Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Happy 100th Birthday Leigh Brackett!
Of course, she's not here to hear me say that - not in this plane of existence anyway. I like to think she's enjoying a cup of tea in a garden on Mars, with Eric John Stark, her greatest creation (a brown-skinned man who Eisenhower-era publishers insisted on portraying as white on book covers). Brackett brought the freewheeling romps of Edgar Rice Burroughs to a new level of sophistication, re-invigorating, refining, and polishing the "sword and planet" genre. Her deceptively gentle novel The Long Tomorrow proved she could get "literary" with her science fiction when she felt like it. She was also a master screenwriter, adapting Raymond Chandler to the big screen. Brackett took the hard-boiled vibe of Philip Marlowe and combined it with the good-natured goofiness of John Carter to create more-or-less believable space opera. She's one of my favorite writers and an oft-forgotten giant of the genre. You rock, Leigh Brackett. Here's an informative article for those of you who don't know her.