Robots Have No Tails

There were five Gallegher stories, and only five, although in memory there are many more and should be in reality. Four of them appeared in Astounding in 1943, the last in 1948. The Lewis Padgetts, that is, the writing team of Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, absolutely owned Astounding in 1943. Eight stories were published under the Padgett name, two as by Kuttner, a two-part serial as by Moore, and even one under the alternate pseudonym of Lawrence O’Donnell. Who wrote what of which? Mostly we don’t know, as explained in more detail at Tomorrow and Tomorrow/The Fairy Chessmen. The Gallegher stories are the only easy part of the puzzle: they are all by Kuttner alone.

We have this on the best possible authority, that of Catherine Moore herself, in her introduction to the 1973 Lancer paperback edition of Robots Have No Tails.

In 1942, when four of these stories were written, under the name of Lewis Padgett, Henry Kuttner and I had been married for two years and were more or less commuting between New York, where our publishing concerns were, and Laguna Beach in California where – so to speak – our hearts were. …

In late years we worked more and more closely together on almost everything we wrote, and I was rather astounded on rereading the Gallegher stories to realize that not a word of any of them is mine.

In a strange footnote, I was rather astounded when I just took my upteenth look at the paperback only to notice for the first time that it everywhere – front and back covers, spine and copyright page – spells kuttner with a lower case “k” while Henry is spelled with the normal capital “H”. Moore has the capital in the three places where it appears. (There is a reference to “this other Henry Kuttner title” in a different font on another page, which makes it all the more strange.)

Contents and original publication:

“The Proud Robot (Astounding Science Fiction, October 1943)
“Gallagher Plus” (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1943)
“The World is Mine” (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1943)
“Ex Machina” (Astounding Science Fiction, April 1948)
“Time Locker” (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1943)

Groff Conklin reviewed it for the October 1952 Galaxy:

I am of that select and goodly company of stuffed shirts who deny that humor and science fiction can successfully intermingle. … Point is, I want to let Mr. Kuttner know I enjoy him still and realize that he is putting over some very nice satirical points in these stories, even though you have to hunt for them.

Robots Have No Tails, by Lewis Padgett (pseud. of Henry Kuttner), 1952, title #21, 224 pages, $2.75. 4000 hardbound copies printed.

Hardback, red-orange boards with black lettering. Jacket design by Ric Binkley. “First Edition” stated on copyright page. Manufactured by H. Wolff. Back cover: 4 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3

Robots Have No Tails front coverRobots Have No Tails jacket flaps

Robots Have No Tails red orange boardsRobots Have No Tails inside cover

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