“Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” Lewis Padgett, 1943

Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore), 1943 – Children stumble upon a bag of toys sent from the future by a post-human scientist. In learning how to play with the toys–which includes a multi-dimensional puzzle and an anatomically-correct doll–they adapt to the technology, which changes their psychology and their relationship to language, as well as with their parents.  Meanwhile, the scientist has sent another bag of toys into the past, eventually found by a child known to Lewis Caroll.  At the conclusion, the two children seek out Through the Looking-Glass and find in the “Jabberwocky” the rest of the equation needed to travel to the future.

Comments:  Another chilling story of unsocialized (or, here, desocialized) children, ultimately alienated from their parents.  In contrast to “When the Bough Breaks,” the source of alienation is not biology but technology, specifically children’s entertainment that seeks to re-program children via language/concepts.  Title is a reference to Lewis Caroll.  Credited mainly to Kuttner.

Author: Wikipedia: “Lewis Padgett was the joint pseudonym of the science fiction authors and spouses Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, taken from their mothers’ maiden names. They also used the pseudonyms Lawrence O’Donnell and C. H. Liddell, as well as collaborating under their own names.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1940-1945, favorites, generational conflict, genrecraft, language/libraries, love/family/children. Bookmark the permalink.

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