Wednesday, November 17, 2010


By A. Merritt

Since its publication in 1919 The Moon Pool has repeatedly come back (most recently in 2004). It is truly a classic of early American SF.

The tale concerns a search for a lost group of scientists that leads to Nan Matal, the basalt ruins of Ponape. Things get really weird when the Shining Devil of the Moon Pool shows up and a disparate band of adventurers end up in a lost civilization. The narrator is a stuffed-shirt scientist, backed up by a romantic Irish airman, a Norwegian sailor who acts as a modern-day Viking, and a shady Bolshevik agent.

Honestly the first half of this novel is slow, rather more so than I usually recommend. Merritt spends a little too much time building his palace of wonders. But they are grade-A, USDA approved wonders. When I got to the battle of the Frog-warriors against the dwarves of lost Lemuria on the shores of the crimson sea where float the flesh-eating moon globes, I could see why this one keeps coming back!
-Dave Hardy


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