MOORE, C(atherine) L(ucille)

MOORE, C(atherine) L(ucille)
   US writer who achieved instant fame with her first story, "Shambleau" for Weird Tales in 1933, a femme fatale story set on MARS. She continued to chronicle the exploits of its hero Northwest Smith, most of the series ultimately being assembled in Scarlet Dream (coll of linked stories 1981; vt Northwest Smith 1982); the exceptions are "Nymph of Darkness" (1935) with Forrest J. ACKERMAN, "Quest of the Starstone" (1937)with Henry KUTTNER and "Werewoman" (1938). 4 of the 10 stories in Scarlet Dream had earlier appeared in Shambleau and Others (coll 1953; with 3 of 7stories cut, vt Shambleau 1958; with 1 story cut, also vt Shambleau UK 1961) and 5 in Northwest of Earth (coll 1954); the remaining stories inthese collections, comprising the first SWORD-AND-SORCERY series to feature a female HERO, Jirel, were recombined in Jirel of Joiry (coll of linked stories 1969; vt Black God's Shadow 1977). Jirel also appears in the Northwest Smith story "Quest of the Starstone" (1937), CLM's first collaboration with Henry Kuttner, whom she married in 1940.Most of CLM's and Kuttner's works after this were to some extent collaborations; each writer could reportedly pick up any story where the other had left off. They used a wide diversity of pseudonyms (KUTTNER for a listing).Kuttner's wit, deftly audacious deployment of ideas and neat exposition well complemented CLM's perhaps greater talents of fluency and assiduity. When they became part of the stable of writers working for John W.CAMPBELL Jr's ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION during WWII they devised their most famous pseudonyms, Lewis Padgett and Laurence O'Donnell, under which they did much of their best work. Kuttner was the primary user of the Padgett name (for details of which see his entry) but the O'Donnellstories were more often CLM's. These include the remarkable "Clash By Night" (1943), whose sequel Fury (1947 as by O'Donnell; 1950; vtDestination Infinity 1958) was a collaboration (although often reprinted as by Kuttner alone); the stories are set in CITIES located UNDER THE SEAS of VENUS after nuclear war has destroyed life on Earth. "Clash by Night" has been reprinted with an alternative sequel by David A. DRAKE in The Jungle (1991). 4 O'Donnell stories were combined with the title shortnovel (originally signed CLM) in Judgment Night (coll 1952; title novel only 1965), but these did not include the excellent "The Children's Hour" (1944) and the classic Vintage Season (1946; 1990 chap dos with a sequel,In Another Country by Robert SILVERBERG), about time-travelling tourists ( TIME TRAVEL); Vintage Season was intelligently filmed for cable tv in the USA as DISASTER IN TIME (1991, vt Grand Tour: Disaster in Time, vt TIMESCAPE), director David N. Twohy, later released on videotape. CLM's other classic story of the 1940s was "No Woman Born" (1944 as by CLM), about a badly burned dancer who is given a ROBOT body and becomes a CYBORG. In these stories CLM's sometimes extravagant style is carefullycontrolled and combined with an earnest sentimentality which was underappreciated at the time.CLM and Kuttner wrote a series of novels for STARTLING STORIES in the late 1940s which continued the colourfultradition of the Northwest Smith stories to become archetypes of the hybrid genre of SCIENCE FANTASY, neatly fusing the strengths of CLM's romanticism and Kuttner's vigorous plotting. The Dark World (1946 as by Kuttner; 1965 as by Kuttner) is a pastiche of A. MERRITT's Dwellers in theMirage (1932) and was itself pastiched in Marion Zimmer BRADLEY's Falcons of Narabedla (1957; 1964); other novels in the same vein are Valley of the Flame (1946 as by Keith Hammond; 1964 as by Kuttner), "Lands of theEarthquake" (1947 as by Kuttner), The Mask of Circe (1948 as by Kuttner; 1971), The Time Axis (1949 as by Kuttner; 1965 as by Kuttner), Beyond Earth's Gates (1949 as "The Portal in the Picture" by Kuttner; 1954 dos as by Padgett) and Well of the Worlds (1952 as by Kuttner; 1953 as by Padgett; vt The Well of the Worlds 1965 as by Kuttner). The first, secondand fifth of these were combined in The Startling Worlds of Henry Kuttner (omni 1987). Earth's Last Citadel (1943 Argosy; 1964), with Kuttner, alsobelongs to this sequence, although one other Startling Stories novel, "Lord of the Storm" (1947 as by Hammond) does not. The attribution ofthese science-fantasy novels has rarely given CLM the credit which she deserves for her contribution to them.In 1950 Kuttner and CLM went to study at the University of Southern California; although they wrote a number of mystery novels, there were few more sf stories. CLM did one solo sf novel in this period, Doomsday Morning (1957), a futuristic thriller which did not exploit her greatest strengths as a writer. Having graduated in 1956, CLM moved after Kuttner's death into writing for tv, doing scripts for such series as Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip until she remarried in 1963 and abandoned writing for good.CLM was the more prestigious writer by far when she married Kuttner, and remained the better half of their partnership, although unthinkingly sexist reportage has always lavished the greater praise on her husband. Her true status can be accurately judged from the collection The Best of C.L. Moore (coll 1975) ed Lester DEL REY. Other collections in which her work appearsinclude: A Gnome There Was (coll 1950) as by Padgett; Robots Have No Tails (coll 1952 as by Padgett; 1973 as by Kuttner; vt The Proud Robot: TheComplete Gallegher Stories 1983 UK); Line to Tomorrow (coll 1954) as by Padgett; No Boundaries (coll 1955) with Kuttner; Clash by Night and Other Stories (coll 1980 UK) with Kuttner, not to be confused with Clash by Night (1952 chap Australia) as by Lawrence O'Donnell; and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, and The Fairy Chessmen (coll 1951), as by Padgett, containing 2 full-length tales, the second of which was also published as Chessboard Planet (1956; vt The Far Reality 1963 UK), also as by Padgett. Anothercollaborative text was MUTANT (fixup 1953 as by Padgett; 1954 UK as by Kuttner). Many collections signed Kuttner or Padgett (for which seeKUTTNER) include work on which CLM collaborated with Kuttner.
   Other works: There Shall be Darkness (1954 chap Australia) with Kuttner; most remaining titles as by Kuttner alone (see his entry) have anon contributions by CLM.
   About the author: Catherine Lucille Moore \& Henry Kuttner, a Marriage of Souls and Talent: A Working Bibliography(last rev 1989) by Gordon BENSON Jr and Virgil S. Utter.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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