Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Dragon-Queen Of Venus - Leigh Brackett

Short Story

Number of words : 7000
Percent of complex words : 6.4
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 10.3


Fog : 6.7
Flesch : 77.0
Flesch-Kincaid : 5.1


Fort Washington

Military building on the planet Venus designed to help protect new settlers from the military incursions of the natives. In the original version The Dragon-Queen of Jupiter, this is also given as Jupiter.

Fort Nelson

Another in the line of defensive structures, used as a diversion by the Dragon-Queen by means of a feint to draw off resources that could be used to reinforce Smith's garrison.



A corporal in the Volunteer Legion. An Earthman from his namesake state in the USA.


A Martian volunteer soldier. Is sick because of the damp atmosphere, and is a friend of Tex's, and sticks with him to the end.

The Dragon-Queen of Venus/Jupiter

The warlord in charge of the invading locals, stylish, exotic, and rides a flying steed. White-haired and pale, as are her warriors.

Captain John Smith

The commander of this military outpost, with an unsurprisingly common name for such a group.


A young, scared Martian volunteer who bails.


One of the small number of remaining soldiers, decides to leave and takes all but our two protagonists with him.


Green Snakes

Animals that are tiny, but once they attack grow rapidly in size to become lethally dangerous an swift killers.

Scarlet Beetles

Another Venusian lifeform used as a weapon. Eats people.


Attack animals used by the Venusians, but really dinosaur-like.

Flying Mounts

Part bird, part lizard steeds used in aerial attacks upon the Fort.


Water-eating native organisms.



Clay balls full of flesh eating Scarlet Beetles.


The Lone Prairee

Song sung or whistled by Tex and Breska at various times. Presumably of Texas origin.

Hertford's Jungles of Venus

The most comprehensive work on a subject still almost unknown.

Kelland's Field Tactics

Military manual.


The Volunteer Legion

A French Foreign Legion style military outfit on Venus, used for defense of the citizenry.


The Volunteer Legion have done so to protect new immigrants opening up Venus for settlement, dislodging the more primitive locals in doing so. They have set up forts to protect the people attempting to grow food and live. These have far superior armaments to the Venusians - with machine-gun emplacements. They are garrisoned by only dozens of men, whom the locals would far outnumber if they attack. The Venusians only have superior local knowledge and wildlife on their side, if they do not want to engage in being slaughtered in large numbers.

The Legion - from Earth and Mars don't like the steaming jungle conditions much, and have big problems with rust. Various attacks led by the clever warlord are also whittling down their numbers severely, and their metallic protections are crumbling.

Things change when the scared young Kuna sneaks out into the forest, and returns affected by animalcules, leaving the garrison also without water. Tex, knowing they are doomed if no ideas are forthcoming with his men deserting and Captain dead, turns to science for a solution.

4 out of 5

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