Forgotten Sword and Sorcery authors.

GOLLUM

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Recent correspondence with a member about Sword and Sorcery has reminded me of an author who was in fact the husband of the better known C. L. Moore, author of female S&S heroine Jirel Of Joiry. I speak of course of one Henry Kuttner (1914 - 1958).

His famous character is Elak Of Atlantis who is a self-exiled adventurer and heir to a city on the lost continent of Altantis. Elak is quite tall and alongside his much smaller sidekick they fight the good fight as it were. Sounds a little like Leiber's Fahrd and the Grey Mouser hey? Well Kuttner was certainly influenced by Robert E Howard's Conan but also when writing SF in collaboration with his wife in turn influenced such illumniaries as Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Zleazny's Amber series. His Elak series also has several similarities to Moorcock's Elrik, although this may be more of a coincidence than anything else.

I know a collection of Elak Of Atlantis series was published in the mid 1980s but generally these books are not easy to find. The 4 main Elak stories originally published in the late 30s and early 40s in the famous pulp magazine Weird Tales are: The Thunder In The Dawn, The Spawn Of Dagon, Beyond The Phoenix and Dragon Moon.

So do yourself a favour and keep an eye out for this author and his works, you might be pleasantly surpised. BTW his pen name when writing collaborative works with Moore was Lewis Padget.

He's alo apparently writtten a Lovecraft inspired piece which is supposed to be very good although I've never read it. It's called The Graveyard Rats.

Hope this sparks someone else's interest....:)
 

Jay

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Last year Jonathan Strahan mentioned a collection, Two Handed Engine, published by Centipede Press, that features stories from the tandem. I purchased it last year and Strahan was right, it's a damn handsome collection (limited to 300 copies). Recently, Strahan has mentioned that the SFBC is republishing it for their usual inexpenseive price (obviously it won't be the exact same formet, but the stories will be intact, and according to him will be out in May.

Definitely work checking out.
 

GOLLUM

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Priv8eye said:
Never heard of the guy but may well track him down now.
The whole point of this thread actually. Glad you were inspired....:)

I'll post some other items like this in due course...
 

nomadman

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Not forgotten, perhaps, but worth looking at:

Michael Shea - Nifft the Lean
John Brunner - The Traveler in Black
Karl Edward Wagner - The Kane Series
Richard L Tierney - The Simon Magus Series
Michael Swanwick - The Darger and Surplus stories
James Enge - The Morlock Ambrosius stories
 

dask

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Here are some names:

TheAvonFantasyReader12.jpg


Not on the cover for the 2nd Avon Reader include Zealia Brown Bishop and Edward Lucas White.
 

j d worthington

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Actually, Zealia Bishop was a revision client of HPL's... and the stories he wrote for her were essentially ghost-written from a very brief description of an idea (two brief sentences, in the case of the novelette "The Mound", for instance).....
 

dask

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Revision client? Never heard of it. Sounds like a nice way to make a few bucks, though from what I've read some old time editors did it for free.:)
 

Connavar

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Its mildly offending that you call Henry Kuttner a forgotten author. SFF classic author whose stories with CL Moore is pretty legendary, his comic detective stories, his Science Fantasy etc You know his S&S stories because of his name is respected.

His S&S stories i bought long ago thanks to Planet Stories.
 

J-Sun

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Its mildly offending that you call Henry Kuttner a forgotten author. SFF classic author whose stories with CL Moore is pretty legendary, his comic detective stories, his Science Fantasy etc You know his S&S stories because of his name is respected.

Agreed - he was long considered the far more major author over Moore and, while I'm not remotely disputing the validity of it because her known solo stuff is brilliant, Moore's relative star (she was always well-regarded individually) mostly rose in post-feminist revisionism. She herself seemed to disclaim a lot of responsibility for the success of their collaborative work and didn't seek to have her name attached to everything that it's now attached to. And he may be forgotten in sword and sorcery circles but he's not a sword and sorcery author. He came out of the Lovecraft circle and his very early works were Weird Tales-style horror and sword and sorcery and he always wrote science fantasy (e.g., for Startling) but he's primarily an SF author and even an Astounding author under a slew of pseudonyms (that often covered both him and Moore) such as Padgett (as mentioned) and O'Donnell. I fully agree he is not read anywhere near to the level he deserves but calling him a forgotten sword and sorcery author (while I'm sure not at all meant to be offensive but rather trying to raise his profile) does sound very strange at least. "Authors whose sword and sorcery was a minor component of their careers and which work was long out of print for many years" is an unwieldy thread title, though. ;)

Some recommendations:
The Best of Henry Kuttner
Robots Have No Tails (Padgett)
Fury (O'Donnell)
The six Startling and one Argosy (Earth's Last Citadel) science fantasy novels

There are many more great stories (including, reputedly, story series like the Baldy/Hogben/Mutant series) and some approaching novel length like The Fairy Chessmen that are probably great but are hard to find because, aside from Two-Handed Engine, stuff like Elak is all that gets reprinted these days. :(
 

Connavar

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I have read Ray Bradbury, Jack Vance mention the influence Kuttner had in his times, on them and i bought a collection of his instantly. That was long before i learned about, knew him,CL Moore solo works, their works together being important.

Its not only Two-Handed Engine, Elak that is reprinted today. Im actually ordering The Dark World, Robot Have No Tails next thanks to Paizo/Planet stories.

I have read Elak which is decent but im looking for the stories he is more known for.
 

J-Sun

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Cool. I already have everything I want that they've reprinted (still no Tomorrow and Tomorrow & The Fairy Chessmen or other significant collections of SF stories) and they're all small presses and there's still a lot of minor fantasy stuff proportionally but, yeah, there's a lot more recently in print than I thought there was and that's great. Thanks for pointing that out.

Re: Vance - wasn't it Kuttner that some people insisted Vance was a pseudonym for even though Kuttner was already dead? - Yeah, it's here in the SFE Vance article.
 

Connavar

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Cool. I already have everything I want that they've reprinted (still no Tomorrow and Tomorrow & The Fairy Chessmen or other significant collections of SF stories) and they're all small presses and there's still a lot of minor fantasy stuff proportionally but, yeah, there's a lot more recently in print than I thought there was and that's great. Thanks for pointing that out.

Re: Vance - wasn't it Kuttner that some people insisted Vance was a pseudonym for even though Kuttner was already dead? - Yeah, it's here in the SFE Vance article.

I was saying a surprised wow for new fans like me who has only one Kuttner book so far and also to show you there is much more in print than you thought. I thought my choice was only Paizo books, The Last Mimsy:Best of collection in print.

I have read Vance afterwords to stories saying how he read Kuttner before he was a famous SFF himself and yeah every Vance fan know Vance being thought to be a penname for Kuttner. Having read the synopsis of Robot Have No Tails which sounds very Vancean i can see what they meant.
 

dask

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Re: Vance - wasn't it Kuttner that some people insisted Vance was a pseudonym for even though Kuttner was already dead? - Yeah, it's here in the SFE Vance article.

Our library had a reference book decades ago, Books In Print or Who's Who or something like that that had that confusing fact in it. I even photocopied the page but have since misplaced it, even think I may have thrown it away as no longer pertinent to anything.
 

dask

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Cool. I already have everything I want that they've reprinted (still no Tomorrow and Tomorrow & The Fairy Chessmen
Unless I use the money I did NOT spend on the Frank Robinson aution I seriously doubt I'll every lay hands on this particular piece.:(
 

J-Sun

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Unless I use the money I did NOT spend on the Frank Robinson aution I seriously doubt I'll every lay hands on this particular piece.:(

Yep, we saved a bundle on that auction, didn't we? :D But, seriously, it is dismaying - there are a few things I'd really like that I'll probably never be able to get and that's definitely one.
 

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