Monster of the Day #1157 Updated on May 26, 2015 By Ken Begg 20 Comments I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. And hey, short work week left! Sweet. Tweet Pin It Related PostsMonster of the Day #1590 (Jun 23, 2017) Monster of the Day 1589 (Jun 22, 2017) Monster of the Day #1588 (Jun 21, 2017) Monster of the Day #1587 (Jun 20, 2017) Monster of the Day #1586 (Jun 19, 2017) By Ken Begg http://jabootu.net Luke Blanchard Merritt’s work is the best fantasy I’ve read from the interwar period. I’ve not read this one. The ISFDB says when it was reprinted in FANTASTIC NOVELS Merritt modified the ending to bring it in line with his original intentions. Flangepart There’s a word for this…in Japanese…starts with an H… Luke Blanchard The cover of ARGOSY Jan. 23, 1932, with the first part of the novel, seems to show the same scene. There’s what seems to be a priest of octopus in the foreground, and a chained woman that the critter is coming to claim. bgbear_rnh Cute trick to give the illusion of nipple showing using her painted thumb nails. kgb_san_diego Thank you! I am so glad I am not the only one who got a chuckle out of that… Gamera977 I loved Lovecraft when I was a teen but find him tedious now. ERB was better but somewhat repetitive. I loved Merritt then and still do now, somehow he seems to me to have taken the best of Lovecraft and ERB and exceeded both. I don’t remember this one that well but ‘The Face in the Abyss’ and ‘The Moon Pool’ are classics. KHarn MAN: “This is one weird stripper-gram!” CaptNemo Riddle me this… Where are those chains anchored? Luke Blanchard The ISFDB makes it easy to compare covers from different appearances, and I love doing so for authors like Merritt. There are terrific covers by Virgil Finlay for the two parts of THE FACE IN THE ABYSS from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES Oct. 1940 and FANTASTIC NOVELS Nov. 1940. The latter is an variation on the cover of ARGOSY Oct. 1930, where the serialisation of “The Snake Mother” started. For those who haven’t read Merritt’s work, he wrote eight novels and a number of short stories. A couple of the novels are fix-ups of a novella and its sequel. A number of his novels are lost race stories with a strong fantastic element. BURN, WITCH, BURN! and CREEP, SHADOW! are novels of witchcraft in the modern world. In the former the witch is an evil hag who animates dolls and sends them to kill people. In the latter the witch is a lovely, seductive one from the legend of Ys (which I’d not heard of before). SEVEN FOOTSTEPS TO SATAN is a thriller about a powerful criminal who seems unchallengeable. Paizo publishing published an edition of THE SHIP OF ISHTAR a few years ago, in which an archaeologist enters a fantasy world through a small model of a ship. The edition was restored and reprinted Finlay’s interior illustrations for the story, but these can also be found online. Merritt was particularly good at lightshow “special effects” sequences. His heroes are usually college-educated men of action. He was a strong influence on the early Jack Williamson, and when I read it recently Henry Kuttner’s THE DARK WORLD struck me as an imitation of Merritt. Murray Leinster’s MURDER MADNESS reminded me of SEVEN FOOTSTEPS TO SATAN. THE DEVIL-DOLL from 1936 was based on BURN, WITCH, BURN! but it’s a long way after it, and there’s a silent film version of SEVEN FOOTSTEPS TO SATAN from 1929, also much-changed. They’ve both been reviewed by Lyz of AYCYAS. Wikipedia calls the Mexican film THE CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE/DEVIL DOLL MEN an uncredited adaptation of BURN, WITCH, BURN! But I’ve not run into the killer doll idea in an earlier story, so it might be the progenitor of them all, right down to the PUPPET MASTER series. Eric Hinkle I so love this novel. It combines the best elements of Lovecraft, Bob Howard, and Burroughs with some original work by the author and the results are amazing. I’ve read all Merritt’s books and they are mind-bogglingly good. It makes me wonder why he never got a tenth of the attention guys like Howard and Lovecraft did. Eric Hinkle Ever read SHIP OF ISHTAR? That’s another great one. And his two horror novels, BURN WITCH BURN and CREEP SHADOW CREEP. Or his weird menace novel with a villain every bit as magnificent as Fu Manchu yet infinitely more human, SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO SATAN… Yeah, I’m kind of a fanboy, I guess. Eric Hinkle Would it be ‘human sacrifice’? Because that’s what happens in the book. Gamera977 I loved ‘Seven Footsteps to Satan’, ‘Ship of Ishtar’ I liked but not as much as his others though. I still haven’t read ‘Burn Witch Burn’ or ‘Creep Shadow Creep’, I’m going to have a hunt up a copy of each. Thanks for the tips guys! wrieder66 “The Wondersmith” by Fitz-James O’Brien was 1859, which might make it the earliest killer doll story. Luke Blanchard Thanks, wrieder. I know “The Diamond Lens” and I’ll look that one up. bgbear_rnh Stay from away from his loser brother D. Merritt. Luke Blanchard The thriller is SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO SATAN, as Eric says, not FOOTSTEPS. Eric Hinkle I always mess that title up myself. Cullen Waters Burn Witch Burn is very good. Creep Shadow Creep I never finished, but that’s me. Gamera977 Whoops sorry!