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Antique Impressions: Paper Jungle

Paper Jungle frtq

 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.


Paper Jungle - The Moon Pool

Paper Jungle – The Moon Pool



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.


Argosy All-Story Weekly (June 22, 1918) in which The Moon Pool was first published.


Merritt’s two short stories “The Moon Pool” (1918) and its sequel, “Conquest of the Moon Pool” (1919) originally appeared in All-Story Weekly . All-Story Cover 1919

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.


Moon Pool covers



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).


Moon Pool cover -1993



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.








2 responses

  1. It is interesting to see the different covers for the different times. I have noticed this is a lot of books that get reprinted decade after decade.

    May 29, 2014 at 7:16 am

    • elmediat

      Another interesting version of that is when a book is sold in different countries. Even if the language is the same the covers can suggest radically different narratives. Another interesting alteration is when they do a school edition of a novel, not as common anymore, but the covers would feature very different types of scenes to entice younger readers.

      May 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm

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