In Memoriam, Catherine Lucille Moore, 1911-
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In Memoriam, Catherine Lucille Moore, 1911-

Swords and Rayguns, Sorcery Everywhere

     "Nothing I have ever written was given the slightest
 deliberation.  It was there in the typewriter and it came out, 
a total bypassing of the brain."
--Catherine talking about her own writing style in an interview 
with Jean W. Ross for Contemporary Authors done in 1980, 
published in v. 104 in 1982.

Unlike most of the writers I discuss, there is every reason to believe that Catherine is still alive, although she gave up writing around 1980.--Ken

C.L. Moore always went by her initials, but no man could have written the kind of highly emotional stories that she published between 1933 and 1955.

I believe, she was the first female swords and sorcery writer, with her exciting tales of Jirel of Joiry, flame-haired warrior maiden, who never submitted to her male conquerors with any grace at all, and frequently roused the Hosts of Hell to fight on her side.

C.L. Moore married Henry Kuttner, another pulp adventure writer, on June 7, 1940. After Kuttner died of a heart attack in 1958, she married Thomas Reggie on June 13, 1963.

The Books of C. L. Moore

  1. Judgment Night. Gnome Press, 1952. Reissued by Dell in 1979.
  2. Shambleau and Others. Gnome Press, 1953. Reissued by Consul in 1961. (I have the Gnome Press edition. It is considered highly collectible by SF book collectors. It's one of my favorites.--Ken)
  3. Jirel of Joiry. Paperback Library, 1969. (This book first introduced me to Moore's writings and sent me hunting for other stuff by her.--Ken)
  4. The Best of C. L. Moore. Doubleday, 1975.
  5. Black God's Shadow. Donald M. Grant, 1977. (I have this small press book. It's gorgeous.--Ken)

The Short Stories of C. L. Moore

Catherine wrote several novels in collaboration with Henry Kuttner, and after 1954 she wrote mostly screenplays and mystery stories, but her best science fantasy work is all short stories. (In my opinion . . . Some critics consider the novel JUDGMENT NIGHT to be her best work ever, but I disagree. I prefer the Jirel of Joiry and Northwest Smith stories.) Here's a list of her best short stories and where they originally appeared taken almost verbatim from Contemporary Authors volume 104.

  1. "Black God's Kiss". Weird Tales, 1933. (Jirel of Joiry)
  2. "Black Thirst". Weird Tales, 1934. (Northwest Smith)
  3. "The Bright Illusions". Astounding Stories, October 1934.
  4. "Daemon". Famous Fantastic Mysteries, October 1946.
  5. "Exit the Professor" with Henry Kuttner as Lewis Padgett, n.d. but sometime in the late 40s.
  6. "Fruit of Knowledge". Unknown, October 1940.
  7. "Greater than Gods". Astounding Stories, July, 1939.
  8. "Home There's No Returning" with Henry Kuttner. n.d.
  9. "Jirel Meets Magic". Weird Tales, 1935. (Jirel of Joiry)
  10. "Mimsy Were the Borogroves" with Henry Kuttner. Astounding Stories, February, 1943.
  11. "No Woman born". Astounding Stories, December 1944.
  12. "The Piper's Son with Henry Kuttner as Lewis Padgett. 1945.
  13. "Shambleau". Weird Tales, November 1933. (Northwest Smith) This was her first story to be accepted and published and it made her a star on a par with H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and A. Merritt.
  14. "Two Handed Engine" with Henry Kuttner. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1955.
  15. "Vintage Season" with Henry Kuttner as Lawrence O'Donnell. Astounding Science Fiction, September 1946.

In addition to all these, she and her husband Henry Kuttner collaborated on dozens of stories that appeared under pseudonyms too numerous to mention in virtually every pulp sf magazine published during the forties and early fifties.

Dangerous Redheads