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Queen Of The Martian Catacombs by Leigh…
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Queen Of The Martian Catacombs

by Leigh Brackett

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Recently added byAndreasJ, wm3395, rcmportella

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This novella marks the first appearance of Brackett's recurring protagonist Eric John Stark, a Conan-like adventurer in a sword-and-sorcery solar system (the sorcery is nominally super-science, but it makes no practical difference). The story was later expanded as the 1964 novel The Secret of Sinharat.

Stark is an interesting figure from the perspective of present-day sensibilities. He is dark-skinned - a very unusual trait for a pulp hero and routinely ignored by cover artists - but this, we're told, is because he grew up under the fierce Sun of Mercury, and he appears to be of European descent. He sympathizes with Martian barbarians against their civilized oppressors (Martian and Terran), yet he causes them to abort their rebellion because he believes it will only lead to their slaughter. He has a habit of running into women nearly as formidable as himself - as allies or enemies - who just happen to be drop dead gorgeous to boot.

It's not a story, though, to be read for its political correctness or otherwise. Read it for the high action and for the lushly decadent Martian backdrop against which Stark overcomes everything man, woman, Martian, or nature itself can throw at him.
1 vote AndreasJ | Feb 15, 2018 |
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