Darkover


See "Frequently Asked Questions," as well.

In fall 2014, I signed contracts for 3 more Darkover books, the first of which will be Thunderlord. Marion had intended to write a book by that title, set a generation after Stormqueen, and I'm delighted to be working on it. The likely publication date will be 2016. Stay tuned!


Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover is one of the longest-running and best-loved series, one that straddles the border between science fiction and fantasy, and one that has touched the hearts and fired the imaginations of generations of fans. The earliest published stories date back over half a century (The Planet Savers, 1958; The Sword of Aldones, 1962) and the most recent, The Children of Kings, was released in 2013.


I began working with Marion in the final year of her life, thinking we would collaborate on one or more novels. Although we had worked out a general plot arc for three books when she died, I went on to write them myself under the supervision of her Literary Trustee. Those three books, The Fall of Neskaya, Zandru’s Forge, and A Flame in Hali, were followed by three more. At first, I worked to maintain Bradley’s literary voice and creative vision. By the end of the sixth book (The Children of Kings), I realized how much of my own imagination colored the story and its landscape. I found myself drawn away from the characters and situations that Marion had envisioned, and toward those I had invented.I believe it’s a healthy thing, to simultaneously allow for the introduction of new characters, themes, and resonances, at the same time staying true to the spirit of the world, a wondrous place of telepaths and swordsmen, nonhumans and ancient mysteries, the clash of cultures between a star-faring, technologically advanced civilization and one that has pursued psychic gifts and has turned away from weapons of mass destruction. It’s an engraved invitation to gritty, romantic, action-adventure, gender-bending, inclusive, poignant, uplifting stories!
 
How the collaboration came about:
Immensely generous with "her special world" of Darkover, Marion Zimmer Bradley loved encouraging new writers. We were already friends when she began editing the Darkover and Sword & Sorceress Anthologies. The match between my natural literary "voice" and what she was looking for was extraordinary. She loved to read what I loved to write, and she often cited "The Death of Brendan Ensolare" (Four Moons of Darkover, DAW, 1988) as one of her favorites.
As Marion's health declined, I was invited to work with her on one or more Darkover novels. We decided that rather than extend the story of "modern" Darkover, we would return to the Ages of Chaos. Marion envisioned a trilogy beginning with the Hastur Rebellion and the fall of Neskaya, the enduring friendship between Varzil the Good and Carolin Hastur, and extending to the fire-bombing of Hali and the signing of the Compact. While I scribbled notes as fast as I could, she would sit back, eyes alight, and begin a story with, "Now, the Hasturs tried to control the worst excesses of laran weapons, but there were always others under development . . ." or "Of course, Varzil and Carolin had been brought up on tales of star-crossed lovers who perished in the destruction of Neskaya . . ."

Marion passed away in September 1999, and I was privileged to participate in her funeral. In completing this project and continuing the series beyond it, I hope to honor her memory and the enduring vision she has left to us all.