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Author Information: Leigh Brackett



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(1915 - 1978) Novelist and screenwriter, born Leigh Douglass Brackett in Los Angeles, California and raised near Santa Monica. Having spent her youth as an athletic tom-boy — playing volleyball and reading stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard — she began writing fantastic adventures of her own. Several of these early efforts were read by Henry Kuttner, who critiqued her stories and introduced her to the sf personalities then living in California, including Robert A. Heinlein, Julius Schwartz, Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton — and another aspiring writer, Ray Bradbury.

Her first story, Martian Quest, was sold to Astounding Stories in 1940. In 1944, based on the hard-boiled dialogue in her first novel, No Good From a Corpse, producer/director Howard Hawks hired Brackett to collaborate with William Faulkner on the screenplay of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep (1946) Brackett maintained an on-again/off-again relationship with Hollywood for the remainder of her life. Between writing screenplays for such films as Rio Bravo, El Dorado, Hatari!, and The Long Goodbye, she produced novels such as The Starmen (1952), Alpha Centauri - or Die! (1953), the classic The Long Tomorrow (1955) and the Spur Award-winning Western, Follow the Free Wind (1963). She also competed in the pulps by doing what the boys were doing; she cranked out such pulp-fiction as Dragon-Queen of Jupiter, Enchantress of Venus and The Jewel-Beast of Mars. Leigh was married to Edmond Hamilton, the leading pulp SF writer of his day.

Her last work, completed only a month before she died, was a screenplay for the Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back.

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