It would be a mistake to analyze every C. L. Moore through the lens of, “What does her writing say about those who tried to throw her down the Memory Hole”. Her writing has a timeless beauty that stands on its own, and indeed, most of the analysis here at the Book Club does just that. But it would also be a mistake not to point out the rampaging elephant in the room: C. L. Moore’s writing – and specifically stories like Greater Than Gods, had to be downplayed by the Futurists if they had any hope of reshaping the genre one concerned with engineering and its effects on humanity. Her brazen insistence on writing men of the unashamedly masculine sort and women of the deliciously feminine sort was, and remains, a constant thumb in the eye of those who favor the “men with screwdrivers” style of science fiction.
|Blonde versus brunette and he chose brown?|
He still chose the wrong woman.
In these modern times when fathers are presented as dundering buffoons – when not presented as an un-necessary afterthought – a story like this shines like a beacon of what we’ve lost. Clearly C. L. Moore has a greater understanding of fatherhood and true strength of a father’s devotion to his children than anyone working successfully in Hollywood today.
That the Doctor finds a third way, a solution to the conundrum that snuffs out both children on his desk, does not strike one as a cop-out. In fact, it’s merely the Doctor faced with two doors containing tigers and finding a third door which conceals a woman. He is a brilliant scientist, so that sort of problem solving is completely within character. It also allows him a potential future filled with hope and possibly, just possibly, one in which he can spend time with both his daughter and his son.
And really, that may be a sign that Moore understands one of a father’s best weapons against the darkness of the world and the pressure of a future he knows will assault his children all too soon.