Sword of Chaos

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This second anthology of all-original Darkover stories, first ...
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Sword of Chaos

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Overview

This second anthology of all-original Darkover stories, first published in 1982, contains the following stories:

Lesson of the Inn, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
A Sword Called Chaos, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Dark Lady, by Jane Brae-Bedell
Of Two Minds, by Susan M. Hansen
Through Fire and Frost, by Dorothy J. Heydt
Way of a Wolf, by Lynne Holdom
A Recipe For Failure, by Millea Kenin
Where the Heart Is, by Millea Kenin
Di Catenas, by Adrienne Martine-Barnes
Camilla, by Patricia Shaw Mathews
Skeptic, by Lynn Mimms
Cold Hall, by Aly Parsons
A Gift of Love, by Diana L. Paxson
In the Throat of the Dragon, by Susan M. Shwartz
Legend of the Hellers, by Ty Nolan
Escape, by Leslie L. Williams
Rebirth, by Elisabeth Waters
Confidence, by Phillip Wayne
Wind-Music, by Mary Frances Zambreno

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879977221
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1982
  • Series: Darkover Anthology Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marion Zimmer Bradley
Marion Zimmer Bradley is probably best known for her Darkover novels and her best-selling Arthurian novel THE MISTS OF AVALON. 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, and an annual anthology, SWORD AND SORCERESS. For more information, see her website: www.mzbworks.com.

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

Read an Excerpt

Thoughts are things. Any thought which stirs the ether leaves no atom unstirred, but the imprint of that thought leaves an eternal trace upon the very stuff of the universe. Whatever is wished for with all sincerity and with the whole heart prints itself upon time and space so strongly that it must inevitably come true. And therefore, my brethren, take ye heed for what ye shall pray; for it will inescapably be given unto you, and from this there is no escaping in time or in eternity.

From The Book of Burdens, Nevarsin Monastery.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 4, 2012

    This was a outstanding short story (A Sword of Chaos, 20 pages),

    This was a outstanding short story (A Sword of Chaos, 20 pages), but I thought I was purchasing Sword of Chaos, the anthology by Marion Zimmer Brandley and the Friends of Darkover (240 pages in paperback).

    If you purchase this, be aware of what you will be getting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

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    I Liked It

    A fantastic short story of the broken down Mhari Delleray agreeing to pay the cost to get revenge on the bandit who is responsible for the annihilation of her family at Sain Scarp, with the powerful sword which is eternally thirsting for blood.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I Liked It

    SWORD OF CHAOS: A fantastic short story of the broken down Mhari Delleray agreeing to pay the cost to get revenge on the bandit who is responsible for the annihilation of her family at Sain Scarp, with the powerful sword which is eternally thirsting for blood. THE LESSON OF THE INN: (Hilary Cycle #3) After feeling crushed at her failed attempt to be the next Keeper of Arilinn, Hilary travels home, and is thrown into situations that will break her of the intensely strict behavior she has learned over the years while in training to be a Keeper under Leonie of Arilinn.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 13, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2010

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    Posted June 2, 2011

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    Posted August 18, 2010

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