I wrote a tribute last year and a belated tribute the year before, so I wanted to do something different this year. So after giving some basic facts, I'll tell you what I have in mind.
First, the facts. Moore was working in an Indiana bank when she published her first story. The legend is that she wrote on a company typewriter after hours while working late. Legend also has it that Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright was so impressed by it that he closed the offices for the rest of the day. I don't know for sure if either event actually happened that way, but if they didn't, they should have. Moore went on to write some quite successful science fiction on her own before marrying fellow science fiction writer Henry Kuttner, probably my all time favorite author for at least three days of every week. After Kuttner died in 1958, Moore left the field. She remarried, and again legend has it, her new husband didn't want her writing science fiction. Also again, I don't know if that's true. By this time she was writing for television, which paid considerably better.
She left quite a legacy, both on her own and with her husband. I'm going to take a closer look at that legacy this year. Again both her individual legacy and the one she shares with Kuttner. I've got a lot on my plate, and I can see I'll need something to act as a sanity check.
I've decided to start with the Northwest Smith stories (although I will cover the Jirel tales as well). They're set in outer space, but they have strong fantasy elements, so I'm going to post the essays about them here rather than on Futures Past and Present. I intend to post the first one in the next day or so. Stick around. It's been nearly 30 years since I read most of them, but images from some of the stories are still clear in my mind. They left quite a mark on a very impressionable young teenager. We'll see how well they hold up to middle aged scrutiny.