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Black Amazon of Mars
Leigh Douglass BRACKETT (1915 - 1978)
Carrying out the last wishes of a comrade, mercenary Eric John Stark takes on the task of returning a stolen talisman to a walled city near the Martian pole; a city that guards the mysterious Gates of Death. Now all he has to do is get past the brutal clans of Mekh and the shadowy Lord Ciaran to get to Kushat where they’ll probably attempt to kill him. All while he tries to hold on to a talisman that imprints ancient memories of the Gates in his mind. That’s not easy for a human raised by Mercurian aborigines. - Black Amazon of Mars is the third story to feature Brackett’s hero Eric John Stark, and was later expanded into the novel People of the Talisman. It was first published in Planet Stories magazine in March of 1951. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)