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Andrew Liptak on C. L. Moore

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C. L. Moore

Andrew Liptak has posted an article about C. L. Moore over at Kirkus. The article – like the author herself – is well worth your time.

It’s hard to separate Moore from her collaborations with her first husband, Henry Kuttner. There’s something so appealing about the image of one of them typing away on a story and then getting up for a moment, only to have the other one sit down at the typewriter to continue, that it’s easy to forget that she had already made it as a pulp writer before they met.

She said later that she used her initials not to masquerade as a man, but so that her employers wouldn’t figure out that she was writing on the side. Another wonderful image is of this quiet secretary typing stories for Weird Tales after hours in the balcony that overlooked the bank where she worked.

If those early stories seem a bit overwrought today it’s only because she adapted so well to the Weird Tales house style; so much so that she was admired not just by hopefuls like the young Kuttner but also by the stars of that magazine, H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. As time went on and tastes changed she also changed, as you can see in the stories she wrote with Kuttner under their numerous pen names through the 1940s and the early 1950s.

Catherine Moore isn’t quite forgotten; she’s just more forgotten than she ought to be. Her estate (and Kuttner’s) is doing a pretty good job of keeping her work in print. You just need to look for it.

In the meantime, pop over to Kirkus and let Andrew Liptak explain to you why you should.


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