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Someone receives an artifact which is the model of a ship. He immediately is teleported on top of the ship which becomes life-size and drops in a large ocean. There are two sides in the ocean, one which represents males and one which represents females.

I read this maybe 10 years ago, but I think it was from the 1930s or so.

Since most of what I read is Asimov or Bradbury, we can probably assume that it was one of those two.

Edit

It probably wasn't either of the two because, as @M.A.Golding pointed out, their first stories came from the end of the 1930s. Good catch!

  • 1
    A story published in the 1930s or so would have a low probability of being written by Asimov or Bradbury. Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) had his first stories published in 1939. Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) also had his first stories published in 1939. Knowing anything about their biographies would have made you realize a story from about the 1930 was probably not by either of them. – M. A. Golding May 22 at 17:54
  • @M.A.Golding Good point. Sorry about the confusion! – Voldemort's Wrath May 22 at 21:52
13

Sounds like The Ship of Ishtar by A. Merritt

The archaeologist hero, Kenton, receives a mysterious ancient Babylonian artifact, which he discovers contains an incredibly detailed model of a ship. A dizzy spell casts Kenton onto the deck of the ship, which becomes a full-sized vessel sailing an eternal sea. At one end is Sharane the assistant priestess of Ishtar and her female minions, and at the other is Klaneth the assistant priest of Nergal and his male minions, representatives of two opposed deities. None of them can cross an invisible barrier at the midline of the ship, but Kenton can. His arrival destabilizes a situation that had been frozen for 6,000 years, and fantastic adventures ensue.

  • Seems like this is it! I'll wait for a while so you can get more upvotes before I accept it. – Voldemort's Wrath May 22 at 21:54

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