Thursday, November 21, 2013

Henry Kuttner & C L Moore's "The Mask of Circe" (novel, supermen, free): Gods of Greek mythology are actually mutants & machines!

One of the illustrations accompanying the original publication in Startling Stories magazine of the the novel The Mask of Circe by Henry Kuttner and C L Moore.This is an adventure - a science fictional retelling of some Greek legends. But an adventure more in line with "doc" Smith's soap opera - enjoy the unbelievable fun ride but don't think much, please. I didn't enjoy first half - there is just too much unfamiliar Greek mythology, but second half was easy to follow.

Story summary.

A modern man, while playing subject for a new sedative drug, ends up importing the memories of a long dead ancestor from 3000 years ago! And through much of the story, he is magically transported back 3000 years, to the time of this ancestor - to have adventures in time of Greek legend.


  1. Some commentators have noted that this story is a tribute to Abraham Merritt's "Ship of Ishtar". I haven't personally read this Merritt story.
  2. "Mask" of title refers to a machine that holds the brain dump of someone long dead; its wearer assumes the personality of that long dead individual. "Circe" of title is a women who fell in love with the hero, hero who won't be born for another 3000 years! "Mask" is to help her meet him when he's eventually born!

Fact sheet.

First published: Startling Stories, May 1948.
Read online at UNZ.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner, C L Moore.