A World is Born
A World is Bornis a short science fiction story by Leigh Brackett.
A World is Born is an action & adventure story taking place on Mercury, where a convict tries to escape a terraforming project that has local enemies.
Mel Gray flung down his hoe with a sudden tigerish fierceness and stood erect. Tom Ward, working beside him, glanced at Gray's indianesque profile, the youth of it hardened by war and the hells of the Eros prison blocks.
A quick flash of satisfaction crossed Ward's dark eyes. Then he grinned and said mockingly, "Hell of a place to spend the rest of your life, isn’t it?"
Mel Gray stared with slitted blue eyes down the valley. The huge sun of Mercury seared his naked body. Sweat channeled the dust on his skin. His throat ached with thirst. And the bitter landscape mocked him more than Wade's dark face.
"The rest of my life," he repeated softly. "The rest of my life!"He was twenty-eight.
Wade spat in the damp black earth. "You ought to be glad -- helping the unfortunate, building a haven for the derelict..."
A World is Born was first published in Comet Stories magazine in 1941. 8.200 words, reading time approximately 55 min. Also available as audiobook, read by Mark Nelson.
Leigh Douglass Brackett (1915-1978) was an American author, particularly of science fiction, and has been referred to as the Queen of Space Opera. She was also a screenwriter, known for her work on such films as The Big Sleep (1946), Rio Bravo (1959) and The Long Goodbye (1973). She was the first woman shortlisted for the Hugo Award.