Collecting Brackett

I’ve read an awful lot of the work of Leigh Brackett, and much of it multiple times. I thought I’d share a photo of some of my favorite of her books.

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.

Beneath that is a hardback collection of the three Skaith books. Good stuff, although I didn’t enjoy them quite as much as some of her earlier novellas. I’m still on the fence about whether or not I’ll pick up the complete Stark book that Haffner is printing, given that I already have the stories he’ll include as they appear in either this Skaith volume or the Stark and the Star Kings book beneath it. On the other hand, the complete Stark book will have notes on the unwritten fourth Skaith book… and it will also look really great on the shelf.

Speaking of which, those three Brackett volumes have ALMOST all of Brackett’s short fiction, good and more run-of-the-mill. There are plenty of goodies in there that didn’t make it into the various best-of volumes. And did I mention that the Haffner hardbacks are beautiful and very well made?

11 Comments on “Collecting Brackett

  1. Ive never read anything by her. If you had to pick somewhere to start, would it be Sword of Rhiannon?

    • Absolutely. If you don’t like that, you probably won’t like her work. And it’s pretty easy to lay hands on a used version of it through in the used books search there.

      Once upon a time there was an ACE double that had her short novel on one side and Hour of the Dragon on the other. That might be the mightiest sword-and-sorcery pairing EVER. Technically Brackett is sword-and-planet, but I hate silly little technicalities. In short, that ACE double was about as awesome as you could get on the adventure scale. It went straight past 11 to something higher.

      • I agree start with Sword of Rhiannon. I was introduced to Brackett through the Best of volume and that’s a good place to start as well.

        I wonder how it would be to pick up that ace double back in the day and read both Hour and Rhiannon.

        • Wouldn’t that be something? To experience both of those for the first time? Back to back?

  2. I’ve been waiting a while for Haffner to get a back to STARK and the centennial book. He seems to have gone on a noir tangent. :/

    • Actually, the noir titles he’s been printing were announced years ago. Haffner is something of a crock pot publisher in that he takes a long time to publish a book after he announces it.

  3. Another collection (and I don’t know how the contents compare to Sea Kings since I don’t have that one) is The Halfling. The title story is one of my all time favorites, and I don’t understand why it wasn’t included in Best of. It is as good as any of the stories in that volume, IMHO.

    • I have that collection. It’s great particularly the title story.

    • Another good one. And it’s also strangely absent from the Sea-Kings volume. That collection is nearly perfect. There are about three that are just okay in there, and if those were cut to make room for a few more of the very best, it would be a one-stop compendium.

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