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Hamilton/Brackett Day July 17, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

For the science fiction fans amongst us, and there’s at least one or two, July 18th is Edmond Hamilton/Leigh Brackett Day – at least as held in Kinsman Ohio on July 18th 2009.

Married from 1946, Hamilton and Brackett were remarkable characters in their own right. Brackett wrote a considerable number of science fiction and fantasy novels, but may be more familiar, in a way, to people as a screenwriter for an incredibly wide variety of films from Rio Bravo, The Big Sleep and no less than The Empire Strikes Back – or early versions of same.

Hamilton wrote space opera and also worked on Superman, co-created Batwoman and so on. Oddly his best known work is possibly the Captain Future novels which were made into anime series in the 1970s.

I’ve read a few of Brackett’s novels and they were pretty enjoyable. Dark though, which is no harm. By contrast I find it odd in a way reading Hamilton at this remove. Much of his fiction seems to have laudable anti-racism messages, as well as an underlying antagonism to human chauvinism. And yet, and yet, some of his stories aren’t great in relation to women, to put it mildly. Recently reading the City at the End of the World there were numerous times when I found myself sighing aloud at a fairly unthinking sexism in terms of the portrayal of women characters. The pairing of Hamilton and Brackett just seems odd in that context.

That said he could write a grand old space opera, no question about it. Interestingly the two only collaborated on a handful of works.


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