“All the Colors of the Rainbow,” Leigh Brackett, 1957

“All the Colors of the Rainbow,” Leigh Brackett, 1957 — Opens with the description of a valley being washed away by rain. Flashes back to two green-skinned aliens arriving on Earth. Their host suggests they take a drive through the country, which they eagerly accept.  Along the way, they encounter an enclave of rural whites, separatists who resent all the “colors” they think are invading their world. The whites harass them, first by refusing to offer them lodging and then service. They crowd around their car, making jibes at their green skin, asking if their females lay eggs.  The couple flees the town, but they are chased and run off the road.  The men gang-rape the woman and brutally beat the man.

Cut to the couple departing the planet. The official that greeted them initially has apologized, but there will be no justice for the couple despite the fact that they have been traumatized and forever changed. The whites in the town are protecting their own, hiding them among their people. The alien man states that what he hates most of all is that he’s afraid now, even afraid of the Earth official, whom he can’t help but view as a barbarian–he never wanted that, but it’s not a reaction he can control.  Nor is his desire for vengeance.  But rather than respond in kind, his revenge is to seed the  clouds of the town where he and his partner were attacked.  The rain cannot be stopped, and the protected enclave of whiteness is washed away.

Comments: Read in Infinity One.  Themes of race, city vs. rural, brutality, prejudice, gender.

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.

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About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, difference/tolerance, favorites, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, primitive/civilized, race/civil rights, the Other, violence. Bookmark the permalink.

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