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The Metal Monster

Abraham Merritt

Book Overview: 

Dr. Goodwin is on a botanical expedition in the Himalayas. There he meets Dick Drake, the son of one of his old science acquaintances. They are witnesses of a strange aurora-like effect, but seemingly a deliberate one. As they go out to investigate, they meet Goodwin’s old friends Martin and Ruth Ventnor, brother and sister scientists. The two are besieged by Persians as Darius III led when Alexander of Macedon conquered them more than two thousand years ago.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Ruth, held her back. Drake and Ventnor drew close to them, questioningly, anxious. But I stepped forward, out of the dim gleaming.

Before me were two cubes; one I judged in that uncertain light to be six feet high, the other half its bulk. From them a shaft of pale-blue phosphorescence pierced the murk. They stood, the smaller pressed against the side of the larger, for all the world like a pair of immense nursery blocks, placed like steps by some giant child.

As my eyes swept over them, I saw that the shining shaft was an unbroken span of cubes; not multi-arched like the Lilliputian bridge of the dragon chamber, but flat and running out over an abyss that gaped at my very feet. All of a hundred feet they stretched; a slender, lustrous girder crossing unguessed depths of gloom. From far, far below came the faint whisper of rushing waters.

I faltered. For these were the blocks that had formed the body of the monster of the hollow, its flail. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is an interesting and, at times, enthralling piece of weird adventure fiction. I almost called it a pulp, because it has a lot of the hallmarks of a pulp adventure, but its writing is really in a class beyond. Lovecraft thought this was a classic (if that means anything to you). Certainly, t...more

I've always enjoyed A. Merritt's tales. Most of them read by me at a much earlier age. Re-read Seven Footprints To Satan and The Face In The Abyss recently and still enjoyed them. I read this one for the first time just now. I'm vaguely aware that the original serialized version is considered sup...more

I read this for its historic importance to SF but did not enjoy it. It reminded me of a weak H. Rider Haggard novel. Merritt goes for pages describing the subterranean landscape, but I never got a sense of wonder--just a sense of wondering why I kept reading. It would be hard to find characters f...more

Would you believe that Dr.Walter T. Goodwin, gave Mr. Merritt, an unfinished manuscript,to be published, of his new adventures in Asia,after having barely survived last year's terror,in 1919, in "The Moon Pool"? Still alive , Mr Goodwin foolishly or bravely,had embarked on a new expedition.The re...more

This novel was a huge hit when published in 1912. Capitalizing on the popularity or Verne and HG Wells, this author filled the book with page after page of purple prose. Oddly, it doesn't seem dated. Mainly, because his monster is quite fractal and much of the imagery is full of floating rectangl...more

I read about this book in a critique of The Challenge from Beyond, where I saw that Lovecraft had called The Metal Monster, "the most remarkable presentation of the utterly alien and non-human that I have ever seen." Seemed like it would be interesting.

This is classic science-fantasy on an epic...more

One or two good ideas but endless, endless descriptions ad nauseum drag it down. While The Moon Pool or Seven Footprints to Satan sometimes dragged on, I could enjoy them. This novel dragged me under. While A A Merritt might have been an inspiration for fantasy or scifi writers of the 40's and 50...more

This is classic pulp fiction in the "Amazing Stories" mould. Unlike pulp stories such as the ultra-fun Doc Savage series that are all about adventure and hair-breath escapes, these tended to also add some scientific ... or pseudoscientific ... reasoning for the occurrences. Additionally, they inc...more

Abraham Merritt's second novel, "The Metal Monster," first saw the light of day in 1920, in "Argosy" magazine. It was not until 1946 that this masterful fantasy creation was printed in book form. In a way, this work is a continuation of Merritt's first novel, "The Moon Pool" (1919), as it is a na...more

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