the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘drunk

 

Robots have no Tails, by Henry Kuttner

 

What fun this collection was!  I never know what to expect with pulp fiction, will it be good? Will it be super dated? Will I get the references?  

 

Ok, sure, I’m sure there were some references I missed, as these were written in the 1940s. But? They were great!  And hilarious!  Kuttner’s Galloway Gallagher jumps off the page, even as he’s passing out on the sofa from having had too much to drink.  And you don’t want Gallagher to stop drinking, because it’s only when he’s shitfaced drunk does he invent the wildest things . . .  . 

 

Gallagher sounds like the kind of character an author would make up during a drinking game with friends, maybe at a scifi convention. Imagine a talented inventor, who makes amazing machines and robots out of what’s laying around his lab (the original McGuyver?), but the inventor can only invent things when he’s absolutely drunk.  Sober, he can barely change a lightbulb, and has no memory of what he created the night before. Gallagher often wakes up surrounded by wild inventions that he has no memory of being contracted to create. . . screwball comedy ensues! 

 

This volume of all the Gallagher stories has an introduction by Paul Wilson, and also an introduction by Kuttner’s wife C.L. Moore. Wilson talks about the environment in which these stories were written, and Moore talks about their life when Kuttner was writing the Gallagher stories, and how the drafts made her laugh so hard she was worried about disturbing their neighbors. 

 

“Time Locker” is the first story in the volume, and considered the “least Gallagher” of the bunch, but it was one of my favorites.  Gallagher has invented a weird locker-thing, that you can put something in the locker and it disappears, but then you can pull it out again. A perfect place for a crook on the run to hide the documents that will incriminate him!  With crooks and lawyers stopping in at all hours of the day at Gallagher’s lab, how is he supposed to be able to concentrate to figure what this darn locker-thing actually does, and why he created it? This story has an absolutely fantastic twist at the end! 

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.