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Robots Have No Tails

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  200 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The Proud Robot (1943)
Gallegher Plus (1943)
The World Is Mine (1943)
Ex Machina (1948)
Time Locker (1943)
Paperback, #447-75464-095, 221 pages
Published 1973 by Panther (first published 1952)
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Mar 26, 2012 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally released in 1952 by the early sci-fi/fantasy publisher Gnome Press, the meaninglessly titled "Robots Have No Tails" collects the five stories that Henry Kuttner wrote featuring the drunken inventor Galloway Gallegher. (As to that title, in the book's original introduction by Kuttner's equally celebrated wife, C.L. Moore, she tells us that her husband was at a loss for an appropriate name for this collection, and so told the publisher, "I can't think of one. Call it anything you like. ...more
This book is a collection of 4 Galloway Gallagher short stories, a drunken scientist who is brilliant inventor only when he is drunk, lets his brilliant subconscious take control of him. When he is sober he barely knows what protons,neutrons are. The stories are usually puzzles dealing with things that his brilliant self has invented that gets him in trouble with people because he can't remember what he did. It sounds different our times to make fun of a drunk but these stories are wacky humorou ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
We owe it to Erik Mona and Pierce Watters that five of Henry Kuttner’s terrific stories about a bibulous inventor and a narcissistic robot (well, technically, only three of the five feature the robot, but who’s counting?) are back in print. Robots Have No Tails was the May, 2009 offering of Planet Stories, a strange amalgam of magazine crossed with reprint anthology published by Mona and distributed by Watters under the Paizo imprint. The entire anthology has typesetting and illustration reminis ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
The stories in this collection are just as fun as I had hoped, while Kuttner's writing is a wonderful surprise. I dig the way he writes dialog and his take on a future Manhattan. The first story, "The Proud Robot," is by far the strongest, due to its brilliant wit and a story that is (almost shockingly) topical. The latter reminded me, in fact, of the prescience that Piers Anthony demonstrated when in his short novel, "Steppe."

I experienced a single, sour note when I finished this collection--an
Mar 23, 2009 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A great and (until now) hard to find book. Its a very comedic sci -fi of 5 short stories about a scientist who is ONLY a genius when he's drunk.

The edition I have is not as nice as the pictured one above - its a very garish pinkish cover with a robot on it, and the only two copies of it I have ever seen fall apart the minute you try to read it, which is the ONLY complaint i have with this book.

I'm extremely ecstatic to know that this book has finally been republished as I will need to get a cop
Jan 31, 2016 Mathew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Henry Kuttner's Galloway Gallegher stories as a teenager, in a compilation called "The Proud Robot" which I borrowed from the library. I enjoyed them a lot at the time, and this is a compilation of the same stories, so I bought them as an ebook to have them, and read them again.

The stories stand up pretty well, though they were written in the 50s and some of the humor has dated badly. We're basically in Douglas Adams / Norman Hunter territory, but with a protagonist who becomes a sc
Mar 29, 2010 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry Kuttner was one of the masters of science fiction from the 1930s to the 1950s, when he died, way too young, of a heart attack.

This book collects his stories of Galloway Gallegher, who is an absolutely brilliant inventor -- but only when he is drunk. When he is sober, he has no memory of what he invented and must figure it out before it lands him in trouble. These stories are, of course, played for laughs. A very amusing collection.
Oct 04, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This is a fun collection of short stories by a forgotten master of science fiction from the pulp era. It is 5 longish short stories about a scientist who could only be a genius when he is drunk, and when sober cannot remember how he invented things. The stories revolve around the discover of his drunken-self's inventions. They are very much in the style of screwball comedy.
Riju Ganguly
Aug 10, 2012 Riju Ganguly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading a couple of ‘Gallegher’ stories in ‘The Last Mimzy’, I had felt sufficiently intrigued to try other stories written by Henry Kuttner which involved this semantically-challenged, alcoholic and mercenary scientist who is a remarkable inventor ONLY when he is completely drunk (and obviously, he remembers nothing about those inventions once the alcohol wears off). Thanks to Planet Stories (who has already done great service to the sci-fi community by giving us some of the lost jewels w ...more
Apr 02, 2015 Derek rated it did not like it
I don't handle this sort of humor very well, and it doesn't help that Kuttner's Galloway Gallagher is, even sober, a distinctly unlikable character. And while I can appreciate the dilemmas posed in trying to unravel the actions of someone not exactly limited by linear and rational thinking, this book wants me to laugh at a man with an obvious if non-traditional drinking problem.

So what we have here is a man with a possibly codependent and certainly dysfunctional relationship...with himself.
David Macpherson
Man I wanted to love it. It is five stories about an inventor who can only create amazing inventions when he's blackout drunk and when he sobers up he has no idea of the wonders he wrought. It sounds awesome and the writing is excellent, but the characters were so unpleasant and the stories felt padded a bit, which is not surprising during penny a word pulp fiction days. I am glad to have read the book, I just didn't like it too much
Travis Heermann
Interesting from the standpoint of studying where SF has been, and there's some witty banter in the dialogue, with some clever plot twists, but this is among the old pulp SF that just doesn't carry well into the modern age.
Jakub Kolčář
Mar 16, 2016 Jakub Kolčář rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really funny stories
Jul 29, 2013 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Entertaining collection of short stories from the 50's (60's?) about a scientist who is a genius when he gets blackout drunk. Each story starts with him waking up with a weird machine in his house, and he has no idea why he invented it, who he invented it for, and what it does. Then it's like a 1950's sci-fi The Hangover.
Smart and witty sci-fi stories from a neglected master of the genre. If you've never read Henry Kuttner before this is an excellent place to start.
Shannon Appelcline
Though most of the stories are good, they're not served by being collected, which highlights their formulae and the repetitiveness.
Sep 09, 2012 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick read with a unique concept. Love each of the four short stories and their combo of sci-fi, mystery, humor, and oddity.
Time Locker ****
The World is mine ***
The Proud Robot **
Gallegher Plus ****
Ex Machina ***
Feb 05, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, inventive, and extraordinarily well written.
Zechariah Balasingam
Before his Time an all time legend of an author!
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Henry Kuttner was, alone and in collaboration with his wife, the great science fiction and fantasy writer C. L. Moore, one of the four or five most important writers of the 1940s, the writer whose work went furthest in its sociological and psychological insight to making science fiction a human as well as technological literature. He was an important influence upon every contemporary and every sci ...more
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