The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series: The Sorcerer’s Ship by Hannes Bok
The Sorcerer’s Ship
Ballantine, 205 p., December 1969, $0.95
Cover Art by Ray Cruz
First, I’d like to apologize to John and everyone else who reads these posts for taking so long to get this one done. I was on the road quite a bit from the end of May up through the Fourth, but I thought I would be able to get this particular post done quickly. Then things started happening. Car repairs, then house repairs, and then more car repairs. (This has necessitated bank account repairs.) Then last night, one of the wires in my son’s braces snapped loose. If anything else happens, I’m going to snap.
I don’t mean to kvetch. As you can see, I’ve been a bit distracted and apologize for the delay. I’ve already started the next book I’ll read for this series.
Anyway, on to something a little different than what we’ve seen in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series up to this point. Rather than something deep and complex, with complicated writing (The Wood Beyond the World) or bizarre imagery (Lilith) or even not-so-subtle innuendo (The Silver Stallion), The Sorcerer’s Ship is almost a children’s story.
It’s not intended to be, but this is one that might hold a younger person’s interest. There’s certainly nothing in it that most parents would find objectionable for a child capable of reading a book of this length.
Hannes Bok is best remembered for his art, but as Lin Carter discusses in his introduction, Bok was also a more than capable writer. Carter chose this volume and The Golden Stair for inclusion in the BAF line. The Sorcerer’s Ship was originally published by John Campbell (not the world’s easiest sell by any means) in Unknown in December 1942. After Weird Tales, Unknown is arguably the greatest fantasy pulp in the history of the field.