Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paperback 492: Alpha Centauri or Die! / Leigh Brackett (Ace 01770)

Paperback 492: Ace 01770 (1st ptg, 1970)

Title: Alpha Centauri or Die!
Author: Leigh Brackett
Cover artist: Uncredited [Carlos Ochagavia]

Yours for: $5


Best things about this cover:
  • "Uh ... I don't think they're home." "Did you ring the doorbell?" "Of course I rang the doorbell. What did you think, I'm just gonna stand here and ... wait, I hear something. Someone's in there. 'Hello! Hello?!'" "This is ridiculous. Who needs this much security?" "Don't be rude. 'Hello!' Maybe there's a dress code or something. I told you not to wear that stupid egg costume..."
  • Space Station Security—powered by Simon and some reel-to-reel tape.
  • I went through a Leigh Brackett phase in the late '90s, after I found out that she a. co-wrote "The Big Sleep" screenplay (with William Faulkner), and b. wrote the screenplay for "The Empire Strikes Back." She's a very competent writer who should probably be better known.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Wow, that is some stain. I think that stain is now home to some microbial life forms. Appropriate for scifi.
  • I thought the dude's name was "To [rhymes with 'Bo'?] Kirby"
  • In space, no one can hear you complain about the tryranny [sic!]

Page 123~

They sweated it out crouched under their tarps, and after it was over they wallowed on through the mud to make a camp where they had stopped before, clear of the forest.  Damp and tired, they huddled around a hopeless little fire and chewed a cold supper.

Lollapalooza is the same no matter what planet you're on.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


Deb said...

Possibly apocryphal, but the story goes that while they were writing the screenplay, Faulkner called Chandler to ask, "Hey, who actually killed the chauffeur," and Chandler's response was, "I don't know."

/Even if it's not true, I wish it were.

Anonymous said...

Man, the Earth is much bigger than I thought. 4.3 light years away and it's still bigger than her head.