A. Merrit:

A lost classic of the ‘pulp’ era. A. Merrit’s 'Ship of Ishtar’ is a fantasy classic in the Robert E. Howard vane. Originally published in Argosy magazine in 1924 the book was only published six years after his death in 1949 by Borden - this is that edition.

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?

A. Merrit:

Good as Merritt’s Burn, Witch, Burn! is, however, its successor, Creep, Shadow, Creep!, is even better. Creep, Shadow, Creep! also saw the first light of day in the pages of Argosy magazine, in 1934, and was released in book form later that year. This novel is a direct sequel to Burn, Witch, Burn!, and is longer, more detailed, more stylishly written and scarier than the earlier work. Readers will delight to find Lowell and Ricori back to fight the supernatural once again, but this time, these characters play only subsidiary roles.

The action mantle in Creep, Shadow, Creep! falls mainly on a young ethnologist named Alan Caranac, who becomes involved in the investigation of the apparent suicides of a number of wealthy NYC men, one of whom was Caranac’s old friend. He is soon drawn into the schemes of one Dr. Keradel and his daughter Dahut, who are attempting to conjure into existence one of the elder gods; a god that was worshipped in the legendary city of Ys.

Creep, Shadow, Creep! is a wonderful tale, a perfect sequel, and one of Merritt’s finest accomplishments.

In 1932, Merrit set out to prove that he could master the field of supernatural horror, as well. His first foray in the occult, Burn, Witch, Burn! first appeared in the pages of Argosy magazine in 1932, and was then expanded into book form the following year.

In it, we meet Dr. Lowell, an eminent neurologist who becomes curious when a series of mysterious deaths comes to his attention. Men and women in the NYC area have been dying of no apparent cause, but with horrible grimaces on their faces and with very rapid onsets of rigor mortis. Lowell is aided in his investigation by Ricori, a mobster chieftain, as well as by Ricori’s very efficient gang. The trail of bizarre deaths leads to one Madame Mandilip and her doll shop, and before long the reader is immersed in a world of supernaturalism and escalating tension. Lowell, hardheaded man of the 20th century, is hard put to explain the unfolding creepy events by the lights of his mundane science.

            First edition hardcover

            First edition hardcover

Burn, Witch, Burn! is a gripping tale of science and superstition. Aficionados of early 20th century fantasy, horror, and weird fiction are sure to enjoy it.

Writing under the byline of A. Merritt, Abraham Grace Merritt (1884Ð1943) was an American journalist, editor, and author of fantasy. A writer’s writer, Merritt’s literary admirers are many. H.P. Lovecraft called him “a real genius in the weird.” Robert Bloch and Karl Edward Wagner likewise esteemed his work, in particular Burn, Witch, Burn!, which they both judged among the best horror stories ever written.

This new edition of Burn, Witch, Burn! has new dustjacket and frontispiece art by Dan Rempel, and also includes the Virgil Finlay artwork as well. It features a new introduction by James Maliszewski, and two short essays by A. Merritt.