And it's a big one. The more of her work I read, the more I realize that she truly is a forgotten treasure whose face should be carved far higher on the sci-fi totem pole than it currently rests. Writers like Heinlein, Le Guin, and Campbell stand on her shoulders. They were treading old ground that she blazed like a pioneer. Her works in this collection so far have read more like romances seamlessly braided together with weird fiction and either sci-fi or fantasy. She takes those disparate elements and weaves them together to make a whole that was unlike anything that came before, and that remain unlike anything I've ever read.
And I've read a few "Supernatural Romances". They are dishwater compared to what Moore writes. The supernatural romances are little more than teen-age bodice rippers with a light veneer of paranormal slathered on, and they generally feature broken people trading idiot balls and lamenting their love that could never be, and that's when they have coherent characters behaving like real people.
|One of the all time greats.|
Which is not to say that I'm a fan of her works. The heavy, heavy handed use of love and weird, roiling descriptions of psychological fights and struggles are not the sorts of stories that appeal to me. But just as I can appreciate the power and finesse of a well timed slam dunk even as the sport of basketball holds no interest, or understand my brother's love of the digits and stratagems that go into the game of baseball, so too can I understand the towering achievements of a woman like C. L. Moore in taking the weird fiction and fantasy and scientifiction of her day and crafting an entirely new kind of story by making romance and affection the critical factor in her stories.
It's a shame more people don't read her works, I think they'd be surprised at how well crafted and how original they are even compared to the decades of pale imitations they've spawned.