Mutant

Lewis Padgett was normally the joint pseudonym of husband/wife team Henry Kuttner and C. L. (Catherine) Moore. Not everything under that name was in fact a collaboration, but these stories are known to be. My copy is even inscribed by Moore herself (to Dick Spelman, presumably the long-term fan and book dealer). “Padgett” is clearly identified as Kuttner on the other books by page but Moore is never hinted at, there or on the jacket flaps. The omission is odd, particularly considering the fuss Gnome made over books it issued by Moore. Whose decision such a deliberate concealment was would be nice to know.

Contents and Original Publication:

• “The Piper’s Son” (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1945)
• “Three Blind Mice” (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1945).
• “The Lion and the Unicorn” (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1945)
• “Beggars in Velvet” (Astounding Science Fiction, December 1945)
• “Humpty Dumpty” (Astounding Science Fiction,September 1953)
• “One,” “Two,” “Three,” “Four,” “Five,” “Six” (original to this volume)

J. Francis McComas reviewed Mutant for the December 20, 1953 New York Times Book Review:

So perfect, so complete is this study of people with extra talents that all writers who have tried the theme since Padgett’s first story have been confined within his all-embracing framework. And, as always, Lewis Padgett propounds his ideas in a beguiling story rich in reading entertainment.

Groff Conklin reviewed it in the May 1954 Galaxy:

Padgett’s “Baldy” series … is among the most mature, imaginative and moving pictures of a post-atomic-war world written.

Mutant, by Lewis Padgett (pseud. of Henry Kuttner & C. L. Moore), 1953, title #30, 210 pages, $2.75. 4000 hardbound copies printed. Blue boards with black lettering. Jacket Design by Ric Binkley. “First Edition” stated on copyright page. Printed by H. Wolff. Back cover: 25 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th Street, New York 3

Mutant jacket frontMutant jacket flapsMutant blue boards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *