My small contribution to literary history

I write a blog about movies, TV shows, books, authors, and whatever else I think is currently overlooked and worth seeking out. Back in January of 2010, I wrote an entry on Henry Kuttner

Earlier this year, I received an e-mail from someone who read the article. His grandmother had corresponded with Kuttner, and he had a manuscript from him and was wondering if it was published and where.

I started asking around. Bud Webster told me about Steven Haffner of Haffner Press, which is coming out with a set of the complete works of Kuttner. I put the two of them in contact. The upshot was that the story, “The Interplanetary Limited,” was unpublished, and that Haffner wanted to include it in one of the volumes of Kuttner’s work.

Haffner negotiated with the Kuttner estate and I just received word that the story will appear in their forthcoming Kuttner collection,** Thunder in the Void**. I’ll be getting an acknowledgment for my help.

I’m so glad to see this thread! I have always been a Kuttner fan, and to know a new edition of his work is coming out is fantastic.

I love the humorous stories best, like “The Proud Robot”. His story “Mimsy Were the Borogroves” was butchered in the movie it was inspired by. “The Twonky” was a good story.

I’ll keep my eyes open for the new works! To think there is a “new” Kuttner coming out is amazing.

Nice job.

I’m going to fly this over to CS, though, so the more “book-ish” among us can celebrate even more.

That’s terrific, RealityChuck.

Kuttner was always one of my favorites. He’s sadly unknown today, probably because he wrote so few novels and none of them made a splash. (Can anyone name one?) But he was a great short story writer in an era when the short story was the core of the field.

Hope that a complete works sparks some renewed interest in him - they always seem to - and hope that the lure of a never seen story brings in more people. We have a great little community. Thanks for being part of it.

Off the top of my head, the only novel of his I can name is “Fury”.

Good going Reality Chuck! We need more Kuttner. I note that you listed him and his wife C.L. Moore among the underappreciated artists (although I have to point out that you missed that I had already listed them). Just last year they released a new collection of their collaborations – Bypass to Otherness, made up of the two previous “otherness” collections, plus another bookworth of uncollected material.

As for Exapno’s question – I’ve just read Mutant, although that is a “fixup”. Kuttner’s solo novels are hard to come by. Even his solo collections aren’t that common. I notice that “Elak of Atlantis” has been printed as a collection, and I want to get it.

Since most people probably don’t know, a “fixup” is a bunch of short stories on a common subject that get published as a “novel” even though there may not have been any additional linking material. Robots Have No Tails is sometimes called a fixup, too, though it’s nothing but a collection of individual short stories. Lots of famous early sf books are really fixups, from Asimov’s *Foundation *to Clifford Simak’s City. Why? Because novels outsell short story collections by multiples, maybe powers of ten.

I had to look at my collection to see if I owned a true Kuttner novel. I do. The Mask of Circe, which wasn’t even published until well after he died. I have a bunch of short story collections, and I have all three collectible books he had published by Gnome Press. In fact, my copy of Robots Have No Tails was Marty Greenberg’s office file copy. But most of his novels were serialized in magazines in the 1940s, and would be very short by today’s standards. Same is true for his wife, C. L. Moore, who worked with him on most of the novels, but is also known almost exclusively for her short stories.

Why didn’t he write more novels? Just when the market starting taking off, he and Moore moved to California and went back to college to get degrees. They both started screenwriting, which was far more lucrative. And then Kuttner died, at the age of 43, and it was too late.

Hear hear! Good work.

That was published by Haffner Press, who will be doing the new collection.

Here is an announcement of the new collection.