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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Henry Kuttner (1958)

Recently seen on the "ebayeum" (for about $85 starting bid). The seller states:

This is a copy of Henry Kuttner—A Memorial Symposium, edited and published by Karen Anderson in August 1958. It consists of 36 well-mimeographed pages, brad-bound in a stiff cardstock folder. Only about 100 copies were produced. This copy is in excellent condition.

Contributors to the symposium include Poul and Karen Anderson, Robert Bloch, Anthony Boucher, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, and Kuttner himself (a story reprinted from a 1948 fanzine and excerpts from a letter). Donald H. Tuck also contributed a bibliography of Kuttner’s work. There is artwork by Edd Cartier and John Grossman.

Henry Kuttner was born in Los Angeles, California in 1915. He sold his first story, “The Graveyard Rats,” to Weird Tales in early 1936. Kuttner was known for his literary prose and worked in close collaboration with his wife, C. L. Moore. They met through their association with the “Lovecraft Circle,” a group of writers and fans who corresponded with H. P. Lovecraft. Their work together spanned the 1940s and 1950s and most of it was credited to pseudonyms, mainly Lewis Padgett and Lawrence O’Donnell.

Kuttner wrote a number of stories in the ‘30s in the world of the Cthulhu Mythos, which was invented by Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and others. His work influenced quite a few other writers including Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Richard Matheson and Roger Zelazny. He died of a heart attack at age 42 in February 1958 (referred to in science-fiction fandom as “The Year of the Jackpot,” because it also saw the premature deaths of Cyril M. Kornbluth and Francis Towner Laney).

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