The Face in the Abyss, novelette

The Face in the Abyss (novelette)  (1923) 
by A. Merritt
Extracted from Argosy All-Story Weekly, Vol 154, 8 Sep 1923, pp. 180-227. Title illustration omitted. This novelette and it's sequel, "The Snake Mother," serialized in Argosy Oct 25 1930-, were combined and thoroughly reworked for the book edition, The Face in the Abyss (novel), (1931)

The girl would soon be there—with the avengers; no doubt at this very moment she was telling them of her wrongs. He turned—

She stood there; looking at him!

Her skin was palest ivory. It gleamed translucent through the rents of the soft amber fabric like the thickest silk that swathed her. Her eyes were deep velvety pools, oval, a little tilted; Egyptian in the wide midnight of their irises. And her hair was cloudy jet, misty and shadowed, and a narrow fillet of gold bound the broad, low forehead. In it like a diamond were entwined the sable and silver feathers of the caraquenque, that bird whose plumage in lost centuries was sacred to the princesses of the Incas alone.

The Face in the Abyss

By A. Merritt

Author of “The Moon Pool,” “The Metal Monster,” etc.



AND now the readers of Argosy-Allstory Weekly come once again to their old favorite, A. Merritt, who flashed like a shooting star across the pages of All-Story Weekly in the issues of June 22, 1918, and from February 1, to March 22, 1919, illuminating that most classically fantastic of all stories, THE MOON POOL, which was afterward brought out in book form and accepted in England, France, and America as equal to the best imaginative work of H. G. Wells or that older master, the late Jules Verne; after which he rose to greater heights in his serial that appeared under the title of THE METAL MONSTER.

In these two works Merritt struck an entirely new note, rich in imagination, the wondrous possibilities of science, and the fine balance of human interest and narrative charm. In every chapter he struck the cosmic chords of superlative invention. Letters from all over the world asking for further work from the pen of Merritt came to this office.

He has recently been induced, or, to be perfectly frank, he has again taken up his pen of his own volition and made another contribution entitled THE FACE IN THE ABYSS, which is published in this issue in full on the pages which follow.

We know of no more kaleidoscopic imagination among living writers. Merritt possesses not only a transcendental vision but the power to put in words the scenes that unfold and come full winged shimmering with light from the cathedral of his mind.

Chapters (not listed in original)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1943, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.