SFF Author: Leigh Brackett

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The Sword of Rhiannon: Classic planetary romance

The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett Lightning-cracked time portals. Secret tombs. Slave ship mutiny. Snake men. Buried alive. Parlays with kings. These are just some of the adventurous elements of Leigh Brackett’s The Sword of Rhiannon. (Though initially published as Sea Kings of Mars, it quickly changed names, and in reprintings since has consistently been known […]

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The Halfling and Other Stories: Eight marvelous tales from the “Queen of Space Opera”

The Halfling and Other Stories by Leigh Brackett The Halfling and Other Stories gathers together eight tales, of varying lengths, that Leigh Brackett, the so-called “Queen of Space Opera,” wrote between the years 1943 and ’57. The collection initially appeared as an Ace paperback in ’73, but it was the second edition, released in ’83, […]

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The Long Tomorrow: Leigh Brackett’s magnum opus

The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett If indeed social movements occur in cycles that over time have a net result of zero, what then is the value of scientific pursuit? If humanity will inevitably revert to primitivism, of what use is maneuvering toward that fuzzy idea of ‘civilization’? Is it just to give us something […]

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The Secret of Sinharat & People of the Talisman: A wonderful double feature

The Secret of Sinharat & People of the Talisman by Leigh Brackett Leigh Brackett, the so-called “Queen of Space Opera,” would have turned 100 years old on 12/7/2015, and to celebrate her recent centennial in my own way, I have resolved to read five novels featuring her most well-known character: Eric John Stark. Brackett, of […]

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The Coming of the Terrans: A wonderful collection from the “Queen of Space Opera”

The Coming of the Terrans by Leigh Brackett Just recently, I reviewed The Best of Leigh Brackett, a big, 400+-page affair from Ballantine Books that was first released in 1977. But this collection was not the first to gather the older works of Leigh Brackett, the so-called “Queen of Space Opera” into a nice, compact […]

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The Ginger Star: “The Queen of Space Opera” comes roaring back

The Ginger Star by Leigh Brackett Old-time fans of Leigh Brackett’s most famous character, Eric John Stark, would have to exercise a great deal of patience after the first three Stark stories — “Queen of the Martian Catacombs,” “Enchantress of Venus” and “Black Queen of Mars” — appeared in the pages of Planet Stories magazine, […]

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The Best of Leigh Brackett: A wonderful collection from the “Queen of Space Opera”

The Best of Leigh Brackett by Leigh Brackett Back in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, Ballantine Books had a wonderful thing going with its “Best of” anthology series: 21 generously packed books celebrating 21 of the most influential authors of science fiction’s Golden Age, all reasonably priced at $1.95 (I refer here to the […]

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Sea Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories: Leigh Brackett’s fantasy stories

Sea Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories by Leigh Brackett As NASA’s Curiosity rover trundles about the surface of Mars today, another page turns on the glories of pulp science fiction. Leigh Brackett’s vision of a land populated with humans and aliens, ancient cities and creatures, long-buried secrets and mysterious deserts fades a shade closer to pale […]

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SHORTS: Brackett, Vo, Vernon, Bachus, Abercrombie

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett (1949, $0.99 at Amazon) The world celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday of Leigh Brackett on […]

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SHORTS: Miller, Leiber, Clement, Brackett

SHORTS: In this week’s column we review several short fiction works that we’ve read recently, including three more of the current Retro Hugo nominees from 1943. “Galatea” by Madeline Miller (2013, $3.99 on Kindle; anthologized in xo Orpheus, edited by Kate Bernheimer) In the Roman myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, a sculptor creates a statue […]

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The Best of Planet Stories, #1: A marvelous collection from an underappreciated pulp magazine

The Best of Planet Stories, #1: edited by Leigh Brackett Beginning in 1937 and continuing on for a good dozen years, the pulp magazine Astounding Science-Fiction, under the editorship of John W. Campbell, was the most dominant and influential publication in its field. But that is hardly to say that it didn’t have competition for […]

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The Giant Anthology of Science Fiction: Of Stark and Crag and Court and Cord

The Giant Anthology of Science Fiction edited by Oscar J. Friend & Leo Margulies For the past five years, all the books that I have read, be they novels or short-story collections, and whether in the field of sci-fi, fantasy or horror, have had one thing in common: The were all written during the period […]

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Science Fiction Super Pack #1: A generally above-average anthology

Science Fiction Super Pack #1 edited by Warren Lapine Like the companion fantasy volume, Science Fiction Super Pack #1, edited by Warren Lapine, only has one story I didn’t think was good, and it’s a piece of Lovecraft fanfiction. H.P. Lovecraft‘s overwrought prose doesn’t do much for me even when Lovecraft himself writes it, and […]

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