I just heard this…

I just heard this morning. Marion Zimmer Bradley suffered a massive heart attack last week and died this past Saturday, September 25. Her Darkover novels were not only ground-breaking in the field of sf for their feminist, sometimes lesbian, sometimes poly content -- they also shaped a lot of my attitudes when I encountered them as a child, and reassured me that there were people out there who thought like me! My favorite was perhaps The Forbidden Tower, though The Shattered Chain and Hawkmistress! are also wonderful.

She's perhaps best known for her Arthurian fantasy, Mists of Avalon, a retelling from the point of view of the women behind the throne. In my opinion, this novel is a worthy successor to Tennyson, Malory and T.H. White, and really essential reading for anyone interested in looking seriously at the Arthurian mythos. One of my most pleasurable academic experiences was the analysis of it that I did my freshman year.

I will always regret that I never met her. Her poor health in the last few years kept her from attending conventions, other than the small minicon she held in Berkeley. I could have gone to the last one, but I was very busy, and thought there would be time later.

At least I've been lucky enough to read her books.


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