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Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Zimmer Bradley(1930-1999)
Marion Zimmer Bradley is best known in the fantasy world for The Mists of Avalon, but her largest work is her epic science fiction series Darkover. Bradley also wrote many short stories, stand-alones, anthologies, non-fiction works, and a Fantasy Literature magazine.

The Mists of Avalon

The Mists of Avalon — (1979-2007) The Arthurian Legend from the feminist and pagan perspective. The Mists of Avalon is the original book. The later prequels were co-authored with Diana Paxson. They are listed here in order of publication, but here is the order if you want to read them in order of when the events occurred in Avalon: Ancestors, Ravens, Forest, Lady, Priestess.

Marion Zimmer Bradley fantasy book review The Mists of AvalonMarion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon 6. Sword of Avalon

The Mists of Avalon: Beautiful writing, but excruciatingly slow

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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon, as you’ve likely guessed, is a retake on the King Arthur legends, but what makes it different is that it’s written from the women’s perspectives (Morgaine, Guinevere, etc.). The first one was written by Marion Zimmer Bradley in 1983 and this was the first time this feminist technique was used in fantasy literature and it was very successful (I learned that when I took a Modern Scholar course in fantasy literature).

The Mists of Avalon is beautifully written, but slow-paced, and I often wished the story would move faster. Since the women characters are the focus, there’s not much action (except traveling). The chicks themselves aren't fighting a lot of Saxons. Also, there’s a major emphasis on the dissolution of the pagan religion as Chr... Read More

Lady of Avalon: Help, I’m lost in the mists of history!

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Lady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Lady of Avalon is a set of three sort-of-related stories about priestesses on the Druid isle of Avalon, during the centuries preceding Bradley's stunning Mists of Avalon.

And they're OK, in general. I especially liked Viviane's story; I learned more about what made that complex character tick.

Unfortunately, certain details of the history set up by Bradley in Mists were contradicted in Lady of Avalon. Don't read this if you don't want to get a headache trying to reconcile the two chronologies. The result of the ritual to enshroud the isle in the mists, as well as the backstory of Taliesin, were altered, along with a few other things. I suppose I could theorize that Marion Zimmer Bradley did it on purpose, and we're... Read More

Trillium

Trillium — (1990-1997) Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton. Publisher: Those with the gift have the power One stormy night, three princesses are born. As each baby is placed into her mother’s arms, so the Archimage Binah bestows on her a gift of great power: a pendant containing a bud of the long-extinct Black Trillium. One day that power will be all that protects the princesses from certain doom.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton 1. Black Trillium 2. Blood Trillium 3. Golden Trillium 4. Lady of the Trillium 5. Sky Trillium Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton 1. Black Trillium 2. Blood Trillium 3. Golden Trillium 4. Lady of the Trillium 5. Sky Trillium Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton 1. Black Trillium 2. Blood Trillium 3. Golden Trillium 4. Lady of the Trillium 5. Sky Trillium Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton 1. Black Trillium 2. Blood Trillium 3. Golden Trillium 4. Lady of the Trillium 5. Sky Trillium Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton 1. Black Trillium 2. Blood Trillium 3. Golden Trillium 4. Lady of the Trillium 5. Sky Trillium

Black Trillium: Substandard

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Black Trillium by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May, Andre Norton

At first glance, Black Trillium looks like an interesting project: three leading female authors of speculative fiction — Marion Zimmer Bradley, Julian May and Andre Norton — writing a book together. After having read it, I don't think the result is a resounding success. It still spawned a total of four sequels written by each of the authors individually. I understand there are some continuity issues between those books, making the SAGA OF THE TRILLIUM series a strange one indeed.

Black Trillium Read More

The Colors of Space: An SF juvenile by MZB

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The Colors of Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Bart Steele has been off at the Space Academy and hasn’t seen his father in years. When he goes to meet him at a Lhari space station, Mr. Steele never shows up. Instead, he sends an agent with a message for Bart. The Lhari, an intelligent alien race, suspect that Bart’s dad has stolen the secret of their warp drive. If so, this means humans will be able to manufacture their own warp drives and the Lhari will no longer have a monopoly on out-of-system space travel. The Lhari are trying to hunt down Mr. Steele and Bart is in danger, too.

Off goes Bart to try to find his father and his father’s secrets. All he knows is that the secret to the Lhari space drive has something to do with an eighth color that humans have never seen before (Marion Zimmer Bradley’s science is a little off here. Well, a lot off, but let’s just ignore that, shall we? Becaus... Read More

The Firebrand: Feminist agenda goes too far

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The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I'm not a huge fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley, but the Trojan War is one of my favourite subjects, and I was curious to see how it could be told from a singular, feminine point of view — in this case, Princess Kassandra of Troy, tragically famous for her accurate predictions of doom that no one believed. The Firebrand is told with Bradley's trademark style; a strong feminist streak (that can become a little too heavy-handed at times), and her fresh spin on an ancient legend, a technique that brought Bradley into the public eye with her best known novel The Mists of Avalon.

The Firebrand follows the life of Kassandra of Troy from childhood to the fall of her city at the hands of the Akhaians, and the details of her life in-between, significantly her relatio... Read More

Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths

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Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths by Jennifer Roberson

Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths is an anthology for everyone who loves re-takes on the Arthurian legends, and especially those readers who loved The Mists of Avalon and are seeking more of the same sort of retellings, laced with gender politics, religious issues, and romance.

As in all anthologies, some of the stories are to my taste, some aren't, and there is probably something for everyone. In my opinion, the stunner of the bunch is Rosemary Edghill's "Prince of Exiles." Set among bloodthirsty warlords rather than knights-n-ladies, it is narrated by Ator (Arthur)'s bitter illegitimate son, as he unfolds his intricate plan for revenge against his father. It's a... Read More

Science Fiction Super Pack #1: A generally above-average anthology

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Science Fiction Super Pack #1 edited by Warren Lapine

Like the companion fantasy volume, Science Fiction Super Pack #1, edited by Warren Lapine, only has one story I didn't think was good, and it's a piece of Lovecraft fanfiction. H.P. Lovecraft's overwrought prose doesn't do much for me even when Lovecraft himself writes it, and much less so when it's attempted by imitators. And Lovecraft's stories at least have something frightening that happens in them; these two stories (in this volume and the other) only have visions of aspects of the Mythos and crazy people ranting, which isn't scary or interesting. Everything else was good, occasionally even amazing.

Again like the fantasy volume, it more ... Read More

More speculative fiction by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Darkover — (1972- ) Publisher: When a Terran ship crashed on Darkover, many of the colonists and crew wished to stay and build an Earthlike society on the alien planet. They might be the most intelligent species on that world and could make themselves its lords and masters. They didn’t realize the dangers that lurked until the Ghost Wind began to blow and the powers of Darkover worked to claim them completely…

Marion Zimmer Bradley Darkover Landfall, Stormqueen!, Hawkmistress!, Two to Conquer, The Heirs of Hammerfell, The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley Darkover Landfall, Stormqueen!, Hawkmistress!, Two to Conquer, The Heirs of Hammerfell, The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley Darkover Landfall, Stormqueen!, Hawkmistress!, Two to Conquer, The Heirs of Hammerfell, The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley Darkover Landfall, Stormqueen!, Hawkmistress!, Two to Conquer, The Heirs of Hammerfell, The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley Darkover Landfall, Stormqueen!, Hawkmistress!, Two to Conquer, The Heirs of Hammerfell, The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley Darkover 1. Darkover Landfall 2. Stormqueen! 6. Hawkmistress! 7. Two to Conquer 8. The Heirs of Hammerfell 10. The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley The Spell Sword, The Forbidden Tower, Thendara House, City of Sorcery, Star of Danger Marion Zimmer Bradley The Spell Sword, The Forbidden Tower, Thendara House, City of Sorcery, Star of Danger Marion Zimmer Bradley The Spell Sword, The Forbidden Tower, Thendara House, City of Sorcery, Star of Danger Marion Zimmer Bradley The Spell Sword, The Forbidden Tower, Thendara House, City of Sorcery, Star of Danger Marion Zimmer Bradley The Spell Sword, The Forbidden Tower, Thendara House, City of Sorcery, Star of Danger Marion Zimmer Bradley The Spell Sword, The Forbidden Tower, Thendara House, City of Sorcery, Star of Danger, The Winds of Darkover Marion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, RediscoveryMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, RediscoveryMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, RediscoveryMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, RediscoveryMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, RediscoveryMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, Rediscovery, Sharra's Exile, The World WreckersMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, The Planet Savers, The Sword of Aldones, Rediscovery, Sharra's Exile, The World WreckersMarion Zimmer Bradley The Bloody Sun, The Heritage of Hastur, Hastur Lord Marion Zimmer Bradley Exile's Song, The Shadow Matrix, Traitor's Sun, Oathbreaker Marion Zimmer Bradley Exile's Song, The Shadow Matrix, Traitor's Sun, Oathbreaker Marion Zimmer Bradley Exile's Song, The Shadow Matrix, Traitor's Sun, Oathbreaker fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Alton Giftfantasy and science fiction book reviews

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DARKOVER STORIES.


Claire Moffatt — (1972-1990) Horror. Publisher: The townspeople said Sara Latimer was a witch — just like her Great Aunt Sara before her. All Sara Latimers were witches. And Sara felt the power stirring within her. Would she embrace it, or would her love for Brian drive all darkness from her soul?

Marion Zimmer Bradley Claire Moffatt 1. Dark Satanic 2. The Inheritor 3. Witch HillMarion Zimmer Bradley Claire Moffatt 1. Dark Satanic 2. The Inheritor 3. Witch HillMarion Zimmer Bradley Claire Moffatt 1. Dark Satanic 2. The Inheritor 3. Witch Hill


Hunters of the Red Moon — (1973) Publisher: For the Hunters, the Hunt was a religion. The Sacred Prey, sentient beings collected from all over the galaxy, were literally given a fighting chance — they were allowed to choose weapons from an armory with every imaginable weapon and given time to train. Then they were taken to the place of the Hunt, where death awaited them. Those who survived until the eclipse of the red moon, however, were honored by the Hunters and rewarded with all the wealth they could desire. The trick, of course, was surviving.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews


The Atlantean Chronicles (Web of Light) — (1982-1983) Publisher: Before there was Avalon, there was Atlantis. Domaris, disciple of the Temple of Light, was wrenched from her peaceful life by the arrival of Micon, the Atlantean prince, whose powers over wind and sun, earth and fire, are coveted by the sorcerers of the dark who would harness his gifts for their own evil ends..Soon, out of a tender, earthly passion, would rise forces that might decide the final victory. For soon Domaris would bear Micon a son — but Deoris, her sister, would be enthralled by the forces of darkness.

Marion Zimmer Bradley: Web of Darkness, Web of Light, The Fall of Atlantis Atlantean ChroniclesMarion Zimmer Bradley: Web of Darkness, Web of Light, The Fall of Atlantis Atlantean ChroniclesMarion Zimmer Bradley: Web of Darkness, Web of Light, The Fall of Atlantis Atlantean Chronicles


Lythande & The Gratitude of Kings — (1986, 1997) Publisher: She was pledged by sword and spell to forever fight the forces of chaos..; a Pilgrim Adept of the Blue Star, she had mastered all the true magic of the world, but the power of an Adept was always bound to a Secret, and whoever discovered this sorcerer’s Secret could steal away the Blue Star power, leaving the Adept defenseless, fit only for death; and her secret was perhaps the most dangerous of all, setting the magic apart from all humanity, forcing her to war against spell beast, sorcerer, thief, swordsman, and the magic of the gods themselves.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews

CLICK HERE FOR LYTHANDE SHORT STORIES.


Light — (1995-1998) Publisher: What is the Truth? Truth Blackburn’s father thought he knew what it was. Thorne Blackburn and his followers settled at Shadow’s Gate, a magnificent old house in upstate New York, and sought the Truth about life through ritual and magic. One night, something went badly wrong during Thorne’s most powerful ceremony. When the chaos had passed, Thorne had vanished, and Katherine, mother of Thorne’s young daughter Truth, was dead. Thirty years later, Truth Blackburn searches for smaller truths: what really happened that night at Shadow’s Gate? Did Thorne truly have magical powers? And what happened to her half-siblings, a boy and girl Truth last saw that horrible night when her mother died? 

Marion Zimmer Bradley review audiobook 1. Ghostlight 2. Witchlight 3. Gravelight 4. HeartlightMarion Zimmer Bradley review audiobook 1. Ghostlight 2. Witchlight 3. Gravelight 4. HeartlightMarion Zimmer Bradley review audiobook 1. Ghostlight 2. Witchlight 3. Gravelight 4. HeartlightMarion Zimmer Bradley review audiobook 1. Ghostlight 2. Witchlight 3. Gravelight 4. Heartlight


Falcons of Narabedla Falcons of Narabedla — (1957) Publisher: Mike Kenscott is having a really bad vacation. One minute he’s camping in the Sierra Mountains with his brother Andy, and the next minute he’s on a different world — or in a different time — or both. He’s also in a different body. Now he’s Adric, Lord of the Crimson Tower, of the Rainbow City of Narabedla. He has to cope with his fellow Narabedlans: the Dreamer Rhys, the mysterious veiled Gamine, the dwarf Idris, his brother Evarin the Toymaker (whose Toys are deadly), and Karamy, the golden witch, who is either his lover or his greatest enemy – with most of both his and Adric’s memories gone, he’s having trouble knowing what she is. Then there are the people outside the city, led by the man called Narayan. Mike/Adric knows that they are important to him, but he desperately needs to remember why.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


Seven from the Stars — (1961) Publisher: Reidel had been caring for the animals on the colony ship before its destruction. He hadn’t expected to find himself the leader of the survivors. While there were only seven of them, but they were a varied group, both in psi powers and in temperment. He also had to deal with the people on the Closed Planet they had been marooned on… and then there were the enemy aliens to worry about.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Door Through Space — (1961) Publisher: …across half a Galaxy, the Terran Empire maintains its sovereignty with the consent of the governed. It is a peaceful reign, held by compact and not by conquest. Again and again, when rebellion threatens the Terran Peace, the natives of the rebellious world have turned against their own people and sided with the men of Terra; not from fear, but from a sense of dedication.  There has never been open war. The battle for these worlds is fought in the minds of a few men who stand between worlds; bound to one world by interest, loyalties and allegiance; bound to the other by love. Such a world is Wolf. Such a man was Race Cargill of the Terran Secret Service.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


The Brass Dragon — (1969) Publisher: It’s bad enough for a teen-age boy to wake up with amnesia, strange burns on his legs, and even stranger nightmares. But when a creepy stranger claiming to be his father tried to remove him from the hospital, his adventure was just beginning — unless, of course, the adventure had already happened.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Endless Voyage — (1975) aka The Endless Universe. Publisher: Gildoran was an Explorer. Despite the number of planets found and tied into the Transmitter network that enabled everyone else to travel instantly from planet to planet, his home was his Ship, and the only people he could count on were her crew. For Explorers traveled through space to find new planets, and their years were decades or centuries to anyone not on the Ship. As they found and struggled to survive on unknown worlds, the rest of the Galaxy moved on, so when they returned to “civilization” anything could have happened, and the world they left was not the one to which they returned — even if it was on the same planet.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


The House Between the Worlds — (1980) Publisher: Cameron Fenton participates in a parapsychology study, using an experimental drug. Instead of increasing his ESP, it causes him to leave his his body and enter other worlds. But are they real, or do they exist only in his mind? And if they are real, will he ever be able to get anyone in his world to believe him?


Survey ShipSurvey Ship — (1980) Publisher: How do you make a spaceman? You start the same way that you start to make a chess master, a ballet dancer, a trapeze performer, or any other difficult and complex task demanding highly trained and concentrated skills, physical or mental; you start when the future professionals are too young to know whether that is what they want out of life, or not. United Nations Expeditionary Planetary Survey — UNEPS — starts every year with one hundred five-year-olds, discovered, in early testing, to be both mentally and physically superior. Twelve years later the best graduates of the Academy are given a Ship and sent out to find habitable planets for humans to live on. But what happens to a small crew of teenagers once the Ship leaves Earth?


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsWarrior Woman —  (1985) Publisher: This is not a typical Marion Zimmer Bradley novel. This book is the result of a bet between Marion and Don Wollheim, her editor for the Darkover novels at DAW Books. In addition, it’s her response to the Gor novels – where men were men and women were slaves – that were also being published by DAW Books. Yes, this book does start out with a heroine who has been captured and is being sold as a slave, who has amnesia and remembers nothing of her life before the trip across the desert with the slavers – and, due to a head injury, remembers mercifully little of that. But she does know that she would rather fight in the arena than be a harlot for the men who do, and that choice changes the rest of the book. In a Gor-style novel the woman would become less her own person, eventually learning to be a contented and obedient slave. In this book, even while the heroine, called Zadieyek of Gyre, remains a slave, she is something quite different from the typical ‘slave girl’ – she grows and develops, always searching for her memory and her past, convinced that this is not how her life is supposed to be. And, of course, she’s right.


Night's Daughter Night’s Daughter — (1985) Publisher: Since time immemorial, when the Serpent-lord coupled in the Great Rite with the Priestess of the Night, the Kingdoms of Light and Dark, of Sun and of Moon have been at war. Now Pamina, daughter of the Starqueen, supreme symbol of the Night, and of Sarastro, King of the Royal House of the Sun, has to choose which of her parents she will follow, in custom and in principle. And together with her lover, the princely Tamino, she must face her Ordeal at the Court of Wisdom, Ordeals of Earth and Air, of Fire and Water, from which none can flinch and none can escape.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


Bird of Prey — (2012) Publisher: The Toymaker’s fatal toys link a little girl to both her father and her mother’s brother.


Story Collections:

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CLICK HERE FOR MORE BOOKS BY MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY


By Marion Zimmer Bradley & Holly Lisle

Glenraven — (1996-1998) Publisher: Sophie, seeking solace after losing a child, and Jay Jay, who wants to get away from it all when her third marriage fails, become unwitting heroes in the magical kingdom of Glenraven when they help its people to overthrow a monster ruler.

Holly Lisle Glenraven, In the RiftHolly Lisle Glenraven, In the Rift


By Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTiger Burning Bright — (1995) Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton. Publisher: Three acclaimed, bestselling authors — three extraordinary fantasists — unite talent and vision to create a noble dynasty and a remarkable realm of spirit and substance. The House of the Tiger has skillfully ruled Merina in times of peace. But now the indomitable armies of the Emperor Balthasar stand poised to crush the vulnerable city/state. And in the enemy’s midst is the gray mage Apolon — foul necromancer who serves the Dreadful Dark… and whose mission it is to satsfy his Master’s terrible hungers with living souls, the Heart of a Goddess, and the blood of a Princess.For Adele, aging Dowager Queen; for ruling Queen Lydana; and for Princess Shelyra, lithe, impetuous, ingenious Designated Daughter, the battle seems hopeless — for they possess no defense, save for their wiles and weapons of the spirit. But the Tiger is a cunning beast, not to be underestimated. And when corered, she bares her teeth… and strikes.


Marion and Terry report on the 2013 Nebula Awards Weekend

The 48th Annual Nebula Awards weekend was held by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at the San Jose Convention Center in northern California from May 17 through 19, 2013. Terry Weyna and I, who both live in Northern California and both are aspiring writers, decided to see what a bunch of published writers get up to when they party together.

Gene Wolfe and Teri Goulding



Marion Deeds: I think what surprised me most is how light on programming the weekend was. I thought there would be sessions about the nuts and bolts of a writing career, but I guess that SFWA members already have a pretty good idea about that. Still, I thought we’d hear about things like the new Amazon publishing arms, the Night Shade Books mess, that sort of thing.

Terry Weyn... Read More