Monday, May 18, 2009

Grandmaster Michael Moorcock genuflects to the Queen of Martian Sci-Fi

Thanks to a recent post by Blue Tyson of the blog
Free SF Reader, you can read “Queen of the Martian Mysteries: An Appreciation of Leigh Brackett”, a lengthy but awesome essay by Brit and SF Grandmaster Michael Moorcock. The essay serves as the introduction to the highly praised Martian Quest: The Early Brackett (2002), an anthology of short stories written by Brackett, the Queen of Martian Sci-Fi, and published by Haffner Press. Here are the first few lines of Moorcock’s essay:
Few people of later generations than mine know how influential Leigh Brackett has been on the field of science fiction and fantasy. If you’ve read the odd piece by me or by Ray Bradbury, for instance, you’ll know that we admired her, loved her, learned from her and were encouraged by her, but you might not know that E.C. Tubb’s excellent long-running Dumarest of Terra series, which has been appearing for almost half-a-century, was originally written in conscious and acknowledged imitation of Brackett’s much-admired Eric John Stark stories. I heard her Stark stories quoted long before I actually read them, just as, while hitch-hiking through Germany a few years later, I had Borges retailed to me by a Spanish-reading Swede before Borges ever appeared in English. Ted Tubb could quote chunks of Brackett from memory and invent a fair version of his own on the spot! He wasn’t the only one. I remember sessions with him and some of the other UK sf writers of the 50s, including Ken Bulmer and John Brunner, in which her work was the sole subject of enthusiastic conversation and where we vied with one another to capture that typical, intoxicating style in extemporary round-robins, which is what writers used to do at sf conventions before they started becoming stars. Someone always had a typewriter and you took turns on it. ...
Leigh Brackett rules!

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