27. Judgment Night


Catherine Lucille Moore (1911-1987) was the first woman to have a book published by Gnome. She would have two more collections of short stories issued under her name and two books of short works as by Lewis Padgett, one of the pen names she and her husband, Henry Kuttner, used. This collection consists of short stories all first published by Astounding, only the title story under her real name, the others under another normally collaborative pen name, Lawrence O’Donnell. (The story of her writing partnership with Kuttner is given at length in Tomorrow and Tomorrow/The Fairy Chessmen. Her solo career is in Shambleau and Others, as that collection includes the early work that made her famous.) Since her collaborative work with Kuttner is consistently published by Gnome under the Padgett name, the obvious conclusion is that these Lawrence O’Donnell stories are hers alone. In fact, as far as is known today, these are the only Lawrence O’Donnell stories not written in collaboration with Kuttner.

Moore is one of five Gnome authors to be given Life Achievement recognition by the World Fantasy Awards. The others are Fritz Leiber, L Sprague de Camp, Jack Williamson, and Andre Norton.

Gnome Notes

Flaps on the two Padgett books carefully avoid any use of pronouns or indication that Padgett was a pen name for a collaboration. The flaps on all three Moore books either call her “Miss Moore” or refer to “her work,” making clear without undue emphasis that a woman wrote them.

ESHBACH’s print runs are for true printings; he does not mention later bindings: his plain listing of 4000 copies indicates a single printing only. The variant boards must come from a later binding of loose pages; CHALKER gives them as “c.1956″ and KEMP follows. As usual with CHALKER, that date can’t be right. Judgment drops off back panels in mid-1955, never to return. I’d put the variant binding in 1954. 1953 would be too early to run through a binding, especially since most reviews didn’t appear until mid-year. A 1955 binding would surely been mentioned on later titles.

Kirkus Reviews gave the expected publication date as December 1, 1952.


Groff Conklin, Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1953
A rich collection indeed – varied, imagination-stretching, written without cheapness or shallowness. I don’t think you should miss this one.

Contents and original publication

• “Judgment Night” (Astounding Science-Fiction, August and September 1943).
• “Paradise Street” (Astounding Science Fiction, September 1950, as by Lawrence O’Donnell).
• “Promised Land” (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1950, as by Lawrence O’Donnell).
• “The Code” (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1945, as by Lawrence O’Donnell).
• “Heir Apparent” (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1950, as by Lawrence O’Donnell).

Bibliographic Information

Judgment Night, by C. L. Moore, 1952, copyright registration 15Dec52, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number not given [retroactively 53-1769], title #27, back panel #21, 344 pages, $3.50. 4000 copies printed, 2500 bound 1952, 1500 bound 1954? Hardback. Jacket design by Frank Kelly Frease [typo for Freas]. “FIRST EDITION” on copyright page. This book was printed and bound by H. Wolff. Manufactured in the United States of America. Title page and copyright registration add “a selection of science fiction.” Back panel: 26 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3.

         Variants, in order of priority

1) (CURREY A) Blue-gray cloth, spine lettered in red.

2) (CURREY B) Blue-gray boards, spine lettered in dark blue.


Judgment Night, blue-gray cloth, red lettering
Judgment Night, blue-gray boards, black lettering