Marion Zimmer Bradley
Bradley passed away September 25, 1999.
Her Official Depository
Bradley's personal papers and letters were donated to the "Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center" at Boston University, and were opened to the public in September 2009, ten years after her death.
The language and timing of the above statement appear to be somewhat contrary to the restrictions that Elisabeth Waters quoted in 2008: "Some of the material is sealed until 50 years after her death, and the collection is open only to “a qualified scholar” who has to be in the physical library building in Boston, so it’s not exactly readily available."  
Another academic library with a Bradley collection of papers: The Marion Zimmer Bradley Papers (Collection 1955). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles. See Marion Zimmer Bradley papers, 1956-1999 at OAC, Online Archive of California.
The Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust registered the trademark for Darkover on March 23, 2010.
While her first Darkover book was published in 1958, this trademark cites the first use of Darkover ("in commerce" and otherwise) as September 14, 1962. 
A Legend in Copyright Tangles
Her conflict with a fanfiction author became a legend, supposedly making it impossible for her to publish one of her own novels, Contraband.
This controversy is commonly used as a straw man argument by people, both inside and outside fandom, who cite the Bradley story as their objection to fanworks. This case is, however, is very complicated and nuanced. See Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.
In her pro-writing, MZB wrote or collaborated on at least seven series, 25 additional standalone novels, and countless short stories. 
Her first contribution to a fanzine was an article "in a happily defunct hektographed format." 
While plagued with health problems for many years, in 1989, Bradley's health took a turn for the worse; it's widely believed both among fans and sf/f industry professionals that after that date, most or all of the books published under her name were either collaborations or entirely ghostwritten by other individuals.  Some sources assert that Bradley was entirely unable to write after 1989. Evidence for this belief varies widely where specific works are concerned, sometimes amounting to little more than rumor & speculation, while in other instances collaborators received cover credits or other acknowledgement. In the case of at least one series, the copyrights were later reassigned to the second author.
Official books are still being written under Bradley's name by other people via the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Trust.
She edited early zines of this universe, Mezrab and "her earlier fanzine, Astra's Tower." Later on, she edited and gave her name to published anthologies of stories by other authors in the Darkover universe.
See Darkover for more information on that series.
Mists of Avalon Series
The Mists of Avalon is a fantasy series set in the Arthurian tradition, but with a feminist slant, in the point of view of Morgaine and Guinevere. The first book of that name was quite successful both in and out of the SFF genre. Later novels in the series were co-written with other authors, who have continued the series after MZB's death.
"The Mists of Avalon" As an ApexBradley's sister-in-law, Diana Paxson, wrote in 2001, that the success of The Mists of Avalon, while gratifying and exciting, was also an unexpected strain on Bradley:
But no one expected what happened when The Mists of Avalon was published. Some of its success was no doubt due to the editorial and promotional genius of Judy Lynn Benjamin Del Rey, who got the book reviewed in the New York Times. But the rest has to be put down to Marion’s ability to resonate with the zeitgeist. Glowing reviews certainly helped, but what made the book a bestseller was word-of-mouth publicity, and that’s what keeps it selling today. People bought and read and loved it, then bought copies for their friends. Suddenly Marion found herself world-famous.
This was not what she had expected, especially when people began to phone her in the middle of the night wanting spiritual counsel. Morgaine herself could not have fulfilled all the expectations being laid upon the author of The Mists of Avalon. Marion continued to write, but she began to withdraw from public life.Her health was also beginning to fail. To the heart trouble from which she had suffered for many years was added diabetes, and then a series of strokes. 
Early Pulp Fiction
Wikipedia lists pseudonyms that she used early in her career -- Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter, and Lee Chapman, among others, that she used to write gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels. For example, I Am a Lesbian was published in 1962. Though relatively tame by today's standards, they were considered pornographic when published, and were a rare source of gay lit of the time.
Other Non-Science Fiction FictionBradley responded to a fan in late 1977 who was offended when he saw a romance novel by Bradley at the supermarket and scolded her (and Andre Norton) for wasting her time writing "trash", and his time by using her time and energies on things that weren't science fiction. Bradley replied:
Well, that letter sets a kind of record for what one of our associates here calls "the long range conclusion jump." Just to set the record straight, Dan, I write romantic novels (which are usually not boy-meets-girl slush but super natural horror packaged as "Gothics" to meet the exigencies of the market) because. A), I like writing them, and, B), because it's about my only chance to get weird or horror fiction into print without resorting to the pages of fanzines which pay nothing at all. I cannot speak for Andre Norton, but I assume that since, like me, she could sell all the s-f she wanted to write, that she too writes Gothic novels for the very simple reason that she likes writing them! Now, I'm not defending what I write. It doesn't need it. If anyone doesn't want to read any of my Gothics — some of which are, as I say, a way to publish supernatural horror fiction, and others straight suspense or mystery fiction with female protagonists — he or she may go and spend the money on some other book, a banana split or a beer, and I'll even say "Bottoms upl" I'm not apologizing for writing Gothics. I like writing them, and I like reading them, too. And while, early in my career, I wrote quite a number of books of which I am not particularly proud, because I needed the money, you will never find them on a newsstand in Chicago, or anywhere else, because I didn't put my name on them. Anything with my name on, I am quite proud to have written.What troubles me is the arrogant assumption that I am wasting my tame and my talents "writing trash." By what right to you judge a book you haven't read, and assume it is trash? By what right do you presume to judge the reading preferences of others? When I was a kid, I lived through a period of time when science fiction was considered trash. When I read the works of Edmond Hamilton, Robert Heinlein, Leigh Brackett and company, I was admonished by concerned schoolteachers that I should stop reading that "unscientific trash" and apply my good brain to something with substance. Having outlived that period, I resolved to live and let live, read and let read, and I suggest that we all try to show tolerance for the reading and other preferences of others. 
Her Own Activities as a Fan
None of MZB's writing for fanworks is listed at her official bibliography.
Her Tolkien Fandom Activities
"Notably, perhaps the most erudite and insightful writer who championed and defended Tolkien was Marion Zimmer Bradley. Her 1962 “Men, Halflings, and Hero Worship” appearing in Astra's Tower, holds up very well even some 50 years later. She also wrote two Tolkien pastiches and one crossover story with Aragorn entering her own created world of Darkover. She published what would be a single issue of her own Tolkien fanzine, Andúril." 
- The Jewel of Arwen, a fictional story set in Tolkien’s world, was published in I Palantir (1961), then as a standalone chapbook (1974), and it appeared in the first edition of her professional retrospective anthology "The Best of Marion Zimmer Bradley" in 1985. Later reprints of this book do not include "The Jewel of Arwen," most likely due to pressure from the Tolkien estate. "
- The Parting of Arwen, a fictional story set in Tolkien’s world, also expanded on Arwen’s backstory, was published in I Palantir (1964), and then as a standalone chapbook (1974).
- A Meeting in the Hyades was written in 1954 or 1955, first published as a chapbook in 1961, in Andúril (1962), in Astra's Tower (Special Leaflet 1962), and then again in Starstone #1 (1978). This story describes Tolkien’s hero Aragorn meeting Bradley’s own hero Regis Hastur.
- The Middle-Earth Songbook, a 1976 zine of Tolkien filksongs was created by two fans and includes over a hundred pages of songs set in the world of JRR Tolkien, including Bradley's melodies for Tolkien's own songs, "used by Bradley's permission."
- "Lament for Boromir" was a song by Bradley. It was sung as early as 1978 at a con  , and appears on the 2001 CD The Starlit Jewel, along with several other Tolkien songs by Bradley.
Her Own Writing in Darkover Fanzines
Marion contributed directly and indirectly to a number or fanzines about Darkover. A complete list is here: Darkover.
Many of the stories she wrote in zines were then published for-profit at a later date in the DAW Books professional anthologies.
Her Sime~Gen Fandom Activites
- In A Companion in Zeor #2, MZB writes a letter of comment that her book "Genuine Old Master" was "written for a fanzine when I was 18 or so! And the fanzine rejected it!"
- She contributed fanart to an unknown Sime~Gen zine. 
- She wrote Sime~Gen fiction in Ambrov Zeor #11 in 1980, as well as several LoCs to that zine.
- She was listed as a "Charter Members of the Tecton" in Ambrov Zeor in 1976.
Other Fan Activities
- Bradley wrote that her first letter printed in a science fiction zine was in 1946 "when I was a kid of sixteen." 
- Bradley was active in science-fiction and fantasy fandom during the 1960s and 70s, promoting interaction with professional authors and publishers and making several important contributions to the subculture.
- Bradley was one of the few female members of Fantasy Amateur Press Association.
- She was a founder of, and coined the name for The Society for Creative Anachronism.
- Like many imaginative writers, Bradley took her inspiration indirectly, and directly, from other creative works. Two examples of this was her response to Ursula Le Guin's book "Left Hand of Darkness" -- "Well, I extracted a promise to send me MZB's address so I could write her a fan letter about one of her Darkover novels, World Wreckers and tell her that my very popular ST fanzine series, Kraith, had been generated by adding Darkover to ST and shaking well. They did. I did. And MZB wrote me back and explained that she had written World Wreckers in answer to Ursula LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness because LHOD had omitted a crucial sex scene. It was such a glaring omission that MZB felt she had to answer with a book of her own, which was World Wreckers."  Another example was Bradley's retooling, response based on a book by Leigh Brackett: "My novel COLORS OF SPACE began as a rebuttal with the basic idea of Leigh Brackett's STARMEN OF LLYRDIS —a political situation where only one race could travel in space, due to physical problems. Leigh never recognized it till I told her." 
Convention Attendee and Convention Guest of Honor
Some examples from the hundreds (?) of cons Bradley attended:
- Darkover Grand Council Meeting
- Fantasy Worlds Festival
- Ivan Cook's All New Phoenix Comic, Star Trek and SF Film Con
- Magnum Opus Con
- many Worldcons, such as IguanaCon and MidAmerica
- many small, regional cons
Her Star Trek Fandom Activities
- "The Immovable Object," published in the zine The Other Side of Paradise #2, edited by Amy Falkowitz and Signe Landon in 1977, related the early days of the Enterprise under Captain Kirk.
- "Cross Currents", published in Obsc'zine #4, edited by Lori Chapek-Carleton, was a short Uhuru/Chapel story.
- there is a mention that the actress Nichelle Nichols was the model for "Mardee Haskell," the heroine of the Gothic novel "The Drum and the Darkness," by novel by Bradley 
Influences of "Star Trek" on Her WritingFrom issue #15/16 of the Nichelle Nichols newsletter, Amani in 1976:
In the Darkover Newsletter #11 (undated, published in 1978), MZB cautioned other fan writes of Trek:
Nichelle has sent us a rather interesting news release about the next Marion Zimmer Bradley release. No doubt Marion Zimmer Bradley is familiar to many of you as the author of the Darkover series of novels. The news release states that she has now completed a Gothic novel for the Ballentine series of Zodiac Gothics, tentatively carrying the title The Drum and the Darkness. 
Ms. Bradley has used our own Nichelle Nichols as the model for her heroine in the novel, "Mardee Haskell." The story is laid in Haiti. Mardee Haskell is a Leo who portrays a vigorous and definite personality instead of the usual fragile and vulnerable Gothic heroine. By profession, she is an actress. She becomes entangled in a group of people who are filming a story based on the Slave Revolt of 1781 which made Haiti the first Black republic in the New World, if not the first one in history. Mardee and two members of the motion picture company act out an ancient tragedy, which becomes a story of blood and violence.
While blocking out her novel, Ms. Bradley was watching a series of Star Trek reruns. Over several evenings, she noticed Nichelle's beauty, elegance, and exquisite diction. Ms. Bradley did not know Nichelle's astrological sign, but decided that she seemed to have the fire and vivacity of a true Leo. Actually she wasn't far off -- Nichelle's sign is really Capricorn with a strong Leo rising.
Since the story is laid in Haiti, Marcy Rudo, the editor at Ballentine Books in charge of the Zodiac Gothics had asked that the heroine of the book be black. Ms. Bradley could think of no one lovelier nor more suitable than our own Nichelle Nichols to serve as the model for her heroine. Since the novel is, in essence, a fantasy, the author found it entirely appropriate to use Nichelle's "Lt. Uhura" as her model.Friends, isn't it interesting to see the odd peripheral ways in which Star Trek is continuing to influence people at the most unexpected times?
In 1980, MZB wrote of Star Trek fandom in the The Keeper's Price's forward:... one of the first things I ever wrote to Jacqueline was that she would never do anything worth doing, professionally, until she got out of Roddenberry's Star Trek universe and started creating her own. And of course, this ties in with the fannish question I get very tired of hearing... 'Where do you get your ideas? As if ideas were a precious commodity, so scarce that I would be reduced to stealing them...
Not until women saw Star Trek did they start identifying themselves, just as young children did, with the heroes and heroines of that universe. They were too old to put on Vulcan ears and Enterprise T-shirts and play at being Spock, Kirk, Uhura, and their friends, so they wrote stories about them instead. And, in a wave of amateur fiction, completely unlike any phenomenon in science fiction history, these stories somehow got published in amateur magazines. There were hundreds of them; or let me amend that; there were thousands, though I have only read a few hundred. And when they were sated with Star Trek, many of them turned to Darkover. I don’t agree with Jacqueline Lichtenberg that ‘Darkover is just an advanced version of Star Trek for grownups.’ I was never that much of a Star Trek fan,  and not till after I knew Jacqueline did I ever learn much about the phenomenon of Star Trek fandom. Jacqueline, driven like myself, one of those who created her own fantasy world in her teens and transmuted it into a professional series as an adult, used Star Trek fandom, calculatedly (as I used the fanzines built around the old pulp fiction) as a way of learning her craft and getting her early writings in print... 
Bradley as a Mentor to Other Fan WritersThere were many instances of Bradley's encouragement to other fiction writers who wrote both original fantasy fiction, as well as fan fiction, and many people remember her kind words and assistance:
"I wrote a letter of appreciation to one of my favorite authors, Marion Zimmer Bradley. To my surprise, she wrote back, three pages of single-spaced typewriting. At that time, the Friends of Darkover held periodic writing contests and published its own fanzine. I sent her a couple of stories and received encouraging comments (and, as I remember, an award for one of the stories and fanzine publication of the other). When Marion began editing the first Sword & Sorceress, she suggested I send her a story for consideration. I was as elated by the invitation as if it had been an actual acceptance, and threw myself into writing the best story I could. It was a modest little story, a respectable first sale. Marion showed me that I could take my writing seriously, even if I didn’t yet know how to do it at a professional level."
Bradley, however, could also be a harsh critic, as well as mercurial in her assessment and evaluation. As with any writing and publishing business, Marion did not mentor writers she felt did not meet her standards. One young writer remembers painfully how Marion’s rejection letter caused her to stop writing for years.  Another remembers being told that her story was “objectionable” because it reversed traditional gender tropes, leaving the hero to suffer a fate worse than death (aka sexual assault).  These reactions to Marion’s rejection letters may have been exacerbated, in part, because of her reputation for encouraging and promoting new writers.
Also see Zauberspiegel - ... Jacqueline Lichtenberg on Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Sime~Gen, Archived version (April of some unknown year)
Bradley's Attitudes Regarding Fanworks Based on Her Canon
Some 1977 Comments on Fandom
One of the reasons I always liked fandom is that men in fandom never related to me as a sex object or judged me by my cleavage but always treated me as one of the boys. I can count on my fingers the numbers of uninvited passes I've had thrown at me in fandom, whereas in other societies, I long since lost count and had to develop a hard keep-away stare to ward them off. Fans in general relate to me as an intelligent human being without regard to sex or gender. (Not to mention that in fandom I have met virtually the only intelligent women I have ever met anywhere —women outside fandom can't see over the top of the kitchen sink, and even in the feminist movement, they seem too busy discussing politics to get much fun out of life. If I wrong any particular feminists I'm sorry — I'm not anti-feminist, just terribly sensitive on the subject, and tired of being trashed because I am insufficiently anti-masculist for some groups or because I (1) live with a man and have no current intention of leaving, or because I (2) let Jaelle fall in love with a mere male in SHATTERED CHAIN. 
A 1978 Discussion of Fanfic and Copyright
Bradley actively encouraged fan writers to write Darkover and other fan fiction in her universes, a topic that came up early on and was worrisome to some.
In an undated Darkover Newsletter (certainly 1978, most likely March), a fan wrote a con report about Boskone and describes how a fan approached her, and several others, and instigated a lengthy discussion about the inherent problems regarding Marion Zimmer Bradley's heavy involvement in Darkover fandom. While the account below was written for publication in the newsletter, it is specifically addressed to Bradley. It provides much foreshadowing, and in fact predicts, the events that would occur fourteen years later::
Bradley responded in the same newsletter:Linda Bushyager... wondered about the problems involved when pro writers allow (and even encourage) fans to write fiction in their universes. We all floundered around in this discussion because none of us understand copyright law, and because we consider this a potentially sensitive subject... [Name redacted] wondered why you as pros encourage fans to write Darkover and Sims fiction. We said (1) to make us happy and allow us the egoboo of getting published (2) to collect ideas on what interests us, for possible future work, thus allowing us to contribute to your work. We said you did much of the fanzine [referring to Starstone] yourselves, because fans were going to write fan fiction anyway, and this way they can do it officially and legally. You aren't just out for egoboo or professional or personal self-aggrandizement. (And, what the heck, if this publicity manages to help win a Hugo for you, well, your influence on the sf field can only be good.)... [Name redacted] is particularly concerned that fan writers might get hurt feelings if one of you takes one of our ideas and uses it professional. We said, 'No, we'd be pleased,' and besides we trust you. Hopefully, we all manage to trust each other, and we fans get to feel part of a living universe. But I still thinks she feels that this would be unfair to us, that you would be using us, albeit with our very willing consent. I said certainly, you're 'using' us, and we 'use' the opportunities you provide, and everybody's happy... [Name redacted] also worried about the possibility of YOU getting hurt, at least in reputation, if some encouraged fan writes a story or zine in your universe and proceeds to get it copyrighted themselves, perhaps leading to legal hassles. All we could say is, we have to trust each other. 
... While I can't speak for Jacqueline, I participate in Darkover fandom because it is FUN. I would be writing non-publishable peripheral Darkover stories for my own amusement, and publishing fanzines about something or other... where does it say I have to be professional all the time. I am a fan. I think [name redacted] argument stems from a fear that Jacqueline and I will exploit young writers using their ideas in our professional work, ideas which they, themselves, might later make use of in their own private world... I have encouraged young writers to speak in their own voice -- one of the first things I ever wrote to Jacqueline was that she would never do anything worth doing, professionally, until she got out of Roddenberry's Star Trek universe and started creating her own. And of course, this ties in with the fannish question I get very tired of hearing... 'Where do you get your ideas? As if ideas were a precious commodity, so scarce that I would be reduced to stealing them... I can get a couple of thousand story ideas between breakfast and dinner, and very few of them will I ever have time to write... So why should I snitch any of the fannish ideas about what happens in the Starstone world (which I, frankly, regard as a 'parallel world' to Darkover, not MY Darkover, not quite.) Now, I suppose if I were sick, or exhausted, or overworked, or had writer's block, and happened to come across a fannish story with the gem of a good idea it in, I might write the kid and say, 'Hey, I like that idea, and you probably don't have the skill to make a novel out of it. I'll give you (say) twenty bucks for the idea.' And if the kid should say, 'Hey, wow, I'm flattered, use it for nothing,' I would still say, 'No, I want you to sell it to me, so that you kick if I do something completely different than you want to, or so you won't later think I ripped you off, when you get older.' On the contrary, if the kid says, 'I want to use it in my own private world some day for a story of my own,' then I would just have to start with that idea and work on it till its own author would never know I began there... Mostly I let other people write about Darkover because it is so much fun to read a new Darkover story without having to sit down and slog through the writing of it! I don't need to borrow ideas. After all, I KNOW what really happened... and yes, it's egoboo, but it's not just an ego trip. I'm just sharing, I think. I don't have as much time to write Darkover stories as I'd like to. I have to do other books that pay me more. So I like to think somebody's keeping it warm for me when I'm not there. 
See more at Darkovans Invade Boskone!.
For more on this topic, see Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.
Bradley's Attitudes Regarding Fiction Based on Her Canon
Bradley had said that she didn't so much create Darkover as she discovered it, and she encouraged fan fiction writers to write in, what she called, her "back yard." She herself edited fiction fanzines, the DAW anthologies, and the long-running publication Darkover Newsletter in which there was much discussion regarding fannish creations.
Bradley published her own fanworks zine, Starstone and Bitter Honeymoon and Other Stories: The Amorous Adventures of Dyan Ardais. She also gave specific approval to several other zines, including Moon Phases, as well as implicit approval to others.
She was actively aware of, participated in, and actively encouraged fan writers to write Darkover and other fan fiction in her universes, especially in her contributions and comments in the long-running Darkover Newsletter.Bradley and Walter Breen's first mention of their interest in publishing a zine of Darkover fanworks (which they called "apocryphal stories") was in August 1976. In Darkover Newsletter #2, Walter Breen proposed the zine that later became Starstone:
Bradley, in the same newsletter, added her comments regarding their zine of fanworks:APOCRYPHAL STORIES: An annual publication is being prepared, to contain additions to the Darkover mythos by other hands, including (but not limited to) poems, songs, short stories, ballads, and other material filling in gaps, similar to what has been going on for some years now in Star Trek's various parallel universes. We have seen quite a few such items already ranging in merit from hopelessly crude to highly creditable. And now a forum exists for these and similar pieces. Submissions to this publication (whose name has not yet been decided on—let us hear your proposals) are welcome at Box 472. It is too soon, as yet, to talk about publication date or cost.
In early 1978, she wrote:About the annual magazine — I guess it had to happen. People started sending us poetry, outlines for fiction, and the like. Also, I have written odd bits of background material such as a study of the female reproductive cycle on a planet with four moons, which is hardly suitable for the newsletter. So there will be, sometime next spring, an issue of a Darkover fanzine devoted to fiction, poetry, apocrypha of various sorts, and possibly some material written for publication which was deleted by editorial requirements or my own self-censorship amd second thoughts. For instance, I agreed to give the editors, for the first issue, a description of the Arilinn Tower (Jeff's quarters) which was deleted by the editor from BLOODY SUN, and a description of the battle with the catmen from SPELL SWORD which didn't make it into the final manuscript of SPELL SWORD, for various reasons. There will also be a couple of poems, and possibly the music to various folksongs quoted in the texts. As yet we have no title; Jessica Salmonson suggested in one of her letters that ARILINN would be a good title for such a magazine, but we're open to your ideas. Send anything you want to have considered for publication to Tracy Blackstone, Box 472, Berkeley CA 94701.
After Darkover became popular both from Bradley's published books and among fanwriters, Bradley began to accept submissions from fan and professional authors for a series of Darkover anthologies published by DAW, beginning with The Keeper's Price (1980). It was in the author's foreward for "The Keeper's Price" that Bradley stated her own disapproval with authors who sought to suppress fan fiction set in the worlds they had created, as well as why she enjoyed writing alongside fans in Darkover:Mostly I let other people write about Darkover because it is so much fun to read a new Darkover story without having to sit down and slog through the writing of it! I don't need to borrow ideas. After all, I KNOW what really happened... and yes, it's egoboo, but it's not just an ego trip. I'm just sharing, I think. I don't have as much time to write Darkover stories as I'd like to. I have to do other books that pay me more. So I like to think somebody's keeping it warm for me when I'm not there. 
From a FAQ on her official website, updated in 2010:…by reading the Darkover short stories written by my young fans, and sometimes criticizing them and trying to explain just what is wrong with them, I have somehow learned to write short stories myself and been encouraged to try my hand at this best and subtlest of fictional forms. The four stories in this volume are, I think, among the best of my short stories, and they were written because, after seeing the kind of mistakes I could recognize in other people’s stories, I could learn to avoid them in my own writing. So that I have learned as much from my fans as I hope they have learned from me about the art of writing.
Some critics have been disturbed about the possibility that I might exploit my young fans, or steal their ideas, or use their work in future novels. No, except that everything I read finds its way into my subconscious, there to undergo a sea-change which alters raw ideas into fiction. But this is just as likely to happen with a story by roger Zelanzy – or Daphne du Maurier – or Agatha Christie – or Pearl S. Buck.
Of course I get ideas from my young fans, just as I give them ideas. But as for stealing their ideas – I have quite enough ideas of my own. If their ideas find lodgment in my head, it is in the same way that I “got the idea” for my novel Planet Savers by reading a classic study of a multiple personality, as an assignment in my psychology class; or that I might get an idea from National Geographic or Scientific American, which are magazines in which I browse when temporarily short of inspiration…
This is why I don’t mind other writers writing about Darkover, and at the same time, I have no wish and no need to exploit their ideas. If I ever do make use of a fan’s writing, it will be so altered and transmuted by its trip through my own personal dream-space that even the inventor would never recognize her idea, so alien it would be when I got through with it!
Nor do I feel threatened by stories not consistent with my own personal view of Darkover. To me all Darkover stories written by anyone else are presumed to be in a parallel world to “my” Darkover; or one of the parallel universes, which can be very close to my Darkover, or very different, just as the young writer wishes.
Because, in a very real sense, I regard myself not as the “inventor” of Darkover, but its discoverer. I others wish to play in my fantasy world, who am I to slam its gates and in churlish voice demand that they build their own? If they are capable of it, they will do someday. Meanwhile, if they wish to write of Darkover, they will. All the selfish exclusiveness of the Conan Doyle estate (which went so far as to demand that the late Ellery Queen anthology, ‘The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes’, a very fine volume of Holmes pastiches, be withdrawn from sale and never reprinted, thus denying Holmes lovers a wonderful reading experience) as not stopped lovers of Sherlock from writing their own stories and secretly sharing them. Why should I deny myself the pleasure of seeing these young writers learning to their thing by , for a little while, doing my things with me?Or, look at it this way. When I was a little kid, I was a great lover of ‘pretend’ games, but after I was nine or ten, I could never get anyone to play them with me. And now I have a lot of fans, and friends, who will come into my magic garden and play the old ‘pretend games’ with me. 
Can I write a Darkover story? No. Darkover is the property of Marion Zimmer Bradley and her heirs, and the right to prepare a derivitiave work belongs to the copyright holder. This means that even if you don't publish it or make money from it; it's still illegal. Nobody is allowed to write a Darkover story or novel without a contract with the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust. You may not write a Darkover story in English, French, German, or any other language. Any legitimate editor you sent it to would not publish it because that would be a violation of copyright laws and the Berne Convention. If you have an idea for a Darkover story, create a new background -- a new universe -- rename your characters, and write it so that the story is clearly NOT Darkovan. 
Again, for more on this topic, see Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.
Bradley's Attitudes Regarding Filks Based on Her Canon
The undated note below illustrates some of Bradley's thoughts and appreciation regarding filks based on her, and other people's, canon.
a note from Bradley to Karen MacLeod, regarding a song based on Sime~Gen, date unknown -- "Dear Karen - I heard your copy of UNTO ZEOR FOREVER at Jacqueline's and it haunted me for days. It is wonderful to find musical talent in s-f (and rare). Your songs are head and shoulders above most fannish filk songs and I wish I could have my own copy -- if I sent you a blank tape could you copy it for me in exchange for my recording some of the Darkover songs or Tolkien songs for you, or something like that? Incidentally, if I had known that you were also the composer of that music I would have made extra time to talk to you at Darkovercon. Maybe next time! ~ a fellow composer/music lover, Admiringly, Marion Bradley." 
Bradley's Attitudes Regarding Games Based on Her Canon
Role-Playing Games: In 1986, MZB had this response to a fan regarding one of her characters in respect to a game he was making with friends:
While Bradley was harshing on role-playing games in 1986, SOMEONE had given "official permission" for some sort of game in 1979. In Darkover Newsletter #18/19, a fan, Peter Oloka, wrote this letter:I do not like or approve of fantasy role-playing games, but if people must play them, they should make up their own characters and not muddle with mine...I finally managed to persuade myself that the idiots who used my character in the fantasy role-playing game were only playing with their idea of the character, not mine, and wrote a couple of other stories about her; but I still think if people don't have enough imagination to invent their own characters, they should play tiddlywinks or chess instead of borrowing someone else's work. I don't mind others writing about my characters -- people who can write, and people who read, are my kind of people and can have anything I have. About people who play fantasy role-playing games, I'm not so sure. Why aren't they home reading a good book? Or writing one? 
PETER OLOTKA + FUTURE PASTIMES + RICHARD'S LANE + CENTERVILLE, MASS. 02632. A game design group that I am a member of recently purchased the rights to do a game (or series of games) based on the Darkover novels. The game(s) will be published by EON PRODUCTS, which has published only one game to date -- COSMIC ENCOUNTER. Eon Products is a small group of fans engaged in game publishing. We would more than welcome any suggestions that you readers might like to pass along. Our goal is to get as much into the game as possible that folks will have more fun -- without doing the players in with burdensome rules. Incidentally we have just finished a game based on Frank Herbert's DUNE to be published by Avalon Hill in 1979. Thanks. 
Bradley's Letter to the Darkover Newsletter Which Ends Her Own Involvement with Fan Fiction
I've finished 'Rediscovery' and 'Return to Darkover'... My next project was going to be 'Contraband,' the novel about Dyan Ardais I mentioned in the introduction to Elisabeth Water's story 'A Proper Escort' in 'Renunciates of Darkover.' Unfortunately, my decades of encouraging young writers and allowing fans to 'play in my yard' just caught up to me. Somebody had written a fan novel covering the same time period ["Masks" in Moon Phases #12], and I had read it. It used my characters, sometimes in ways I wouldn't have, but it also contained a few ideas I liked, so I offered the author a reasonable sum of money (about one sixth of what she would have received as the advance of a first novel) and an acknowledgment in the dedication for incorporating those ideas (not her writing) into my book. I offered this even though ideas cannot be copyrighted, because I have never believed in taking advantage of my fans. She wrote back saying that, while she could live with the monetary compensation I'd offered, what she wanted was a shared byline. It might be that she thought I was asking to collaborate with her, although I cannot imagine what in my letter could have possibly given her that impression... This was essentially the same deal I made with Jacqueline Lichtenberg on 'Thendara House.' but unfortunately this person still did not seem willing to accept the deal. I talked to... my editor at DAW, who says the only person she would agree to have me share a byline on a Darkover novel with is Mercedes Lackey, who has collaborated with me on my last two Darkover novels, and is the writer to whom I am leaving the series when I am no longer able to write it. [My editor] also says that, under the circumstances, DAW cannot publish 'Contraband.' She was kind enough to refrain from pointing out that I had been an idiot to read fan fiction set in my world without a legal release form. I have, however, agreed to refrain from such behavior in the future. From now on, the only Darkover material I will read is anthology submissions accompanied by the proper release form. If you publish a Darkover fanzine, run an APA etc., do NOT send me copies. They will be returned unread by my office staff. (Instead, send any courtesy copies you would have previously sent to me directly to [address for the Mugar Library in Boston]. This is the depository for the 'Marion Zimmer Bradley Collection, and your work will contribute to making the collection more complete.) I'm sorry that things have come to this. I never wanted to have to keep a 'professional distance' from my fans, and for more than twenty years I didn't need to. But I guess even the longest streak of good luck runs out eventually, and sometimes one bad apple does spoil the whole barrel. I regret having to give up a novel that I had already started work on, and I apologize to all of you who wanted to read it. --Signed, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
There is a note included after this letter:
The fate of the Darkover fanzines, and of stories Marion Zimmer Bradley does not buy for the anthologies, is still being researched by Mrs. Bradley's lawyer. The person who started this problem has received a cease-and-desist order from Mrs. Bradley's lawyer. If she continues to distribute her Darkover material or writes any further Darkover material, there will be serious legal consequences, both for her and any fanzine or APA editors who may publish her material. We will keep readers abreast of further developments. -- Signed, Ann Sharp (editor of the newsletter).
For more on this, see Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.
Optioned For TV Series
Bradley's Mists of Avalon books were turned into a cable TV mini-series in 2001.
On February 13 2012, Ilene Kahn Power and Elizabeth Stanley, two television producers announced they had optioned the rights to turn the Darkover series into a television series. Significant funding still remains to be secured and as of 2012, the project was still in the early planning stages.
- Darkover' novels pitched as TV series, published in Variety magazine February 13, 2012
- Marion Zimmer Bradley's DARKOVER May Head to TV, dated Febrairy 14, 2012
- 'Darkover' novels to become TV series - TV News - Digital Spy, dated February 14, 2012.
Her Connection to Walter Breen
Breen was a serial child molester. This fact was known to many but not all fans in the early 1960s. His actions and behavior with young children at SF conventions, in the numismatic (coin collecting) community and in esoteric/magick circles, were criminal. He was an early member of NAMBLA. In 1954, he had been convicted of child molestation in Atlantic City and put on probation.
In 1963, there was actually debate in the Berkeley, California fan community over whether or not to permanently ban Breen from Worldcon. Part of the reason for the dispute had to do with controversy over whether conventions could or should ban anyone at all, for any reason. It is interesting to compare early 1960s (a relatively straitlaced time) attitudes on the part of some fans toward child sexual abuse to how it would be viewed today. The scandal is referred to by fans as "Boondoggle" or "Breendoggle", and is documented in detail at the Breendoggle Wiki.
Breen was banned from Worldcon for 1964 (Pacificon II), and briefly blackballed from the Fantasy Amateur Press Association after allegations of further pedophilic acts surfaced. Nevertheless, many prominent fans of the era (including big-name fan John Boardman), perhaps unaware of Breen's prior conviction, dismissed the allegations as hearsay and "character assassination," and the scandal blew over. Essentially, Breen got away with it until almost the end of his life -- supported and facilitated by Bradley.
In 1990, charges were again brought against him by parents in the coin collecting community. He was arrested, accepted a plea bargain and was put on probation. A year later, he was charged with eight felony counts of child molestation and was sentenced to ten years in prison, where he died in 1994.
- Excerpts from MZB's Depositions, Archived version (August 10, 1998), for more see Timelines and MZB's Court Depositions (1998) This site presents material compiled in the course of a legal action against MZB by the parents of one of Breen's victims.
- Marion Zimmer Bradley: Elisabeth Waters Deposition; WebCite (1997)
- For the love of coins, past lives and boys, Archived version, (February 14, 2007) An online newspaper article briefly summarizing Breen's activities and speculating on the nature of MZB's relationship with Breen.
Allegations: MZB Sexually and Physically Abused Her Children
In June 2014, Marion herself was accused of sexual abuse by her daughter Moira. This was corroborated by Marion's son Mark.
The links below are arranged in approximate chronological order (thus, the initial Tor.com post appeared slightly prior to the first appearance of Moira's statements, and the interview with Mark Greyland appeared after those statements had been widely circulated). Content includes statements by Moira and Mark, reactions from the science fiction community (both from fans and from professional writers), discussions of MZB's impact on fandom and on female writers, and commentary on the evolution (or lack thereof) of cultural consciousness regarding issues of sexual abuse within and beyond the fannish and SFnal communities.
The compilation is not necessarily either complete or exhaustive, and all opinions expressed in the linked material are those of the individual authors or individuals quoted.
- Cat Yronwode, Crowley & Paederasty. (This is actually part 2 of a longer discussion: part 1 here). Arcane Archive, January 31, 1999. Ms. Yronwode provides her personal experience of Breen's behaviour in the mid-1960s, in the context of both fandom and Crowleyan magick. Those interested in the subculture of paederasty in esoteric and magickal practises may wish to read Charles Webster Leadbeater, a Biographical Study by Gregory John Tillett (Univ. of Sydney, 1986, full text online).
- Marion Zimmer Bradley, Wikipedia Talk Page, revisions (as of May 6, 2014)
- On This Day: Marion Zimmer Bradley Gave Us New Perspectives (June 3, 2014)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley Gave us New Perspectives, by Leah Schelbach, post for Tor.com (June 3, 2014)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley Gave Us New Perspectives, All Right, Archived version, by Deirdre Saoirse Moen (June 3, 2014)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley: It’s Worse Than I Knew, Archived version, by Deirdre Saoirse Moen (June 10, 2014)
- John Scalzi on Twitter: "This is horrible: Marion Zimmer Bradley's daughter alleges she was molested by her mother., Archived version, tweet by John Scalzi (June 10, 2014)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley was a child abuser - says her own daughter - TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics, Archived version (June 11, 2014)
- The Importance of Books and the MZB Timeline · Deirdre Saoirse Moen, Archived version, by Deirdre Saoirse Moen (June 12, 2014)
- More on Marion Zimmer Bradley and the ethics of artists, by Paul St John Mackintosh (June 12, 2014)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley: When a Classic Gets Tainted - Amazing Stories, Archived version (June 17, 2014)
- Re-reading feminist author Marion Zimmer Bradley in the wake of sexual assault allegations - The Washington Post, Archived version (June 24, 2014)
- G. Willow Wilson on Twitter: "I'm speechless about this news re: Marion Zimmer Bradley. I can forgive artists for falling short of their ideals, but not for CHILD ABUSE.", Archived version, G. Willow Wilson (June 24, 2014)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley, Abuse, and Cautionary Tales, Archived version (June 26, 2014)
- SFF community reeling after Marion Zimmer Bradley's daughter accuses her of abuse, Archived version, article in "The Guardian" (June 27, 2014) This article includes a statement from Russell Galen, MZB's literary agent, speaking for himself and on behalf of the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust .
- The Guardian catches up to Marion Zimmer Bradley child abuse scandal, with questionable new comments, by Paul St John Mackintosh (June 27, 2014)
- Now that Marion Z. Bradley's child raping has come out, does it change your desire to reread her?; WebCite (there are 11 pages of comments) (June 29, 2014)
- Goodreads: Feminist Science Fiction Fans - Discussion: Re-reading Marion Zimmer Bradley Amid Allegations of Sexual Abuse (showing1-8of8), Archived version (June 29, 2014)
- Defending Our Faves: What the Marion Zimmer Bradley Case Says About Abuse in Our Culture, Archived version (July 1, 2014)
- "I was shocked and appalled to read Moira Greyland’s posts about her mother on Facebook." by Diana L. Paxson, Archived version, Diana L. Paxson (August 20, 2014?)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley's child abuse - Geek Feminism Wiki, Archived version (as of June 1, 2015)
- The Story of Moira Greyland on Ask the Bigot, a Christian blog, dated July 23, 2015.
- Supplement III: Historic Timeline of Abuse in Science Fiction – castaliahouse.com, Archived version (December 29, 2015)
Her Health, and Death
The first public mention of Bradley's poor health was in March 1978, when the editor of her newsletter said he didn't want to "give her another heart attack." 
In November or December 1978, Bradley's car caught on fire and she was taken to the hospital. 
In March 1979, Bradley was taken to the hospital after being hit by a pickup truck. 
In April 1979, Bradley was driving and rear-ended another car, causing injury to her young passenger. 
Bradley accidentally set herself on fire sometime before, but close to, August 1982. 
Bradley accidentally set herself on fire sometime in 1987. 
Bradley had a major stroke on October 30, 1989.
Bradley passed away September 25, 1999. Marion Zimmer Bradley's Funeral.A fan wrote:
She wrote herself that she did not consider herself a feminist. She wrote stories in a genre mostly reserved for male writers, before the feminists opened a way. And unlike Andre Norton, she used her own name, and refused to hide the fact that she was a woman.
Also, as can be seen clearly from her writings, she thought that women should take up the responsibilities together with the privileges. No woman should have rights just because she was a woman. She, like every man, should have to deserve those rights, on basis of merit.
September 21st 1999, she suffered a major heart attack, and September 25th 1999, she passed away, leaving a hole behind her in the ranks of the greatest fantasy/science fiction writers of today.
I think she is one of the most important writers of fantasy and science fiction, both because of her stories, and because of what she has done for other female writers. She had the strength to pave a way for them to walk.
She was one of my favourite authors. She will be missed, also by those who didn't know her personally. I never did. I never met her, never got to know her, but I will miss her.Ann Sharp said this about her after her death: "Her instructions were carried out exactly. She wanted no stone, no physical shrine to her memory. Her new home is beyond the stars, in the holy promise of eternal life. This is the comfort of her friends, that though she may be said to die, yet her friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. Her monument on this earth, her truest portrait, her ultimate legacy, is in her books. Look for her there; you will always find her." 
- Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy
- Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust
- Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust and Unauthorized Fanworks
- Elisabeth Waters
- Walter Breen
- Marion Zimmer Bradley and credit for collaborations, Joe Bernstein, September 3, 2015
- Westercon 20 - 1967 - Fanac.org, Archived version (1967 photo of Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley)
- Other Change of Hobbit - Past Events 1995-1998: Photos from "A Celebration of Darkover" with Marion Zimmer Bradley, Elisabeth Waters, Diana Paxson, Archived version (May 1997)
- Bradley at the first Darkover Grand Council Meeting in 1978: Pictures from Darkovercon 1978, Archived version. Click photos to enlarge.
Links to Essays and Articles on MZB's Website
- Translations from the Editorial (1973), Archived version, by MZB
- Advice to Young Writers (1980), Archived version, by MZB
- Thoughts On Avalon (1986), Archived version, by MZB
- Why Prayer Is Not Answered, Archived version, by MZB
- Stargate: Movie Review, Archived version , by MZB
- What Is A Short Story? (1996), Archived version, by MZB
- Why Did My Story Get Rejected? (1997), Archived version, by MZB
- Death, Taxes, and the Writer (1998), Archived version, by Eliszbeth Waters
- What Have You Done With My Manuscript? (1998), Archived version, by Elisabeth Waters
- GRAMMAR: MZB's pet peeves (2009), Archived version, by MZB
- My problem isn't (necessarily) Marion Zimmer Bradley, by Limyaael (2004)
- Elisabeth Waters Interview
- No kidding on the "not exactly readily available part." The explanation of restrictions is long, and you may as well give up any plans of looking at things in this collection now. See Guest Researchers.
- Darkover Trademark; WebCite, accessed May 10, 2017
- here Marion Zimmer Bradley: A Bibliography, by Dawn Bovasso
- 1978, Darkovan Language Review
- Marion Zimmer Bradley and credit for collaborations, September 3, 2015
- Zimmer, Paul Edwin. "Appreciation", in: Return to Avalon, edited by Jennifer Roberson. New York, NY: Daw Books, 1996. p. 303.
- A memorial letter by Diana Paxson, written March 26, 2001, is here (scroll down to "Author Essay" in the "See More" link): Marion Zimmer Bradley, Archived version
- MZB's wikipedia page
- Obituary: Marion Zimmer Bradley The Independent (UK), September 30, 1999.
- from Darkover Newsletter #8 (November 1977)
- Sumner Gary Hunnewell. Tolkien Fandom Review: From its Beginnings to 1964 (accessed 7 September 2012)
- "We had two LASFS people with us, Lee and Barry Gold. After a prolonged giggle session, Barry brought his guitar, and sang for us some of your compositions for Tolkien's songs. "Lament for Boromir" was absolutely stunning." -- from Darkovans Invade Boskone!
- "...her anatomical sketch of a tentacled arm appears in one of the S~G fanzines." -- Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe
- comment in Darkover Newsletter #7, September 1977 when she answers a fan who wrote: I recall the many letters to long gone editors from a youngster named Marion Zimmer, so in a sense I can claim to be an admirer of Mrs. Zimmer-Bradley for more than fifty years."
- See Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
- from 1978 in Darkovans Invade Boskone!
- from Star Trek Prospers #18 (1976), which credits an issue of A Piece of the Action
- This novel became "Drums of Darkness."
- According to Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Zimmer-Bradley was one of the professional science fiction authors who was asked by Gene Roddenberry to write an episode, and she turned him down.
- From another source: "Marion Zimmer Bradley, known for her Darkover series, also is reported to have written at least two scripts for the fourth season. One of these has been printed in a fanzine." -- The Fourth Season That Might Have Been, by Don Harden (1982)
- from the foreward of The Keeper's Price, published in 1980
- An Apprenticeship With Marion by Deborah J. Ross; WebCite, dated January 12, 2012. Deborah would later be selected to co-write several of Marion's books after she became ill and continues to publish Darkover books after Marion's death in 1999.
- Vampires Saved my Soul... after Marion Zimmer Bradley tried to kill it; WebCite by Dianne Sylvan, posted October 15, 2008, accessed February 21, 2012
- Arlenecharris's comment in Vampires Saved my Soul... after Marion Zimmer Bradley tried to kill it; WebCite by Dianne Sylvan, posted October 15, 2008, accessed February 21, 2012
- from Letter from MZB in Darkover Newsletter #7 (September 1977)
- from Darkover Newsletter #11
- from Darkover Newsletter #11
- from Darkover Newsletter #2, August 1976
- from Darkover Newsletter #2, August 1976
- from Darkover Newsletter #11
- Bradley, "The Keeper's Price 7" New York, DAW books, 1980, page 14
- Frequently Asked Questions, Archived version
- from Tribblets Collection by Linda Whitten, Archived version, where a fan added: "On another subject entirely -- we are preserving here a note from Marion Zimmer Bradley to Karen MacLeod regarding a song based on Sime~Gen. (The reason JL used the same note-paper is that MZB sent her the name of the company that sold the paper and return address envelopes strongly suggesting that JL needed return address stickers that did not say "Mr. & Mrs." -- JL took the advice.) "
- from Darkover Newsletter #31, January 1986
- This was printed in Bradley's newsletter without comment from Bradley.
- Walter Breen is not mentioned on Marion Zimmer Bradley's official biography at Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust; WebCite.
- Walter Breen: Enigmatic Numismatist, 2008-07-19 by Santa Clarita Valley History.
- Stephen Goldin, Marion Zimmer Bradley: In Her Own Words.
- The first child abuse law in California had passed that same year, but required only that physicians report evidence to law enforcement. However, Breen could have been charged with statutory rape had any of the numerous witnesses spoken up.
- Breendoggle at Fancyclopedia.
- "1960s Fan History Outline, Chapter 8". Jophan.org. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
- Rare Coins Expert Charged With Child Molestation and Wikipedia page on Walter Breen
- Darkover Newsletter #11
- She related to fans: "I collapsed and was given oxygen by the firemen and taken to a hospital for cardiac monitoring; whereupon they decided that my heart was only crying wolf." The car was a total loss, however. -- from Bradley's Letter from MZB in Darkover Newsletter #15/16
- From Darkover Newsletter #17/18: "In March, crossing the street, I was struck, knocked down in the street, by a pickup truck. A trip to hospital showed only bumps and bruises; but the psychic shock was considerable."
- From Darkover Newsletter #17/18: "On April 18th, I was driving my niece Fiona to ballet, and a car in front of me stopped with unreasonable suddenness; we plowed into them, Fiona's head struck the windshield (she was not injured, thank God...but now she knows why I nag her about seat-belts. If I'd been driving faster she'd have been killed)."
- "THENDARA HOUSE is in work, but the writing was delayed by an accident to MZB during a candlelight service here In the Centre for Non-Traditional Religion, where her robe was set on fire and she suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her left hand." -- from Darkover Newsletter #26
- from Elizabeth Waters Interview in 2008: "She participated in a lot of neo-Pagan rituals during those years, and one night she set her robe on fire when it brushed against a candle. (I was half-asleep in the back of the room, but I woke up fast enough when the girl representing the Maiden started screaming.) I took Marion into the house and started first aid, and then one of the guys drove us to the hospital."
- Marion Zimmer Bradley, comment by starcat, perhaps late 1999