One More Thing about Grandmaster…

One of the books that inform the flavor of my short story “Grandmaster,” in Analog March / April 2017

I did my research on that time period by reading two books; The Futurians by Damon Knight, and The Way the Future Was, by Fred Pohl, and then I just scrambled and reinvented various anecdotes to create my mythical C.L. Moore / Kuttner Writer Combo. (I’m reminded of the wonderful way Alan Moore creates whole universes of comic book characters you’ve never heard of that evoke ones you have.)

Generally speaking, all of their work during the time they were married is to a degree a collaboration, though some stories carry their shared pen name and some don’t. Rage, in my story, is an analog to the novel Fury, which Moore has described as being about 70% written by Kuttner.

It’s an awesome book, by the way.

So again, this is fantasy, or SF, and it’s about my fantasy, of this heroic woman and her doomed husband, and a reality underneath, which in this case is a romantic love story, because I’m a sucker for a love story, and the subversive element of the story that muddies its politics is the notion that, for some people, writing is a kind of intimacy with the people you’re writing with, and the readers and editors are a greek chorus.

In her introduction Moore ascribes the bulk of the writing of Fury to her husband, but it was a collaboration, regardless of the byline…

The fact that Moore stops writing, during her second marriage to a man who doesn’t like SF, is I guess, the source of that idea.This thought just occurred to me; it wasn’t conscious…

C.L. Moore’s most collected story, No Woman Born, is about a beautiful dancer / actress whose brain is moved into a robot body after she’s injured in a fire. It’s a wonderful story with a fairly dark ending, this notion that somehow the robotized woman may be losing her humanity. It’s observations on gender, beauty, and femininity are still relevant, according to many female scholars and readers I’ve found on the web. The story makes sense to me, too.

Vintage Season is the story the POV is talking finishing at the end, and it may in fact be pure C.L. Moore, even though it was published under a shared pen name; people disagree. Vintage Season takes place in an unnamed city in a time that feels like the past, and it may be the first ‘time traveler tourist’ story ever written. I make it Boston and Cambridge, in my funhouse mirror universe, because I live in Cambridge and have lived in Boston and I tend to set things here.

OH! Moore would have been the second woman to get the SF grandmaster award, not the first. The first is Andre Norton.

Posted in Making a Writing Life, My Publications, Reinventing Science Fiction
4 comments on “One More Thing about Grandmaster…
  1. Andrew Porter says:

    The cover of that Lancer edition of FURY is wrong—the book was first published in paperback, under the title “Destination: Infinity,” by Avon Books, more than 10 years earlier.

    • admin says:

      Amazing that that slipped through; good catch. I read Fury some time ago, but loved it, and actually planned on ending one of my novels in a similar fashion–a sub-personality of a multiple personality dies, her mission accomplished, and the epilog of the book is, “Mallory awoke,” to let you know, she’s back, they need her. Fury always reminded me of the idea of the British freezing winston churchill, saving him for later, when he would be useful again. I particularly love the Astounding cover… I’ll dig it up and post it…

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