"The Moon Pool" Re-Read: Part Three


So, there I was rereading my Altus Press edition of "The Moon Pool." As I've noted elsewhere, this edition features all of the great Virgil Finlay illos for "The Moon Pool" as reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries. As I gazed once again upon Finlay's striking illustration of the moment when Dr. Throckmartin's colleague, Charles Stanton, is taken into/devoured by the Dweller in the Moon Pool, a thought occurred to me. The estates of Merritt and Finlay really missed the boat when they did not take the opportunity to have Finlay's illo made into a black light poster.

Think about it. In the late '60s and on into the '70s, black light posters did good business. I cannot see a Finlay poster not being a hit. It's psychedelic and groovy as hell. Blazing with day-glo colors, the poster would have all the elements found in many others of the era, but would have the added element of true talent and artistry. 

This was also the period when Merritt's popularity, rock-solid and formidable for decades, finally started to wane. Books like The Lord of the Rings, the Lancer Conans and Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land were displacing Merritt in the emerging counterculture. 

Now, imagine if the Finlay poster was a hit. The Merritt estate could see about having a new edition of The Moon Pool published with the psychedelic Finlay cover. Hell, they might look into having an LP recorded of Vincent Price narrating an abridged version of the original novelette. Picture the dim, smoke-filled dorm rooms reverberating to Price's sonorously creepy voice, intoning passages filled with "lambent coruscations" and "living white cold fire." Seriously trippy, man.

All of this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But still...what if?

“The Moon Pool” Re-Read: Part One

“The Moon Pool” Re-Read: Part Two