Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New gender switch adventure: “Queen of the Martian Catacombs Engraved” by Lee Brackett

This past summer, Jekkara Press, the home of The Gender Switch Adventures, published an interesting, free science fiction story titled “Queen of the Martian Catacombs Engraved” (2010). Written by Lee Brackett and starring a gritty female character named Erica John Stark, the story is based upon “Queen of the Martian Catacombs” (1949), a classic novella written by science fiction author Leigh Brackett (1915-1978) that features her legendary male character, Eric John Stark. Here are the opening lines of the recast story:
For hours the hard-pressed beast had fled across the Martian desert with its dark rider. Now it was spent. It faltered and broke stride, and when the rider cursed and dug her heels into the scaly sides, the brute only turned its head and hissed at her. It stumbled on a few more paces into the lee of a sandhill, and there it stopped, crouching down in the dust.

The woman dismounted. The creature’s eyes burned like green lamps in the light of the little moons, and she knew that it was no use trying to urge it on. She looked back, the way she had come.

In the distance there were four black shadows grouped together in the barren emptiness. They were running fast. In a few minutes they would be upon her...
 As I mentioned previously on my old blog, Jekkara Press takes its name from an ancient city located on the Mars of Leigh Brackett.

(Artwork by Robert Rizzato)

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