by Leigh Brackett, with an introduction by Michael Moorcock
Enter Eric John Stark, adventurer, rebel, wildman. Raised on the sun-soaked, savage world of Mercury, Stark lives among the people of the civilized solar system, but his veneer of calm masks a warrior’s spirit. In the murderous Martian Drylands the greatest criminals in the galaxy hatch a conspiracy of red revolution. Stark’s involvement leads to the forgotten ruins of the Martian Low Canals, an unlikely romance, and a secret so potent it could shake the Red Planet to its core.
In a special bonus novel, People of the Talisman, Stark ventures to the treacherous polar icecap of Mars to return a stolen talisman to an oppressed people.
The Secret of Sinharat and People of the Talisman make an excellent introduction to the work of Leigh Brackett, a pillar of science fantasy and one of the greatest writers to work in the genre. Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep with William Faulkner and influential enough to write the original screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, Brackett’s fiction is no less distinguished than her movie work and never fails to deliver thrills and wry smiles.
- Introduction: "Stark Rides Again" by Michael Moorcock
- The Secret of Sinharat
- People of the Talisman
240-page softcover trade paperback
"FIVE STARS. Highly recommended!" —Fred Kiesche, SFSignal.com
"The Eric John Stark stories are clearly in the must read segment of the genre." —George T. Dodds, SFSite.com
About the Author
Though Leigh Douglass Brackett (1915–1978) was one of the most prominent science fiction authors of her time, she was equally adept in both crime fiction and westerns. While many of her early stories, beginning with "Martian Quest" in 1940, were science fantasy with a strong adventure theme, her first novel, "No Good From a Corpse"(1944), was a hard-boiled detective mystery that so impressed director Howard Hawks that he had his staff call in "this guy Brackett" to help William Faulkner write the script for The Big Sleep. The film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, is considered a shining example of film noir, and launched Brackett's scriptwriting career, which would go on to include such notable pictures as Rio Bravo, The Long Goodbye, and the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, which was written shortly before her death and later revised significantly. During this time, however, she maintained her status as a pulp science fiction icon, writing numerous stories and occasionally collaborating with protégé Ray Bradbury or husband Edmond Hamilton. It was during this busy period that she created her most famous character, criminal and wild-man Eric John Stark, an anti-hero who allowed her to explore colonialism's affect on native cultures, a theme that pervades much of her work. Despite her death from cancer in 1978, Brackett's works live on today as some of the most important in the genre.
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