First Contact (Darkover Omnibus) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Sep 2004
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About the Author
Marion Zimmer was born in Albany, NY, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-67.
She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens, and made her first sale as an adjunct to an amateur fiction contest in Fantastic/Amazing Stories in 1949. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to Vortex Science Fiction. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels.
In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called Sword and Sorceress for DAW Books.
Over the years she turned more to fantasy; The House Between the Worlds, although a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club, was "fantasy undiluted." She wrote a novel of the women in the Arthurian legends -- Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others -- entitled Mists of Avalon, which made the NY Times best seller list both in hardcover and trade paperback, and she also wrote The Firebrand, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. Her historical fantasy novels, The Forest House, Lady of Avalon, Mists of Avalon are prequels to Priestess of Avalon
She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. She was survived by her brother, Leslie Zimmer; her sons, David Bradley and Patrick Breen; her daughter, Moira Stern; and her grandchildren.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first book is very interesting background material for anyone who is following the chronicles of Darkover. Interesting in the sense that you get a peek into the forefathers of the families that play their parts during the ages of chaos, at the times of the 100 kingdoms, and, later, among the domains (whether "against the terrans" or not). However, the question remains of course how such a small traditional group of colonists combined with a more modernistic crew could eventually evolve into such a sophisticated society as the later Darkoven one (whether you like the kind of society or not, it certainly isn't simple!).However, some of the stories published within the many anthologies of Darkover do provide some insight into that. But not this book, the book provides only the basics: the ghost wind, the matrix jewels, and the chieri (but only for a few).
The second book, two to conquer, is not just interesting but truly great writing. The manner in which MZB has described the way certain men can think about women is fabulous. It may not be so nice to read; in fact for quite a while you don't have any sympathy for the two most important characters at all. However, you do get to sympathize somewhat with their objectives and their main cause (especially Bard's, as Paul, Bard's double, doesn't enter into the action until quite late in the story and Paul has no cause of his own besides not getting back into the stasis box). The discription of the rape scene - twice -is the best of it. It is rather harrowing to have the experience described both by the perpetrator and the victim.Read more ›
If You like the style of the late Ms. Bradley and You fancy a good story, I can only give the whole series my best recommendation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm astonished to be the first reviewer of this book. I would have expected every MZB fan to jump on it at once. It is essential for all readers of the extensive Darkover collection, as it fills in all the missing details of how humans first arrived on Darkover, in a crashed spaceship that was on its way to a Terraformed colony all ready for humans. Instead, they are on a halfway earth-type planet with unknown terrors and unexpected miracles. Who was Saint Valentine of the Snows? Find out. Why is a Ghost Wind called a Ghost Wind? Find out. Who was the first victim of the lethal scorpion-ant? Find out. Who was the first person of Earth birth to use a matrix crystal? Find out. Who was the first human-chieri mix? Find out.
If you are a Darkover reader and you haven't read this book, why not? Wake up and smell the "jaco." But watch out for the flowers; they can do some pretty strange things to humans and animals as well. And stay away from scorpion-ants.
The second book seems like it was written by a completely different person. The characters inner dialogue was obnoxious and immature. I'm not sure if these two stories were actually written by different people, or perhaps the author just identified better with the characters in the first part than the second.
I would have given the first story 4 stars, and the second 1...so I settled on 2 stars overall.
I have not read any of the other Darkover books as I wanted to start towards the beginning...not sure if I will read any more based on this book.
One the other hand "Conquer" is very long book, set at the end of the Ages of Chaos, with a very complex story. Sometimes you feel like quiting during the reading, but I must say that the last chapters made my journey trough all this novel very rewarding, at the end you end up loving this wounded characters.
A série inclue uma lista de livros passados em períodos específicos, cada romance escrito como uma história individual.
A própria escritora, Marion Zimmer Bradley, recomendou que a ordem de leitura fosse feita através das datas de publicação, em vez da ordem cronológica dos acontecimentos, dado que o seu estilo literário evoluiu consideravelmente ao longo da sua carreira.
Mas talvez seja interessante começar por livros mais famosos da série, como A rainha da tempestade, A dama do falcão, ou A corrente partida, para se acostumar e aproveitar deste fabuloso mundo; para absorver as características, das diversas estórias desse planeta, como um conhecedor de Darkover.
No caso desse livro primordial, A chegada em Darkover, somos apresentados aos fundadores da civilização do planeta:
Num futuro distante, durante os primeiros anos em que a humanidade começa a explorar e colonizar novos mundos, uma nave que ia em direção a um desses planetas, sofre um acidente e acaba pousando em Darkover, um planeta que não teria sido escolhido para ser colonizado, pois era frio demais, e além disso abrigava espécies inteligentes, embora não civilizadas.
Sem ter como voltar ao espaço, nem como se comunicar com a Terra, a expedição é dada como perdida pela terra.
Muitos sobreviveram a queda, e pretendem reparar a nave (o que levaria muitos e muitos anos) e prosseguir viagem. A tripulação enfrenta um dilema, pois alguns querem permanecer no planeta e colonizá-lo.
Antes de decisões serem tomadas, eles começam uma exploração do planeta...
Os antecedentes étnicos destes colonizadores são celtas e espanhóis, incluindo cientistas e fanáticos naturalistas.
À medida que os anos passam sem contato com o seu planeta natal, as etnias e ideologias dos colonizadores foram se misturando, desenvolvendo uma cultura darkovana independente e distinta. O genoma humano também se expandiu, à medida que os colonizadores e os seus descendentes procriavam com os nativos Chieri.
Entretanto, eles não estavam preparados para o vento fantasma... as correntes psíquicas existentes unicamente naquele mundo, que induzem os humanos a liberar suas inibições; e para o preço que os seres da Terra teriam de pagar para que Darkover os aceitasse.
É através desse vento que temos idéia dos poderes extrasensoriais que serão refinados (Laran) por toda a série e que pertencem, inicialmente, aos nativos da raça Chieri. Além das flores Kireseth e as matrizes de cristal.
O livro introduz sobrenomes, religiões e temas culturais que estão presentes ao longo da série de livros Darkover e que narra milénios de história daquele planeta, que regride, paulatinamente, da população tecnológica, um tipo de feudalismo medieval, com pitadas de magia.
Os Darkovanos do futuro terão de se encontrar com seus primos terráqueos, algumas centenas de anos depois, em Rediscovery, e o choque de culturas os permite tornarem-se membros de um império galático.
Darkover tem sido um favorito para os fãs de ficção científica, há muitos anos, por sua atmosfera verdadeiramente alienígena e poderes desconhecidos dos humanos.
A idéia da trana não é tão original, mas a escrita de Marion é genial e favorece qualquer leitura, como seus leitores fiéis já conhecem através da série de Avalon e da série "light": Ghostlight, Gravelight, Heartlight, Witchlight.