Friday, June 4, 2010

Henry Kuttner's "Dr Cyclops" (novelette, mad scientist, free): Revenge of the men reduced to tiny size

Very pulp-era adventure with an oft-used trope.

Story summary.

A mad scientist has reduced unwelcome peeping Toms to tiny size. Then he finds something about these tiny ones that makes him want to kill them immediately.

Story is of the flight & fight of the tiny ones against this monster. Happy ending for 3 of the group; monster & others would be killed.


  1. From "Some film sources erroneously describe the story as the genesis for the 1940 Universal movie Dr. Cyclops, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, while others correctly identified it as a novelization of the screenplay. A somewhat longer version (which Kuttner denied was his work), credited to the pseudonym Will Garth, appeared at a later date in hardcover (and was reprinted in 1976), also led to some confusion. But because of the movie's enduring appeal as a finely crafted special-effects showcase and a very exciting sci-fi chase thriller, Kuttner's Dr. Cyclops became one of his most well-known and oft-reprinted stories".

    I've seen other online sources calling the movie an adaptation of Kuttner's story. Am not really clear on the correct state of affairs.
    Update 7 June 2010: An editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories clarifies in comments below that the story indeed is based on the movie.

Fact sheet.

First published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1940.
Download full text.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner.


TWS Editor said...

Hi. I edited the two volumes of the revived Thrilling Wonder Stories in 2007 and 2009. I came across your blog post while Googling "Thrilling Wonder Stories."

Kuttner's story an adaptation of the movie. It was published about three weeks after the movie was released, it's illustrated with stills from the film, and later in the issue, the editor writes about the film and describes how he "assigned him [Kuttner] the job of fictionizing this thrilling drama for T.W.S."

By the way, I don't know if you meant to suggest that the book you picture is a reprint of the novelization, but it isn't. It's an anthology containing Kuttner's story from the June 1940 issue, plus two other stories by other authors (although, confusingly, only Kuttner is credited on the spine).

Tinkoo said...

Thanks for clarifying the relationship of movie & story.

I did think the book contained this story only; I myself read the story from an online source. Have deleted the misleading cover image. Thanks.