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Felidae December 20 2012 04:11 PM

Darkover novels..
So, since I have just finished about three books in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, anyone else read them? I can't believe I have not tried them sooner. I remember having read "Stormqueen" (read it two days ago) but can't recall any other.. then again these days it's much easier to look up things about books. The previous read of Stormqueen was about 10 years ago.. hehe. Now my e-reader helps out.

This sci-fi/fantasy mix is just to my tastes..have now read Darkover Landfall, Planet Savers and Stormqueen.

What do you think, did you read it in the order in which they are written (future to past as it were) or in the chronological order?? I still don't know so I do a bit of both..

Aeronef December 20 2012 05:34 PM

Re: Darkover novels..
I have not read any of Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books, but her stand-alone novel Hunters of the Red Moon was one of my favorite books as a kid. I've read it five times.

How do the Darkover books compare?

Felidae December 21 2012 12:41 PM

Re: Darkover novels..
Oh, honestly I don't know... I have as of yet only read her Avalon series (some of them since I thought they were long winded and a bit boring) and the Trillium series. Thought those last were fantastic, only that's been about 15 years since I read em (kid back then) so don't remember them all too clearly. ;)

Oh and I see now that the Trillium series is not all from Marion Zimmer Bradley, but in cooperation with Julian May and Andre Norton.

Aeronef December 21 2012 02:59 PM

Re: Darkover novels..
Okay, thanks anyway.

Which novel in the series is the best, in your opinion? If I read only one Darkover novel, which one should it be?

stj December 21 2012 05:49 PM

Re: Darkover novels..
I liked the Darkover series rather better than anything else she's done. The continuity in the series is quite tangled. I read some as they were printed, some as I found them in used paperback. But then Bradley started revisiting earlier time periods. As I recall later novels tended to go to earlier time periods in the fictional Darkover history, whereas I read much more in the Terran colony period. And as I recall there was a certain expansion of storylines and characters and themes that some might call retcons.

The upshot I think is that internal continuity is irrelevant. I got bored with the convolutedness and repetition and thematic fuzziness of the book to book storylines and quit after maybe eight, ten novels. I would read each whenever it becomes available, ignoring publishing dates and internal continuity.

Valin December 23 2012 05:08 AM

Re: Darkover novels..
I read a bunch of them while I was in high school (late '70s). I enjoyed the earlier ones more, before she started revising characters to fit her new view of things. I lent most of them to one of my school's hotter girls. Unfortunately, she moved back to Italy so I never got them back (and more unfortunately, I never got beyond second base).

BTW, shouldn't this be in the SF forum?

Davros December 26 2012 12:06 AM

Re: Darkover novels..

Aeronef wrote: (Post 7426075)
I have not read any of Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books, but her stand-alone novel Hunters of the Red Moon was one of my favorite books as a kid. I've read it five times.

How do the Darkover books compare?

I'm like you on this except I have only read Hunters Of The Red Moon twice.

Felidae December 27 2012 01:21 PM

Re: Darkover novels..
Sorry, late reply, I don't visit this forum very often.. ;)

I don't know which Darkover novel is the best, out of the huge series I have only read three so far (last few weeks my reading has been none existant for lack of time).. I can never decide what to do though, MZB seemed to insist people read the books in order in which they were written because of her developing writing style. But fans often seem to like reading them in chronological order, meaning starting from reading the book where they crash onto that planet (very technological species) till later where they have devolved so to speak into a species low in technology but high in magic. I have read one of each and must say I like both. I like when a tech species devolves, but I love it (like in Anne McCaffrey's books) when a seemingly medieval society discovers they are descended from a space travelling species. I actually like the latter more, but I haven't gotten that far in the Darkover series yet. ;)

I just like the idea of having an entire series like this to read.. it's like discovering a box of your favorite candies you forgot you bought. ;) Or discovering a 50 euro bill in an old wallet hee hee.. ;)

Doctor Strange January 4 2013 04:12 PM

Re: Darkover novels..
Okay, I haven't logged in here in YEARS, but I love the Darkover books (which I mostly read back in the eighties) and am happy to make some recommendations...

My favorite books in the series are the ones that take place after the Terrans return to Darkover... and before MZB ended up using ghostwriters for her last few "authored" books. (The earlier-set books, the "Ages of Chaos" ones, are pretty much straight-up medievelesque fantasy, missing the more SFish tropes, and - especially - the Terran technology vs. Darkovan "primitive feudal society" culture clash that really brings out the best in the series.) I recommend reading them based on their internal chronology... this is the essential sequence:

The Spell Sword =>
The Forbidden Tower
The Shattered Chain =>
Thendara House
optional: City of Sorcery, Star of Danger, The Winds of Darkover
The Bloody Sun (the revised version!)
optional: The Planet Savers
The Heritage of Hastur =>
Sharra's Exile (not the earlier embryonic version, The Sword of Aldones)
The World Wreckers

As far as which books are the best, strong cases can be made for direct sequel pairs The Spell Sword/The Forbidden Tower, The Shattered Chain/Thendara House, and The Heritage of Hastur/Sharra's Exile. All are excellent: the late seventies found Bradley at the height of her creative powers, and adding explorations of previously taboo subjects like feminism and homosexuality to the fascinating Darkovan/Terran brew.

But heck, most of the Darkover books are pretty good, and the size and detail of the created universe they represent is really impressive. Enjoy!

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