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 AvalonShe 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.
Fans of Darkover, Bradley's popular series of the planet of the Bloody Sun, rejoice. As Bradley's health was declining, she and Ross sketched the new Clingfire Trilogy, set in the aftermath of the Ages of Chaos when the Hundred Kingdoms used vicious telepathic laran weaponry to annihilate their neighbors. This solid opener, like others in Bradley's canon, centers on the coming-of-age of a laran-gifted youngster, Coryn Leynier, who becomes under-Keeper at Neskaya Tower, a powerful hub of the psi Tower network, and eventually finds himself pitted against both evil human foes in battle and black psionic wizardry in the Overworld. Ross has fleshed out Bradley's encyclopedic vision of the Darkovian Dark Ages into a competent, fast-paced narrative congruent with the late author's familiar 1960s theme: "make various kinds of love, but not nuclear war." Ross also seems to have mastered the familiar Darkovian vocabulary, though perhaps not injecting it so frequently, as well as Bradley's absorbing minutiae of life under the Bloody Sun copper butterfly hairclips and all. With ancient Neskaya Tower crumbled in the cataclysmic conflict between Coryn Leynier and his enemies and Bradley now gone, the next two volumes of the Clingfire Trilogy should showcase Ross's literary strength her sensitivity to human needs and talents even more clearly. (July 10) FYI: Bradley also collaborated with Diana L. Paxson on a final sequel to The Mists of Avalon, Priestess of Avalon (Forecasts, Apr. 30). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.