Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Zimmer Bradley was born on June 3, 1930 in Albany, New York. She married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949 and divorced in 1964; they had one child, David Bradley. She then married Walter H. Breen and had two more children, Moira and Mark. She graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a B.A. in 1965 and then moved to Berkeley, California. In 1990, Bradley divorced Breen after being separated since 1979. Breen was convicted on child molestation charges.

Bradley read science fiction and fantasy as a child and wrote her first novel at the age of 17. Her first sale was in 1949 when she entered an amateur contest in Amazing Stories. In 1957 she published her first novel, Falcons of Narabedia in Other Worlds. Before she became a noted science fiction and fantasy author, Bradley wrote in other genres, including Lesbian and Gay. She used the pseudonyms Miriam Gardner, John Dexter and Lee Chapman. She introduced her most noted series of books, centered on the planet Darkover, in 1958 with her novel The Planet Savers.

She was active in fandom, writing letters to the magazines and publishing the fanzines Astra's Tower, Day*star and Anything Box. She edited the Sword and Sorceress anthology series, published by DAW. These anthologies continued throughout the rest of her life and still continue under the auspices of the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust. There have been twenty-eight issues to date.

Bradley died on September 25, 1999 after suffering a major heart attack. Fifteen years after her death her daughter, Moira, came forward with allegations that her mother sexually abused her from the age of three until the age of twelve. The science fiction and fantasy community reeled with the revelation and several of the authors who have contributed stories and novels to the Darkover Universe have pledged to donate their advances and royalties from these writings to various charities including the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and Save the Children.

The Bloody Sun

"Darkover - for some the planet beneath the bloody far-off sun, had the reputation of being a half-frozen lump of dust on the edge of nowhere. For Jeff Kerwin, Jr., Darkover meant only one thing - home. Returning there after many long years, Kerwin had not been prepared for what he was to find...For from the first day he set foot on the planet he had been hounded by a sinister, swarthy man who made no secret of the shadowing. Then there was the strange discovery that there was no record anywhere of his birth and childhood on Darkover. All the dark forces of this mysterious world were banding together to deny him - and Jeff Kerwin vowed to risk everything to find out why."

Original Publication: Ace, 1964
This Edition: Ace, 1964
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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The Winds of Darkover

"Turning under a blood-ren sun, Darkover had always been a mystery to the Terrans. It is most puzzling riddles lay in the incredibly high mountains known as the Hellers. These jagged and almost impassable peaks sheltered races and enigmas that had become legend in the outside world - the howling inhuman Ya-men, the deadly Ghost Wind, the fiefs of barbaris beigand chieftains, decaying eldritch Dry-Towns...and the eerie forces that were worshipped as gods. Dan Barron was a rational and highly efficient member of the Terran Space-force - until nightmare visions drove him from the safety of the Trade City into the unmapped heart of the Darkovan mountain ranges...into an ancient battle that would shape the destiny of more than one world."

Original Publication: Ace, 1970
This Edition: Ace, 1978
Cover Art: Michael Whelan
Format: Paperback

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Hunters of the Red Moon

"Between the eclipses - The hunters were fair by their standardswere utterly inhuman. They kidnapped intelligent beings from many far-off planets as prey for their hunt. They gave them their choice of the best weapons available, allowed them plenty of time to practice, gave them a "chance." If they could survive until the next eclipse of the red moon, wealth and freedom would be theirs. The catch was this - nobody knew what the hunters looked like. How then do you outwit an enemy who might look like your best friend, your comrade-in-arms, or like a monster that could slay an army? It's a complex puzzle, it's a vision of a strange culture, it's an edge-of-the-seat interplanetary thriller by the bestselling author of the Darkover novels."

Original Publication: DAW, September 1973
This Edition: DAW, September 1973
Cover Art: George Barr
Format: Paperback

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Falcons of Narabedla

"Narabedla where the Rainbow Cities gleam in every color imaginable under the light of twin suns. Where lush flowers croon a song of death in the garden of Karamy the Golden, and their victins are never found. Where falcons with human intelligence hunt in the forests; they seek no four-footed prey. Where the mutant Dreamers sleep fitfully in their dark Keep, dreaming of a power long lost, and soon to be reclaimed...."

Original Publication: Ace, March 1979
This Edition: Ace, March 1979
Cover Art: Bob Adragna
Format: Paperback

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The Ruins of Isis

"The Ruins of Isis.The Matriarchs of Isis bow to no man.Alone in the Universe, the Matriarchs dominate a world guided by the Builders, whose sacred voices speak only to women. When scientists Cendri and Dal come to explore Isis, they sense the perils that could ravage this strange planet. Earthquakes and tidal waves are one danger - but the seething revolt of the men will force Isis to a new beginning - or a cataclysmic end!"

Original Publication: Starblaze/The Donning Company, August 1978
This Edition: Timescape/Pocket Books, August 1978
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Children of Hastur

"Regis, the last Hastur and heir to the domain, is in despair, for if at 15 he has not develped telepathic laran powers, the inherited asset of the ruling families, he will probably never develop them. And a powerless ruler is a sorry thing. But his friend Lew, heir to the Alton domain, discovers otherwise. Although Regis' powers are blocked, still their potential exists. Lew, an expert on Laran powers and on the jewel-like matrix stones through which the rulers channel and enhance them, may be on the verge of uncovering the cause of Regis' block- when he is abruptly called to Aldaran on a diplomatic mission. Though Terrans had first settled Darkover, now no love is lost between the planets, despite the Terran Empire's starship bses there. Seven Domains, run by the telepathic Comyn, rule Darkover, the Hastur family, the Regis as its heir, heads the strongest Domain, while, years before, in the Age of Chaos, the Aldaran Domain was exiled from the Comyn Council. Now, in Aldaran, Lew learns that Terran weapons are being bought and stored openly - a violation of the Compact formed at the end of an Age of Chaos, to ensure that its horrors would never recur. The Compact stated that Darkovans were forbidden to carry any weapons capable of killing without putting the user in the direct and immediate position of being killed himself. Therefore, while swords and daggers are permitted on Darkover, most alien weapons are forbidden. Kermiac, Lord Aldaran, is determined that Darkover be accepted in the Terran Empire, and he sees the possession of powerful long-range weaponry as the only road to that goal. He manages to convince Lew of the justice of his cause, but not of the means he is using. However, Lew is willing to work through a laran circle, composed of Beltran, Kermiac's son, several of Kermiac's wards, and the mysterious Robert Kadarin. Lew agrees to train the members - with an aged, powerful matric through which the circle can power starships and weaponry to convince Earth of Darkover might. However, their matrix wields an incredibly powerful force - for it is a destructive laran weapon left over from the Age of Chaos. Kadarin and Beltran, unwilling to accept what they see as superstition, believe that they can control the stone's malevolent destructiveness..unaware that the stone can corrupt and control the minds of circle members. Then Regis arrives in Aldaran to help his friend and it soon becomes appallingly clear that, despite his insecurities about his own laran, he must break into Lew's circle, to save him and all of Darkover."

Original Publication: Nelson Doubleday/Science Fiction Book Club, May 1982
This Edition: Nelson Doubleday/Science Fiction Book Club, May 1982
Cover Art: Dana Grasiunas
Format: Hardback

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Contents: Interior artwork by Jack Gaughan. The Heritage of Hastur and Sharra's Exile

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The Saga of the Renunciates

"Bradley tells the masterful tale of two valiant women who face and try to break the invisible chains of custom, convention, habit and expectation with which society binds women, and women bind themselves. Magdalen Lorne is a Terran woman born and reared on Darkover. She thinks herself the perfect Terran undercover Intelligence agent, and disguises herself as a Free Amazon to enable her to fulfill a mission to free a Terran man from kidnappers. But when she herself is captured by a band of real Renunciates, she discovers they have a harsh punishment for any pretender: she must swear the Oath of the Free Amazons, relinquish her former life, and become a Renunciate in reality. Jaelle has been raised in the harsh patriarchal environment of the Dry Towns. Her mother Mellora is a COmyn woman who has been kidnapped in order to breen laran-gifted offspring for her barbarian "husband." But when a desperate, pregnant Mellora dies in childbirth following a daring escape aided by a band of Renunciates, the still young Jaelle is adopted into the Guild, and becomes the Free Amazon Jaelle n'ha Mellora, a woman who has never known kindness from a man. Together Magda, now known as Margali n'ha Ysabet, and her Guild-sister Jaelle will follow a twisting course neither could have predicted. A course which will lead them to question every aspect of themselves and of their two so-different societies. And one which will eventually set them on a life-threatening journey not only to the frozen ends of the physical world, but to the perilous limits of the spiritual overworld as well."

Original Publication: DAW, August 2002
This Edition: DAW, August 2002
Cover Art: Romas
Format: Paperback

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Contents: The Shattered Chain, Thendara House and City of Sorcery

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A World Divided

"One World, Two Cultures.The Bloody Sun: Jeff Kerwin had spent his early years in the Spaceman's Orphanage in the Terran Trade City on Darkover. Yet he was haunted by dreams of the world surrounding this Terran oasis, a world he somehow felt had once been his. Shipped back to Earth at the age of twelve. Jeff could not escape the conviction that only on Darkover would he discover who he truly was. But when he finally returned to the planet of the Bloody Sun as a member of the Terran Spaceforce, he still felt like an outcast. For though he had the red hair of the common lord and carried a powerful matrix jewel, he had no memory of how he had acquired it. Only if he managed to learn the secrets of the Towers could he hope to unlock the mystery of his heritage. Star of Danger: Although the Darkovers are descendants of a long-lost Terran colony ship, they distrust the Terran spacers who have taken up residence on their planet, fearing these "strangers" will disrupt the entire society of Darkover. And many Terrans do feel that the people of Darkover should abandon their "backward" culture and become part of the Terran Empire. Yet despite this mutual prejudice, Terran Larry Montray and when Darkovan Kennard Alton forge a bond of friendship. But when Larry and Kennard are forced to combine Darkover matrix magic with Terran technology to stand against a mutual enemy, will their alliance fracture the stability of both their cultures? Winds of Darkness: When a bandit gang seizes High Windward, holding the Storn family hostage, the laran powers of the oldest son Loran are the family's only hope. Reaching out with those powers, he finds a young Terran, Dan Barron, and "overshadows: his mind, sending him on a desperate rescue mission to Aldaran Castle. But the "help" that the powerful Aldaran family offers may be far more dangerous than any bandit. For what they offer is use of the terrible Sharra Matrix - dreaded weapon of the Ages of Chaos."

Original Publication: DAW, December 2003
This Edition: DAW, December 2003
Cover Art: Romas
Format: Paperback

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Contents: Star of Danger, The Bloody Sun and The Winds of Darkover

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