Henry Kuttner (7 April 1915 – 4 February 1958) was an American science fiction author. He worked on many stories in close collaboration with his wife, C. L. Moore most often using the joint pseudonym "Lewis Padgett." In 2007 their most famous collaboration "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" was adapted into a film The Last Mimzy.
- When I die, I want to die in a Utopia that I have helped to build.
- Stephen Court in The Creature from Beyond Infinity (1940)
- We are all part of some cosmic pattern, and this pattern works toward good and not evil. It builds and does not destroy. So I shall go on in my search for a race where I can find kinship and happiness.
- Ardath in The Creature from Beyond Infinity (1940)
- A casual eye might have seen nothing extraordinary in Wade as he moved lithely across the meadow toward the Thunderbug. He was tall, lean and rangy, looking rather like a college boy on a vacation, with his brown, almost youthful face and tousled dark hair, so deep-black that it was almost blue.
A closer inspection would have shown more significant details. There was an iron hardness underlying Wade’s face, like iron beneath velvet. His jet eyes were decidedly not those of a boy. There was a curious quality of soft depth to them, although sometimes that black deep could freeze over with deadly purpose.
- On the character "Thunder Jim Wade" in "The Poison People" in Thrilling Adventures (July 1941) using the pseudonym "Charles Stoddard."
- The fire that had come from beyond the stars was harnessed.
Tamed — chained — by the flesh to which it had once, long ago, given life....
- The Valley Of The Flame (1946), published using the pseudonym "Keith Hammond."
- "We need not go back through the cavern of the monsters," she said. "There is a way to reach the unseen road from here."
- Janissa, in The Valley Of The Flame (1946), published using the pseudonym "Keith Hammond."
The Spawn Of Dagon (1938)
- First published in Weird Tales (July 1938)
- In the face of real danger Elak forgot the gods and drew his rapier. Prayers, he had found, would not halt a dagger's blow or a strangler's hands.
- Elak got up and recovered his rapier, loudly thanking Ishtar for his deliverance. "For," he thought, "a little politeness costs nothing, and even though my own skill and not Ishtar's hand saved me, one never knows." Too, there were other dangers to face, and if the gods are capricious, the goddesses are certainly even more so.
- Eons and unimaginable eons ago, before mankind existed on earth, only the waters existed. There was no land. And from the slime there sprang up a race of beings which dwelt in the sunken abysses of the ocean, inhuman creatures that worshipped Dagon, their god. When eventually the waters receded and great continents arose, these beings were driven down to the lowest depths. Their mighty kingdom, that had once stretched from pole to pole, was shrunken as the huge land masses lifted. Mankind came — but from whence I do not know — and civilizations arose. … These things hate man, for they feel that man has usurped their kingdom. Their greatest hope is to sink the continents again, so that the seas will roll over all the earth, and not a human being will survive. Their power will embrace the whole world, as it once did eons ago. They are not human, you see, and they worship Dagon. They want no other gods worshipped on Earth. Ishtar, dark Eblis, even Poseidon of the sunlit seas. . . .
- "They dare'd not invade the palace while the globe shone, for the light-rays would have killed them. … This island-continent would have gone down beneath the sea long ago if I hadn't pitted my magic and my science against that of the children of Dagon. They are masters of the earthquake, and Atlantis rests on none too solid a foundation. Their power is sufficient to sink Atlantis forever beneath the sea. But within that room" — Zend nodded toward the curtain that hid the sea-bred horrors — "in that room there is power far stronger than theirs. I have drawn strength from the stars, and the cosmic sources beyond the universe. You know nothing of my power. It is enough — more than enough — to keep Atlantis steady on its foundation, impregnable against the attacks of Dagon's breed. They have destroyed other lands before Atlantis."
- Zend explaining the Spawn of Dagon to Elak
- The stars glittered frostily overhead, unconcerned with the fate of Atlantis — stars that would be shining thousands of years hence when Atlantis was not even a memory.
No Boundaries (1955)
- Love is a false synonym for propagation, as the soul is a wish fulfillment creation growing out of self-preservation.
- The Devil You Know (originally published in Unknown Fantasy Fiction, August 1941), p. 67
- Man has the hardest job of all, the job of making decisions on incomplete data.
- Home There’s No Returning (p. 80)
- The wars ended when there were no longer two societies left to fight against each other.
- Two-Handed Engine (p. 135)
The Time Axis (1949)
- The whole thing never happened and I can prove it — now. But Ira De Kalb made me wait a billion years to write the story.
So we start with a paradox. But the strangest thing of all is that there are no real paradoxes involved, not one. This is a record of logic. Not human logic, of course, not the logic of this time or this space.
- Ch. 1 : Encounter In Rio (opening words)
- I don't know if men will ever journey again, as we journeyed, to that intersection of latitude and longitude where a shell hangs forever — forever and yet not forever, in space and out of space — on the axis stretching through time from beginning to end.
From the dawn of the nebulae to the twilight of absolute entropy, when the framework of the cosmos has broken down into chaos, still that axis will stretch from dawn to dusk, from beginning to end. For as this world spins on an axis through space, so the sphere of time spins on its own axis.
- Ch. 1 : Encounter In Rio
- I never understood the ultimate answer. That was beyond me. It took the combined skills of three great civilizations far apart in time to frame that godlike concept in which the tangible universe itself was only a single factor.
And even then it was not enough. It took the Face of Ea — which I shall never be able to describe fully.
I saw it, though. I saw it...
- Ch. 1 : Encounter In Rio
- For me, the Big Ride. You start when you’re born. You climb on the toboggan and then you’re off. But you can only have the one ride. No use telling the ticket-taker you want to go again. They shovel you under at the end of the slope and there’s a new lot of passengers waiting. You’ve had your three-score and ten. And it’s over.
- Ch. 1 : Encounter In Rio
- He seemed to feel something like indulgent contempt for the rest of the world. It was all right, I suppose. Nobody had better reason. The man was a genius.
- Ch. 2 : The Stain and the Stone
- I closed my eyes again, thinking of the Face. I had to force my mind to turn around in its tracks and look, for it didn't want to confront that infinite complexity again. The Face was painful to see. It was too intricate, too involved with emotions complex beyond our grasp. It was painful for the mind to think of it, straining to understand the inscrutable things that experience had etched upon those mountain-high features.
"Is it a portrait?" I asked suddenly. "Or a composite? What is the Face?"
"A city," De Kalb said. "A nation. The ultimate in human destiny — and a call for help. And much more that we'll never understand."
- Ch. 3 : The Vision Of Time
- The race moves on. It has its human limitations. The tools we make have no limitations at all. When we educate ourselves to learn to handle those tools most efficiently we can go on to the next step, whatever it may be. Meanwhile there must be check and balance—rigid control.
- Ch. 14 : Vega-Born
- This isn't my world, now. Not any more. Not the world I left. This is a world in which no nekronic flash leaped from a box that Ira De Kalb opened and dropped to his hearthstone to infect the world, De Kalb and me. All that did happen once, in another world that hasn't existed since the four of us, a doubled weapon wielded by the Face of Ea, wrought the cleaving apart of two universes.
Imponderable forces shifted when that cleavage took place. You and I know nothing about it, for it happened far beyond the perceptions of any sentient creature. But it happened. Oh yes, it happened.
- Ch. 25 : Return Voyage
- I'm going forward. I know — because I went. It was a wonderful world they had. I want to see more of it. I want to wake up in a time when the race of man is spreading through the galaxy, leaping across the gulfs between the stars, opening the gates to all the worlds. I want to and I will.
- Ch. 25 : Return Voyage
- Well, all this belongs to the future. And so do I. Even before the cosmic cleavage altered all history I was a misfit in this civilization. And now it just isn't my world anymore. I don't belong here. So I think I'll take my chances in that other place, where I won't have to get used to the little things that keep bothering me here and bother nobody but me...
- Ch. 25 : Return Voyage
The Dark World (1954)
- "I believe in things I never used to. I think someone is trying to find me — has found me. And is calling. Who it is I don't know. What they want I don't know. But a little while ago I found out one more thing — this sword."
I picked the sword up from the table.
"It isn't what I want," I went on, "But sometimes, when my mind is — abstract, something from outside floats into it. Like the need for a sword. And not any sword — just one. I don't know what the sword looks like, but I'd know if I held it in my hand." I laughed a little. "And if I drew it a few inches from the sheath, I could put out that fire up there as if I'd blown on it like a candleflame. And if I drew the sword all the way out — the world would come to an end!"
- Ch. 1 : Fire in the Night
- "There is a sword," I said. "A sword that is — is not quite a sword as we think of weapons. My mind is cloudy there still. But I know that Ghast Rhymi can tell me where it is. A weapon, yet not a weapon. The Sword Called Llyr."
- Ch. 9 : Realm of the Superconscious
- Her hands came out of her sleeves. There was a rod of blinding silver in each. Before I could stir she had brought the rods together, crossing them before her smiling face. At the intersection forces of tremendous power blazed into an instant's being, forces that streamed from the poles of the world and could touch only for the beat of a second if that world were not to be shaken into fragments. I felt the building reel below me.
I felt the gateway open.
- Ch. 16 : Self Against Self
- Henry Kuttner profile at Fantastic Fiction
- Lewis Padgett profile at Fantastic Fiction
- Henry Kuttner at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- 4 Copyright expired books online in various downloadable formats
- The Valley Of The Flame Complete book : Arthur's Classic Novels
- The Creature From Beyond Infinity e-book of a 1940 novella whose copyright expired about 40 years ago.
- Two-Handed Engine: The Selected Short Fiction of Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore