Friday, May 28, 2010
The Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel
Last month (or so), a little "lost" sword-&-planet tale by Michael Moorcock showed up on Tor.com.
"The Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel" originally appeared in a 1990s anthology.
It's a quick web read, and while nothing amazing, it does what Moorcock does best - a feverish read from what appeared to be a quick writing session. I haven't read too many long novels from Moorcock, and, as James Enge once wrote, to me it feels that Moorcock's best is when the sparks are flying off the typewriter (computer) and the world building is off-the-cuff and only spawning what is needed to support the tale at hand.
Historically, Moorcock has often praised Leigh Brackett's writing, and this story is an homage. Though, I believe it also reads strongly as an homage to C. L. Moore's tales of Northwest Smith. It has more of a 'Weird Tales' strange alien vistas look'n'feel than a planetary swashbuckler.
I did grin, though, when I read "big sleep" and "long goodbye" directly in the prose. Those were two screenplays Leigh Brackett wrote (she did Hollywood screenwriting as well as science-fantasy-fiction.)
It's a good tale for a quick read and it's free.