It was Star Trek that got me interested in historical fiction. Not because I’d been watching the crew interact with historical figures on the holodeck—the Next Generation didn’t exist when I was a kid. And it wasn’t because Kirk and Spock once met a simulacrum of Abraham Lincoln. It was because, Star Trek nerd that I was, I’d read that Star Trek’s creator Gene Roddenberry had modeled Captain Kirk after some guy named Horatio Hornblower. I didn’t think I’d like history stories, but I sure liked Star Trek, so I decided to take a chance. Once I rode my bicycle to the library and saw how many books about Hornblower there were, I figured I’d be enjoying a whole lot of sailing age Star Trek fiction for a long time to come.
On the top there is a great short novel, one of my very favorites by her. It’s actually included in the Sea-Kings volume immediately beneath it, but the version in that collection had so many typos I went out and re-purchased another version of the paperback I sent away to Joe McCullough, because when I’m re-reading one of my favorite stories I don’t want to be distracted by errors.
I mentioned the excellence of the compilation beneath it just last week (except for typos). The titular “Best-of” book was compiled by Brackett’s husband and is another one-stop shopping for a sample of Brackett’s best, although neither it nor Sea-Kings has ALL of her best.
There are other plans afoot, but this is probably enough excitement for today. I’ll share some other information later in the week.
One of the finest anthologies I happen to own is Sea-Kings of Mars, which collects most of Leigh Brackett’s best short work. Not ALL, but it’s a great sampling. I’d only replace one or two of the weaker ones with other favorites of my own. If you happen to see a copy, grab one, because it’s out of print and prices seem to be climbing.
If you don’t prefer to have a book, you can get an e-copy of Leigh Brackett’s stuff from BAEN’s online site for ridiculously cheap prices.They also have a collection titled Sea-Kings of Mars, but it’s not the same collection. It’s still good, though.