Where to start with Leigh Brackett
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The Best of, definitely.
I liked The Long Tomorrow pretty well, but it is a tiny bit dated, and it's not at all the superfine post-Burroughs planetary romance that really defines Brackett's virtues for me. Excellent stories like "The Jewel of Bas" and "The Enchantress of Venus" are much more representative, especially if you're approaching her as a "Golden Age author."
I was going to mention The Sword of Rhiannon -- which also goes by the name of The Sea Kings of Mars, but is not the story collection mentioned by cosmicdolphin. The novel is good, but if you enjoy short stories you might want to go with the one of the collections, as Brackett was best known for short fiction.
I agree about The Long Tomorrow; it was OK, but there are much better post-apocalyptic novels out there.
The Eric John Stark 'series' is so superb -- I picked up The Ginger Star at someone's house and couldn't get my nose out of it - I'm eager to read the rest of the series in order -- there are six and the first one (although maybe not the first one she wrote, I don't know about that) is The Secret of Sinharat, #2 is People of the Talisman, I've read the next 3, all set on Skaith, and I can attest they are terrrifically good - great adventure plus descriptive writing, of the planet and the people there, that doesn't waste a word but is so vivid.
Roni sent me over here to this group because of this read.... I'm thinking we have The Best of... somewhere around too. Apologies if I'm invading, it's all enthusiasm.
Here's some reviews of The Ginger Star and its sequels from SF Mistressworks:
The Ginger Star: http://sfmistressworks.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/the-ginger-star-leigh-brackett/
The Hounds of Skaith: http://sfmistressworks.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-hounds-of-skaith-leigh-brack...
The Reavers of Skaith: http://sfmistressworks.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/the-reavers-of-skaith-leigh-brac...
Did you write the first review?? I was confused by the last paragraph, which sounded like a review written before the other two books came out???
It looks as if I'm with Admiral Ironbombs, then, who wrote reviews 2 and 3, and counts Ginger Star as one of his favorites, and enjoyed all three Skaith books enormously.
Funny that these reviews are appearing -- is it because of the re-issue?
Admiral Ironbombs gave me the reviews for books 2 and 3, but there was none for book 1. So I read the book and reviewed it myself. I wasn't that impressed - and I do like Brackett's books. The timing is complete coincidence.
Actually, I rather liked Black Amazon of Mars as an introduction. Short, but good flavor of her general body of work.
I haven't read the novel-length version of Black Amazon, only the original novelette included in Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories, but it might be my favorite Brackett, with "Enchantress of Venus" and "Sea-Kings of Mars" itself also in the running.
Kind of an off-the-wall suggestion, but if you get interested in her work, you might want to check out the movie The Big Sleep (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038355/), which Ms. Brackett, William Faulkner(!), and Jules Furthman adapted from the Raymond Chandler novel, just to see the range of what she's capable of.
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