Leigh Brackett’s Planetary Romances

I came across something interesting in the last couple of years: The best of the Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Back, was written by a longtime SF author, Leigh Brackett, who had written the film’s first draft before passing away. When I had been writing about C.L. Moore, I came across her name again, and because I’ve been wanting to look more closely at the women in the Golden Age of SF, there was no brainer: I had to look her up. Beyond Star Wars, she had a wealth of SF and Mystery novels and short stories on her resume, and was someone who really continued the planetary romance genre forward.

Go Read Leigh Brackett’s Planetary Romances over on Kirkus Reviews.

Here’s the sources that I used:

American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels, 1953-1956, edited by Gary K. Wolfe: This is part of an impressive collection of stories put together by the Library of America series. Brackett’s story, The Long Tomorrow is included, along with several other really awesome stories from the 1950s. At the back of the book, and linked here, is a short, biographical sketch.
Leigh Brackett: American Writer, by John L. Carr: This short booklet was a fantastic source of knowledge on Brackett and her life. It’s a bit disorganized at points, but it has a lot of information on her career and some analysis on her works.
Interview with Leigh Brackett, Experiences as a Writer, Youngtown State University Oral History Program by Juanita Rocerick and Hugh G. Ernhart: This was a cool thing to come across: an interview with Brackett, one that covers much of her life and her works. I have a feeling that a lot of the information that we know about her comes from this interview.
Leigh Brackett — An Audio Interview, by Tony Macklin: Reading an interview is cool, but listening to one is just as interesting. Brackett talks at length here about her works and life.


6 thoughts on “Leigh Brackett’s Planetary Romances

    • I posted this up for largely promotional purposes: I wrote the article on Kirkus Reviews, and wanted to drive traffic over there. This also allows me to put down my sources.

      I haven’t read Brackett’s stuff – I have The Long Tomorrow, but haven’t done more than read a couple of pages. I’ll get to it at some point in the near future, most likely.

    • *shrug*

      I’m more interested in the actual events of their lives, looking at their historical significance rather than just a straight up literary one. I read a bit of her book to get a feel for her style, and then went to my other sources.

      Reading over an entire author’s bibliography, while effective, isn’t conducive to a regular schedule, especially when I’m either looking at small parts of their lives: this isn’t intended as a comprehensive biography.

  1. I think more of the issue is the fact that you want to showcase an author (or were asked to do so) who is deemed important (I quote, “a trailblazer”) and worth reading and perhaps underrated and you youself haven’t even read her work….

    And, you, as someone who writes about science fiction but hasn’t even read a single work of one of more important science fiction authors….

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