Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Haffner Press Leigh Brackett 100th Birthday Newsletter – December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015 – Leigh Brackett’s 100th Birthday

Today, we celebrate th100th birthday of one of our favorite writers, Leigh Brackett. Rather than craft a bio of our own, we’d like to share with you the lady’s own words from 1954:     

“I was born, of course—December 7, 1915, in Los Angeles, California; educated there and in New Orleans and Boston, where I lived for a few years. My father died before I was three, but whatever knack for writing I may have I inherited from him. Not long ago I found a bundle of his poems, plot-sketches, and half-completed stories among the family papers—an experience made more eerie by the fact that one of his stories bore a title almost identical with one I was working on myself at the time. It’s a pity that he did not live long enough to establish himself as what he always wanted to be—a writer…

“At thirteen I began writing seriously, and very serious it was, too. I wrote two heavy problem novels, quite a number of shorter stories, and several poems, All in longhand on ruled paper. Ive often wondered if editors really bothered to read them, and I have even more often prayed that they did not. This early, or Eolithic, Brackettiana was dealt with later in a private burning of the books.

“Most of my childhood—certainly the happiest years of it—was spent in my grandfather’s house on a rather isolated California Beach. There I swam, fished, soaked up sun, and acquired a taste for beach-combing that has never left me. There I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs and Mars. There I read Doyle’s “The Maracot Deep” in the Saturday Evening Post, another milestone. There I learned Kipling’s “Jungle Books” by heart, and made my first inroads on Rider Haggard. I also got good marks in English. These two things later betrayed me, the one into fantasy and sf, t’other into believing that writing would be an easy profession. I found out.

I sold my first story (in late 1939, to Astounding) largely because of two things. First, because this same grandfather had a sure and quiet faith in me, and showed it by financing me in my chance to write when I was quite old enough to make my own living. Second, because one Henry Kuttner, of whom you may have heard, chose to think my wobbling and misshapen efforts had some promise, and went out of his way to help me develop it.

“I have been writing for a living ever since, mostly in science fiction, sometimes in detective stories, for three years and a bit in the Hollywood studios (Columbia, Republic and Warner’s), and a very brief excursion into radio. I like to write. There are times, I’ll admit, when I wish I had chosen the profession of ditch-digging instead. (In all honesty, I’ll have to qualify that last. Since moving to the country I have actually dug a ditch, and I believe that writing is easier.) But it’s a satisfying job and one that constantly expands and changes because you can never possibly learn everything about it. You ask what my philosophy of writing is—I don’t know that I have any. To tell a good story, to tell it as well and effectively as possible, and to try to grow a little wiser and a little deeper all the time—I suppose, put into words, that’s what I aim at. Whether or not I hit it is another matter entirely.”

Thankfully, she hit what she aimed at very well: her contributions to genre fiction—in print and on the screen—have influenced three generations of storytellers. It is arguable that without the work of Leigh Brackett, tens of millions of movie-goers would not be in cinemas next week watching STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

So it is with great pride that we celebrate the day of Leigh Brackett’s Centennial with the announcement of a new hardcover collection of her most famous creation:

By Leigh BrackettArtwork by Raymond SwanlandEdited by Stephen Haffner
ISBN: 9781893887862
720+ pages
Smythe-sewn Hardcover
THIS IS IT! The BIG one! All the tales of Eric John Stark in a single volume. The stories, the novels, and for the first time, Brackett’s working notes for the abandoned FOURTH “Stark” novel from 1977. Need we say more?Contents
“Queen of the Martian Catacombs”
“Enchantress of Venus”
“Black Amazon of Mars”
“Stark and the Star Kings”
The Ginger Star
The Hounds of Skaith
The Reavers of Skaith
“1977: Notes for Stark #4″

Edited by Stephen Haffner
Foreword by Bruce DouglassISBN: 9781893887848
500+ pages
Trade Paperback
Over 50 interior images

Discovered by editor Stephen Haffner, Brackett’s unpublished story “They” leads off this tribute volume collecting the majority of Brackett’s nonfiction writings, supplemented with vintage interviews and commentaries/remembrances from such luminaries as Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock, Richard A. Lupoff, and more.
LEIGH BRACKETT CENTENNIALcovers numerous facets and events of Brackett‘s life including:
  • Bringing Philip Marlowe into the 1970s for Robert Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE . . .
  • SF author and NASA employee hosted Brackett at the launch of Apollo XII . . . 
  • Bookseller Ray Walsh documents the day he escorted Brackett to view a new groundbreaking space-fantasy film in the summer of 1977 . . .

All contributions are by Leigh Brackett unless noted
Introduction by editor Stephen Haffner
Foreword by Bruce Douglass

NONFICTION & INTERVIEWSBarton, Interplanetary Reporter
Meet the Authors
P.S.’s Feature Flash
Hero, Heroine, Heavy
Give ’Em Hell, Leigh!
The Story Behind the Story
The Science-Fiction Field
Meet the Author
Who’s Who in Science Fiction conducted by Robert Briney
Range by L. Sprague de Camp
And As to the Admixture of Cultures on Imaginary Worlds
Barsoom and Myself
Foreword to The Coming of the Terrans 
Answers to The Double:Bill Symposium
Letting My Imagination Go
Avant-propos (Introduction to Le Livre de Mars)
The Hawksian Woman by Naomi Wise
Eulogy for John W. Campbell
A Comment Upon “The Hawksian Woman”
From The Big Sleep to The Long Goodbye 
and More or Less How We Got There
The Hounds of Skaith Interview
Beyond Our Narrow Skies
Leigh Brackett Interview by Tony Macklin
Science Fiction Writing: Experiences as a Writer
     by Juanita Roderick and Hugh G. Earnhart
Leigh Brackett: An Interview by Paul Walker
Grab What You Can Get:
     The Screenwriter asJourneyman Plumber by Steve Swires
Letter from Leigh Brackett
Letter from Judy-Lynn Del Rey
Fifty Years of Wonder
Introduction to Sword Woman 
Afterword to The Best of Leigh Brackett

Leigh Brackett Dies by Charles N. Brown
See You Later, Leigh by Andrew Offutt
In Memoriam by Robert E. Briney
Leigh Brackett 1916-78 by Michael Goodwin and Naomi Wise
OTHER VOICESThey Call Her for Salty Dialogue by Hedda Hopper
Leigh Brackett by D. Peter Odgen
N’Chaka—“Man-Without-A-Tribe” by Peter F. Roy
Two-Fisted Novel Interested Director Hawks in Miss Brackett
King’s Cross in Orbit: Edmond Hamilton & Leigh Brackettin Sydney
& Inaugural Meeting of the Sydney SciencFiction Foundation
     by Patrick A. M. Terry
Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury by William F. Nolan
Story-Teller of Many Worlds by Edmond Hamilton
Introduction to The Sword of Rhiannon by Elizabeth A. Lynn
The Sword of Rhiannon by Rosemarie Arbur
The Long Tomorrow by Gary K. Wolfe
No “Long Goodbye” Is Good Enough by Rosemarie Arbur
Leigh Brackett:American Screenwriter byAlain Silver and Elizabeth Ward
Future Imperfect: Leigh Brackett’The Long Tomorrow by Donna DeBlasio
The Sword of Rhiannon by Joe Sanders
The Long Tomorrow by Carl B. Yoke
Collecting Leigh Brackett by Robin H. SmileyB & B: Brackett & Bradbury: 1944 by Ray Bradbury
Queen of the Martian Mysteries by Michael Moorcock
Prelude to Empire by Ray Walsh
Red Mist and Ruins:
    The Symbolist Prosof Leigh Brackett by Thomas F. Bertonneau
Leigh Brackett: Much More Than theQueen of Space Opera! by Bertil Falk
Lorelei of the Red Mist by Richard A. Lupoff
Three Days with Leigh Brackett& Edmond Hamilton by Joseph Green
The Crime Fiction of Leigh Brackett by Christine Photinos
Stark AdventuringLeigh Brackett’s Eric John Stark by Mike Barrett
“The Vampire’s Ghost” 

Copyright © 2015 HAFFNER PRESS
5005 Crooks Road • Suite 35 • Royal Oak, MI 48073-1239
(248) 288-4756 • www.haffnerpress.com
•  Keep Watching the Skies!  •
Haffner Press Leigh Brackett 100th Birthday Newsletter – December 7, 2015

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