Thursday, March 18, 2010

Swords-and-Sisters: Leigh Brackett and women in fandom - Al Harron

"However, my first introduction to Brackett wasn’t with one of her stories: it was in the introduction to a Robert E. Howard collection. The introduction to The Sword Woman is inspired, heartfelt and full of genuine appreciation for Howard’s skills as an author in a way that seems a million miles away from the prevailing “don’t look for philosophical puzzles, there are none” attitude of the time.

It’s too bad that Robert E. Howard didn’t write more stories about his Sword Woman, Dark Agnes de Chastillion. She was quite a character… more intelligent than Conan, more attractive than Solomon Kane, and as fine a swashbuckler as any of Howard’s heroes. Perhaps she came a litle before her time. Women who could do things were not very popular in fiction back in the ’30s, particularly in the adventure story field. C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry, who gained considerable fame at that time, operated solely in the fantasy field, where there was a good bit more latitude."

4 out of 5

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