this is the 125th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
Terror in the House – The Early Kuttner Volume One by Henry Kuttner, edited by Stephen Haffner, preface by Richard Matheson, Haffner Press 2010 hardcover, cover Art by Harry V. Parkhurst – ISBN-13 9781893887466, 712-page Hardcover. Listed by the publisher as out of print, except for the (pricey) deluxe edition, but copies can be found in the secondary market. I chose this Friday Forgotten Book in honor of Halloween.
“Before his marriage to (and subsequent collaborations with) Catherine L. Moore, Henry Kuttner was a frequent contributor to the pulp magazines that specialized in the weird, supernatural, horror, and science fiction genre. Beginning in 1936, with the minor classic “The Graveyard Rats,” Kuttner launched a steady stream of short stories aimed at Weird Tales, Mystery Tales, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and others.
Writing for Weird Tales brought Kuttner into direct correspondence with that magazine’s premier contributor, H. P. Lovecraft. Kuttner set several stories in Lovecraft’s “Cthulhu Mythos” and several are presented in Terror in the House including: “The Secret of Kralitz,” “The Eater of Souls,” “The Salem Horror,” The Jest of Droom-Avista,” “The Frog,” “The Invaders,” and “The Bells of Horror.”
Given the short lengths of Kuttner’s stories, he had to be prolific and he contributed reams of copy to the weird-menace (a sub-genre of horror where a seemingly supernatural plot is resolved with a pedestrian ending) pulps, Thrilling Mystery and Spice Mystery. It was his specialization for “spicy” or sexed-up stories that led Kuttner to write most (two stories and one novelette) of the first issue of Marvel Science Stories, arguably the first “spicy” science fiction pulp.”
Terror in the House is the first volume in a set collecting many of Kuttner’s earliest stories, most of which have never been reprinted. There is a lot in this thick book, and not all of it is Kuttner’s best work. If you’re like me it will take you a while to dip into it now and then until you’re finished, but you’ll enjoy it.
Table of Contents:
Preface by Richard Matheson Introduction by Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D.
The Graveyard Rats, Weird Tales, Mar ’36
Bamboo Death, Thrilling Mystery, Jun ’36
The Devil Rides, Thrilling Mystery, Sep ’36
The Secret of Kralitz, Weird Tales, Oct ’36
Power of the Snake, Thrilling Mystery, Nov ’36
Coffins for Six, Thrilling Mystery, Dec ’36
It Walks by Night, Weird Tales, Dec ’36
Laughter of the Dead, Thrilling Mystery, Dec ’36
The Eater of Souls, Weird Tales, Jan ’37
Terror in the House, Thrilling Mystery, Jan ’37
The Faceless Fiend, Thrilling Mystery, Jan ’37
The Dweller in the Tomb, Thrilling Mystery, Feb ’37
I, the Vampire, Weird Tales, Feb ’37
Nightmare Woman, Thrilling Mystery, Mar ’37
The Salem Horror, Weird Tales, May ’37
My Brother, The Ghoul, Thrilling Mystery, Jun ’37
I Am the Wolf, Thrilling Mystery, Jul ’37
The Jest of Droom-Avista, Weird Tales, Aug ’37
Four Frightful Men, Thrilling Mystery, Sep ’37
When the Earth Lived, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Oct ’37
Terror on the Stage, Thrilling Mystery, Sep ’37
Lord of the Lions, Thrilling Mystery, Nov ’37
The Bloodless Peril, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec ’37
Invasion from the Fourth Dimension, Thrilling Mystery, Jan ’38
Messer Orsini’s Hands, Spicy Mystery, Jan ’38
Worlds’ End, Weird Tales, Feb ’38
The Graveyard Curse, Spicy Mystery, Mar ’38
The Unresting Dead, Thrilling Mystery, Mar ’38
The Shadow on the Screen, Weird Tales, Mar ’38
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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts this week
are over on In Reference to Murder, B.V. Lawson’s website.