“The Woman from Altair,” Leigh Brackett, 1951

“The Woman from Altair,” Leigh Brackett, 1951 – A mysterious, alien woman (Arhian) arrives on the arm of the darling son of a space-faring family, and the family is none too pleased.  At first, she’s introduced as his bride, but the family soon learns that the marriage was forced.  In fact, her new husband seems to regard her as one of his trophies of war.

Comments:  Read in Women of Wonder: Classic Years.  An interesting story that has been read various ways.  For example, the story can be read as legitimizing the family’s fear of the “alien” outsider, as Arhian does prove dangerous.  In contrast, see Chally’s interpretation, in which Arhian is seen as disrupting a portrayal of “whiteness” and femininity (through performance).  Those interested in “the war bride as Other” theme in sf might compare this text to C. L. Moore’s “There Shall Be Darkness” (1942), as Moore was an influence on Brackett, and Moore’s text is preoccupied with themes of light/dark, black/white.  Another text possibly worth comparison is Boucher’s “Star Bride” (1943).

Author: Wikipedia: “Leigh Douglass Brackett (December 7, 1915 – March 18, 1978) was an American author, particularly of science fiction. She was also a screenwriter, known for her work on famous films such as The Big Sleep (1945), Rio Bravo (1959), The Long Goodbye (1973) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980).”  Brackett was married to fellow science fiction writer, Edmond Hamilton.


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, difference/tolerance, exiles/"home"/displacement, gender, love/family/children, post/colonialism, race/civil rights, the Other, theatre/performance. Bookmark the permalink.

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