Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dark World -- Henry Kuttner

Recently both Ed Gorman and George Kelley have posted about Henry Kuttner's The Dark World, which has just been reprinted. I couldn't resist pulling my Ace edition off the shelves and rereading this short novel, and I'm glad I did. I was almost immediately thrown into a veritable frenzy of nostalgia because this is one of the kinds of books I wanted to write when I was a kid. Parallel worlds! An ordinary guy snatched from one world to fulfill his destiny in another! A sword! Beautiful women! Battles! Heroism! Romance! Mystery! Magic! Colliding mythologies! Purple prose! I love it!

Okay, I got a little carried away there. Let me take a deep breath. Right. I'm calmer now. But I'm not kidding. I read this kind of thing by the truckload when I was a young'un, and I never tired of it. A. Merritt? Bring it on. Robert E. Howard? Even better, and Kuttner was a match for them, terrific and prolific.

The only time I got to write in this vein was for a story in an anthology honoring Michael Moorcock's Elric tales. My story was as much Kuttner as Moorcock, but I'd bet a dollar that Moorcock read Kuttner, maybe even this book. To me, there's an obvious parallel, but I'm usually wrong about stuff like that. Never mind. Check it our for yourself and see what you think.

1 comment:

Fred Blosser said...

Bless Donald Wollheim for bringing those Kuttner short novels back into print in the '60s. VALLEY OF THE FLAME and EARTH'S LAST CITADEL are other personal favorites.