Saturday, May 4, 2013

They mocked her "science fantasy" Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back - Charlie Jane Anders

"Also, in her introduction to The Best of Planet Stories #1 in 1976, Brackett describes "space opera" as "a pejorative term often applied to a story that has an element of adventure." And she offers a defense of space opera as "the folk-tale, the hero-tale, of our particular niche in history." Sputnik, she writes, startled the wits out of all the high-minded, important people who hadn't wanted to talk about space. But she adds: But the space opera has been telling us tales of spaceflight, of journeys to other worlds in this solar system... These stories served to stretch our little minds, to draw us out beyond our narrow skies into the vast glooms of interstellar space, where the great suns ride in splendor and the bright nebulae fling their veils of fire parsecs-long across the universe; where the Coal-Sack and the Horsehead make patterns of black mystery; where the Cepheid variables blink their evil eyes and a billion nameless planets may harbor life-forms infinitely numerous and strange. Escape fiction? Yes, indeed! But in its own ironic way, as we see now, it was an escape into a reality which some people are even now trying to fight off." 5 out of 5

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Leigh Brackett's Planetary Romances - Andrew Liptak

"Brackett was born on December 7th, 1915 in Los Angeles, California to a family of declining fortune. Her early life was met with hardship early on in 1918 when her father passed away, one of the many casualties of the global flu epidemic. After that, her family moved quite a bit, and Brackett later recalled that she had a haphazard education as they travelled the country before settling down. Her love of science fiction came when she was 8 years old, after picking up a copy of Edgar Rice Burrough's second Barsoom novel, The Gods of Mars. She later said that she knew from that point what she wanted to do: "I was never the same after that. Suddenly, I became aware of other world out there and then, from that time on, I was destined to be a science fiction writer."" 4 out of 5