From the Publisher
Released in 1952 from Gnome Press, Judgment Night collects five Moore novellas from the pages of editor John W. Campbell, Jr.'s Astounding Science Fiction magazine. Chosen by the author herself as the best of her longer-form writing, these stories show a gifted wordsmith working at the height of her talents: ''Judgment Night'' (first published in August and September, 1943) balances a lush rendering of a future galactic empire with a sober meditation on the nature of power and its inevitable loss; ''The Code'' (July, 1945) pays homage to the classic Faust with modern theories and Lovecraftian dread; ''Promised Land'' (February, 1950) and ''Heir Apparent'' (July, 1950) both document the grim twisting that mankind must undergo in order to spread into the solar system; and ''Paradise Street'' (September, 1950) shows a futuristic take on the old western conflict between lone hunter and wilderness-taming settlers.
Except for ''Judgment Night,'' all of these pieces were originally published under the pen name Lawrence O'Donnell. Moore's marriage to fellow author Henry Kuttner yielded both a prodigious amount of collaborative writing and a bewildering variety of pen names. However, it is known that -- with a few recognized exceptions -- the O'Donnell name was used for work that Moore wrote with a minimum of collaboration (if any), and this is reflected in the sole author's credit that graces this collection.