Tag Archives: Seabury Quinn

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

Happy Brithday, Farnsworth Wright

Weird Tales editorial office, l. to r., unknown, Farnsworth Wright, Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch

By the time of his death in 1940, Farnsworth Wright had become one of the most influential editors the field of the fantastic would ever see. Wright was born in 1888 on July, 29.  I would argue his influence on science fiction, fantasy, and horror has been greater than any other editor, including John W. Campbell, Dorothy McIlwraith, Fred Pohl, Ray Palmer, or Hugo Gernsback.

Yes, I realize that last sentence could be controversial, especially the inclusion of Campbell and Gernsback.  So be it.  Farnsworth Wright edited Weird Tales during what is considered to be the magazine’s golden age.  The authors he published have had a greater impact on the literature of the fantastic than those of any other editor at any time in history. Continue reading

It’s Margaret Brundage’s Birthday

I wrote a post last year on Margaret Brundage.  I don’t really have anything to add.  But given all the brouhaha about art lately (see Daughter of Naked Slave Girls, Illustrated Edition as an example of what I’m talking about), I thought I would put up a few scans of some of her work to mark the occasion.

Note to those who are uptight or only want other people to enjoy/like/appreciate the same things they like:  Brundage’s work is about as politically incorrect as you can get and often features nubile young women wearing little to no clothing and being threatened or bound (or both) in some manner.  If this might offend you, then rather than clicking the READ MORE link, do us both a favor and go somewhere else.

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Happy Birthday, Margaret Brundage

Brundage WT Bat GirlMargaret Brundage was born on this date in 1900.  Brundage gain fame, some would say infamy, illustrating covers for Weird Tales in the 1930s.  She was born Margaret Hedda Johnson and was married briefly married to “Slim” Brundage, a painter with radical politics.  The had one son.  I guess that means the rumor I heard that she used her daughters for models isn’t true.

The best way to honor Brundage is to show examples of her work.  Since the illustrations won’t be to everyone’s taste, and some folks get offended waayy too easily these days, the illustrations will be after the “Continue Reading” break.  What follows may not be approriate for youonger readers and the uptight.  There’s a reason she’s been called “Margaret Bondage.” Continue reading

A Little Something for the Season: "Roads" by Seabury Quinn

Roads
Seabury Quinn
Battered Silicon Dispatch Box
hardcover $25 Cn
paperback $15 Cn

So I was wanting to post something in the spirit of the season.  I thought about The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.  Way too long.  Then I read a couple of passages.  Waaayyyy too much saccharine.

Instead, I chose “Roads”.  Back in the 1930s, when Howard, Lovecraft, and Smith were writing many of the tales that would one day make them famous, there was only one person who gave them any competition in popularity in Weird Tales.  That person was Seabury Quinn.  Today he’s mostly forgotten except by fans of The Unique Magazine and historians of fantasy and the weird tale.  If he’s remembered at all, it’s usually for his occult detective, Jules de Grandin.

But Quinn was also a versatile writer who could pen a good tale that wasn’t part of a series.  “Roads” made its appearance in the January 1938 issue of Weird Tales.  It tells the story of a gladiator in the arena of Herod the Great.  Known as Claudius by the Romans, Klaus (you can see right away where this is going) has finished his contract and is wanting to go home to the northern climes he calls home.  Continue reading