Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Veil Of Astellar - Leigh Brackett


Number of words : 11000
Percent of complex words : 5.4
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 10.7


Fog : 6.4
Flesch : 79.6
Flesch-Kincaid : 4.8


The Veil

A ship swallowing region.


Martian City

Madame Kan's

Notorious Jekkaran bar.


Small hidden world of space vampire aliens.


Stephen Vance-Jay Goat

Spaceman, changed by his encounter in the Veil, originally from Beverly Hills, California. Now three hundred years old.


Dead woman.


Passenger on the Queen Of Jupiter. Partner of Virgie.


Passenger on the Queen Of Jupiter, has a baby.


Black Irish sensitive.


Astellarian leader and recruiter of Vance. "She, and her race, had no need of clothing. Their lazy, sinuous bodies had a fleecy covering that wasn't fur or feathers or tendrils but something of all three. They had no true color. They changed according to light, in an endless spectrum of loveliness that went far beyond the range you humans know.

Now, in the dark, Shirina's aura glowed like warm pearl. I could see her face, faintly, the queer peaked triangular bones covered with skin softer than a humming-bird's breast, the dead-black, bottomless eyes, the crest of delicate antennae tipped with tiny balls of light like diamonds burning under gauze."


Man who became an Astellarian.


Interworld Space Authority Headquarters

Travel administrators.



Martian booze.

Desert-cactus brandy

Obviously Martian booze.


Queen Of Jupiter

Passenger ship.



A gambling game.


Rosson deflectors

Allow ships safer passage through the Asteroid Belt.


Psi-amplifiers in the Veil.


Vance was human, once until he entered the Cloud of Astellar. Now over 300 years old he helps lure people to Astellar so their life forces can be drained, keeping the Astellarians alive. Doing so on Mars, he influences the liner Queen of Jupiter back to Astellar. However, a passenger, Virgie on board has a locket belonging to his long dead lover named Missy, and bears a resemblance. He earlier gave his name to her as J. Goat. Indeed, a second time around as Virgie's influence on him leads him to attack the Astellarians and destroy the means to renew his own longevity.

4 out of 5

Short Story

Number of words : 6000
Percent of complex words : 7.3
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 11.5


Fog : 7.5
Flesch : 73.0
Flesch-Kincaid : 5.9

: The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett


Ptakuth : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Ancient Martian city with advanced technology that can confer immortality, so the legend goes and truth reveals.


Terence Shane : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Earthman adventurer.

Thaldrek of Ved : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Martian adventurer.

Zendra Challoner : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Shunni goddess-queen leader, only half Shunni.

Harold Challoner : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Zendra's father. Apparently became a god and suicided, after he led a previous expedition to Ptakuth.


Atlantis : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Ancient legendary city on Earth.

Phobos : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Moon of Mars.


Martian Archaeological Foundation : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Terry Shane's employer.


Shunni : The Treasure Of Ptakuth - Leigh Brackett

Martian barbarians.


Terry Shane is an adventurer hired by the Martian Archaeological Foundation to find Ptakuth. He has a rival, in Indiana Jones style, and one somewhat dodgier.
They run into Zendra Challoner and some Shunni warriors. She is half Shunni, and her father found Ptakuth - and died, because: ""This much I can say, Shane; tell it to the men of the Martian Foundation, and let them make what good they can of it. The cyclotron fired hydrogen bullets against a screen of yttrium. Using rubidium filters, the scientists of Ptakuth generated a ray with a wonderful property; the property of making the human bloodstream radio-active with a gamma-principle. This gamma element in the blood gave a power of regeneration to the body cells, but most of all, being in itself a germ-destroying element, it made the human body immune to all disease. You can see how this would extend the life span.

"The tragedy was that the ray destroyed whatever mysterious center of the brain it is that controls sleep. Imagine, Shane; a lifetime of several centuries, with never a moment's relaxation in sleep, never a quiet time of darkness and rest. Every second of every day lived to the uttermost. Ptakuth went mad! Like Challoner, it destroyed itself, and the rest of the world said it was cursed. Ptakuth was shunned."

There's another flaw that Shane's rival Thaldrek understands. Stand in there too long, and you die. Shane has to keep this from happening both to Zendra, and himself.

3.5 out of 5

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