Michael Moorcock: Also Wrong About Leigh Brackett
December 15, 2015
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Kevyn Winkless forwarded this absolutely fantastic article by Michael Moorcock. If you are a fan of Leigh Brackett, you won’t want to miss it.
It contains, however, an error that I have been calling out in the week since Leigh Brackett’s centennial:
There was a time when the kind of science fantasy Brackett made her own was looked down upon as a kind of bastard progeny of science fiction (which was about scientific speculation) and fantasy (which was about magic). Critics of the 50s hated it because it was very uncool to be as blatantly, gorgeously romantic as Brackett, to combine the natural and the supernatural so effortlessly. Maybe that was why, too, she deliberately obscured her gender in the early days. It was a pretty unladylike form.
Part of this I debunked last Thursday when Tansy Rayner Roberts brought up the “dismissed for mashing up science fiction and fantasy” assertion. The part about Leigh Brackett “obscuring her gender” I showed to be incorrect when I called out Jeet Heer about it last Friday.
Now, you’d think I’d be a little embarrassed. Here I am contending with these people over something like this when Michael Moorcock was saying pretty much the same thing back in 2000. But just like all those people reading on some Star Wars wiki that Leigh Brackett’s Star Wars script was “discarded” and accepting it as a given, Moorcock and Rayner and Heer are all simply repeating something they’ve heard. Sure it sounds plausible. Yes it feels right. Heck yeah, people love to hear it. And hardly anyone would be so gauche as to challenge them on this sort of thing. But it’s still wrong.