Henry Kuttner blog

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Manana Literary Society

Kuttner was a member of the Manana Literary Society. Excerpt from a John Campbell letter to A. E. Van Vogt (October 15, 1942).

Before I forget to mention it, there's a book coming out soon that I think you'll want to get —if they permit importation of books into Canada. It's called Rocket To The Morgue, a mystery novel by "H.H. Holmes" —who is Wm. A.P. White, who writes, also, under the name Anthony Boucher. I don't know whether you know about the Manana Literary Society or not. Anyway, it was a group of science-fiction and fantasy authors in and around Hollywood-Los Angeles area which Bob Heinlein more or less semi-organized as a way of getting new authors for me. He was a big help; through that loose, really 90% social group he found and got started into fantasy-science-fiction for me Anthony Boucher himself, Cleve Cartmill, Roby Wentz and one or two others. The group worked over Hank Kuttner 'til he turned into Lewis Padgett, a damn site better author. Ed Hamilton, Jack Williamson, L. Ron Hubbard and Julius Schwartz, author's agent in the science-fiction field, were all members. The thing sort of broke up after Dec. 7 because so many went elsewhere.

Bloch and Kuttner

Robert Bloch stayed with Henry Kuttner for 5 weeks in 1937. (from Mimosa 7)

Bloch: No. I went to California for the first time in 1937; I stayed with Hank Kuttner five weeks. It was at that occasion I met Fritz Leiber, Forry Ackerman, and C.L. Moore. I fell in love with California; it was a different world, an ideal place to be.

Graveyard Rats in Trilogy of Terror II

The voodoo doll in the original Trilogy of Terror scared the crap out of me when I was a child. I still have fond memories of being terrified by that diabolical little dickens. The second trilogy (1996) included Henry Kuttner's "Graveyard Rats."

Vintage Season

"Vintage Season" was published in Astounding under the pseudonym Lawrence O'Donnell. It was adapted for the movie Grand Tour: Disaster in Time (1992), a made-for-tv movie starring Jeff Daniels.

Tout spliques étaient les Borogoves

There was a French made-for-television adaptation of a Kuttner story in 1970. Tout spliques étaient les Borogoves.


The British SF series Out of the Unknown ran an episode called "The Eye" (1966) which was based on a Kuttner story.

"...in "The Eye", Anton Rodgers find himself falsely accused of murder by the "infallible" surveillance device of the title..."

Thriller with Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff hosted a series called Thriller from 1960 to 1962. A Kuttner story was adapted for the "Masquerade" episode. The Masquerade episode starred Elizabeth Montgomery and Tom Poston and featured John Carradine. It was directed by Ida Lupino. It is a humor episode and was shot in the same house used for Hitchcock's Psycho. The plot anticipates the Rocky Horror Picture Show in that newlyweds approach a creepy old house during a storm and confront its wacky denizens of horror.

What You Need

The original Twilight Zone adapted a Kuttner story for the episode "What You Need."

The Twonky The Movie

Kuttner's story The Twonky was turned into a movie starring Hans Conreid in 1953.

Plot Summary for
The Twonky (1953)

The last thing College Lit Professor Cary West wants, while is wife is out of town, is a TV set to keep him company; but that's just what wife Carolyn has bought for him. He is relieved when the serviceman returns to collect the $100 deposit Carolyn forgot to give him; good, he doesn't have the money so the man can take the TV back! Only, a $5 bill he accidently dropped on the floor near the TV has suddenly developed 19 siblings, and the serviceman leaves, cash in hand. West soon realizes he has a major problem: the TV is alive. It lights his pipe, washes his dishes, vacuums his rugs. It also chooses what he can read, write, and marches around to military music; and It also zaps anyone who tries to harm Cary in any way, such as treasury agents investigating the duplicate $5 bills, the police who investigate a call placed by the TV set to the phone company requesting a 'female companion' be sent over for Cary's comfort, and a female bill collector who decides to move in til Cary pays his wife's bills. Cary's sole confident in the adventure is is Gym Coach Trout, who theorizes the set is inhabited by a thing which has time-travelled from some authoritarian society of the future and landed in the TV by accident - a "twonky" he calls it. Now the only thing to figure out is how to get rid of it, since the Twonky also has the capacity and willingness to defend itself above all else, even serving its master Cary...

Summary written by Rich Wannen {RichWannen@worldnet.att.net}