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The Ship of Ishtar (Trade Paperback)

****( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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by A. Merritt, with an introduction by Tim Powers

War among the gods!

Amateur archaeologist John Kenton didn’t know what he expected when he broke open the stone block from Babylon, but it wasn’t to be hurled through time and space into an ageless conflict. On a golden ship in a strange dimension of endless sea, the goddess of love and vengeance lies locked in an eternal stalemate with the god of the underworld—and the coming of an outsider might just tip the balance once and for all. With the beautiful priestesses of Ishtar and the pale warriors of the Black God both seeking to bend him to their own ends, will Kenton become a slave of alien powers, or take up his sword and prove himself the true master of the Ship of Ishtar?

A major inspiration for H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, A. Merritt remains one of the most celebrated fantasists of all time. This complete edition, introduced by Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates), presents The Ship of Ishtar as it was meant to be read, with original illustrations by pulp legend Virgil Finlay—a classic not to be missed.

"The most remarkable presentation of the utterly alien and non-human that I have ever seen... [a] unique type of strangeness which no one else has been able to parallel."
    —H.P. Lovecraft

Introduction by Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates, The Stress of Her Regard).

192-page softcover trade paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-177-0

Product Availability


Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO8022


See Also:



Product Discussion (24)

Hello, Mr. Mona! First-time poster here---with a burning question to boot.

First of all, I want to thank you and the other folks at Paizo for producing nice new trade editions of many a worthy classic of the fantastic. And you deserve double-thanks for the care you put into producing sound, definitive texts. I am especially excited about reading Otis Adelbert Kline in all his *unmutilated* glory. And while I'm on texts, I may as well segue to my question:

What's the source text for your upcoming edition of THE SHIP OF ISHTAR? I'm not a scholar of such matters by any stretch of the imagination, but I do realize that there are a lot of variant texts out there when it comes to A. Merritt. This is partly because Merritt was an inveterate reviser, and partly because of meddling editors. In the case of THE SHIP OF ISHTAR, I suspect editors were responsible for the shape of the first book publication (Putnam, 1926), in which certain passages from the original ARGOSY--ALL STORY text were truncated. This abridgment, however slight, was apparently severe enough to create unnecessary confusion among readers about the behavior of John Kenton early in the story. (If I am not mistaken--and, as I am working from memory, I'm making no claims of infallibility---the Putnam edition purged significant passages which referred to Kenton being afflicted with shell-shock after his service in the Great War.) Unfortunately, this altered text is probably the most widely read one, as Avon later used the Putnam text for their mass market PB reprints of ISHTAR. The preferred text is apparently that of the Borden Memorial Edition (ca. 1949). Not only did the Memorial Edition feature some of illustrator Virgil Finlay's most gorgeous work; it also restored the full text of ISHTAR. Of course that leaves this question: did the Memorial Edition merely restore the ARGOSY text in its entirety? or did it feature emendations/additions by Merritt, perhaps derived by the editors from MS material? Merritt, after all, was always endeavoring to improve his work. Of course, I've never compared the texts, so I couldn't say---but it would be most interesting to look into.

Anyway, just wondering as I wander (the 'Net that is). Many thanks! Keep up the great work!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I have not yet had the occasion to compare the Memorial edition and the Argosy edition (I don't have the latter, I'm afraid), but we will be going with the Memorial Edition, as it is thought to be the author's preferred text. It definitely has the bit about the shell shock cut from the Avon edition. I also have the "Famous Fantastic Mysteries" version of this book, but I've not yet done a textual analysis and comparison to the three or four other versions I do have.

I can say this: The Memorial Edition is superior to the Avon edition in almost all ways, it's about a third again as long, and I'm confident it's the right one for the Planet Stories edition.

By the way, you really know your stuff!


Erik, thank you for answering my questions. Just what I wanted to hear . . . and then you come out of nowhere and hit me with more Wellman, too! Well now, looks like I'm going to be pre-ordering a few more Paizo volumes . . .

You, sir, obviously do your homework, too. And if you don't end up with some sort of award for your pivotal role in bringing this fine old stuff back into print, I wanna know the reason why!

Best regards,

Jeremiah

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

In lieu of awards, I will accept increased sales for the line.

Your purchases help more than you know!


That is interesting, so which version is this from, anyone know?

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601941.txt

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

That's the much shorter, inferior version.

Taldor

Erik Mona wrote:

In lieu of awards, I will accept increased sales for the line.

Your purchases help more than you know!

hello Eric,

Well I was showing your website to a friend of mine last week end, and he was drooling over this line of books. Especially as he has already read some of the authors work, so ...

Expect a gift order sometimes soon.

And spread the word.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We've updated the product image to match the finished cover.


Was it a conscious decision to make her look so much like Disney’s Little Mermaid?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Theris Nordo Ichka wrote:
Was it a conscious decision to make her look so much like Disney’s Little Mermaid?

Hmm. Jessica Rabbit I can maybe see; Ariel not so much.

But you say that like it's a bad thing?


Checking back in. :) I want to say that the cover looks gorgeous and I'm VERY glad that the Finlay art will be included (though I actually believe that Stephen Fabian is the best Merritt artist, so far). This book is a milestone in Merritt/fantasy publishing.

In a post on the "Cimmerian" blog site a few weeks ago, I gave a shout-out to this new edition. Here's a link:

http://www.thecimmerian.com/?p=3978

Best,
Deuce Richardson

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Thanks for the support, Deuce. I dutifully used your quote in the Planet Stories catalog! :)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

will this book be available at Gencon?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mr Baron wrote:
will this book be available at Gencon?

Unless it unexpectedly shows up in our warehouse way earlier than scheduled, no.


Theris Nordo Ichka wrote:
Was it a conscious decision to make her look so much like Disney’s Little Mermaid?

Ariel wishes she looked that good. ;)

Really, though, I'm thrilled to see this coming back out. Can one dare to hope that mroe of Mister Merritt's works will see reprint through Planet Stories?


Is the art being shown now the cover art that will be used for the Planet Stories release? It looks like some lovely work -- by Hannes Bok? I know he illustrated a lot of Merritt's books.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Is the art being shown now the cover art that will be used for the Planet Stories release? It looks like some lovely work -- by Hannes Bok? I know he illustrated a lot of Merritt's books.

That is the finished cover. The cover painting is by Kieran Yanner.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Can one dare to hope that mroe of Mister Merritt's works will see reprint through Planet Stories?

We'll see. If we can make a profit on this book, there will likely be more.

If.

--Erik


Erik Mona wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Can one dare to hope that mroe of Mister Merritt's works will see reprint through Planet Stories?

We'll see. If we can make a profit on this book, there will likely be more.

If.

--Erik

Well, I know I'll be getting at least one copy, and preferably more for a few friends.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Last night, I updated the cover image and product description to match the finished product. (Changes to the cover were mainly textual.)

Andoran

Eric! damn you and your blog!
I just received the Ship of Ishtar and Almuric, and was getting ready to begin reading Almuric (came out first so I decidede to go in order) now your damn blog makes me doubt this procesuder and calls me tor ead Merrit first...

but well a will roll is called for... what came out first what came out first... Merrit for late November, yes... that is a good plan :P


i just got this and its great so worth the wait and the finley artwork is the iceing on the cake

please tell me there will be more merritt


Well, I threw up a review on Amazon: I did like it, but it wasn't as great as I was expecting (bar the Finlay artwork, which is superb).

3 stars was about right - out of all the Planet Stories I have read, this was maybe the one I have enjoyed the least, although I have yet to pick up the Moorcock stories. I loved Kuttner and Brackett, and enjoyed C.L.Moore's prose, while realising that like rich food, a little Moore goes a long way.

In the end, the exclamation marks and dashes were just too much - it kept dragging me out of the story every time I saw a "Possess - Sharane!" line in the text. I know it was a deliberate attempt to create a storytelling rhythm, but it just grated on me too much.

I can see the tale in my head - it would make a great movie, and I am surprised no one has apparently tried - but the punctuation broke me.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Theris Nordo Ichka wrote:
Was it a conscious decision to make her look so much like Disney’s Little Mermaid?

Hmm. Jessica Rabbit I can maybe see; Ariel not so much.

But you say that like it's a bad thing?

I was reading Steppe last night, and my 3-year-old saw the little cover of Ship of Ishtar on the back. "Look, Mommy!" he said. "It's the Little Mermaid!"

Case closed. :)

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