Antique Impressions: Paper Jungle
Playing with some random shots of book-case shelves, I blended them with a tropical screen composition. They are aptly called the Paper Jungle pieces.
Note that the title, The Moon Pool, is very visible in the second image. The novel, by Abraham Merritt (1884–1943), is considered a classic example of the early science-fantasy or science-romance genre that laid the foundation of science fiction and would inspire H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Remnants of a lost civilization in the Pacific islands guard a terrible metaphysical creature, The Dweller in the Moon Pool.
Merritt’s two short stories “The Moon Pool” (1918) and its sequel, “Conquest of the Moon Pool” (1919) originally appeared in All-Story Weekly .
Merritt then reworked them into a novel released in 1919. The various covers for the book reflect the times and perceived target audience for the novel. Most covers are typically pulpy, suggesting sex (while the narrative actually portrays a very chaste romance), exotic or strange realms and all sorts of adventurous action. Notice both the 70s cover on the left and the 40s on the right feature the beautiful white female in exotic undress and amphibian bipedal figures. The girl from the 40s wears some sort of knitted swim suit and is in need of rescuing by manly men. The lady on the 70s cover is more exotic and seems to be in command , ordering the guard/warrior creature as she surveys the exotic landscape. Different expectations for a different generation of readers.
Interestingly, the cover of the novel (1993) that I have in my possession , appears to better represent another one of Merritt’s works, The Snake Mother (1930).
Besides the above links, which provide more information, you can read the novel online or if you prefer, listen to it from Librivox. Both are free; many of Merritt’s works are available for free online.