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Official Darkover short stories

Introduction

There are 198 published Darkover short stories, written by 95 different writers (including Marion). Only 22 of them have been written by Marion herself. Because of these facts, many fans ask the following natural questions:
  • Do the short stories belong to the true Darkover history, even if they have not been written by Marion?
  • Is it worth reading something about Darkover not written by Marion herself?

Marion's point of view

In fact, the easiest way to answer to these questions, is to ask to Marion herself. She had already answered in several anthology introductions.

Official part

In the introduction to Domains of Darkover, Marion wrote:
On idea that has somehow found lodgment in the public mind is that each story I select for the anthology is somehow official; that my approval of a story, or wanting to share it with other readers somehow gives it legitimacy in the Darkovan chronology. If it isn't apparent from internal evidence, let me state now that apart from the short stories I have written myself, no; the anthology stories are not official, or at least all of them are not. A few of them fall in so readily with my own feelings about Darkover that they might really-really in the context of the Darkovan universe-have "happened": that is, if I thought of it, I might have written them myself. But of these, there are only a sparse handful: Pat Floss' "The Other Side of the Mirror" seemed so near to what I has envisioned without bothering to write it down that now I think what happened between HERITAGE and SWORD OF ALDONES or, if you prefer, SHARRA'S EXILE, was probably what Pat envisioned. The stories written by Diana Paxson about early days on Darkover-say between LANDFALL and the Ages of Chaos-are very near to officialdom because Diana and I are dear friends, and her mind works much as mine does. The same can be said of the stories by Elisabeth Waters, and a few other stories;
In several other places (individual short story introductions, etc.), Marion has repeated that The Other Side of the Mirror definitely belongs to the true Darkover story.

Anthologies quality

In the introduction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover, Marion wrote:
I was the very first writer to encourage other writers to write in my universe. Not everybody approved; Lester Del Rey told me that he, for one, would never consent to read a single world of Darkover fiction written by anyone else. All I can say to that is that it is a free country and he is entitled to his opinion. It's his loss. Most of the Darkover stories were about as good as any slush anywhere, which means not very good, at least at first; but after reading a lot of it, I came to the conclusion that a lot of it-being written by women who where obsessed with writing-was readable.

A first list of official short stories

Based on "Marion's advice", I have build a quite imprecise list of official short stories written by other authors. You need of course to add to this list short stories written by Marion herself which have been collected in the anthology Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover.


copyright 96-99 Fabrice Rossi (rossi@fr.darkover.org)

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