One of my all-time favorite writers was born 100 years ago on this date. Henry Kuttner was a prolific author who wrote in multiple genres. Kuttner started out writing Lovecraft pastiche for Weird Tales.
Kuttner mentored Ray Bradbury and wrote the ending to Bradbury’s “The Candle” when Bradbury got stuck. In the introduction to the Ballatine/Del Rey edition of The Best of Henry Kuttner (there was a 2 volume British edition by the same name with more and different stories), Bradbury says in reference to “The Graveyard Rats” that Kuttner didn’t want to be remembered as a minor league Lovecraft. That’s a paraphrase, as I don’t have the book here with me. I looked at “The Graveyard Rats” on Kuttner’s birthday last year.
Kuttner went on to marry C. L. Moore, who had gained fame for her Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joiry stories in Weird Tales. At that point almost everything they wrote was a collaboration until Kuttner’s death in 1958.
Haffner Press has done a fantastic job of bringing much of Kuttner’s early work back into print. Yet there still remains a good deal that hasn’t been reprinted. A number of years ago I came into a little extra money. Instead of being fiscally responsible, I used it to buy copies of as many pulps with unreprinted Kuttner stories as I could find and afford. Later this year, I’m going to look at some of those is a series I’m calling Kuttner Uncollected. That will probably start up this summer.
In the meantime, I’ll celebrate Kuttner’s birthday by reading some of his short fiction this evening. As soon as I finish the next BAF post for Black Gate.
UPDATE: A couple of hours after invoking Haffner Press, I received their email newsletter. There was a birthday tribute and a new Kuttner collection announcement. The second volume of The Early Kuttner: The Watcher at the Door is now available for preorder. Terror in the House is OOP, but for a short time you can get a copy when you preorder the next volume. Paul McNamee saw the announcement before I did and was kind enough to post a link in the comments. Many thanks, Paul.