Thursday, July 5, 2012

Leigh Brackett: American Writer - Howard Andrew Jones

"This 4th of July I thought I’d take a look at one of my very favorite writers, the late, great Leigh Brackett, queen of planetary adventure. Only a few generations ago planetary adventure fiction had a few givens. First, it usually took place in our own solar system. Second, our own solar system was stuffed with inhabitable planets. Everyone knew that Mercury baked on one side and froze on the other, but a narrow twilight band existed between the two extremes where life might thrive. Venus was hot and swampy, like prehistoric Earth had been, and Mars was a faded and dying world kept alive by the extensive canals that brought water down from the ice caps. To enjoy Brackett, you have to get over the fact that none of this is real — which really shouldn’t be hard if you enjoy reading about vampires, telepaths, and dragons, but hey, there you go. Yeah, Mars doesn’t have a breathable atmosphere, or canals, or ancient races. If you don’t read her because you can’t get past that, you’re a fuddy duddy and probably don’t like ice cream." 3.5 out of 5

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