Wednesday, June 9, 2010

“Black Amazon of Mars” 1951 novelette by Leigh Brackett

Thanks to the industrious folks at Project Gutenberg and, you can read or download "Black Amazon of Mars," a science fiction novelette written by the Queen of Space Opera, Leigh Brackett. First published in the March 1951 issue of Planet Stories magazine, the novelette features interplanetary space hero Eric John Stark and revolves around his confrontation with Lord Ciaran, a hooded warlord who leads the hordes of Mekh. Here are the opening lines:

THROUGH ALL THE LONG COLD HOURS of the Norland night the Martian had not moved nor spoken. At dusk of the day before Eric John Stark had brought him into the ruined tower and laid him down, wrapped in blankets, on the snow. He had built a fire of dead brush, and since then the two men had waited, alone in the vast wasteland that girdles the polar cap of Mars.

Now, just before dawn, Camar the Martian spoke….

“Black Amazon of Mars” was later revised and expanded into the novel People of the Talisman (1964). Some critics and scholars have attributed the expansion to Brackett's husband, SF writer Edmond Hamilton.

[via Tinkoo Valia of Variety SF]

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