Reviews of Best of Henry Kuttner, the (1975)
Review by clong (2007-06-17)
A bit of a mixed collection from Henry Kuttner. While I enjoyed a few of them a lot, others felt quite dated. Most are built around intriguing ideas, in some cases ideas that later authors would come back to and build on (e.g., "Mimsy Were the Borogroves" and "The Twonky"). Several of them are quite funny.
My favorite was "The Misguided Halo" an exceedingly funny story about a man who has been mistakenly made a saint. It's been a long time since a sixteen-page short story made me laugh uncontrollably at least three times. I also particularly enjoyed "The Big Night," an adventure tale set in a time when a romantic era of space travel is being supplanted by new technology, and "Absalom" about a brilliant parent who faces the prospect of being eclipsed by his even more brilliant son.
My least favorite was "The Proud Robot," which was no doubt a groundbreaking "man-robot relationship" tale of its day, but which failed for me on multiple levels.
The strangest thing about this book (and the forward by Ray Bradbury) is its complete avoidance of any acknowledgement that virtually everything Kuttner wrote after 1940 was co-authored with his wife, C.L. Moore.