Monday, November 1, 2010

C L Moore's "The Tree of Life" (novelette, monster, free): Northwest Smith, always in the service of girls in trouble!

One of the illustrations accompanying the original publication in Weird Tales of short story The Tree of Life by C L Moore
One of the forgettable stories of Moore, unless you have a taste for old-style (Gothic?) horror: horror induced by throwing a lot of adjectives to prejudice the reader (setting up the mood?) - something that bores me. A far more interesting variant of the idea here appears in one of her later stories with Kuttner - "The Children's Hour" (download).

Here we see the interplanetary adventurer Northwest Smith trapped for food by Thag, a 4-dimensional monster, in the ruins of the ancient Martian city of Illar. He will, of course, escape trivially.


  1. Feedbooks has something labeled a parody of this story title "The Tree of Life Revisited" (download) but author name as "Cathan L Moore". I haven't read that.
  2. There is some Lovecraftian imagery & language here, but the influence might have ran in the opposite direction: "apparently Mr Lovecraft was a fan of Ms Moore's".

Fact sheet.

First published: Weird Tales, October 1936.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg.
Download audio from LibriVox.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of C L Moore; Northwest Smith series.