Stark Trio by Leigh Brackett (Heathen Edition)

Stark Trio

Spine #30
Leigh Brackett
First Edition
Heathen Edition
Heathen Genera
Arriving Soon-ish, Hi-Sci-Fi
Paperback ISBN
Hardcover ISBN

He tried to move, to crawl toward Ciara standing like a carven image in her black mail. He could not.

Again her fierce, proud glance met his. And the silent laughter of the ice-folk echoed in his mind, and he thought it very strange that in this moment, now, he should realize that there had never been another woman like her on all of the worlds of the Sun.

Apart from the multitudes of the ice-folk, the group of seven stood upon the ledge. And now their thought-voice spoke to Stark, saying,

"Look about you. Behold the men who have come before you through the Gates of Death!"

Warriors, nobles, fanatics, and thieves—the wanderers of a million years who had dared to enter this forbidden valley, and had remained forever.

He saw their faces, their tortured eyes wide open, their features frozen in the agony of a slow and awful death . . .

Leigh Douglass Brackett (1915–1978) was an American author hailed as “the Queen of Space Opera” and a screenwriter best known for The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, The Long Goodbye, and the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back. She was one of the first two women ever nominated for a Hugo Award and the first woman ever shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Around 1950, Brackett’s planet-hopping “man without a tribe” Eric John Stark bare-knuckled his way through the pages of sci-fi pulp Planet Stories in a razor-sharp, hardboiled trio — Queen of the Martian Catacombs, Black Amazon of Mars, and Enchantress of Venus – all three collected here as first published.

"There's only one Leigh Brackett and there's only one Eric John Stark — both stand alone in their field!"
Ray Bradbury