April 7, 1915|
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Died||February 4, 1958
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Occupation||short story writer; novelist|
|Genre||Science fiction, Fantasy, Horror|
- 1 Early life
- 2 Kuttner and Moore
- 3 Influence
- 4 The Cthulhu Mythos
- 5 Later life
- 6 Pseudonyms
- 7 Partial bibliography
- 8 Notes
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Henry Kuttner was born in Los Angeles, California in 1915. Naphtaly Kuttner (1829–1903) and Amelia Bush (c. 1834–1911), the parents of his father, the bookseller Henry Kuttner (1863–1920), had come from Leszno in Prussia and lived in San Francisco since 1859; the parents of his mother, Annie Levy (1875–1954), were from Great Britain. Henry Kuttner's great-grandfather was the scholar Josua Heschel Kuttner. Kuttner grew up in relative poverty following the death of his father. As a young man he worked in his spare time for the literary agency of his uncle, Laurence D'Orsay (in fact his first cousin per marriage), in Los Angeles before selling his first story, "The Graveyard Rats", to Weird Tales in early 1936. It was while working for the d'Orsay agency that Kuttner picked Leigh Brackett's early manuscripts of the slush pile; it was under his tutelage that she sold her first story (to John W. Campbell at Astounding Stories).
Alfred Bester told this anecdote about Kuttner: "Mort Weisinger introduced me to the informal luncheon gatherings of the working science fiction authors of the late thirties. I met Henry Kuttner", whom Bester described as "medium-sized", "very quiet and courteous, and entirely without outstanding features. Once I broke Kuttner up quite unintentionally. I said to Weisinger, 'I've just finished a wild story that takes place in a spaceless, timeless locale where there's no objective reality. It's awfully long, 20,000 words, but I can cut the first 5,000.' Kuttner burst out laughing."
Kuttner and Moore
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 the work was credited to pseudonyms, mainly Lewis Padgett and Lawrence O'Donnell. Both freely admitted that they collaborated in part because his page rate was higher than hers. In fact, several people have written or said that she wrote three stories which were published under his name. "Clash by Night" and The Portal in the Picture (Beyond Earth's Gates) are sometimes attributed to her.
In the mid-1940s Kuttner contributed numerous scripts to the Green Lantern comic book.
L. Sprague de Camp, who knew Kuttner and Moore well, has stated that their collaboration was so seamless that, after a story was completed, it was often impossible for either Kuttner or Moore to recall who had written what. According to de Camp, it was typical for either partner to break off from a story in mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence, with the latest page of the manuscript still in the typewriter. The other spouse would routinely continue the story where the first had left off. They alternated in this manner as many times as necessary until the story was finished.
Among Kuttner's most popular work were the Gallegher stories, published under the Padgett name, about a man who invented high-tech solutions to client problems (including an insufferably egomaniacal robot) when he was stinking drunk, only to be completely unable to remember exactly what he had built or why after sobering up. These stories were later collected in Robots Have No Tails. In her introduction to the 1973 Lancer Books edition, Moore stated that Kuttner wrote all the Gallegher stories himself.
In 2007, New Line Cinema released a feature film loosely based on the Lewis Padgett short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" under the title The Last Mimzy. In addition, The Best of Henry Kuttner was republished under the title The Last Mimzy Stories.
Marion Zimmer Bradley is among many authors who have cited Kuttner as an influence. Her novel The Bloody Sun is dedicated to him. Roger Zelazny has talked about the influence of The Dark World on his Amber series.
Kuttner's friend Richard Matheson dedicated his 1954 novel I Am Legend to Kuttner, with thanks for his help and encouragement. Ray Bradbury has said that Kuttner actually wrote the last 300 words of Bradbury's first horror story, "The Candle" (Weird Tales, November 1942). Bradbury has referred to Kuttner as a neglected master and a "pomegranate writer: popping with seeds—full of ideas".
Mary Elizabeth Counselman believed that Kuttner's habit of writing under widely varied pseudonyms deprived him of the fame that should have been his. "I have often wondered why Kuttner chose to hide his talents behind so many false faces for no editorial reason...Admittedly, the fun is in pretending to be someone else. But Kuttner cheated himself of much fame that he richly deserved by hiding his light under a bushel of pen names that many fans did not know were his. Seabury (Seabury Quinn) and I both chided him about this.
According to J. Vernon Shea, August Derleth "kept promising to publish Hank's and Catherine's books under the Arkham House imprint, but kept postponing them."  This may have formed another factor in the situation that Kuttner's work (save a few classic horror stories such as "The Graveyard Rats" and fantasies like "Mimsy Were the Borogroves"") has been largely forgotten.
The Cthulhu Mythos
A friend of Lovecraft's as well as of Clark Ashton Smith, Kuttner contributed several stories to the Cthulhu Mythos genre invented by those authors (among others). Among these were "The Secret of Kralitz" (Weird Tales, October 1936), "The Eater of Souls" (Weird Tales, January 1937), "The Salem Horror" (Weird Tales, May 1937), "The Invaders" (Strange Stories, February 1939) and "The Hunt" (Strange Stories, June 1939).
Kuttner added a few lesser-known deities to the Mythos, including Iod ("The Secret of Kralitz"), Vorvadoss ("The Eater of Souls"), and Nyogtha ("The Salem Horror"). Critic Shawn Ramsey suggests that Abigail Prinn, the villain of "The Salem Horror", might have been intended by Kuttner to be a descendant of Ludvig Prinn, author of De Vermis Mysteriis—a book that appears in Kuttner's "The Invaders".
'Etchings and Odysseys No 4 (1984), edited by Eric A. Carlson, John J. Koblas and R. Alain Everts, was a special Kuttner tribute issue featuring three reprinted tales by Kuttner - "It Walks By Night", "The Frog" and "The Invaders," togethr with various essays on Kuttner, and an interview with his wife and fellow writer C.L. Moore.
Crypt of Cthulhu 5, No 7 (whole number 41) (Lammas 1986), edited by Robert M. Price, was a special Henry Kuttner issue collecting eight Cthulhu Mythos stories by Kuttner. (It did not include "Spawn of Dagon" or "The Invaders").
The Book of Iod: Ten Tales of the Mythos is a collection of Kuttner's Cthulhu Mythos stories edited by Robert M. Price (Chaosium, 1995). (It also contains three additional tales concerning 'Iod's dread tome' by Robert Bloch, Lin Carter and Robert M. Price). The Kuttner stories included are: "The Secret of Kralitz", "The Eater of Souls", "The Salem Horror", "The Jest of Droom-Avesta", "Spawn of Dagon", "The Invaders", "The Frog", "Hydra", "Bells of Horror" and "The Hunt" - thus, all the Mythos stories which had appeared in the special Kuttner issue of Crypt of Cthulhu, plus "Spawn of Dagon" and "The Invaders". The story "The Black Kiss" (printed here, as often elsewhere, under the joint byline of Kuttner and Robert Bloch), was in fact written entirely by Bloch; Bloch co-credited Kuttner on the tale due to using the character Michael Leigh from "The Salem Horror". "Beneath the Tombstone" by Robert M. Price and "Dead of Night" by Lin Carter round out the volume. Price points out in his introduction to the volume that "Henry Kuttner's own private corner of the Cthulhu Mythos was, then, apparently derived in about equal measure from Lovecraft, Bloch, Zoroastrianism, and Theosophy." 
Henry Kuttner spent the middle 1950s getting his master's degree before dying of a heart attack in Los Angeles in 1958.
A number of his novels were published posthumously.
- Edward J. Bellin
- Paul Edmonds
- Noel Gardner
- Will Garth
- James Hall
- Keith Hammond
- Hudson Hastings
- Peter Horn
- Kelvin Kent
- Robert O. Kenyon
- C. H. Liddell
- Hugh Maepenn
- Scott Morgan
- Lawrence O'Donnell
- Lewis Padgett
- Woodrow Wilson Smith
- Charles Stoddard
Tony Quade stories
- "I. Hollywood on the Moon" (1938)
- "II. Doom World" (1938)
- "III. The Star Parade" (1938)
- "IV. Trouble on Titan" (1941)
Elak of Atlantis stories
- "Thunder in the Dawn" (1938)
- "Spawn of Dagon" (1938)
- "Beyond the Phoenix" (1939)
- "Dragon Moon" (1940)
Thunder Jim Wade series (as by Charles Stoddard)
- "Thunder Jim Wade" (1941)
- "The Hills of Gold" (1941)
- "The Poison People" (1941)
- "The Devil's Glacier" (1941)
- "Waters of Death" (1941)
- "Orange by the Railway" (1942)
- "The Piper's Son" (1945)
- "Three Blind Mice" (1945)
- "The Lion And The Unicorn" (1945)
- "Beggars in Velvet" (1945)
- "Humpty Dumpty" (1953)
- "The Graveyard Rats" (1936) adapted for television movie Trilogy of Terror II (1996)
- "The Secret of Kralitz" (1936)
- "The Eater of Souls" (1937)
- "The Salem Horror" (1937)
- "Dictator of the Americas" (as James Hall, 1938)
- "Avengers of Space" (1938)
- "The Invaders" (1939)
- "Bells of Horror" (1939)
- "The Hunt" (1939)
- "Beauty and the Beast" (1940)
- "Dr. Cyclops" (1940)
- "Masquerade" (1942), adapted for episode of television series Thriller (1961) 
- "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" (as Lewis Padgett, 1943) used as the basis for the 2007 movie The Last Mimzy, and for the French TV adaptation "Tout spliques étaient les Borogoves" (1970)
- "Clash by Night" (with C. L. Moore) (1943)
- "The Proud Robot" (as Lewis Padgett, 1943)
- "The Time Locker" (as Lewis Padgett, 1943)
- "Gallegher Plus" (as Lewis Padgett, 1943)
- "Nothing but Gingerbread Left" (1943)
- "The Twonky" (as Lewis Padgett, 1942), adapted for film of the same name in 1953 
- "The World Is Mine" (as Lewis Padgett, 1943)
- "The Eyes of Thar" (published in Planet Stories, Fall Issue, 1944)
- "What You Need" (as Lewis Padgett, 1945) adapted for "What You Need" episodes of Tales of Tomorrow (1952) and The Twilight Zone (1959) television shows 
- "The Cure" (1946)
- "The Dark Angel" (with C. L. Moore, 1946), later published as "Dark Angel" (as Lewis Padgett, 1975), adapted for episode of same name of television series Tales of Tomorrow 
- "Call Him Demon" (1946)
- "Vintage Season" (with C. L. Moore; 1946), filmed in 1992 as Timescape 
- "Land of the Earthquake" (1947)
- "Ex Machina" (as Lewis Padgett, 1948)
- "Happy Ending" (1949)
- "Satan Sends Flowers" (1953)
- "Or Else" (1953), published in the anthology The War Book (edited by James Sallis, 1969).
- The Best of Henry Kuttner anthologizes 17 stories. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975).
- The Eyes of Thar (1944)
- Atomic! (1947)
- Mutant (the Baldie stories) (1953)
- Robots Have No Tails (the Gallegher stories, as Lewis Padgett) (1952)
- A Million Years to Conquer (1940), published in book form as The Creature from Beyond Infinity (1968)
- Earth's Last Citadel (with C. L. Moore) (1943, first book publication 1964)
- The Fairy Chessmen (1946, as Lewis Padgett, also retitled as Chessboard Planet and The Far Reality)
- Valley of the Flame (1946, first book publication 1964)
- The Dark World (with C. L. Moore (assumed)) (1946, first book publication 1965)
- The Brass Ring (with C. L. Moore) (1946, nongenre, also published as Murder in Brass)
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow (1947, as Lewis Padgett)
- Fury (1947, first book publication 1950, later published under the title Destination: Infinity (1958))
- The Day He Died (with C. L. Moore) (1947, nongenre)
- The Mask of Circe (1948, first book publication 1971) (Illustrated by Alicia Austin in 1971)
- The Time Axis (1949, first book publication 1965)
- The Portal in the Picture (with C. L. Moore) (1949, also known as Beyond Earth's Gates)
- The Well of the Worlds (1952, first book publication 1953)
- Man Drowning (1952, nongenre)
- The Murder of Eleanor Pope (1956, nongenre)
- The Murder of Ann Avery (1956, nongenre)
- Murder of a Mistress (1957, nongenre)
- Murder of a Wife (1958, nongenre)
- Ahead of Time
- The Best of Henry Kuttner (split in paperback into two volumes, The Best of Kuttner 1 and The Best of Kuttner 2)
- The Book of Iod
- Bypass to Otherness
- Chessboard Planet and Other Stories (with C. L. Moore)
- Clash by Night and Other Stories (with C. L. Moore)
- Detour to Otherness (with C. L. Moore)
- Elak of Atlantis
- A Gnome There Was
- Hollywood on the Moon / Man About Time: The Pete Manx Adventures (with Arthur K. Barnes) (announced for 2011)
- Kuttner Times Three
- Line to Tomorrow and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction (with C. L. Moore)
- The Michael Gray Murders (with C. L. Moore) (announced for 2012)
- No Boundaries (with C. L. Moore)
- Prince Raynor
- Return to Otherness
- Secret of the Earth Star and Others
- The Startling Worlds of Henry Kuttner
- Terror in the House: The Early Kuttner, Volume One
- Thunder in the Void
- Thunder Jim Wade
- Two-Handed Engine: The Selected Short Fiction of Henry Kuttner & C. L. Moore
- The Hogben Chronicles—Kickstarter Project posthumously pushed by Neil Gaiman, F. Paul Wilson, Pierce Waters, Thomas L. Monteleone, and with special assist by Alan Moore. 
- "The Martian Eyes" episode(s) of Lights Out series (1950 and/or 1951) 
- "Price on His Head" episode of series Sugarfoot (1958)
- Tales of Frankenstein (pilot for television series that was not picked up, 1958)
- "The Eye" episode of Out of the Unknown television series (1966)
- "Doiby Dickles Enters High Sassiety"
- "The Gambler"
- "The Lord Haw-Haw of Crime"
- "Doiby Dickles, Da District Attorney"
- "A Tale of a City"
- "The Cave Kid Goes To Town"
- "The Jewel of Hope"
- "Doiby Dickles, the Human Bomb"
- "The Last of the Buccaneers"
- "The Man Who Doubled In Death, or, The Duplicity of Johnny Double"
- "Sing a Song of Disaster"
- "Dickles Vs. Fate"
- "Jonah Was a Jinx"
- "The Gambler Comes Back"
- "The Good Humor Man"
- "What Makes Goitrude Go?"
- "The Man Who Insults Everybody"
- "The Invisible World"
- According to Robert Bloch in his autobiography Once Around The Bloch BY: Tor Books, (1995), p. 95.
- Leigh Brackett "My Friend, Henry Kuttner." Etchings and Odysseys 4 (1984), p. 10.
- Bester, Alfred (1976). "My Affair with Science Fiction". Star Light, Star Bright: The Great Short Fiction of Alfred Bester, Volume II. New York: Berkley. p. 225.
- DeCamp, L. Sprague. Warlocks and Warriors, p. 167 (NY, Berkley 1971).
- http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?767085 Retrieved February 14, 2017
- Ray Bradbury, "Introduction: Henry Kuttner: A Neglected Master" in The Best of Henry Kuttner, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975, pp. vii–xii. "Pomegranate" is on p. vii; Shawn Ramsey, "Henry Kuttner's Cthulhu Mythos Fiction: An Overview", in The Horror of It All, Robert M. Price, ed.
- "Mary Elizabeth Counselman, "Hank and Weird Tales". Etchings and Odysseys 4 (1984), p. 38
- J. Vernon Shea, "Henry Kuttner: A Memoir", Etchings and Odysseys 4 (1984), p. 9
- His Mythos related stories were published in The Book of Iod in 1995, edited by Robert M. Price.
- Ramsey, p. 122.
- Robert M. Price, "Editorial Shards", Crypt of Cthulhu 41 (Lammas 1986), p. 2.
- "The Khut-N'ha Mythos" by Robert M. Price (ed) in Henry Kuttner, The Book of Iod (Chaosium, 1995), vi.
- p. 15
- Marcus Pan, Off The Shelf - "The World Treasury of Science Fiction", a book review, Legends Magazine, vol. 111, 2001
- Paul Dale Anderson. "Random Factors: The Recurring Themes of Henry Kuttner." Etchings and Odysseys 4(1984), 19-21.
- Robert Bloch. "The Closest Approach" in Bloch's Out of My Head. Cambridge MA: NESFA Press, 1986, 47-53.
- Robert Bloch. Once Around the Bloch: An Unauthorised Autobiography. NY: Tor Books, 19995, pp. 79, 94-98, 104-5, 157, 185, 238, 253, 350.
- Ray Bradbury. "Henry Kuttner: A Neglected Master". Introduction to The Best of Henry Kuttner, NY: Ballantine Books, 1975, pp. vi-xii.
- Don D'Amassa, "Henry Kuttner: Man of Many Voices" in Darrell Schweitzer (ed.), Discovering Classic Fantasy Fiction, Gillette, NJ: Wildside Press, 1996, pp. 122–125.
- Various. "Recollections of Henry Kuttner By His Friends". Etchings and Odysseys 4(1984), 9-12, 38. Brief memoirs by J. Vernon Shea, Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, Leigh Brackett, Edmond Hamilton, and Mary Elizabeth Counselman.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Henry Kuttner|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henry Kuttner.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Henry Kuttner profile at Fantastic Fiction
- Lewis Padgett profile at Fantastic Fiction
- Henry Kuttner at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Works by Henry Kuttner at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Henry Kuttner at Faded Page (Canada)
- Works by or about Henry Kuttner at Internet Archive
- Works by Henry Kuttner at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Two-Handed Engine: The Selected Short Fiction of Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore
- Books by Henry Kuttner from Haffner Press
- Henry Kuttner on IMDb
- Past Masters - A Kuttner Above the Rest (But Wait! There's Moore!) by Bud Webster, at Galactic Central
- Henry Kuttner at Library of Congress Authorities, with 27 catalog records
- Lewis Padgett at LC Authorities, with 8 records, and at WorldCat