|Date(s):||created in 1977-79, in 1989, Marion Zimmer Bradley tells fans the Darkover editions are all out of print |
|Country based in:||New York, USA|
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Gregg Press was a press that published some limited edition hardcover versions of Darkover books.
Many of the books have frontispieces created by fan, Pyracantha.
The Gregg Press Maps
Despite the fact the Gregg Press books have some Darkover maps, Marion Zimmer Bradley was very, very much against fans, or anyone else, drawing maps of Darkover.
"Is there a map of Darkover? The hardcover editions published by Gregg Press have maps in them, but MZB said they were not canonical. She never wanted to be pinned down to a map of Darkover; she said she never knew where she'd need to put a city. 
In 1993, a fan asked a common question about any existing maps of Darkover, and Bradley responded: "I don't do maps to avoid boxing myself in suppose I needed a city where the map claims a Howling Waste is located?" Ann Sharp noted that "an attempt at a map was made in the Gregg Press edition end papers, but it's very much out of date now." 
See more on this topic at Mapping Darkover.
"Darkover again! But this is not fan art, it is professional art that I did as frontispiece illustrations for a collector's item edition of some of Marion Z. Bradley's older Darkover works. I designed an ornate archway for the series, which I copied in photostat (an ancient but durable medium) and then dropped the ink drawing into the arch space. This one is from THE SPELL SWORD, one or Marion's earliest Darkover tales. In the story, a young man must protect his family against the onslaught of the Cat-men, lion-like, sentient and fierce creatures. He knows nothing of swordsmanship but that's all the weaponry he has. In order to defeat the foe, a magic user forms a psychic link between the young man and an elder hero who was once one of the greatest swordfighters of the realm. The old man directs the younger man's sword and movements by psychic remote control until the battle is won. Original drawing was ink and photostat, 6" x 8", October 1978." - Darkover Spell Sword Fights Catmen (February 7, 2018)
"As you remember, I've done numerous pieces illustrating Marion Zimmer Bradley's tale of sex and magic, "The Forbidden Tower." This is not because I'm fond of the book, it's that other people are. This piece, in the ornate frame you recognize, is for the Gregg Press hardcover collector's item edition of the text, which was published in 1979. It illustrates the polyamorous consummation of the magical sex rite which empowered the participants to save their community with their magical abilities. An incense burner emits psychedelic vapors to enhance their perceptions and empathy. Above the romantic quartet is the crystalline tower and the cosmic vortex which symbolizes mystical attainment. Black ink and printed frame on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 12", October 1978." - Fantasy Foursome by Pyracantha (April 1, 2018)
"Here's one from the later sets of Darkover images that were published as frontispieces in the long-gone Gregg Press collector's item series. This one is for "Star of Danger," one of author Bradley's earliest Darkover books. In the story, which was aimed at younger readers, the son of an Earth civil servant sent to Darkover makes friends with a local boy. The illustration depicts some of the different characters who appear in the tale. Ink and photostat on illustration board, 7" x 10", April 1979. Click on image for larger view." -- Star of Danger (April 14, 2018)
"This is one of the latest ones I did in the Gregg Press collector's item edition of Darkover books. The tale it illustrates is a familiar one: human re-colonizers arrive to re-settle Darkover for themselves, despite the resistance of native sentient species. This one spends a lot of time on the chieri, the seven-foot-tall hermaphroditic natives who can interbreed with humans and produce psychically gifted children. The, uh, climax of the book involves a mass orgy of humans and chieri, thus re-vitalizing the genetic heritage of both species. You can see the ecstatic chieri at the top of the pile. The author Marion liked this picture so much that she reserved it for herself in the art show and took it home. I wonder what happened to all that art that MZB either bought for herself or received as gifts. I think they gave some pieces back to me and they are stashed in a closet with all the fan zines I illustrated. Ink and photostat, 7" x 10", April 1979." - Alien Natives Orgy (April 24, 2018)
"The earliest Darkover novels and stories were aimed at a younger, teen-age audience, when teen-oriented writing was not as sophisticated as it is now. STORMQUEEN is one of those books where the storyline is becoming more complicated.... briefly, it's about a girl who is endowed with the awesome psychic power to control the weather. But she's out of control, and rebellious, and an easy target for exploitation yet needed as a weapon for her noble family's defense. If left alone, she could destroy her family; if trained, she could also become deliberately deadly. What do you do? This illustration, one of a series I did for a collector's-item edition, shows the teen-age Stormqueen flinging her Gothic nightgown into the air as she calls the clouds and lightning to do her bidding. Black ink and photostat on illustration board, 8" x 10", April 1979." - Stormqueen frontispiece (February 28, 2018)
"World of Darkover again, but this time it's art for a reprint of one of MZB's earliest works, "The Planet Savers." In this 1958-dated tale, an Earthman doctor must venture deep within the Darkovan biosphere to find a cure for a plague that is afflicting the returning settlers. He must deal with one of the sentient semi-humanoid races native to the environment, the "Trailmen," as well as his own multiple personality disorder. Instead of character portraits for this one, I drew an alien jungle and forest with glowing eyes peering from the darkness. Drawing is ink and glued-on photostat, about 7" x 10", October 1978." -- "The Planet Savers" frontispiece (February 24, 2018)
- The Bloody Sun and "To Keep The Oath" (1979). Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- Darkover Landfall (1978). Frontispiece photo of author. Second frontispiece by Jack Gaughan from DAW First edition. New introduction by Theodore Sturgeon.
- The Forbidden Tower (1979). Frontispieces by Hannah Shapero and Richard Hescox. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- The Heritage of Hastur (1977). Frontispieces by Richard Powers and Jack Gaughan. Map by Thaym Berger. New introduction by Susan Wood.
- The Planet Savers (1979). Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- The Shattered Chain (1979). Frontispieces by Hannah Shapero and George Barr. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- The Spell Sword (1979). Frontispieces by Hannah Shapero and George Barr. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author. Paul Edwin Zimmer is acknowledged as a co-author on more recent copies of this title.
- Star of Danger (1979). 1st hardcover edition. Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- Stormqueen! (1979). Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- The Sword of Aldones (1977). Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. New introduction by Richard A Lupoff.
- The Winds of Darkover (1979). Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.
- The World Wreckers (1979). Frontispiece by Hannah Shapero. Endpaper maps by Diana Paxson. With a new introduction by the author.