The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Finnegan who cannot remember his true name or nature) meets the eccentric millionaire Saxon X. Seaworthy, who is similarly afflicted with amnesia. They have a drink together, served by Anastasia Demetriades (who is a mermaid, although that is not immediately obvious). They are joined by another person, whom Anastasia addresses as Papa-D. Later, Anastasia recruits Finnegan and other crew members for a voyage on Seaworthy’s boat, the Brunhilde, seemingly against the wishes of Papa-D, whose full name is Papadiabolous. Anastasia tells Finnegan that Papadiabolous is the Devil.

On the transatlantic voyage, several tall tales are told and heard, a mysterious corpse turns up, and there is much enigmatic talk. Finnegan remembers that he and Seaworthy once buried someone who looks exactly like Papadiabolous and realizes that Seaworthy believes his present companion is the same person. Another passenger, the evil Marie Courtois, kills one of Finnegan’s shipmates.

When the ship reaches the island of Naxos, various manifestations of classical mythology begin to intrude on the action and dialogue. A fight breaks out at the ship’s mooring, and Finnegan returns there to find Papadiabolous dead. This demise apparently serves to liberate the evil inclinations of Seaworthy and his associates, which previously had been held in check.

Finnegan encounters Mr. X, who otherwise is left unidentified (no comment being made on the fact that X...

(The entire section is 477 words.)