Monday, June 1, 2015

A. Merritt Art Gallery-The Metal Monster

"The Metal Monster" by A. Merritt in
Argosy All-Story Weekly,
August 7-September 25, 1920

In 1920, Argosy merged with All-Story Weekly to become Argosy All-Story Weekly. "The Metal Monster," an eight-part serial, was A. Merritt's first cover story for the newly-named magazine and his second overall. The cover artist, Glen White, was the first to depict the blonde Norhala and the geometric forms of her domain.

"The Metal Monster" was serialized a second time in a Gernsback magazine, Science and Invention, from October 1927 to August 1928. (There were eleven parts in all.) The story was revised somewhat and retitled "The Metal Emperor." Unfortunately, I don't have any images from that first reprinting. Instead, here is the cover for Famous Fantastic Mysteries Combined with Fantastic Novels Magazine, August 1941, which included the complete story under its original title. The artist was Virgil Finlay. This is the first of four covers showing Norhala with her arms raised. 

Avon Murder Mystery Monthly reprinted the story as a complete book in 1945. This was #41 in the series. The cover was by Paul Stahr (1883-1953), who had originally illustrated stories for Argosy All-Story Weekly. According to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database, this was Stahr's last published work of fantasy or science fiction.

Avon reprinted The Metal Monster again in 1951 with a cover by an unknown artist . . .

And a third time in 1957. The illustrator was Richard Powers (1921-1996).

A French publisher, Hachette, also issued an edition in 1957. The title is Le Monstre de M├ętal, and it was #50 in the series Le Rayon Fantastique. The artist is unknown.

Doug Rosa (1932-1976) created the cover illustration for the 1966 Avon edition . . .

Which was reused in the 1972 edition.

In the early 1970s, Hyperion Press put out a series called Classics of Science Fiction with a logo that looks like it came out of ancient Greece. The Metal Monster, from 1974, was one entry in the series.

Finally, Avon once again reissued the book in 1976 with a new cover illustration by Stephen Fabian (b. 1930).

Captions copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley


  1. Thanks again! I had the 1957 Avon edition. Haven't seen that cover in a long while. Found it in a used paperback shop in Milwaukee. Great to see all the other covers, too.

    1. Howard,

      You're welcome.

      I didn't mention that a straightforward depiction of the human form was kind of unusual for Richard Powers.

      I also didn't mention that the setting, in central Asia, makes me think of Lost Horizon and Attilan, the home of The Inhumans from Marvel Comics.