This is a unique item. The only collaboration between two great science fiction authors, Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury. Here’s how it came about:
Both authors were living in the Los Angeles area in the 1940s, and both had been working hard to develop their craft as writers. Both were regulars in Planet Stories at the time. They were friends who had both been mentored by Henry Kuttner. They used to meet once a week to read and critique each other’s work.
Brackett had sold some detective short stories as well as one novel, No Good From a Corpse. The novel caught the attention of movie producer Howard Hawks, who decided he wanted Brackett to work on the screenplay for his next project. She was approximately halfway through a novellette she was writing for Planet Stories that was set on Venus (More about Brackett’s Venus in a bit.) when she got a call from Hawks, or more probably his secretary. Which is how Brackett launched her screenwriting career by coauthoring with William Faulkner the script for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. How freakin’ cool is that? Continue reading →
I’m not a huge Simon and Grafunkle fan, but I couldn’t help but steal the title of this post from “I am a Rock”. Here are my reading/writing/blogging plans for the last month of the year.
The big thing is that Leigh Brackett’s birthday is next Monday, December 7. It’s her centennial, and I’ll be focusing a lot on her work this month. I’m not the only one. Howard Andrew Jones and Bill Ward will be discussing “The Moon the Vanished”, one of her novellas set on a swampy Venus next Monday on Howard’s blog. Click here for details and join the discussion. I’m not going to be discussing that particular story here, but I will take some detailed looks at some others. I’m probably going to start with “Lorelei of the Red Mist”, which she began and Ray Bradbury finished when Howard Hawks offered her a job writing the screenplay to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep with William Faulkner. You can get electronic copies of both stories in Swamps of Venus from Baen ($4), or get the Solar System bundle for $20. Continue reading →
Classes start today; I’ve got one from11:00 – 1:50. On top of that, my wife is having shoulder surgery tomorrow morning. Nothing big, i.e., not a rotator cuff, but I’ll be tied up with that and won’t be at work. Depending on how long her parents stay and if her painkillers are working, I may or may not be at work on Friday. (It hey are here and the drugs aren’t working, I’m coming in to work.) Anyway, I might not be very active online until next week.
In the meantime, there’s a new Kickstarter readers of this blog might be interested in. It’s called, Farewell, Something Lovely. The title is a play on Raymond Chandler’s novel, Farewell, My Lovely. It’s a collection of hardboiled sword and sorcery tales by Fraser Ronald. Since S&S and hardboiled/noir are two of my three favorite subgenres, I’m looking forward to this one.
And if you haven’t been following the discussion at Howard Andrew Jones’ blog on the relationship between hardboiled and sword and sorcery, start here.
Things appear as though they will settle down in the next day or so, and I can get a report on Fencon and a review posted. In the meantime, I’ve started reading James Enge’s A Guile of Dragons. This novel is being promoted as the origin story of Morlock Ambrosius and will be the next novel I review (after the one I need to write). To tie in with my review, I’ll be giving away a copy of This Crooked Way, one of the earlier volumes in the Morlock series and a good introduction to the character.
Here’s how things will work. I thought about doing a simple random drawing from among the entrants, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I’m going to select the winner based on creativity. Paul Cornell has called Enge’s work “Conan as written by Raymond Chandler”. The giveaway takes off from that.
What fantasy author/famous nonfantasy or literary author mashup would you like to see? (For this contest, William Shakespeare counts as a fantasy author.) Specifically, what famous fantasy character would you like to see written by another author?
Got that? Name a fantasy character you would like to see written by a nonfantasy or famous author and why. The “why” is essential if you want to win. I’m judging the entries on originality and creativity. Your reasoning is where your creativity can really shine.
Place your answer in the comments. You can enter up to three times, but each character must be entered separately. Comments containing more than one entry will be disqualified. Entries will be judged on creativity. Contest closes at 11:59 p.m., CDT, Sunday, October 30. Winner will be announced later that week in a blog post and asked to send me a private email with a shipping address.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. Good luck and have fun!
Update: More than one person who already has a copy of This Crooked Way has submitted an entry just for fun. That’s great! The more, the merrier. Thanks, guys.