Tag Archives: Robert Silverberg

Kuttner’s Death, Moore’s Silence

Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Deuce Richardson pointed out to me in an email that today is the 60th anniversary of Henry Kuttner’s death. Since I don’t think I’ll be able to finish what I had intended to review today, this is a good topic to talk about.  (Thanks, Deuce.)

I’ve done a few posts on the anniversary of a person’s death  before, but I prefer to acknowledge birthdays. However, a 60th anniversary is a milestone. So if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share a few somewhat random thoughts.

Kuttner had been teaching a course on writing at USC when he died, and Moore took over. I’m not sure how long she continued teaching, if it was only to finish out the semester or if she taught beyond that semester.

She remarried in 1963. Her husband Thomas Reggie didn’t want her writing anymore. At least that’s the legend, and I’m inclined to believe it. C. L. Moore’s voice fell silent. She never wrote fiction again.

Her husband supposedly (according to Wikipedia) asked the Science Fiction Writers of America not to honor her with a Grand Master Award because by that time Catherine was suffering from Alzheimer’s by then. Her husband thought the ceremony would be too stressful and confusing.

Let that sink in for a moment. This had to have been sometime in the early to mid-1980s. Moore died in 1987.* Andre Norton was the Grand Master for 1984. There wouldn’t be another woman to receive the honor until Ursula K. LeGuin in 2003, nearly 20 years later. I don’t know why Moore couldn’t have been presented with the award and it simply be announced that she was unable to attend for unspecified health reasons.  Essentially, her husband denied her recognition that was well deserved.** Continue reading

It’s Randall Garrett’s Birthday

randall garrettOne of the most neglected and underrated writers of the mid-20th Century was Randall Garrett.  If he is remembered at all today, it is for his Lord Darcy series, about which more in a bit.

Randall Garrett was born on this day, December 16, in 1927.  He passed away in 1987.  I’d like to think my knowledge of the early science fiction and fantasy pulp writers is fairly extensive, but on Twitter 1whoknewcthulhu (@srm991) is always posting birthday notices about writers I’ve never heard of.  You should follow him if you aren’t already.

Or in this case, a favorite writer whose birthday I didn’t know.  (Why wasn’t I aware of this?  We share a birthday.  At least we did while I was still having birthdays.  Ever since I got married, I don’t have birthdays.  I have anniversaries.  That means I’ll always be [redacted] years old, while my wife will continue to age.  For some reason she gets upset when I say this.  But I digress.) Continue reading

Moore Than Just a Kuttner Kornucopia

Detour to OthernessDetour to Otherness
Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
Cover art by Richard Powers
Introduction by Robert Silverberg
Afterward by Frederik Pohl
Haffner Press
Hardcover $40, limited edition hardcover $150

In the history of the science fiction and fantasy fields, there have been few authors as versatile as the husband and wife team of Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore. This is especially true at short lengths. (Since Kuttner was an early mentor of Ray Bradbury, this is hardly surprising.)

In the early 1960s, Ballantine Books published two collections of their work, Bypass to Otherness and Return to Otherness. Stephen Haffner states on the page for Detour to Otherness that a third volume was planned but never published. I’ve never heard this before, but I’m more than willing to take his word for it.

The first two Otherness titles contain selections from several of Kuttner’s most popular and well-remembered series. The Hogbens are represented, as is Galloway Gallegher, a scientific genius but only when he’s drunk. Also included is the first of the Baldy stories that comprised the mosaic novel Mutant. They don’t have some of his best known stories, which may not have been available at the time because they were in another book from a different publisher (Line to Tomorrow, Bantam), but this is one of the best samplings of Kuttner and Moore’s work.

Haffner has assembled enough stories for a third collection and combined them in the present volume. That section of the book is called Detour to Otherness, which is also the title of the omnibus.

Haffner had nothing to do with the selections in Bypass and Return, he was responsible to the stories in Detour. Thus, while critiquing the choices in the original volumes is a waste of time, it is very much on the strength of the stories in Detour that the volume will rise or fall. None of these stories has appeared in a Kuttner collection before, although most of them have been reprinted somewhere. I’d read almost all of them before. Let’s look at them more closely. Continue reading

Again? Really!?

68801_467727219952918_618352305_nYou may remember the controversy last summer over the SFWA bulletin, which encompassed, among other things, people being offended by some things said by Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg, some other articles deemed sexist, and of course, the cover you see on the left.  I discussed the situation in this post.

Well, now there’s another controversy brewing.  Steve Davidson of Amazing Stories does a fine job of summarizing it here.

I’ll hit the high points, but you’ll have to track down some of the details on your own.  During last summer’s fiasco, publication of the Bulletin was suspended.  Plans are for it to resume.  A few things need to happen first, like a new editor has to be hired.  And there’s some sort of oversight committee that will be put in place to see to it that the Bulletin doesn’t publish anything that isn’t up to SFWA standards.

And that’s got some people upset. Continue reading