digital edition. In those cases, I made an effort to talk about the author, and his place in early twentieth century (1918 and following) place in American science fiction and fantasy. In this instance, I will be giving more details about the book -- while avoiding "spoilers," which makes it a little more difficult.

Many readers of Merritt prefer one or another of his "Lost Race" novels, "The Moon Pool," "The Face in the Abyss," and "Dwellers in the Mirage," and there are those would point to his much-revised "The Metal Monster" / "The Metal Emperor," a sequel of sorts to "The Moon Pool" with which the author himself never seems to have been satisfied.

Some of us, however, prefer his alternate-world fantasy adventure, "The Ship of Ishtar," originally serialized in 1924, and reprinted, somewhat abridged, as a novel in 1926 (Putnam). It was the Putnam text that was reprinted by Avon Books from the 1950s through the early 1980s, and is presumably the best-known incarnation. The full text was not restored until the present "Borden Memorial Edition" was published about six years after the author's sudden death in 1943, an edition which includes beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Virgil Finlay. This is not Merritt at his most exotic -- there is little place for his splendid strange terrains in a story set mostly at sea -- but it is Merritt at his most obviously romantic, in a setting in which Love and Death seem to be the most evident Powers.

This edition was reprinted in hardcover in 1990, and in trade paperback in the "Collier Nucleus Library" of fantasy and science fiction in 1991. It later served as the basis of the Renaissance E Books edition, available for Kindle, (without illustrations, alas), and of the Paizo paperback, in two-column magazine format, and with additional Finlay illustrations from a magazine reprinting which he also illustrated.

The 1924 text is in thirty-five chapters. The Putnam/Avon text, which is available on various places around the web, was re-ordered into thirty-one chapters, some re-titled to fit, and divided into six parts (possibly suggested by the six-part magazine serialization). Whole pages are missing, including the crucial opening scene, which introduces the protagonist, and his feelings of alienation after returning from service in the First World War. Since this backgrounds his doubts of his own sanity, its absence can only confuse the reader. (A modern parallel would be a recent veteran who is sure that bizarre events are a product of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, until proven otherwise.)

The hero, John Kenton, is a well-off adventurer and archeologist (a prototype of Indiana Jones, only with a lot more money), who has financed excavations in Babylon, and receives from it a strange stone block with nearly-illegible warning inscriptions. Naturally, he can't leave well-enough alone when the stone cracks. Fortunately for Kenton, this is not an H.P. Lovecraft story, nor an episode of "Angel," and he does not come to an immediate, unpleasant, end. (Which would have denied us the pleasure of a longish novel, adding another short story to Merritt's bibliography.)

Instead, he discovers that the block contains a toy-like ship on a crystal sea, in precious and semi-precious metals and gem-stones. Merritt seems to have taken the basic idea from the ceremonial "ships" in which images of the gods of ancient Mesopotamia were carried in ritual processions. (How ship-like these actually were is an interesting question.) This ship, however, is the gateway to a world of endless day, and the deck of a "real" ship which has voyaged since the days of Sargon of Akkad. (Which modern research puts about 2300 B.C., but Merritt, stretching an obsolete chronology, generously estimates at about 6000 B.C.)

Sort of the ultimate "Flying Dutchman" story (cue the appropriate bits of Wagner); except that the heroine, Sharane, Priestess of Ishtar, is already on the ship. It looks like any redemption will be Kenton's job. And Kenton is not taking anything at face value; even when his antique sword is confidently identified as the weapon of Nabu, god of Wisdom. What does get through to him are the wounds and scars visible on his body during brief returns to his own time and place....

As Kenton, and the reader, learn, the ship is the site of an unending duel between the goddess of love and war, Ishtar, and the death-god Nergal, a struggle waged through the persons of their priests, who temporarily incarnate their respective deities. (Strictly speaking, the game is rigged; in a world without twilight or dawn, Ishtar, goddess of the Morning and Evening Star, is clearly at a disadvantage!) The crew is, from time to time, replenished by victims of spells, from either our world, or one or more similar, but not identical, worlds. (The latter being the only *good* explanation why Sigurd the Viking could have encountered a full-scale Egyptian temple, in good repair and with a full staff, in what historically was Islamic and Coptic Christian Egypt.....)

Naturally, Kenton, being as American as Dorothy, again can't leave well enough alone, and acts to resolve the situtation. The world of the Ship, however, is not as naturally benign as Oz. His actions lead to complications which fill the next couple of hundred pages. We find, among other things, that this world contains ships beside The Ship, and at least one island, ruled by the King of Two Deaths, and populated by a polyglot mixture from many times and places.

Merritt's idea of ancient Mesopotamia is now quite out of date, but it amounts to an entertaining collision of early twentieth-century Assyriology with Herodotus on the one side, and H. Rider Haggard on the other.

The mixture is unreliable, but fun. As long as no one takes it too seriously, no harm is done when, from time to time the obsolete nature of Merritt's sources shows through; notably in the use of the name "Ninib" for an important god, instead of the modern reading "Ninurta." Nin.IB is the representation of a name of uncertain pronunciation, showing that is used a glyph which might be read, or called, "ib," but might be read otherwise. (Cuneiform script was not an ideal medium, and some scribes seem to have rejoiced in being erudite and enigmatic, but modern scholars have worked out ways to indicate uncertainty.) By the early 1920s, evidence was emerging that it should be read "urta."

Likewise, Bel-Merodach (the Biblical form of Bel-Marduk) appears as the chief god in the days of Sargon of Akkad; but he was an essentially local god of Babylon, until as least the days of Hammurabi (ca. 1750 B.C.), when Marduk began his rise to the rank of "Bel" (Lord) in southern Mesopotamia -- a position in which he was eventually challenged by the Assyrian's patron god, Assur, from the north. Likewise, Nabu (Kenton's patron/puppetmaster), his son, was a minor god in Sargon's day, and only in Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian times became a rival to his father Marduk in popularity, and was seen as co-regent of the universe....

I mention these points because bits and pieces of "information" from Merritt novels -- most commonly, but not exclusively, "The Moon Pool" -- have been quoted for years as sober, if exciting, facts, and now circulate on the Web.
Jark Jark
What a great story this was. You have all the elements of a good story here: love, hate, action, comradeship, tragedy. Even though this story deals with many absolutes there is much that seems to lie beneath, just tugging at you, seeping into your unconscious. This edition from Piazo Publishing is very nice. The artwork is incredible inside and truly adds to the story immensely. I will surely be coming back to this story again
Samowar Samowar
a great old re-print of a fantastic takes expert author of the late Victorian American writers era - fantastic tale and the kind of adventure so many of us seek and never find..., would gladly buy from this seller again!