By Jeff Baker
Science Fiction is the subject for day #4 of Short-Story month.
Among my very favorite writers are the husband-and wife team of Catherine L. Moore (C.L. Moore) and Henry Kuttner, cut short by Kuttner’s death in 1958. They were Golden Age masters of Science Fiction (also Horror, Fantasy and Mystery, sometimes all in one tale!) I should write a whole blog on the Kuttners (and their 20+ pen names) but here are a couple of highlights.
“Private Eye,” set in the near-future (probably the 1970s) asks how a man can get away with murder when the police can replay events on a scanner of sorts. The last line is perfect.
The “Baldy” stories (collected as “Mutant”) tell of an offshoot of humans born with and feared for their telepathic powers, and identified by their lack of hair. There is wonder here and a lot of heart.
“Piggy Bank” includes handheld social media devices and a very special robot. The story (and its fine twist ending) were written in the 40s!
“Vintage Season” uses a lot of sci-fi clichés before they became clichés. The story was named one of the best ever by the Science Fiction Writers of America. (I think “Private Eye” is just as good!)
The stories about mad scientist (excuse me, “whacky inventor”) Galloway Gallegher show the Kuttner’s humorous side. Gallegher is a brilliant inventor who is only brilliant when he’s drunk. he is continuously waking up from a bender to be confronted by some contraption he has no clue about, like Joe the smart-aleck robot. The stories were collected as “Robots Have No Tails.”
As for my own science fiction, I have a series of science-fictional tall tales “told in a bar,” an LGBT bar in this case, which have actually been published places other than this blog.
I could go on (and on, and on, and on, and…)