Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Merit of Merritt

From the vantage point of our present day, Abraham Grace Merritt is probably not the most obscure name on Gary Gygax's Appendix N, but he's nevertheless in the running. This is especially true when one compares him to some of the more widely recognized names, like Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Vance, or – especially – J.R.R. Tolkien. Indeed, I'd be amazed if there were many other places on the Internet besides this blog that take even the slightest note of his 138th birthday today. 

Even someone as naturally censorious as I can't muster any vitriol about this. The simple truth of the matter is that tastes change. That Merritt's popular literary reputation has likely suffered more than some of his contemporaries doesn't alter this reality. Neither does it alter the fact that Merritt remains a foundational author of fantasy. Many of his works, while largely unknown today, have nevertheless exercised an outsized influence over later writers, popularizing many of the archetypes and elements of the genre. 

For that reason, here's a collection of links to previous posts I've made about Merritt and his writings:

If you have a few minutes, take the time to read a couple, especially if Abraham Merritt isn't an author with whom you're familiar. Better yet, try reading something he wrote. They're pretty much all in the public domain now and are easily obtainable online.


  1. Happy Birthday, Mr. Merritt and thank you!

  2. Definitely one of my favourites. Worth hunting down the books.

  3. With your permission, I'll add my post to that short list.

  4. The Shup of Ishtar?? I do not know what a "shup" may be, but I'll bet Ishtar's is amazing. :)

  5. I read a bunch of Merritt in the late 70s Avon Books reprint series with great covers by Rodney Matthews. Really fun books and, as James said, easy to find online.