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Darkover: First Contact (Darkover Omnibus: Darkover Landfall & Two to Conquer) Mass Market Paperback – September 7, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; First Edition edition (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756402247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756402242
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
[...]

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.
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I bought the hardback version of this ebook years ago, and it was then titled Darkover Landfall. It got me hooked on Darkover!
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I liked the first book that was included in this, and wished that story had continued on.

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.
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I first read this book in the mid 70's and was immediately hooked. I was very excited to find this first of the Darkover novels for my Kindle and reread it. Sci Fi and Fantasy combined at it's very best. Well developed and intriguing take on a lost colony of space travelers crashed on a then remote planet some trying to pull together and leave others ready to stay and find a new life. What surprises they find will keep you turning pages and deeply involved.
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Our ship has crashed and out of a full complement of crew and colonist their are only two hundred left! We must try and survive and fix our ship, but a strange ghost wind brings madness and new abilities to those left.
brad the Wolf has been brought up to control the armies of his family, but loses his place in the kingdom because of his bitterness..As he grows up and returns he finds he is now his younger brother's general and is under the regent his father.. This tale has lots of action but also soul searching that can destroy a man.
I have put off submitting my review until I have read this three times. Each time I find something new to think about and I love Darkover tales with their ESP, and matrix tower and learonus and star stones and just people sort of like us.
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What happens when a space ship filled with colonists gets lost on a habitable planet? How do the people adapt? How do they survive and take advantage of the planet's strengths? How does their culture and sociology evolve?

These questions are answered logically in First Contact, the story of Darkover. The colonists react to a Ghost Wind violently, thus destroying any technological knowledge. Also they adapt socially, to increase the gene pool, through group marriage, helping raise each other's' children.

The resident aliens are depicted wisely, kindly with benign intentions toward the survivors. Other alien groups are more ferocious.

This is a great book for everyone! A wonderful start for any fantasy lover into the world of Darkover!
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Until reading the Darkover Series, I had read little of this Author past "The Mists of Avalon," which totally captivated me. I was looking for a fantasy series that would hold my interest and stretch my imagination in ways it had not been challenged previously. This series does an amazing job in creating an entire world, a new planet, including climate, suns and moons. The characters are fun, creative and the ideas are fun well worth reading and considering.
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I have read MZB books before, but never a Darkover novel. Saw the omnibus and decided that the "historical" beginning of the series would be a good place to start since I had heard many good things about the series. If you've never read either of these two novels, keep in mind they are connected in only the loosest possible way; set on the same planet. It would be like reading a book set in ancient Greece and one set in modern times. Nothing wrong with that, but if you're not expecting such a difference, it can be a bit startling.

The first book was a good enough standard introduction, and had some really interesting ideas like the Ghost Wind. Very space-pioneer feeling and there was a whole lot of potential to work it into something outstanding. But it just sort of fizzled and fell short of the mark. There was a lot going on in the book's society, but nothing really *happened,* if you get what I mean. When I finished the first book I found myself really hoping the second one would pick up where the other left off and run with it, but instead you're taken to a society so different there's basically no comparison. You'll see a few sir-names you recognize, mention of starstones, and nothing else. Nothing about the ghostwind that caused the first colonists so many problems (in fact, most of the first book dealt with Ghost Wind-induced issues), and a strange reliance on Spanish-ish words. Strange considering how prominent the Celtic heritage was in the first book and that more than half the characters spoke Irish or Scottish Gaelic.

More happens in the second book, but there's not a whole lot of reason why.
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