The Ship of Ishtar (Planet Stories)

The Ship of Ishtar Planet Stories Explorer John Kenton returns from a lifetime of wanderings and the wreckage of World War I to discover a mysterious block of Babylonian basalt containing a crystal model of an ancient ship the Ship of

  • Title: The Ship of Ishtar (Planet Stories)
  • Author: Abraham Grace Merritt
  • ISBN: 9781601251770
  • Page: 200
  • Format: Paperback
  • Explorer John Kenton returns from a lifetime of wanderings and the wreckage of World War I to discover a mysterious block of Babylonian basalt containing a crystal model of an ancient ship the Ship of Ishtar The sultry magic of the fabled ship draws Kenton into its dreamworld, where a strange crew plucked from the ages sails in a lushly imagined mystical seascape At tExplorer John Kenton returns from a lifetime of wanderings and the wreckage of World War I to discover a mysterious block of Babylonian basalt containing a crystal model of an ancient ship the Ship of Ishtar The sultry magic of the fabled ship draws Kenton into its dreamworld, where a strange crew plucked from the ages sails in a lushly imagined mystical seascape At the fore of the ship is Sharane, beautiful, proud, luxurious priestess instilled with the power of Ishtar, goddess of Love, Wrath, and Vengeance On the prow broods inhuman Klaneth, infused with the essence of Negal, god of the Underworld Kenton finds himself in a cosmic struggle of wills between them sixty centuries in the making Will he claim Sharane and take command of the Ship of Ishtar, or will its mysterious power take command of him

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      Published :2020-04-01T14:17:18+00:00

    About "Abraham Grace Merritt"

    1. Abraham Grace Merritt

      Abraham Grace Merritt, wrote under the name of A.Merritt, born in New Jersey, moved as a child to Philadelphia, Pa in 1894, began studying law and than switched to journalism Later a very popular writer, starting in 1919, of the teens , twenties and thirties, horror and fantasy, genres King of the purple prose, most famous, The Moon Pool, a south seas, lost island civilization, hidden underground and The Ship of Ishtar, an Arabian Nights, type fable, and six other novels and short stories collections he had written , at first, just for fun.Nobody could do that variety, better, sold millions of books in his career The bright man, became editor of the most successful magazine during the Depression, The American Weekly , with a fabulous 100,000, in salary A great traveler, in search of unusual items, he collected His private library of 5,000 volumes, had many of the occult macabre kind.Yet this talented author is now largely been forgotten.


    1. Abraham Merritt's position as editor of The American Weekly paid handsomely, giving him both the wealth and the leisure to pursue his hobbies: traveling the world, collecting rare volumes of the occult, cultivating orchids and herbs (with alleged magical properties), and writing fantasy and adventure stories for the pulps. Today his work for the Hearst publication is forgotten, but his place as a pioneer of fantasy fiction is secure. The Ship of Ishtar is perhaps the best known and best loved of [...]

    2. John Kenton, WWI vet and archaeologist, gets a stone block from Babylon from a friend. Unbeknownst to both, the block contains the model of golden ship. Soon, Kenton finds himself transported to the ship the model represents, sailing the seas of an alien world and taking part in the agless battle between two Babylonian gods, Ishtar and Nergal. Can he win over the priestess of Ishtar and free the ship from Nergal's influence?The Ship of Ishtar is way ahead of its time. The style is more akin to m [...]

    3. Abraham Merritt was every bit as much a master of lush prose as his contemporaries Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (and, in this book at least, that isn't the only valid comparison to Howard; John Kenton has definite Conan-like qualities, and the level of sometimes gruesome violence is not for the squeamish) and had as original an imagination as either of them, which gives this novel its own distinctive quality. He also merits comparison with Burroughs in terms of the primitivism theme, for Kento [...]

    4. John Kenton, a wealthy archaeologist and disillusioned World War 1 veteran,(the war to end all wars) receives a stone block, with a minute ship inside, from Babylon.(Iraq for the non history buffs) This being a fantasy, he soon lands on a galley, with slaves right out of an Arabian Nights fable! The golden vessel, has cruised 60 centuries, in an endless blue sea. What a great vacation folks! A strange world ,without any sun, moon or stars. On board he meets Sharane, the beautiful high priestess [...]

    5. Written in 1924, Abraham Merritt’s The Ship of Ishtar is, on surface at least, an obvious early product of Pulp’s Golden Age. In many ways Ishtar is standard stuff, with young (and wealthy) American, John Kenton, who has an interest in things ancient. The story has little down time, as Kenton cracks open an ancient block of stone to discover a model Babylonian boat – with tiny figures on deck. Suddenly there’s a rush of wind, and in no time imagination and realty blend, with Kenton soon [...]

    6. Some time ago I set myself the goal of reading the original classics, which in my peculiar definition encompass not just Plato or Jane Austen but Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. (Though I intend to get around to Plato in earnest some day, trust me). In that spirit, I’ve already reviewed William Hope Hodgson (The House on the Borderland), William Morris (The Wood Beyond the World), and Philip Wylie (The Gladiator), among others. Some of these books date nearly to the Victorian era. I’ve tried in [...]

    7. Abraham Merritt was another pulp legend, editing and writing “weird tales” and proto-science fiction during the 1910′s and the ’30s on the pages of Argosy, All-Story, and in the case of The Ship of Ishtar, in the magazine which combined the previous two, Argosy All-Story Weekly. He even managed to have his name on his own pulp magazine for a short time before the pulp market died out. To add even more pulp street cred, the interior art pieces are the original illustrations by pulp artist [...]

    8. Julie and Scott realized Jeff didn't invite them for a normal afternoon boating trip when he showed up with a cloak, a sword, and a toy ship. Episode #174 of A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast, with special guest Jeff Miller!=======This is more sword-and-sorcery than I normally enjoy but it was good! Well written, with plenty to talk about (surprisingly) from a Catholic point of view. And my library copy had some of the original illustrations of the priestess of Ishtar with doves and diaphanou [...]

    9. "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." Before too long, Kenton i [...]

    10. Not good, and not bad. It's really just 100 % pulp fantasy including the traditional good and bad things that go with the genre. Chracter development was inconsistent and the plot was a bit hard to follow since Merritt's treatment of human emotions and desires are both alien and exaggerated. Racism sexism and other problems from the 1920's marked the pages like pox scars. Howard, Lovecraft and Smith have some trouble with this too but I've found it within myself to forgive them since their writi [...]

    11. One of the books that turned me on to heroic fantasy fiction back in the early Seventies. I've been a fan of Merritt's for a long time. He's little known outside a narrow field these days, but he knew how to drive a plot.Our protagonist is "sucked" into a sculpure of a boat, finding himself part of the crew and forced to man the oars in a fantasy "Arabian Nights" setting. That's just the start of a swashbuckling adventure worthy of a Douglas Fairbanks movie. There are sultry maidens, heroic resc [...]

    12. High fantasy, with a mediocre plot (modern man swept into a fantasy world, it has been done before), and a rather surprising ending (I must admit, I had suspected a totally different outcome).That being said, I rather enjoyed reading this tome, for the same reason I usually enjoy this type of books: the language. It is so elaboratly descriptive, with beautiful, nowadays underused words, it gives the whole story a bit of a mystical air (like these 2 sentences found on page 163: Kenton, climbing, [...]

    13. Despertar en una nave condenada a navegar por siempre y dominada por un hechicero oscuro da mucho miedo joder. Pero nuestro protagonista querrá hacerse con ella e ir a una isla dominada por hechiceros. Todo sea por amor.La Fantasía-Terror que ya no se hace aquí la encontraremos. Pura acción, pura aventura, un no parar de sucesos.

    14. Modern American (well, from the 20s, anyway) finds himself pulled into a mystical Ancient East that has itself been pulled out of time. There he finds a ship torn between two warring deities, crewed by slaves and home to human pawns of the godly game. Falling for a beautiful priestess, the American becomes warrior and embarks on a voyage of - adventure!Yeah, ok. I concede the language is a refreshing balm in this one. Merritt happily writes in a lush, baroque style throughout. It is not a modern [...]

    15. What started as an interesting historical fantasy, ended as a very long erotic story about the desire of Kenton for Sharane. The details of atmosphere were nice, pretty accurate as it resulted from the historical research, but very boring at some point. Probably I would have enjoyed it at an earlier age, even though I do not know what to say about the love part, which was pretty explicite at some point

    16. Non avevo mai letto Merritt, a causa anche della difficile reperibilità delle sue opere nel nostro paese, ed ero estremamente curioso. Devo dire che ciò che piami ha colpito, al di la della bellezza dell'opera, è la scrittura: davvero di altissimo livello, grazie anche alla bellissima edizione di Palindromo. L'ho trovato originale anche nel coinvolgere un pantheon decisamente dimenticato come quello mesopotamico. E si, vi ho percepito quella punta di Cosmic Horror tanto cara al maestro HPL, g [...]

    17. It was really interesting to read a fantasy which was written before Tolkien. I also liked the unique influences it had. In my opinion the main character was not that likable, but all in all it was a good read with a really depressing ending.

    18. This book was on the "Seven-League Shelf"--a list of the "cream" of fantasy literature in A Reader's Guide to Fantasy. Originally published in 1924, the style feels antique, and the romance beyond antiquated. That style well, we're definitely talking about the color purple--mind you, that sometimes has its beauties. The hero, John Kenton, a veteran of the first world war, is transported to a ship divided into two warring factions each representing a Babylonian God--Ishtar, Goddess of Love, and N [...]

    19. I really enjoyed this book, and loved the myriad details that obviously spawned now classical elements of the fantasy genre.It took about a third of the book before I couldn't put it down, the shifting of the protagonist from the real world to that of the ship far too frequent for the adventure to grip me. But when it did, I was hooked, and finished the book in a single sitting from that point on.My only real criticism of The Ship of Ishtar is that it is built around an antiquated misogyny that [...]

    20. Read this some years ago and wasn't very interested. It is a probably fairly typical example of a particular kind of pulp fiction: mightly hewed Vikings, beautiful compliant women, trusty sidekick of a non Caucasian extraction. People are on ships, they are different groups and the groups are backed by different gods, including Ishtar. There's fighting, and the hero is a slave part of the time. That's all I remember, but I do know I wasn't very keen and there are other books by Merritt that I fa [...]

    21. 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.

    22. Characters are clichés (the scholar protagonist fails to ask pertinent questions, the heroine starts out as a strong woman, but submits herself to her "man" soon afterwards, the Viking is a concentrate of the "Norseman" stereotype, etc.), the narration is O.K but the descriptions are glib, sometimes diffuse, and way too kitschy. I accept that this is Merritt's style of writing, but I don't like it. Oh, and have I mentioned the aimless misogyny? 1920s pulp fiction, through-and-through.

    23. I've tried many times to read this book, but I just can't hack it. This time I bulled my way about halfway through, and I swear to God I'll never pick it up again. It's supposedly one of the great classics of fantasy, but the characters are cut out of tissue paper, the plot is trite and cobbled together, and the style is a phony fantasy-poetic that's just unreadable. Give it a miss.

    24. This was one of the first fantasy books I ever read, not counting the Hobbit/ LOTR. When you are in your early teens and you get a book like this, WOW! This has sword fights, conquests, angry Gods, and half-nekked women! Everything a budding young man desires. I loved it then and I still love it today. Perhaps more for the sentimentality than anything else.

    25. An OK pulp era story. I was not as impressed with this story as I have been by the other books by Merritt I have read. Recommended

    26. Flashes of good, but man, does he love the sound of his own voice. On He Goes! About Nothing At All! For Many Pointless Pages Does He Waffle! Maybe they get better.

    27. Classic fantasy from the 20's. Enjoyable plot, weak characterization and fairly purple prose. Still The Ship of Ishtar is solid pre- Lord of the Rings fantasy.

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