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Marion Zimmer Bradley


I personally strongly dislike biographies as many people use them to obtain what they call a "deep understanding" of the novels written by a given author. I think this sort of psycho-analysis is boring and irrelevant. In fact I want to describe Darkover as if this planet were real. Therefore, I don't really care about Marion Zimmer Bradley's thoughts.

Of course, I think providing basic information about Marion Zimmer Bradley's life can be useful for fans, but don't ask me to copy here a complete biography. I have extracted some important dates in Marion's life from short biographies available in a French book (sorry for the French reference ...), Stan Barets' Science Fictionnaire, and in Les voix de l'espace foreword, written by Elisabeth Vonarburg (also in French).

Some important dates

  • Marion Eleanor Zimmer was born the 3rd of June, 1930, in the East of the USA.
  • She began to write quite early and created a science fiction fanzine when she was seventeen.
  • She married Robert Bradley in 1947 (she divorced him in 1964).
  • Her first published science fiction short stories appeared in 1953. They are Keyhole and Women Only, published in Vortex science fiction.
  • The first Darkovan novel appeared in 1958, published in Amazing Science Fiction Stories: it is The planet savers.
  • Marion published in 1983 her most famous work, The Mists of Avalon, a wonderful rewrite of the Arthurian myth.

Marion now

For many people (including me), it is a pity that Marion spends now most of her time working as an editor. She has published many anthologies of science-fiction and fantasy short stories (12 Darkover anthologies and 10 "Sword and Sorceress" anthologies). This work is useful has it allows the discovery of new authors, but as Marion explains it herself in the introduction of the anthology called Domains of Darkover, their contribution to Darkover history is not official except for few of them.

The main reason that had reduced Marion's writing activities is her health. In the past years, she had several strokes.

She works now on the Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, which has a web page at the following URL:

Anyway, she finds enough time to write Darkover novels, such as the recent Exile's Song, published in May 1996 and The Shadow Matrix, published in September 1997. The last Darkover novel to date is Traitor's Sun, published in December 1998. It is the temporary end of the Margaret Alton's subcycle. The last three novels were written with Adrienne Martine-Barnes (who is not officially credited in Exile's Song). According to various rumors (including very serious ones), a new Darkover novel is under work.

copyright 96-99 Fabrice Rossi (

source file (Last modification: Wed Apr 21 17:21:45 1999)