Stars of Darkover: Darkover Anthology 14

Edited by Deborah J. Ross and Elisabeth Waters. Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust (www.mzbworks.com), $16.95 trade paper (263p) ISBN 978-1-938185-25-0
The late Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930–1999) was a central figure of feminist SF, and she inspired and mentored a great many female speculative fiction writers. In celebration of Bradley’s 84th birthday, this volume relaunches the Darkover anthology series after a 20-year hiatus. Included are 15 stories by authors renowned and obscure, all set on Bradley’s psionics-rich, technology-poor world of Darkover. Janni Lee Simner’s “All the Branching Paths” and Gabrielle Harbowy’s “Catalyst” draw inspiration from specific Bradley novels, while others, like Judith Tarr’s “The Cold Blue Light” and Kari Sperring’s “House of Fifteen Widows,” simply share the setting. The anthology is competent, but with no stories that stand out as deserving particular praise or castigation, the effect is curiously bland. Longtime fans of the Darkover series may enjoy this opportunity to revisit the works of their old friend and teacher, but new readers are unlikely to be enticed. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Genre: Fiction
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