Star of Danger

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Overview

First published in 1965, Star of Danger is a work that stands as a foundation for the bestselling Darkover series, introducing many loyal fans to this wonderful, mysterious world. Two natives of Darkover are forced to combine Darkover matrix magic with Terran technology to stand against a shared enemy.

First published in 1965, Star of Danger is a work that stands as a foundation for the bestselling Darkover series, introducing many loyal fans to this wonderful, ...

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Overview

First published in 1965, Star of Danger is a work that stands as a foundation for the bestselling Darkover series, introducing many loyal fans to this wonderful, mysterious world. Two natives of Darkover are forced to combine Darkover matrix magic with Terran technology to stand against a shared enemy.

First published in 1965, Star of Danger is a work that stands as a foundation for the bestselling Darkover series, introducing many loyal fans to this wonderful, mysterious world. Two natives of Darkover are forced to combine Darkover matrix magic with Terran technology to stand against a shared enemy. Reissue.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780886776077
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/1994
  • Series: Darkover Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Zimmer Bradley was born in Albany, NY and lived for many years in Berkeley, CA. Best known as a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romantic occult fiction, Bradley was also the editor of "Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine" and many anthologies. Her most famous works include the "Darkover" series of science fiction novels and the "New York Times" bestselling "The Mists of Avalon," Bradley's romantic, magical, contemporary novels for Tor include "The Inheritor, Heartlight, Ghostlight, "and" Witch Hill," Marion Zimmer Bradley died in 1999.

Biography

Marion Zimmer Bradley was writing before she could write. As a young girl, before she learned to take pen in hand, she was dictating stories to her mother. She started her own magazine -- devoted to science fiction and fantasy, of course -- as a teenager, and she wrote her first novel when she was in high school.

Given this history of productivity, it is perhaps no surprise that Bradley was working right up until her death in 1999. Though declining health interfered with her output, she was working on manuscripts and editing magazines, including another sci-fi/fantasy publication of her own making.

Her longest-running contribution to the genre was her Darkover series, which began in 1958 with the publication of The Planet Savers. The series, which is not chronological, covers several centuries and is set on a distant planet that has been colonized by humans, who have interbred with a native species on the planet. Critics lauded her efforts to address culture clashes -- including references to gays and lesbians -- in the series.

"It is not just an exercise in planet-building," wrote Susan Shwartz in the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers. "A Darkover book is commonly understood to deal with issues of cultural clash, between Darkover and its parent Terran culture, between warring groups on Darkover, or in familial terms."

Diana Pharoah Francis, writing in Contemporary Popular Writers, noted the series' attention on its female characters, and the consequences of the painful choices they must make: "Struggles are not decided easily, but through pain and suffering. Her point seems to be that what is important costs, and the price is to be paid out of the soul rather than out of the pocketbook. Her characters are never black and white but are all shades of gray, making them more compelling and humanized."

Bradley's most notable single work would have to be The Mists of Avalon. Released in 1983, its 800-plus pages address the King Arthur story from the point of view of the women in his life -- including his wife, his mother and his half sister. Again, Bradley received attention and critics for her female focus, though many insist that she cannot be categorized strictly as a "feminist" writer, because her real focus is always character rather than politics.

"In drawing on all of the female experiences that make of the tapestry of the legend, Bradley is able to delve into the complexity of their intertwined lives against the tapestry of the undeclared war being waged between the Christians and the Druids," Francis wrote in her Contemporary Popular Writers essay. "Typical of Bradley is her focus on this battle, which is also a battle between masculine (Christian) and feminine (Druid) values."

And Maureen Quilligan, in her New York Times review in 1983, said: "What she has done here is reinvent the underlying mythology of the Arthurian legends. It is an impressive achievement. Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Celtic and Orphic stories are all swirled into a massive narrative that is rich in events placed in landscapes no less real for often being magical."

Avalon flummoxed Hollywood for nearly 20 years before finally making it to cable television as a TNT movie in 2001, starring Joan Allen, Anjelica Huston, and Julianna Margulies.

Two years before she died, Bradley's photograph was included in The Faces of Science Fiction, a collection of prominent science fiction writers, such names as Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. Under it, she gave her own take on the importance of the genre:

"Science fiction encourages us to explore... all the futures, good and bad, that the human mind can envision."

Good To Know

Aside from her science fiction and fantasy writing, Bradley also contributed to the gay and lesbian genre, publishing lesbian fiction under pseudonyms, bibliographies of gay and lesbian literature, and a gay mainstream novel.

Bradley rewrote some editions of her Darkover series to accommodate real advances in technology.

Her first stories were published in pulp science fiction magazines in the 1950s.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Lee Chapman, Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 30, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      Albany, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      September 25, 1999
    2. Place of Death:
      Berkeley, California

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Star of Danger, Book Review

    It is so refreshing to finally read a Darkover story where the main character is a man and not a woman. Even though the female characters that Marion Zimmer Bradley writes are strong, they can at times be overbearing and whiny.
    Larry was a bit of a weak character at first, but when he and Kennard began their adventure and friendship together, Larry proves to be a strong and interesting character.
    Sixteen year old Larry is eager for adventure and discovery. He gets his wish when his father tells him that he has been reassigned and they will be traveling to the planet Darkover.
    Larry is confronted will all kinds of cultural barriers when they land. He soon finds himself in a fight against the local young men, brutes of the trade city, on his first day on Darkover.
    Larry and Kennard quickly become friends after the fight in the trade city. Kennard observes that Larry is not like other Terrans. To his benefit, Larry made the effort to learn the Darkovan language. Also, he solves his own problems himself. He doesn't call out for help from elsewhere or from someone on the outside. He is invited to the house of the ruling Altons. He is surprised to discover that they have the ability to read his mind, but that doesn't seem to disturb him any. The real trouble starts when his father forbids him from leaving the safety of their dormitory at the Terran space port, because of the fear that Larry will unknowingly cause irresolvable conflict between the two aliens leading to a war. Torn between obeying his father and keeping his word to Kennard, Larry decides that the right thing for him to do is to stay true to his word, and deliver on his promise to the Altons.
    When the Legate, Commander Reade gets wind of Larry's friendship with the powerful Comyn family, he asks him to continue the friendship and deliver any helpful information regarding the Darkovans or even the Altons back to the Terran Empire. He wants him to spy on his friend who can read his mind!
    Faced with fighting the disastrous and deadly fires racing across the hills, brutal and murderous bandits, and a deep prejudice between the two aliens, Larry wants to earn the right to be recognized as a man.
    When he is kidnapped under the wrong assumption that he is Kennard Alton because of his copper hair, Larry learns about psi powers, matrix jewels, and their potential dangers.
    Because Larry is under the protection of the Altons when he signed the Legate's proposal, Kennard is forced to deliver Larry back to his father alive and healthy, in order to avoid a possible war that will make the gap between the Terrans and Darkover impossible to bridge, and to keep his and his family's honor. In Kennard's rescue attempt, the two young men will battle the frightening Cyrillon des Trailles's matrix jewel and banshees, get captured by the trailmen, and travel across the harsh, snowed in mountain pass in order to reach the safety of Hastur's castle.
    Their journey will eventually end with a chieri-folk, who will tell them of their planet Earth roots and heritage. This information will lead to the first step in the reunion of the Terrans and Darkovans, to share in one another's technology and knowledge. For some members of the Terran Empire, they don't realize that Darkover was where they were born, and that is why the primitive planet is so familiar. It was once their home.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    Sixteen-year-old Larry Montray is thrilled when his father accepts an assignment in the Terran trade enclave on a far away world called Darkover. Settled by human castaways so long ago that it now has a culture drastically unlike that of Terra, Darkover fascinates Larry. Despite restrictions on contact between the Terran visitors and Darkover's natives, he manages to form a friendship with Kennard Alton, a Darkovan of his own age who's reckoned a grown man instead of a boy. When the noble Alton family invites Larry for an extended visit at their remote estate, his father's superiors are delighted at the opportunity to learn more about these people and their fiercely individualistic society. Larry's father, although far from delighted, allows the visit. He, too, sees its value and he has another reason that neither we nor Larry will learn until the book's very end. This old-fashioned science fiction adventure stands the test of time (original publication date: 1965) very well indeed. Its theme - how coming of age requires societies, as well as individuals, to temper freedom with self-control - is one that will have meaning as long as humans remain, well, HUMAN. I didn't think until after I'd finished the book about its almost complete absence of female characters, and then - since I'm familiar with Bradley's ability to write fully realized women, from her later works- I guessed that she chose not to bother depicting them in the stereotyped fashion that was usual in 60s SF. What's really interesting is that I didn't pick up on their absence at all while the story had me in its grip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2010

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