Moon Phases

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Title: Moon Phases
Editor(s): Ingrid Maack, then Nina Boal
Date(s): 1981 (?) to 1993, possibly a bit later
Medium: print
Fandom: Darkover
Language: English
External Links:
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Moon Phases is a gen (with some occasional non-explicit slash) Darkover fanzine that ran for 16 issues. Each issue has between 30 and 120 pages.

The fanzine was edited first by Ingrid Maack (issues #1 through #6) and then by Nina Boal (issues #7 through #16).

The first four issues do not contain fiction, but instead articles, poems, and letters from fans. These first four issues appear to have all been published in 1981. There was almost exactly one year between the publication of issues #4 and #5.

The last issue also does not contain fiction, most likely stemming from the controversy regarding issue #12, where a story by Jean Lamb, called "Masks" led to the Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.

Issue #13 was printed BEFORE issue #12, making for some confusion.

Moon Phases printed fan fiction by several writers as well as some material by Marion Zimmer Bradley herself.

Copyright Info

  • #5 by Ingrid Maack (with no other statements)
  • #8 comments by Marion Zimmer Bradley printed with permission, everything else by Nina Boal, "All copyrights hereby release to original artists, whose permission must be secured before reproduction of works." "Printed with the permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley."
  • #10 one story by Meg MacDonald, some art by Polly Vedder, everything else by Nina Boal, "All copyrights hereby release to original artists, whose permission must be secured before reproduction of works." "Printed with the permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley."
  • #11 one story by Meg MacDonald, art for a story by M. Kucharski, everything else by Nina Boal, "All copyrights hereby release to original artists, whose permission must be secured before reproduction of works." "Printed with the permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley."
  • #12 by Jean Lamb "the Darkover setting is copyright @ by Marion Zimmer Bradley. MOON PHASES is printed with the permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley"
  • #14 Marion Zimmer Bradley, "printed with the permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley."

More Description

"A new issue of Darkover fiction! Go where no telepath has gone before: a variety of gripping tales from MZB's Darkover series. Myriad relationships, gay male, lesbian, straight as well as gen action/adventure. Age statement NOT required." [1]

"Come to the land of the Bloody Sun! Compelling stories by professional and soon-to-be-professional writers: Marian [sic] Zimmer Bradley, Patricia Shaw-Mathews, Jean Lamb, Meg MacDonald and others." [2]

1983 flyer announcing issues #4 and #5, oddly 1-2 years after they were published

Issue 1

Moon Phases 1 was edited by Ingrid Maack.

Issue 2

Moon Phases 2 was edited by Ingrid Maack.

Issue 3

Moon Phases 3 was edited by Ingrid Maack.

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Shona Jackson

Moon Phases 4 was published in July 1981. It was edited by Ingrid Maack. The back cover is by Sylvia Bump. Art by Bump, Diana Compel, Amy Harlib, and Shona Jackson. This is a "Darkover Landfall" issue.

  • Editorial by Ingrid Maack (3)
  • Night Flight by Nancy Gervais (4)
  • My Lingerings on Darkover by Frank Lee Linne (5)
  • art by Diana Compel (8)
  • Song of Hope by Kathleen Woodbury
  • The Beautiful Ones by Lola Andrew (11)
  • Thoughts by Diana Compel (12)
  • Is This Any Way to Run an Empire? by Lynne Holdom (13)
  • Four Moons Forum #1: Are the Terrans doing any good on Darkover or should they withdraw? Thoughts by Lola Andrew, P.W. Duncan, Linda Frankel, Jeffrey Kasten, Millea Kenin, Frank Lee Linne, Karen Litman, Pat Mathews, Jill Matthews, David Palter, Jane Raymer, Roberta Rogow, Richard Saltz, John Shimwell, Bill West and Daniel J.D. WIlson. Some additional replies to this question printed a year later in issue #5 were from: Sylvia Bump, Ryana Daughtry, Alexandra Haddad.

Issue 5

front cover of issue #5, Diana Compel
back cover of issue #5, Sylvia Bump

Moon Phases 5 was published in July 1982. It was edited by Ingrid Maack. The back cover is by Sylvia Bump. Other art by Diana Compel, Elaine Gregory, Michelle Petersson, and Mark Williams.

From the editorial:

Welcome to another issue of Moon Phases, number 5 to be exact. Since this issue was a little late in coming it is a longer issue, I also have short stories in this issue. This time I have one by Patricia Buard and one by Jeff Kasten, Every issue will have stories from now on.

I got interesting replies to the Four Moons Forum Question that was in the last issue. The next question is: Can you come up with any way that the Hasturs would loose their control over the Alton Domain? I chose that as the question because my next issue will deal with Heritage of Hastur, Sharras Exile and the Altons, (I for one, don't want to see the Hasturs rule Armida).

I'd like to get comments from the readers on what they think of this issue. Also I'd like to hear any suggestions on what the readers would like to see in Moon Phases. This time I would like to thank Lynne Holdom for typing this issue up for me. Otherwise, it would have come out a lot later. I'd also like to thank Michelle Petersson for her two sketches. She's really an excellent artist, and hope to have more of her art in future issues. On a closing note, I'm really looking forward to MZB's newest Darkover novel Hawkmistress, Due out in September. Remember, send in your reply to Four Moons Forum and you get a complimentary issue. Till next time, Adelandeyo!

From the letter by MZB:

I rarely have time just to sit down and write letters, but I have decided to take the day off and do nothing else, and one of the things! wanted to do was to write you about MOON PHASES: I like it very much and do hope you will continue to send it to me. Have you STARSTONE 5? Would you consider sending me any other issues in trade? Can I get back issues?

Just a few comments on your current (July 81) issue


My main comment on Terran medicine saving babies in childbirth is that Terrans may have learned some brains between now and then —they did away with infant deaths without an immediate and equivalent brake on births, and the result was population explosion, which Darkover's frail ecology could NOT support. They are working slowly (more on this in THENDARA HOUSE) to put a brake on infant/maternal deaths through the Free Amazons/Renunciates, who can spread knowledge of birth control, but anything so firmly ingrained as the Darkovan ethic of fertility will be as slow to vanish as it is in India, where a pair of posters plugging birth control showed a man and woman with one child, a well-painted cottage and prosperous look, and the same man and woman with nine ragged children and a hovel in desperate poverty; it backfired, because the reaction of EVERY Indian couple to whom they showed it was to look at the prosperous couple and say "poor things, only one child," and refuse birth control information. Culture is not rational—we Just think OURS is because we are used to it. That's one of the things I am saying in the Darkover books. I am not on the "side" on Darkover vs Terra OR the other way round--! am simply presenting a contrast! Each side has good and bad, as with all things.


In reply to Jeffrey Kasten --NO, I am NOT technophobic; the Darkovans are. If he thinks I personally am technophobic, I would like to ask him to read my novels ENDLESS UNIVEKSE and THE BRASS DRAGON. On Darkover I set up a sort of romantic=nostalgia fantasy world, but for God's sake, if I wrote murder mysteries, would that mean that I was a murderer? Darkover is wonderful fun to play with, and it's true, I set the stupid against the brilliant, but there are intelligent Terrans and half-witted Darkovans; Dan Lawton, for instance, and Prince Derek, not to mention the Ridenow crew (except for Damon) and Merryl. And the things I dislike about my own world —racism, ecological stupidity, prejudice —I tend to distribute pretty even-handedly between Terran and Darkover, depending on which I think will make the best fiction!

It would be stupid for me to be a technophobe; my very life depends on advanced technology (l am a diabetic) as does my writing career (my hands are too lame to use a manual typewriter, and may some day be too lame for a Selectric so I will be forced to use a tape recorder.) I dislike the abuses of technology such as Agent Orange/dioxin and the idiocy of building nuclear breeders within 100 feet of the San Andreas fault, thalidomide, and disposable cans because they are more profitable than recyclable bottles, but I am not an Ecology freak—I used disposable diapers for my kids because they had sensitive skins and were allergic to most detergents!

But technophobia on Darkover makes good fiction and may make some people THINK about the uses and abuses of either technology or technophobia. Balance in all things is what I prefer.

You may print this letter--in fact, please do!

  • Editorial (1)
  • The Last Survivor by Jeff Kasten, story (2)
  • Stormqueen! comments on the novel by Lola Andrew (6)
  • Pity the Children, belated thoughts on Stormqueen! by Paula Crunk (9)
  • Elegy of Love, poem by Diana Compel (12)
  • Dorils: a character sketch by P.W. Duncan (14)
  • Flame of the Forge by Patricia Anne Buard, story (18)
  • Why, Aldaran?, poem by Diana Compel (28)
  • Four Moons' Forum #2: Comments on the Exile of Aldaran: Question: "Was the Comyn correct in exiling Aldaran? For that matter why were they exiled. Should the Comyn readmit Aldaran and do you think the Aldarans would return if asked?" -- by Sylvia Bump, Nola Frame, Kathy Gorman, Alexandra Haddad, Greg Jao, Dennis Jaroq, Frank Lee Linne, Patricia Mathews, Lohr Miller, David Palter, Roberta Rogow, Richard Saltz, J.A.C. van Rhyn, and Judy Watson. This section also has some comments by fans to the Four Moons' Forum #1 in the previous issue: (Are the Terrans doing any good on Darkover or should they withdraw?). These letters are from Sylvia Bump, Ryana Daughtry, and Alexandra Haddad. (30)
  • A letter from MZB dated June 27, 1982. (40)

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Hannah Shapero -- From the author in 2017 -- ""Moon Phases" was a fan publication "zine" devoted to stories about social issues, while still using Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" world. This not well-preserved cover illustrates a scene in Bradley's "Thendara House" where the Darkovan heroine is invasively examined by a team of male scientists. She is human but her people have lived on Darkover for 2000 years, and have gained psychic powers. They are the descendants of a lost space colony and ended up breeding with the native humanoids of the planet, whose natural psychic talents the half-breeds inherited. The publisher of the magazine wanted me to emphasize the insensitivity of the male examiners who made her stand naked in a test area where everyone could see her. Marion Z B turned out not to be a great person in real life, but her books helped countless young fan women learn about feminism and the challenges of women which are still a huge issue now. Original art is black ink on illustration board, 8" x 11", July 1983." -- Feminist Zine Cover (December 14, 2017)

Moon Phases 6 was published in July 1983. It was edited by Ingrid Maack. The back cover is by Shona Jackson. Other art by Michelle Petersson, Hannah Shapero, Sara Stoel. It is a Free Amazon issue.

  • Editorial by Ingrid Maack (1)
  • The Free Amazon Oath (2)
  • The Healing by Nina Boal, story (3)
  • The Darkovan Calendar and Female Cycles by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Forgiveness by Patricia Mathews Shaw, story (14)
  • Kindra n'ha Mhari, a character sktech by Patrick W. Duncan (21)
  • A Gift from the Sea by John Shimwell, story (25)
  • Four Moons' Forum: How does the Sisterhood of the Sword differ from the Free Amazons, and which is better suited to Darkover? Opinions from Patricia Anne Buard, Jill Curtain, Cindy Eager, Alexandra Haddad, Jeff Kastin, Jean Lamb, Patricia Mathews, Pam Ortel, Roberta Rogow, Victoria Smith, R. Stobor, J.A.C. van Rhyn, Daniel Wilson, and Kathleen Woodbury

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

Strange thing about this zine — it's got brown printing. I enjoy small, unassuming zines like this, and I firmly believe they're what fandom should produce. But they're declining in these days of humungous zines with double digit prices foefore the decimal point) tagged on to them. This is a Free Amazons ish of a Darkover zine and quite enjoyable. One of the more interesting pieces is "Kindra n'ha Mhari: A Character Sketch," by Patrick Duncan, in which one of the more famous Free Amazons is analyzed. Duncan is a fine article writer. He is precise, complete, and always interesting. His comments on the Amazons' attitudes toward rape are very refreshing. The Amazons believe a woman should commit suicide if she is raped, but Duncan correctly sees that this merely "plays directly into the hands of the male society which they claim to despise." But his analysis of Kindra is seriously flawed, as he seems to lend legitimacy to the sexist attitudes of the Comyn lords and their subjects and reduces Kindra's decision to abandon her husband to merely a "different point of view." Further, he characterizes her preference for the life of a Free Amazon as not wanting to "grow up," as if accepting the life of a constricted brood mare for one's husband is indicative of maturity and responsibility. "The Darkovan Calendar and Females Cycles," by Marion Zimmer Bradley, is a slightly interesting discourse on female menstruation, birth control, abortion, and the cycles of the moon on Darkover. A fascinating subject, but Bradley doesn't really give it much life. At the back of the zine is a readers' response to the forum question: contrast the Sisterhood of the Sword from The Ages of Chaos with the Order of the Renuneiates — the Free Amazons — of modern Darkover. It is filled with some very opinionated, sometimes controversial, always engrossing, comments. As to the stories, "Forgiveness," by Patricia Mathews Shaw is easily the best. This is an all-too-short, powerful piece about a husband whose cruelty causes his wife to destroy their daughter's trust in her parents, and she becomes a hard, bitter, angry Free Amazon. Everything is not entirely his fault, however. The complex emotions dramatized here are moving and skillfully drawn. Shaw's quick, economical writing makes the impact that much more memorable. But the last scene should have been longer and more complex. "The Healing," by Nina Boal, confronts the issue of lesbianism with sensitivity but is a bit quick and sketchy. "A Gift From the Sea," by John Shimwell, concerns a young girl with the gift of laran who wants to be a Free Amazon. The development of the characters' emotions and reactions is quite good, and the ending is strongly and powerfully open-ended. One doesn't know if the girl is going to use her powers for goood or ill. Hannah Shapero's illos and front cover are the best of the art, with their immense detail and distinctive facial expressions. Shona Jackson has a finely handsome bacover. Sara Steal's nios for "The Gift From the Sea" are a bit rough and watery, but have strong background, depth, and scenic perception. A small but entertaining zine like this should not go ignored. [3]

Issue 7

front cover of issue #7, Hannah Shapero: From the artist: "This heroic trio comes from Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" saga, "The Sword of Aldones," in which the characters must wield a godlike flaming sword against a coalition of villains. It was created for a fan magazine, "Moon Phases," which flourished in the heyday (what's a "heyday" anyway?) of Darkover's popularity in the mid-1980s. I used to squander my time creating illustrations for these 'zines for little or no money, while other artists were busy building real illustration careers. "Moon Phases" cover is ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", fall 1983, published 1985." [4]
back cover of issue #7, Shona Jackson

Moon Phases 7 was published in 1985 and contains 122 pages. It was edited by Nina Boal.

The content was based on the period and/or characters featured in "The Heritage of Hastur" and "Sharra's Exile." The editor writes: "These two books have always been among my favorites of the Darkover books. Judging by the comments I'd heard in the relays of Darkover fandom, they are favorites of many."

  • art by Ken Helfrich, Chris Soto, Hanna Shapero, B.J. Bruther, Karen Rasco, Julie Cesari, Lucy Takeda, Shona Jackson, and Jude Jackson.
  • Editorial (2)
  • Submission Guidelines (4)
  • Yllana by Patricia Mathews (5)
  • Meeting at Storn by Lynee Holdom (11)
  • Art Portfolio (20)
  • In the Shadows by Nina Boal (25)
  • Lady of the Forest by Margaret Silverstri (42)
  • Dio Ridenow's Narrative by Susan Ross-Moore (46)
  • A Man of Impulse by MZB (52)
  • The Gft by Linna Reusmann (62)
  • The Future of the Alton Domain by Patrick Duncan, complete with family tree chart (77)
  • Return to Darkover by Karlene R. Price (84)
  • One Alone by Jude Jackson (103)
  • For Dani by Jude Jackson (113)
  • Darkover Solid Copper Top 10 by Perrnelle Doublehanded (114)
  • Sharra by Emily Alward (115)
  • The Horse-Tamer's Daughter by Leslie Fish (118)
  • Four Moon's Forum (121)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

The Moon Phases #7 story "In the Shadows" moved me to tears. T have always known how complex a man Dyan is, and this treatment showed that in such a sympathetic way. I was sorry the illos with the story were such caricatures. They lacked sensitivity as well as failed to portray the characters in a sympathetic manner. I really do not believe Dyan looks like Frankenstein! (p. 41) I enjoy all your stories, in all the zines, but this was my favorite.

The cover of that issue was very nice, as were the illos on pp. 20 - and that dyan was excellent - just as I imagine him! I liked the illo on p. 59, too. I'd read "Man of Impulse" before, and I loved reading it again!

I enjoyed "One Alone" and "For Dani" - as you can probably tell, Dani, Dyan and Regis are my favourite Darkovan characters! I liked the back cover illo, too. The "Top 10" is so funny - I love it, in all the zines - I love Perrenelle Doublehanded! [5]

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8, Karen Rasch
back cover of issue #8, Jude Jackson
a rare flyer for a Darkover zine, this one for issue #8

Moon Phases 8 was published in 1986 and contains 210 pages. It was edited by Nina Boal and has the subtitle, "Four Moons Over the Hellers."

From editorial:

Welcome to MOON PHASES #8. This is the biggest issue yet. You will notice our "Letters to the Editor" section near the back. I welcome letters-of-comment with criticism, praise, brickbats (no rotten tomatoes, please!), nits to pick, discussion, etc* If I print your LOC, then you get $1 off the next issue. m This issue covers a wide period, from a few generations after Landfall to past WORLD WRECKERS. We have speculations on the origins of the Zandru legend and on why the Aillards trace their descent through the m female, rather than the male line. I have a Danvan Hastur tale whose j author, Jean Lamb said was meant to be just a short little piece -- J but she was "hit over the head with a 54-page epic." Some of you may have read my story about Lewis-Gabriel Ridenow in CONTES DI COTTMAN IV #8 — but Lewis kept knocking at my door to tell me more. So we have his further adventures in this issue. However, the two stories are completely independent, so if you haven't read the first one, that's OK. We have another Patrick Duncan character sketch with a slightly different view of Danvan Hastur than that of Jean's — but equally possible. We also have an article/letter from the creator/discoverer of all this -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, giving her views on recent and future Darkover books. Pat Mathews has an intriguing tale concerning an unusual foster child and Linna Reusmann has a different Renunciate tale of a Terran who has "gone native" and meets with the unexpected.

"Growing Pains" by Lynne Holdom grew out of some rather heated discussion that arose while I was writing about Dyan Ardais in "In The Shadows" (MOON PHASES 7). I finally told Lynne to "write your own story!" — and she did! "Growing Pains" is the result. It covers the same events, yet is in an "alternate universe" from my own, just as my own Dyan is in an "alternate universe" from that of MZB's. I received two Regis and Danilo stories directly in response to the question about their future which I posed in the last 4 Moons Forum. And, although MZB has said this will never happen, I have always been intrigued by the idea of Dorilys of Aldaran awakening from her centuries-old sleep; so we have two stories concerning how this might happen, as well as two poems about Dorilys. We also have a nice poem about Avarra. We have the Art Portfolio, and also returning are some more Top Hits, as well as some more blatherings from one Perrenelle Doublehanded.

Next issue will be more or less about the period covered by FORBIDDEN TOWER, THENDARA HOUSE, CITY OF SORCERY, and BLOODY SUN so get your typers and drawing pens out! Send a SASE for guidelines and also if you are interested in any back issues.

  • Editorial (2)
  • A Legend Begins by Jeffrey Kasten (3) (A speculation on the beginning of the Zandru legend.)
  • Salt by Diann Partridge (8) (Ariada Aillard must preserve her Domain's power, and the right to choose her mate. But what kind of being is her cherished lover?) (reprinted in the DAW Darkover Anthology Red Sun of Darkover)
  • Stormqueen by Kyri Freeman (16)
  • The Exiled Lover by Paula Crunk (18)
  • A Sense of Worth by Nina Boal (19) (Lewis-Gabriel has found a place within Neskaya Tower. But there are those, including his family, who would rather see him dead. Or worse.)
  • The Word of Hastur by Jean Lamb (42) (A epic novel about the life of Danvan Hastur -- and the promise he made to his grandson.)
  • Danvan Hastur: A Character Sketch by Patrick Duncan (98)
  • The Beat Goes On by Jude Jackson (105)
  • Accursed by Patricia Mathews Shaw (106) (Is he Otho or is she Ofelin? Reimon, the armsmaster, has a puzzle to solve.)
  • Art Portfolio by Chris Soto, Alan Gillespie and Julie Cesari (118)
  • Some Comments by Marion Zimmer Bradley (121) (an article outlining MZB's thoughts on recent and future Darkover novels: "I'm going to couch my remarks about lesbianism In THENDARA HOUSE and the other Amazon books in the form of a letter.") See Some Comments (on lesbianism) by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
  • Growing Pains by Lynne Holdom (123) (Rayna Di Asturien is nedestro and must learn to survive in Castle Ardais. But is young Dyan Ardais in even a more desperate situation?)
  • Avarra by Dusti Wiebe (138)
  • Four Moons Over Dalereuth by Linna Reusmann (140) (A Terran woman finds that she cannot run from herself by 'going over the wall' on Darkover.)
  • The Shared Dream by Robert Verkest (160) (Regis Hastur is devoted to both Linnea Storn and Damilo Syrtis. How can he share his dream?)
  • I Am Your Paxman by Emily Award (164) (Lord Danilo Sytis-Ardais has been sent by Regis Hastur on a mission to a planet with strange customs. How will he survive his own misgivings and accomplish this?)
  • Awakening Storm by Carrie Bardin (182) (An earthquake... and Dorilys of Alderan awakes to a strange new world.)
  • The Sleeper Awakens by Kathleen Woodbury (184) (Darkover's red sun threatens to explode. Only one can stop the widespread destruction that now threatens to engulf all.)
  • Letters to the Editor (198)
  • Insults for All Occasions by Perrenelle Doublehanded (206)
  • Four Moons Forum (207) (includes "Reply to Four Moons Forum Question" by MZB)
  • art by Karen Rasco (front cover), Shona Jackson, Jude Jackson (back cover), Ken Helfrich, Julie Cesari, Chris Soto, Linda Leach, Mary Macher, Alan Gillespie, David Heath, Hannah Shapero

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

Excellent -- "A Sense of Worth," illo on p.21, "The Word of a Hastur," profile of Danvan Hastur." The Beat Goes On," illos o nil 118, MZB's comments, "Avarra," illo p. 139, "Four Moons Over Dalereuth.

Very Good -- "I Am Your Paxman" and "Awakening Storm." [6]

Issue 9

front cover of issue #9, Hannah Shapero
back cover of issue #9, Leigh Motooka
original art for the cover of issue #9

Moon Phases 9 was published in 1987 and contains 186 pages. On the cover: "Cleindori." It was edited by Nina Boal. It has art by Diana Compel, Linda Leach, Julie Cesari, Nina Boal, Chris Soto, Ken Helfrich, Leigh Motooka, Linda Stoops, Alan Gillespie, Hannah Shapero.

From the editorial:

This special issue came to being because of a round robin I was in, where everyone was speculating about all the gaps that occur between the scenes from the time of 'The Forbidden Tower' up to, and after, 'The Blood Sun.' We even have a post World-Wreckers story about Jeff Kerwin. I also had a poem that actually takes place in early Darkover's history, but I liked it and wanted to include it, even if it didn't fit exactly into the theme of this issue. Who said you have to be consistent?

In 2016, the front cover's artist wrote:

"Cleindori" was the typical Marion Zimmer Bradley heroine. Tall, thin and graceful, with a wavy crown of flame-red or strawberry-blonde hair. She was based on the girls of Pre-Raphaelite paintings of the 19th century. She was what real Darkover fans thought they were, in their own secret imagination. And she was always a victim: of abuse, rape, violence, rejection from society, and sometimes murder. She lived in a proper attitude of combined sensuality and terror.

Marion Zimmer Bradley lived a difficult life and made things even worse for those around her. I'd love to see a biography of her. From what she told us she grew up in grinding poverty somewhere in New York State, picking strawberries as a child laborer. She was part of the hippie and Pagan community in California's Bay Area and was the center of a tangled web of eccentric and weird people in her home compound, "Greyhaven," which I visited in 1985.

"MZB" was mostly friendly to me, and I was honored that the author of the books often publicly said that my work was the closest to the image she had conceived of Darkover. I did a fair amount of professional work in the Darkover world and countless units of fan art. This fanzine cover for a zine named "Moon Phases" is for an issue devoted to the character "Cleindori" who is a psychically empowered director of a "Tower" where the psychic stuff goes on. She gets murdered in a melodramatic way I have forgotten. I haven't done a Darkover art piece in a long, long time and have no plans for any. Artistically you can see that this one comes from my "Barry Windsor-Smith" period of work.

Original art is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", January 1987. [7]

  • Editorial (2)
  • Bearer of the Future by Diana Compel (3)
  • Art Portfolio (10)
  • Amazon Excerpt by MZB (18)
  • Garris by Dorothy Boyd (32)
  • Family Reunion by Jean Lamb (34)
  • The Scourge of Thendara House (52)
  • Ask Dr. Cottman (65)
  • The Perfect Comynara by Emily Alward (69)
  • The Revelation by Ruyvenna N'ha Andrea (76)
  • two poems by Dusti Wiebe (84)
  • Lament for Shaya by Kyri Freeman (86)
  • The Rescue by Karlene Price (87)
  • In the City by Michell Hallett (93)
  • Great Darkovan Word Puzzle by Ken Helfrich (103)
  • The Darkening Lands by Dorothy Boyd (106)
  • The Third Season by Mary Frey (103)
  • The Sorceress Janine by Pat Mathews (119)
  • Keeper's Conscience by Chris Soto (124)
  • Singing for Her Supper by Jean Lamb (131)
  • The Beat Goes On and On... by P. Doublehanded and Chris Soto (141)
  • Kennard Alton, a Character Sketch by Patrick Duncan (143)
  • Incantation Darkover by Kyri Freeman (148)
  • Caitlin's Curse by Leigh Motooka (150)
  • What's in a Name by Marshall Kyle (151)
  • Letters to the Editor (167)
  • Jokes and Jollities by P. Doublehanded and K. Helfrich (185)
  • Four Moons Forum (186)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

Well, on to my LoC on the latest issue of MOON PHASES. First of all, nice cover, Cleindori against the four moons, and those neat stylized starflowers. The green is nice, too. I prefer bright colors for zine covers; it makes them stand out. Bold colors are somehow more appealing with pen-and-inK than wimpy neutrals and pastels are.

As usual, MOON PHASES has an amazing array of material: stories, articles, poetry, humor, comment. It's what I like best about it.

AMAZON EXCERPT: This story was great. It was interesting seeing some of the less pleasant aspects of life in the Guildhouse. One minor quibble, though. I kept wondering how Camilla and Rafi could change clothes while handcuffed together. It seems topologically improbable, unless Darkovan clothing is either spandex or pancho-styled.

THE SCOURGE OF THENDARA HOUSE: I wasn't expecting a comedy, from the title, but it was a nice surprise. How will they ever teach Eleni to defend herself?

ASK DR. COTTMAN: Hmm, this guy seems to be less competent than his predecessor. He's going to be sued for malpractice — if any of his if any of his clients survive!

THE DARKENING LANDS: A powerful and haunting poem. The illo by Alan Gillespie was a terrific complement.

THE THIRD SEASON: I loved this one. It reminded me of my own cadet days. It's never the best man for the job — not in a training situation. Of course, it's hard to convince the trainees of that fact. There are always cadets who wonder what they did wrong, why they weren't chosen. As well as those who get swelled heads because they were chosen. THE BEAT GOES ON: Oh, groan! I can just see the "party animals" of Darkover dancing to "Bad Moon Rising" on Festival Night. Must be those Terranan-loving Ridenows' influence.

KENNARD ALTON: An inspired character sketch. Far more interesting than the one on Danvan lastish. I think Patrick has found the key to Kennard Alton, one that was not obvious from the books. (At least not to me.) Everyone knew what old Danvan vas up to. I don't think anyone understood Kennard.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?: Very strange story. I just don't believe that Jeff would ever go in for the "Lord Alton" scenario. Still, this one almost convinced me. FOUR MOONS FORUM: Tough questions. I have no idea how they got Dorilys in there. Presumably, once upon a time they must have been able to raise and lower the veils. Perhaps there was someone who knew the secret—a religious sect, a tower, a family, or an individual. Eventually, the last person who knew how to pass the veils died without passing it on, and the secret was lost. (I'll bet the Sisterhood remembers, though.) Or maybe they beamed her in. The inner veil could be like a one-way filter, allowing things to be teleported in, but never out. As for the Aldarans, I think it was the obvious—the Compact. It's been established that the bow and arrow is essential in the mountains. Aldaran didn't want to give it up, seeing it as a very minor violation. Hastur probably saw it as a threat to the whole Compact, and voila—family feud.

Keep up the good work, Nina. MOONPHASES just seems to get better and better. I am eagerly awaiting the next ish. [8]

I understand that you want comments on MOON PHASES #9. I have to admit being a novice at this, though not the field of literary criticism.

While there were a couple of excellent stories in the issue, most were quite amateurish and could have used a couple of more drafts. Some were so trite that I cannot see why they were included.

The Amazon excerpt by MZB was interesting and well-written. However, I admit to being puzzled as to how Camilla and Rafaella could have undressed completely. All of the clothing with sleeves or armholes would end up dangling from the handcuffed arms somewhere between the two women. Someone should have pointed this out to MZB along the line. Other than that, I enjoyed the story.

Another well-written story was "Singing for Her Supper" by Jean Lamb. I didn't care all that much for the content of the story which was pretty much what one was led to expect from THE BLOODY SUN. But I cannot fault the writing.

The other well-written story was "The Third Season" by Mary Frey which managed to hold my interest despite my extreme dislike of the military. I would even go so far as to say that it was the best story in the issue and the one farthest from the perported [sic] theme of the issue. Maybe that says something.

Two other stories, terribly well-written, were interesting enough to be worth commenting on in greater detail. "In the City" tries to answer a question that has been bothering western man since the days of the Suraerians - the problem of evil. Ms Hallett is no more successful than anyone else at finding t&t definite answer which is not surprising. Essentially one must, like Job, accept the ordering of the universe, or rebel as did Prometheus. Unless one avoids the whole question as do the Hindus and other Easterners by rejecting the purposes of this world. (This is a simplification, but I am sure you do not want a philosophical treatise.)

"The Scourge of Thendara House" is just plain fun. It comes as a welcome antidote to the grim Amazon stories. I liked it and suspended my critical judgemant while reading it. I seem to remember reading a story ages ago where they had an army recruit like Drusa. They persuaded him to go over to the enemy.

The articles were both informative and well-written. I would have appreciated a bit more depth from Linda Frankel however. She was dealing with a subject I knew little about and I was anxious to learn more. I had a completely different idea of why Claindori was hated so strongly that people sought to kill her. Mine are more along political lines though religious feeling certainly would play a part as well.

I really don't have much to say about the rest of the stories which were predictable and pedestrian at best, and downright bad at worst. [9]

MOON PHASES 9 was good, but as a whole I liked MOON PHASES 8 better, exception was "What's in a Name?" I liked it better than anything I have read in a very long time, and I feel the same way about it that I feel about my favorite passages and characters from MZB's books themselves. It has been haunting me ever since I read it, and I know that whatever scenario is portrayed for Jeff Kerwin's future, this is the future that will have reality for me. In fact, I feel so strongly about it that I would like to appeal directly to Ms. Bradley to at least consider this future for Jeff in her upcoming novel about Lew Alton's return to Darkover. I know that Jeffwould wish to relinquish the title to Lew when he arrived, but it would be good to see him functioning as the conscientious and caring Lord Alton he would be in the meantime.

(MARSHALL: How about a sequel for MOON PHASES 10 that allows Jeff to better get to know the daughter of Dominic Ardais? This section of the current story could have used more development; I felt a bit cheated at the briefness and lack of detail presented as he left her home, especially in regard to the lack of direct dialogue so that we could "live" the scene with them instead of just having it summarized. They did seem right for each other, and Jeff certainly deserves to find happiness again.) NINA: Speaking of sequels, is there any chance at all of finally getting another story about Linnea, Regis, and Danilo by the same author as "The Shared Dream" (MP8)? I had so hoped to see one in this issue! (Please comment! Let us know if we dare hope!)

I know that "In the City" will also stay with me. It was extremely well done, and resolved a very troubling question in a very satisfactory manner, i.e. what sort of answers could Camilla REALLY expect to find? The answers given to her were brilliant in their simplicity, and provided a much better resolution to the story than if the standard solutions of spending the rest o~ one's life in meditation or that there ARE no answers had been used.

Another of my favorites was "Singing for Her Supper." I really enjoyed^ reading this story about Elorie's earlier life before she went to the tower! y It gave extremely insightful and believable portrayals of not only Elorie but also of Dom Kyril, and of Lady Valentina. The layering in the story was particularly apparent in Elorie's mixed feelings of still loving her father at the same time that she disliked him enough that she planned never to marry. I Now I'll have to go back and reread Elorie's romance with Jeff Kerwin (Which book was it in?) to see how Jean backtracked to arrive at her story! (I see vaguely to recall hints of the situation Jean has made seem so real...)

It's always a joy to read MZB, and "Amazon Excerpt" was no exception. This on really had an interesting twist. You're very fortunate that she publishes' stories in your zine.

"The Perfect Comynara" was really enjoyable, and I liked the portrayal of Elorie reaching out to find herself. It's nice to know that growth and happiness are possible for at least SOME of the women of the Comyn without ^ejecting their marriage or their children.

'Love Song" was excellent and provided just the right companion piece for "The Perfect Comynara." "Caitlin's Curse" was also excellent, and quite haunting.

"Family Reunion" addressed a gap in Jaelle's history (her relationship to valentine) and presented a very plausible meeting with Jalak. I can really believe that this is the way he would try to act even after so many years!

"The Scourge of Thendara House" was good comic relief and a nice change of pace. It reminds me a little of "A Legend Begins" from Moon Phases 8.

"Ask Dr. Cottman" was really funny! Please make it a regular feature. (And I usually steer far clear of any zines with blatant humor!)

"Cleindori, An Essay" and "Kennard Alton: A Character Sketch." I enjoyed reading these essays which pulled together parallels with our own history and psychology ("Cleindori") and which put together the life situation of a character whose life story runs through several different books ("Kennard Luton"). I have read other essays using the latter format, and it makes for particularly enjoyable reading; I find that characters are portrayed so differently from one novel to the next (The carefree and optimistic young boy becomes the hollow old man...) that I enjoy an overview which reminds me of the events that molded the character throughout his or her entire life. It's very difficult to keep this in mind when in the midst of a story which does exactly what real life does—presenting the PRESENT nature of a character as ^the only reality we can seem to believe on a gut level.

"Last Song of the Sorceress Janine" was a bit histrionic, but did provide an interesting change of pace. (I can see myself writing something like this!) Shapero's art at the bottom of page 123 provided just the right touch.

"Just in Time" was a good story, but I just couldn't get into the character of Melissa Lindir. However, the portrait by Leach on p. 9 of Melissa and her baby was a real humanizing touch and added a great deal to the story's impact.

"The Third Season" was an OK story and was for the most part well told, but it had one extremely jarring flaw. Dani's situation was "resolved" with his understanding of why he was not given an officer's position; the upbeat ending totally ignored the fact that his sister was still dying and that he still Shouldn't see her. I can believe that he would accept what had happened, but to be at all realistic, his acceptance would have had to have been philosophical and stoic rather than carefree.

"The Rescue" was also not bad, but it "threw me for a loop" because when Jaelle was rescued, I thought she was going to live after all. Her death scene caught me by surprise, and I was left a bit flat. The dramatic impact to carry this sort of ending just didn't seem to be there.

"The Revelation" is a very difficult story to comment on. I just couldn't get into it.

Zine Format and Cover Art:

Shapero's front cover is absolutely excellent. I would consider it award- winning quality, and the shade of green chosen goes with it very well. However, I do have one minor complaint about the binding of the zine, how about just a slightly heavier weight paper for the front and back covers? I would not mind paying a few cents more for this nicety, and it would certainly make it easier to read the zine without causing the corners of the beautiful cover to curl.

The Table of Contents also could be improved. The story titles and page numbers are formatted so that they are very difficult to read, and I skimmed it twice before I realized that you really had not forgotten to list the I artists. Speaking of readability, the LOC's not retyped were easier to read than those that were.

I would also like to suggest a new section of one or two pages for readers to have a chance to advertise used Darkover zines to buy or sell (Where can I find a CONCORDANCE, and a book on Darkovan costume?), ask questions, ask other fans to write to them on certain issues, or relay any personal messages to other fans that would be appropriate in such a column. Datazine and others fulfill this need for Star Trek and many media zines, but it would be nice to have such an information exchange just for Darkover fans.

Interior Art:

Motooka's art throughout the zine adds a great deal. She has a particularly distinctive style which I find quite appealing. I loved Drusa and her husband- to-be on p. 62; Lori, Mahina, and Margali on p. 70; Janelle on p. 85; and the young girl in the window on p. 149. (The "Young Renunciates" on p. 14 is a bit less polished, and I didn't care for the portrayal of Jaelle among the priestesses on p. 88, but to be fair, I think this is related to the fact that I didn't care too much for the story.)

Soto is excellent, as always. Helfrich needs improvement; his best piece is "The Forbidden Tower Battles Arilinn" on p. 12. Stoops' piece on p.76 is excellent, but her work on p. 82 needs improvement; the most obvious problem is the total lack of contrast—the characters blend right into the walls. The scene by Leach of Jeff Kerwin in the tower on p.52 adds a nice touch to the story; realistic action figures seem to be the most difficult for almost all artists to portray, and this one is quite well done. As noted above, Linda's portrayal of Melissa Lindir and her baby on p. 9 also add just the right touch to the story. (Could we see more of her work?) I also liked Julie Cesari's portrait of Jeff Kerwin & Elorie on p. 15, and would definitely like to see more of her work.

Again I would like to compliment you on a consistently enjoyable zine, Marshall Kyle on a future for Jeff Kerwin that will stick in my mind from now on, and Hannah Shapero on a lyrically beautiful front cover.[10]

Hannah Shapero's cover was beautiful. Put me in just the right mood for the contents. We were never given an opportunity to know Cleindori very well in the novels, as contact with her was usually second-hand. Now, I feel I have a much better understanding of her and of the fate of the Forbidden Tower.

"Just in Time" by W. Marshall Kyle was well-written and I found myself caught up in it immediately. Only later did I try to place all the characters mentioned to determine which were from the novels and which were the author's inventions. I had wondered about Gabriel's origins and this story was very satisfying. Dorothy Boyd's "Garris" was skillfully downbeat. I would have liked a happier end for the poor lad, but it was more likely to have occurred than Jean Lamb's "Family Reunion". Perhaps if I had read earlier stories about The Lisse, I would have understood this one better. I did enjoy the exploration of the relationship between Jaelle and Valentine, early in the story. I just had trouble accepting Jalak's survival, not to mention his new role.

"The Scourge of Thendara House" was an entertaining break from the usual grim stories. Dorothy Boyd certainly has a range of talent, judging from the contrast with her poem. And

"Ask Dr. Cottman" continued the comedic break very amusingly.

While I was extremely impressed by Emily Alward's comments later in the issue, I found "The Perfect Comynara hard to get into. I think the title itself started me off in a negative frame of mind. Perfection is not something I can relate to. Nor was Loria character I could sympathize with. By the time Magda appeared, I wasn't hooked, so I sat back and wondered if these two could really have been friends. Unfortunately, the story just didn't ring true to me. And yet, I thought the end was touching, and I liked the song.

Somehow, I was surprised to be told that Camilla didn't know that Magda was terran. I assumed, though, that if someone wrote it, it probably was true. Once I managed to "suspend" my disbelief, I enjoyed the story. Ruyvennanha Andrea handled two of my favorite characters skillfully.

Personally, I didn't feel "The Rescue" served any purpose, though it was a nice story. Between figuring that Jaelle could watch everything from the Overworld and recalling certain preoognitive moments in her short life, I doubt she needed any revelation about the reason for her birth. However, for those readers who needed that question answered, Karlene R. Price did a good job.

Again, personal taste enters in, and probably shouldn't. I've never had any particular desire to go "In the City". Like heaven and Shangri-La, it's probably a pretty boring place. Michelle Hallett did a very apt job of portraying the city. And it wasn't boring. I did find the appearance of a time-traveling soul a bit hard to swallow, but worth overlooking as the story itself was good.

I love puzzles and word games, so I was happy to see Ken Helfrish's. I do wish the answers had been included a few pages farther back. I've commented little on poems, but Dorothy Boyd's "The Darkening Lands" was the one that truly grabbed my attention. Alan Gillispie's art set it off excellently. Mary Prey's "The Third Year" gave an interesting look at what life in the cadets.

I've reread "Last Song of the Sorceress Janine" several times. It has a haunting quality that makes it fascinating. Patricia Matthews gave the introspective tale so much complexity that it demands several readings. Again, the story was ended with a very appropriate illustration, Hannah Shapero showing the same layered time perspective that the story handled. Chris Soto's "Keeper's Conscience", text and portrait, were both great. As I mentioned earlier, I feel now like I know Cleindori. This was taken a step further as I read Linda Frankel's essay on Cleindori. It will take some time, and several more readings to digest all the ideas she brought up.

In "Singing For Her Supper", Jean Lamb captured the incident alluded to in OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR vividly. Here is a case where I would have liked more, even though the Btory was very satisfying.

In "Singing For Her Supper", Jean Lamb captured the incident alluded to in OTHER SIDE OP THE MIRROR vividly. Here is a case where I would have liked more, even though the Btory was very satisfying.

While I appreciate the effort Patrick W. Duncan put into his character sketch of Kennard Alton, I don't agree with all his conclusions. I always thought he was a nicer guy than that.

Finally, "What's in a Name" was as well-written as W. Marshall Kyle's earlier story, but I didn't like it as well. Possibly that's because I didn't find anything particularly new or revealing in it. Or perhaps it didn't quite fit the Jeff Kerwin Jr. I remember. All in all, a good issue. [11]

The cover was excellent with Hannah Shapero's poignant Cleindori on tne front and Leigh Motooka's "Sisters" on the back. This issue more than any-other made me realize what variety we fans have in creating Darkover stories. I like to think all the MOON PHASES hold all the possible futures (and pasts) for Darkover, whether you want to postulate alternate universes or alternate timelines. Maybe we all have a little of the Aldaran gift.

I don't think "Bearer of the Future" was so terribly inconsistent. The past can create the future, can't it? I found it to be an interesting look at the beginning of Darkover before I turned to the stories about its later years.

"Just in Time" was a well-crafted look at how the destruction of the Forbidden Tower touched and changed the lives of those Darkovans who felt the deaths of the rebels. Such a personal contact can explain how Cleindori changed from rebel and blasphemer to heroine and pioneer in only a few generations. I suspect that on a planet with so many telepaths, an attitude such as this could be passed from mind to mind with little distortion, which could account for the swiftness of their changed opinion of Cleindori. The Art Portfolio is a welcome feature in MOON PHASES, Keep it up, artists! Not every Darkover fan must write.

"Amazon Excerpt" was a marvelous look at how Camilla and Rafaella became good friends. The judgements of the Guild Mothers was perfect—the old "put 'em through hell and they'll end up friends" ploy can work deeply and truly when it works as well as this.

"Garris"—I knew that kid had a story or poem in him. I can understand why he'd want to kill himself (intellectually, that is; I can't even begin to imagine all the things he went through before showing up in SHATTERED CHAIN), but I preferred his role in "Family Reunion." My preference, however, should not erase the fact that "Garris" is a very moving and very fine piece of poetry, not to mention the Soto illo. As for Jalak, no matter how he talks about his motives and family honor, he's still a scumbag in my opinion. Garris gets three cheers for his courage.

After such a grim story, it was a delight and a pleasure to read "The Scourge of Thendara House." Dorothy Boyd has a definite talent for humor, while still retaining sympathy for the protagonist. The solution of Orain not minding Drusa's "affliction^struck me as being a tad contrived, but I'm a romantic, too, so I didn't mind too much.

What can I say about "Ask Dr. Cottman"? 'Swonderful, 'smarvelous, but most of all, 'sfunny! I can just see Lexie's plane surrounded by crows!

"The Perfect Comynara" is another example of how a cornyn lady can be acceptable to Council and society, yet still have her own special freedoms. I enjoyed this story, not only for its sensitive treatment of Elorie, but for the songs included.

"The Revelation" was interesting, but I found Camilla's acceptance just a little too much to hope for. I know I said I was a romantic, but I'm a cynic, too (mostly on alternate Tuesdays). But Jaelle handled this problem with comperable calm, so I won't protest too loudly.

"Jaelle's Duty" and the untitled poem by Dusti Wiebe were both excellent examples of fannish poetry. As a title for the second one, how about "Midwife's Soliloquy"? Or something comperable — it sounds a lot like Marisela's reason for refusing Terran technology. "Lament for:Shaya" captured, for me, Jaelle's sisters' view of her—of any of their sisters, for that matter.

"The Rescue"—I'm glad Karlene didn't take an easy way out; yes, we get to see Jaelle again after the fight on the cliff, but Karlene doesn't assume that Jaelle will live "happily ever after." The accompanying illo on page 88 is perfect, especially the border.

I thought "In the City" was as close a description of the City of Sorcery we'll ever see. I don't blame the author for making the speaker for Avarra a remote, mystic old woman. The final paragraph was a nice touch.

"The Darkening Lands" was:a marvelous look into the minds of the catmen and their motives behind the kidnapping of Callista. It's always fun to see someone take a non-human character of Darkover and run with the. viewpoint. If the catmen write poetry, this sounds very much like a translation of such a poem. I think my favorite story of all was "The Third Season" with its carefully crafted look inside the Guardsmen's hall. Mary Frey has done a fine job in her portrait of Danilo Lindir. More! More!

Patricia Mathews' "Last Song of the Sorceress Janine" was another great example of how well she can write. Janine is obviously a student of the old school of thought in the Towers, but just as obviously, she too has been influenced by Cleindori's actions.

Chris Soto's "Keeper's Conscience" along with the very fitting portrait of Cleindori lets us see how Cleindori might have felt when she chose the rebel's role, hinting that this Keeper knew that it might take martyrdom to convince the Council of the truth. Your deciding that Kyri Freeman's Lament should follow was very appropriate. God damn the Council, indeed, but it assured Cleindori a place in Darkovan history. The essay by Linda Frankel was interesting reading. I never thought of Cleindori as a sort of wayward nun, but the argument makes sense.

"Singing for Her Supper" certainly proves once again how a young girl can deal with an abusive parent—or not deal with, as the case may be. Kyril here is almost a case study of how an abusive, sadistic man can become a hero to his sheltered child. All children think of their home as the norm unless they are shown differently. "The Beat Goes On" is quickly becoming one of my favorite features. Keep them coming, Perrenelle (I'll incorridge you if you'll just maintain your high level of punishment)!

Finally, I'd like to say a few words about "What's in a Name" by W. Marshall Kyle. I enjoyed it, but I have one question about a loose end. How come you never tell us exactly what happens to Dominic Ardais—not even a suggestion that Danilo has been informed about his existence? True, Dani's not one to quibble much over a title, but still! Hope you managed to read this all the way through! I'm looking forward to Moon Phases #10! [12]

Thank you for sending me the copy of Moon Phases 9. From the striking front cover to the equally good back one it was beautifully presented. As you know, I'm a newchum on the Moon Phases scene and had only viewed one other issue, but this one certainly lived up to standard. As editor you deserve every congratulation!

However, any 'zine is only as good as its content and this, in the two 'zines I've seen are excellent. For me, too, it was nice to read work by a fellow Aussie. Michelle Hallett is a friend of mine and very talented and I think her story 'In the City' will probably arouse a lot of comment. She loves a rousing argument so I'll say right away that I feel the references to the Holocaust were out of place. Nor did I feel that Magda/Margali would know as much about it as she appeared to. After all, she was brought up in Caer Don and was far more interested in Darkovan history than Terran. Other than that I liked the story and hope Michelle will come up with others.

Diana Compel's poem was soft and evocative and retold the saga of two races in their first encounter with delicacy and feeling.

Of the two stories by W. Marshall Kyle I preferred "What's in a Name?". "Just In Time" had me confused. I couldn't orient myself until about half way through. But "'that's in a Name?" grabbed the reader from the start and never let go.

"Amazon Excerpt" - well, MZB NEVER PUTS A FOOT wrong in her own world and this is no exception. I recall the reference and this extrapolation sheds light on the making of a friendship. I wonder why it was never used again? And what would happen if you chained a Terran and a Darkovan woman together?

I liked "Family Reunion" by Jean Lamb. Jaelle has become one of the most popular of MZB's creations but m her brother has remained in the shadows. This story gave him the limelight and also provided a possible solution as to what became of Jalak, Danette and Garris. One question - who or what is "The Lisse"? Have I missed something or is it your own invention, Jean, expressly for this story?

"Ask Dr. Cottman" by Linda Sax had me in stitches. I It was so apposite and so beautifully gauged to each of the characters it dealt with. I do hope the good Doctor will delight us with more of his solutions.

Emily Alward's story and poem "The Perfect Comynara" presented yet another facet of Darkovan life m through music and the joy it brought to Lori. I never cease to be amazed at how much can be found in MZB's work. All these stories are different but they all come from her eventually. She is the fount.

"The Revelation" by Ruvvenna H'Ha Andrea is yet another illustration of my last remark. Here light is shed on the loving relationship between two very different women and the old saw "Honesty is the best policy" is vindicated.

Dusti Wiebe's poems were deeply felt and written with great feeling! — I loved the last line - 'Death is the mirrored face of life.' Beautiful.

On the same theme I liked Kvri Freeman's Lament and I'd love to hear it put to music. Is there such a thing as a cassette of Darkovan music?

"The Rescue" by Karlene R. Price was an interesting version of what happened to Jaelle. I liked the fact that she was told of her daughter's future as a Keeper but not, mercifully, of the manner of her death.

Marv Frev's story "The Third Season" is another of those enlightening glimpses into a shadowed corner of Darkovan lore. I knew little or nothing about the Cadets and their duties and it was also a new facet to Dani's character.

"Last Song of the Sorceress Janine" by Patricia Mathews was rich and tapestried. It had a Mediaval feel to Chris Soto's poem "Keeper' Conscience" was excellent. It might be appropriate to say here how much I admire Chris artwork and how grateful I am to have my own poem graced by one of Chris' drawings. Thank you, Chris, you made "Garris look great.

"Singing for her Supper" by Jean Lamb showed yet again what an unpleasant person Kyril was. How could it be when his mother was the Udy Rohanna, my own favourite person? But, as Jean shows, families are all different and at least Kyril's children, though flawed by his treatment, are not as bad as their father.

The two essays "Cleindori" by Linda Frankel and Kennard Alton by Patrick Duncan were both thoughtful and thought provoking. A lot of research had gone into them and the authors had obviously felt deeply about their subjects.

I liked "The Beat goes On" and "Looney Tunes". They are fun - more, please'.

Finally, and very importantly, the artwork is terrific. I don't know where you find these talented people, Nina, but thank Heavens you have. My own personal thanks to Chris Soto, L. Motooka (Loved the witty border of your illo for "Scourge" and Alan Gillespie for that striking catman drawing. And thanks for all the other artists because their work enlivens the 'zine.

And, of course, the last thank you should go to you, Nina, as editor and author of all the delights in the pages of Moon Phases 9. My only disappointment is that this issue had no story from you. Next time, please?

Thanks to everyone for the enjoyment you have given me. [13]

First the cover: it was/is quite evocative, makes a person wish to get better acquainted with Cleindori. BEARER OF THE FUTURE by Diana Compel was interesting, brings to mind KING OLAF'S DEATH-DRINK by Henry Longfellow. One feels reluctant to criticize a story by MZB in as she is the chronicler of Darkover, still AMAZON FRAGMENT demands such. The story is about irrational self-destructive behavior in an organization that couJd not afford such from its members and the Amazon Judge would have insisted that the two women be examined by a leronis to determine the cause of their 'inhuman' actions. They would ask if it night have been caused by a mutation of the Ghost Wind.

I was amused by GARRIS by Dorothy Boyd. Chris Soto's illo made him look like an actor on T.J. HOOKER, the headband, you know. The CONCORDANCE describes Qarris as 'a thin, elegant boy, a pretty minion, too curled and jeweled to be anything else.' I believe this description would have him decked out somewhat like Michael Jackson, instead he looked like the Tftrranan pretty boy" someone called Jeff Kerwin. Jean Lamb's following story was riveting. I have a quibble though. Jaelle was a trained fighter and as such intensely drilled in hand to hand combat, she would not have tried to brain her father having been told how impossible it is to knock a person but from directly behind. To render one unconscious he must be struck 'a right smart lick' on the nape of the neck (possibly why that region is considered the most erotic on Darkover and such a blow can only be delivered from the side where a trained warrior like Jalak would surely have sensed her through peripheral vision. She would have tried to grasp him and cut his throat in the some motion, and action which undoubtedly would have had the same outcome. I was startled at the possibility of Jaelle allowing children to exhaust her, I feel that as soon as they ceased to amuse her she would have gone away leaving them to Valentine and the servants. I do not admire Jaelle, I tend to wonder at the Free Amazons accepting her, I think she would have been recruited by the Dark Sisterhood rather. As would Camilla, since both have great resources of laran.

ASK DR COTTMAN was amusing, especially the reply to Coordinator Montray.

The puzzle was interesting, but one tends to believe it could have been made *fascinating* by hiding the relevant/reverant words in quotes from the novels.

THE PERFECT COMYNARA by Emily Alward sparred a spell of brooding on privilege and responsibility. Considering the affection/awe that the common Darkovans have for the Cornyn one would expect such things, a Comynara writing ballads for public consumption, to be the rule rather than the exception. Presumably Darkover has a society that has improved on the medieval theme else machine technology would have cropped up among the commoners despite all efforts by the Comyn to prevent it.

THE SORCERESS JANINE by Pat Mathews was.... interesting. I think that solution as to who killed Cleindori was hinted at in the books and is probacy the 'truth.'

THE BEAT GOES ON by Perenelle Doublehanded was 'fascinating', wish I could see the videos. What about BIG IRON by Regis Hastur (with the Alton family) and PEACE IN THE VALLEY. KENNARD ALTON; A CHARACTER SKETCH by Patrick Duncan was a welcome read, one is gratified to learn of a Comyn lord who enjoyed rather than used his privileges. [14]

Issue 10

front cover of issue #10, Karen Rasco. A reader in issue #11 comments on the cover of this issue: "The bold, woodcut style has a very Darkovan feel to it."
back cover of issue #10, Roxana Pierson

Moon Phases 10 was published in 1988 and contains 142 pages. It was edited by Nina Boal. The front cover is by Karen Rasco, the back by Roxana Pierson.

From the editorial:

Z'Par Servu! Here we are with MOON PHASES 10. There is a variety here. We have some professionally published authors - Deborah Wheeler, Patricia Cirone, Patricia Mathews, Diann Partridge, Linda Frankel. As of the writing of this editorial, Meg MacDonald has a story contracted to the upcoming FOUR MOONS OF DARKOVER, and so does Roxana Pierson, one of the artists. Jean Lamb has had her sword and sorcery novel accepted by Richard Curtiss Associates, I understand one of the top agents in the business. Other writers are still working hard for a sale, but in the meantime have impressed me enough to be printed here.

Many of these stories feature 'different' and 'unofficial' visions of Darkover, many times featuring interactions with the authors' own worlds. These may not be a part of Darkover as its esteemed 'discoverer,' Marion Zimmer Bradley sees it. But think of these visions as part of the Elhalyn Gift -- alternate futures, what MIGHT have been. As of this writing, I hate to say, but there is a story which might be included here and might not --'Recall' by Yours Truly, the Editor. I have had tremendous difficulty with the Post Awful this time -- which is why some of the stories don't have art. Meg MacDonald generously volunteered to type the story; she did and sent it -- and I never go it. Meg retyped it and sent it -- but today was the day the Post Offal substitute carrier decided to turn in before getting to [street address] so we didn't get ANY delivery at all today. Kinko Copies, our printer, generously offered to allow the Post Awful one more day to come through, and then do a rush job so I can get this ready for MediaWest. If the story arrives in tomorrow's mail, it will be included... Anyway, look in the Table of Contents to see if it is here.

  • The Rage of Sharra by Linda Frankel (2)
  • Dinner at Delatoro by Dorothy Boyd (3)
  • So This is Life by W. Marshall Kyle (4)
  • Breaking the Jesses by Lynne Holdom (4)
  • Of Honor or Insult & Glass by Diann Partridge (36)
  • Honor by Deborah Wheeler (46)
  • Art portfolio by Roxana Pierson and Leigh Motooka (55)
  • The Beat Goes On by Alexander Blade (59)
  • Two Poems by Sally Aaron and Kyri Freeman (60)
  • Forgiveness by Patricia Mathews (61)
  • Looking Back by Sally Aaron (70)
  • The Domna's Visit by L.D. Woeltjen (71)
  • Ask Dr. Cottman (80)
  • Newborn by Patricia B. Cirone (82)
  • Hastur by Jean Lamb (91)
  • Three Poems of Exile and Death by K. Freeman and L. Motooka (93)
  • Alton by W. Marshall Kyle (96)
  • Bredu's Love by J.E. Jenkins (98)
  • Two Voices, Two Worlds by J.E. Jenkins (104)
  • Letters to the Editor (124)
  • Let There Be Glowbulbs by Perenelle Doublehanded (141)
  • art by Karen Rasco, Erin McKee, Honorine Woodward, Linda Leach, J. P. Vedder, Roxana Pierson

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

Excellent - "The Rage of Sharra"; illo p. 34; "The Beat Goes On"; "Home Again"; "Keeper": "Forgiveness"; "Looking Back"; "Hastur"; "Elegy"; "Darkovan Exile" and the illo of Lew on that page; illo p. 99; "Bredu's Love"; illo p. 105; "Two Voices, Two Worlds"; "Let There Be Glowbulbs".

Very Good - back cover; "Dinner at Delatoro": "So This Is Life"; "Breaking the Jesses"; "Honor": "The Domna's Visit"; "Ask Dr. Cottman"; "New Born". [15]

MOON PHASES is in. I liked the lead story very well but found the Regis-and-Dani ones melted into sameness. So, sadly did the umpteen-millionth tale about Rakhal Darriel, which is too bad; it is really good enough to stand by itself. But why doesn't she novelize the series,possibly in her own universe and be done with it? I very much liked of the Forge Folk woman and the glimpse of her people. And there is one I greatly disliked: the tale of the two chance-met young aristocrats, both bitter because the world did not give them the recognition they felt they deserved and the quarrel that parted them (so? WAS he unfaithful? For money? This is IMPORTANT. That it was never answered tells me he was" ' '

capable of it). You have to like your hero; this one was a shallow little slut. Sorry. I am trying to apply female standards here. Sexist of me. But if any of my friends acted like that man, well -- do you know Whitney in the sitcom "Different Worlds?" Except that Whitney has standards. [16]

The infusion of poetry to the zine is enjoyable, though I think I liked #3's poetry better overall. I wonder, would such interest support an all- poetry issue, or short collection? Has such been done before? At any rate, poets should seriously consider exploring a wider range of topics. While the standard themes (Landfall, Dorilys, etc) are fun to tinker with, what about a whole wide world of OTHER stuff? Most of what I see here is at least competent, though not overwhelmingly exciting. An outstanding exception is Kyri Freeman's "Darkovan Exile" lyrics. Good choice of tune.

Another would be Sally Aaron's "Home Again" which has a unique and yet convincing Darkovan flavor.

Expanding the art portfolio would be a nice feature—however, as with my comments to the poets, artists need to expand their visions (as well as hone skills). So many of the scenes depicted in filler art are the same— interpretations ought to be as varied as the artists themselves, and more themes should be dealt with. Not only should scenes be taken from books, but what about Darkovan life'? What about history? What kind of art would a DARKOVAN artist deal with?

Much of the artwork in this issue seems woefully inadequate to me (exceptions, yes, but later). Illustrators ought to produce for you their finest work — don't settle for less. Granted, this is a fan publication — done for fun and love, but still it ought to be bringing forth the best you can find — or you have defeated your purpose. From talking to you I realize you desperately need more artists —especially those who are both skilled and dependable. Such a publication is a fine place for artists to get exposure. Limited, I'll grant you, but exposure and practice nonetheless.

Alexander Blade's "The Best Goes On" is very amusing. Perrnelle Doublehanded's "Glowbulb" jokes were suitably goofy, with many of them being downright (ahem) brilliant! Though the basic plot of Dorothy Boyd's "Dinner..." is predictable, it was probably a riot to write, with all the jokes, jibes, and cuts! Simplifying the plot might help. The scene changes between the women, their plight, and then the men on the ridge were awkward. The insult section might be sharper—use only what is needed to make the point, no more. W. Marshall Kyle's "So This is Life- did not appeal to me. The end is especially futile. The scenario struck me as being out of place — as if a contemporary Terran problem was being overlaid on an alien society.

Lynne Holdom's "Breaking the Jesses" wanders. Focusing more closely on the central character would help, as would careful editing to improve sentence structure and eliminate overuse of the passive voice. Also, she needs to pay attention to logic — a boy of 16 who looks 8? All right, but does it make sense that at the age of 40 he only looks 12? This is the kind of detail that destroys the reader's acceptance of the story as "real." Interesting symbolism here, but ultimately the plot is vague, the central theme not strong enough to carry the reader's attention. What exactly does the author wish to express? The protagonist's choice in the end seemed abrupt. Logical, perhaps, but not based on what the reader has been privy to. Masterful in places.

Diann Partridges's "Of Honor or Insult & Glass" suffers some from loose structure, although it presents such an original and engaging depiction of the Forge Folk, Sharra, a glass maker, and the "other side of life" that it can be forgiven. Limit viewpoint to increase the reader's identification with your main character! Does the lord's son HAVE to be such a stereotype? This one has potential.

"Honor," by Deborah Wheeler, is essentially predictable — which isn't always bad, though in this case it rathered spoiled the effect for me as a reader. I would like to have seen greater attention paid to the development of the characters and their relationship. I didn't find either of them to be the kinds of characters I could identify with or really care much about. Watch out for mixed metaphors!

"Forgiveness" by Patricia Mathews didn't appeal to me. The construction is poor, making the plot difficult to follow. The story covers far too much ground too sparsely. Granted, it is about characters and times of interest to readers, but as a story, it lacks grace.

"The Domna's Visit" by L.D. Woeltjen — again, the story doesn't really appeal to me. An exploration of a theme of interest to fans, I suppose,yet it is rather pointless and predictable. I'd like to see this strange group of people involved directly in a crisis unique to them — that would make a stronger and more interesting story.

Ask Dr. Cottman needs shorter questions, more questions, and more humor. Come on, folks — if you like it, support the poor soul! What do you REALLY want to know? Go ahead, Dr. Cottman isn't shy.

Patricia Cirone's "New Born"...oh, those Terrans are soooo clever! While the characters here do not interest me greatly, the warmth and emotional content of this story are commendable. Pacing is a bit off here and there—the end is a bit abrupt—but all in all the work is handled, evenly. The real "story," though, is what happens next. Well, Patricia?

"Alton" by W. Marshall Kyle is not a story per se. A vignette,cute, but rather pointless. It leaves the reader wondering "yeah, but what is actually happening to them in this life?" Episodic work is very difficult to handle — a slice of life CAN work as a story in some cases. Not here.

Artwork: Karen Rasco's cover is rather nice, reminding one of a woodcut. Perhaps something a little more suggestive of Darkover might have been nice, but this works.

Erin McKee's illustration for "Breaking the Jesses" is evocative in its simplicity. I appreciate her ability to produce work that fits nicely into the Darkovan scheme without resorting to cliches.

Honorine Woodward's illo for "New Born" is a nice break from the usual line drawings, being far more pleasing compositionally. It is rather busy though — and thus hard on the eyes. The stippling effect in the background is nice, but the cross hatching in the forground detracts from the overall effect. Anatomy suffers. Other artists could take a lesson from both Ms. McKee's work and this when it comes to composition.

Linda Leache's end illo for "Alton" captures childhood well. I wonder if it might have been more fully rendered, but recognize that that may not have been necessary in this case. The expression on Marja's face is precious.

Polly Vedder's illo for "Bredu's Love" did not reproduce as well as it might have. A half-tone should probably have been made as the work was an ink was handsome of the gradations are lost. The illumination of Regis's face is a nice touch—the maturity of Danilo well suited to the story.

The other illos by Ms. Vedder ("Two Voices...") were pleasing to me as an author, though I'm still not sure how I like the rippled effect of the litho crayon on the textured board for the first. The water droplets coming from Regis's hair are subtle but effective and I was delighted by the authenticity of Lian Kinsey's six-fingered hand.

Roxana Pierson's back cover is expressive and graceful—one of my favorite pieces in the issue. The rendering is simple and natural — I envy

her fluid grace and hope to see more of her work. [17]

As always, I enjoyed MOON PHASES #10. (Even if I typed a good portion of it up, some of it I hadn't seen before...). The cover by Karen Rasco looked well on the purple paper chosen for it. Thick line almost always reproduces better than thin line, alas, no matter what workmanship is involved.

So, when are we going to see "Recall"? Nag, nag, nag. Some of us want to hear more about Marja Alton!

"The Rage of Sharra" made clear a possible connection between Sharra, Dorilys and Cleindori — one I hadn't thought of before. Linda Frankel's poems are always interesting. "Dinner at Delatoro" by Dorothy Boyd was a riot, a romp, and just plain fun. I wish there was some way the author could view the "Taming of the Shrew" episode of MOONLIGHTING ("Heeeere's Petruchio!"). A rattling good read — a good time was had by all.

So This Is Life" by W. Marshall Kyle was interesting, but I never did understand the sudden shift in Stefan's attitude toward Armont. There's no real explanation for such jealousy earlier in the story. Also, I advise Kyle to read a grammar book on the placement of commas. I don't mean to be so nitnoid, but throughout the story dangling phrases aren't set off properly and it bothers me. It I detracts from a basically good story and it's not necessary.

"Breaking the Jesses" by Lynne Holdom was excellent, and I liked it very much. "Of Honor or Insult and Glass" by Diann Partridge gave us all a view of forge-folk society, but what changes do the characters really go through because of the events in this story? I Also, the many sudden shifts in point of view are rather confusing. It is interesting how Arvella copes with the different expectations of her by different people, but does she really learn anything about herself because of it?

"Honor" by Deborah Wheeler is a variation of Free Amazon Meets a Man She Can Respect, but is still entertaining despite it. I would not be at all surprised if Ambri and Estavier meet again...

I also enjoyed the Art Portfolio, and "The Beat Goes On." "Forgiveness" was an excellent story when I first saw it, and still is. It's nice to see even Alaric Lindir is not a cardboard villain. We've seen a lot of them. "The Domna's Visit" by L.D. Woeltjen is more of a episode than a story, and the ending left in doubt—after all, Lady Rohana will not be ruling Ardais forever, and what will happen when Kyril assumes the lordship? Still, it sounds like a pleasant house hold, though its foundations are built on sand.

Dr. Cottman continues to be silly and entertaining-more, more! Sure, he has all the credibility and reliability of Randee of the Redwoods, but who cares? "New Born" by Patricia B. Cirone was very sweet and enjoyable. It is a bit more realistic, I think, to show Camilla having some doubts about the Terranan, and to have trouble grasping the technology possible. Hmm, would such a child have the Hastur Gift? Story, there's another haxa story here...

The poems and their illos were great (just because mine was one of them...). "Alton" by W. Marshall Kyle was too flaming short. Write some more on this theme or die horribly—or what's worse, I'11 send you Dr. Cottman. Got it?

"Bredu's Love" and its partner "Two Voices, Two Worlds" by Meg MacDonald were extremely well-written, and I liked them very much. The only flaw I can think of is that we don't really learn about the world that Regis and Dani land on. Several threads are left dangling. Sure this isn't the first chapter of a novel in disguise?

Letters: The Lisse was a character mentioned as being a nasty bandit type in a book of MZB's called DOOR THROUGH SPACE which takes place on Wolf (a planet bearing marked resemblance to Darkover). I just thought it « would be interesting to borrow him. As for Jalak's survival, it's amazing how villains like him do survive, especially when you don't want them to. Look at how many assassination attempts Hitler lived through. Frank's point about Jaelle's assault on Jalak is well taken. However, Jaelle might end getting stuck with the children — if only once. It's surprising what a person - will do under the influence of a sudden attack of the guilties. She'd never make that mistake again, but she might do it' once in her life. "Let There Be Glowbulbs" — well, this certainly shed a little light—very little—on the subject. Some glowing remarks would probably be appropriate.

The back cover might well be an illustration of Lew Alton and Marjorie Scott together — I liked it.

Thanks for another lovely issue of MOON PHASES — looking forward to the next! [18]

MOON PHASES #10 is very, very impressive. The quality of the writing is very high this time around. Every one of the stories is enjoyable and well-written.

And now for a few specific comments....

"Dinner at Delatoro": This was a fun one. "The Taming of the Shrew" as it should have been.

"So This is Life": A nice little romance, but the ending seemed somewhat abrupt—both of Armont & Stefan's relationship and of the story. The resolution was so unexpected—a red herring. Still, the story's message ("Love is not enough—you need a career") is one I agree with.

The cadet aspect was interesting, too. It indicates that even if Dani had been receptive to Dyan's advances, he would still have been screwed. (Er, I probably should rephrase that...)

"Breaking the Jesses": Good to see more of Rakhal. And it's nice to know that the chieri don't totally abandon their children. Ghostwind or no, theyhave a certain parental responsibility! Lovely illo, too: simple yet evocative.

"Of Honor or Insult & Glass"; I liked this because it was about a craftsman. Most of the population of Darkover is supposedly non-Comyn, but you'd never know it from the fanfic.

"Honor": One of my two favorites in the 'zine. A great story, all around.

"Forgiveness": My other favorite, harrowing though it is. It's hard to see Elorie's parents at all sympathetically. Yet they, too, were only human, victims of society and circumstance as much as Elorie was.

"Ask Dr. Cottman": Oh, yes!!! Kyril and Dorilys definitely ought to be introduced. A stormy romance indeed!

"Glowbulbs": This is wonderful! Hilarious, and eminently Darkovan.

Poetry: Love "Rage of Sharra." It's not really about Sharra at all; rather, it's about the universal fear of the power of women...Also liked "Home Again." It evokes such contentment and security.

Art: Love Roxana's catmen on pg. 55. Such lively exuberance! Reminds me of the play, CATS. (Jellicle catmen?) Cover is gorgeous, too. The bold, wood-cut style has a very Darkovan feel to it. Powder-blue paper doesn't do it justice—vivid purple would be better.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who commented on my stuff. It's nice to know what you're doing right—and wrong! And thanks to Nina as well: 'zine editors are precious gifts from the gods![19]

Thank you for Moon Phases 10 - excellently presented as ever. I very much liked the comment by Rachel Walker about the variety of stories created by Darkover fans, whether they keep strictly to MZB's universe or diverge into their own alternate Darkover. Really, there has to be such a place. Think of the hundreds of 'other worlds' created by so many authors but of them all Darkover seems the most real. It can't be just because they have Terran ancestry and we relate to that - there has to be another reason for its appeal but I can't put it into words. Something in the heart and mind perhaps?

LINDA: Sharra and Dorilys? Interesting idea and I liked your imagery.

W. MARSHALL KYLE: My age (you know, the generation gap?) caught up with me in reading this. It's a side of life in Darkover which I can see is possible but which I didn't like. At least the ending was hopeful.

LYNNE: Now, this one I loved! It was lyrical and very satisfying and the illustration by Erin McKee was the perfect complement.

DIANN: Always something different from you - salt contracts and now glass making. I liked Arvella and the story was exciting and informative at once.

DEBRA WHEELER: I felt all tensed up reading this - Ambri was such an intent person and so dedicated. And the finish was wonderful - exactly what it should have been. The accompanying illo fascinated me, too. How did you know what a ya-man looked like, Leigh? The description in the novels is fragmentary. But the way you managed to convey a subtle wrongness in its musculature was great.

I enjoyed the Art Portfolio, especially the cat. Are they native to Darkover? If so, I can't imagine why they have not done their usual take-over.

Oh, those tunes! I do like the 'Beat Goes On' and hope it will do just that. How about some classic novels? Like:

Lord of the Rings ... Bell Master at Nevarsin

For Whom the Bell ... Monks at Nevarson

Rings Fatal Attraction ... Never Kiss a Banshee

The Women's Room ... Welcome to the Guildhouse

Pride and and Prejudice ... Dry Town Males

You could go on for ever.

SALLY AARON: Nice - warm and quiet and safe, all the things that make home so wonderful - and you caught them just right in your lovely poem.

KYRI FREEMEN; Only short but ycou packed a world of joyous freedom into those few lines.

PATRICIA MATHEWS: Camilla is such a complex character that she appeals to_a wide variety of people. Both your story and PATRICIA CIRONS's shed yet more light on this extraordinary woman. You would think the pattern of her emotions had been thoroughly explored but here is two more versions of the matter and both are lucidly explained and valid.

L.D. WOELTJEN: Lady Rohanna is my personal favourite so I'm always pleased to read a new story about her. I liked this one very much - it is just how the Lady in my mind would behave. And the unusual, sort of shaded, drawing by LEIGH MOTOOKA, was terrific.

ASK DR. COTTMAN: The good Doctor is fine form again. They say the best humour is edged with malice - these letters are certainly written scalpel in cheek! But please keep them coming!

JEAN LAMB: What a moving poem HASTUR is - I felt like crying when I read it. To live all those years and never share in the gifts of his people - it was a tragedy.

W. MARSHALL KYLE: Now this story I liked as much as I disliked the other. It fills in yet another tiny piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is MZB's Darkover and also the alternate Darkovers we all have in our minds.

MEG MacDONALD: I enjoyed your double duo. The interaction with another culture is always fascinating and this one was so unusual I wondered if an understanding would ever be reached.

NINA: Sorry the Post Awful kept us from seeing your latest effort - hopefully next time? Thanks again for sending the zine, it is beautifully produced and you have many talented contributors. I look forward to the next issue.

P.S. Leigh, if I ever work out how Eleni gets past the weapons training I'll write a sequel to "Scourge." So far, all that happens is a wholesale maiming of her instructors! Rafi was not pleased! [20]

Issue 11

front cover of issue #11 TACS, "In the High Country." From a reader's letter regarding the front cover from issue #13: "Good inking technique, as well as composition. An excellent illo... The only critique I could possibly make is that the rider on the white horse could have been moved over a little bit, as there doesn't' seem to be room between the two riders to keep their legs form tangling. Of course, for some people, this has some advantages."
back cover of issue #11 -- Regis/Danilo, Chris Soto. A fan in a letter issue writes: "Excellent. I especially enjoyed the inset of the four moons (or is that just one moon through four phases?) Anyway, it's great, and I wish I could draw that well."

Moon Phases 11 was published in July 1989. The front cover is by TACS and the back by Chris Soto. It was edited by Nina Boal.

This issue contains a m/m paring in the story "In the High Country."

From an ad in On the Double #28:

Come to Marion Zimmer Bradley's land of The Bloody Sun! Compelling stones by Jean Lamb, Dorothy Boyd, Patricia Shaw Mathews, and others. Read about a Comyn heir who, lacking the psi powers of his caste, must struggle with his will to live. A Sister of the Sword must accept the clingfire death of her beloved fellow-Sister. Dyan Ardais must give a report about a mysterious young woman and her eight wild horses. Marja Alton hears a voice from the ancient past and mast return from the world she has fled. Art by TACS. Chris Soto, and others.

From the editorial:

As you may have noticed, we are paring down a bit in size; the increases in printing and mailing costs make this necessary. As a result, I had to be more choosy in selecting stories. I postponed some stories to the next issue and rejected others. Some might wonder why I rejected their story and printed others. It all comes down to editorial whim. Moon Phases is basically a fanzine; I choose the stories which fit my tastes and also what I perceive as the tastes of Darkover fans who read Moon Phases. Some of the stories are more 'professional' in tone, many were 'near misses' for MZB's professional Darkover anthologies. Others are more fannish. An example of a more 'fannish' story is my own story, 'Recall.' This story wouldn't even qualify for one of MZB's anthologies as it takes place entirely off-planet. Besides that, it was rejected by Contes Di Cottman IV. (I've printed several Contes rejects and the editor of Contes has printed several of my rejects. The story was supposed to go in last issue, but was waylaid by the U.S. PO. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it along with all the other stories, poems and assorted pieces of nonsense. As always, I look forward to letters of comment, whether enthusiastic or not (just warn me to duck when throwing rotten tomatoes). Unfortunately, Dr. Cottman is on hiatus this issue; I was told that he is taking a rest cure in the same mental hospital rest resort at which the original Dr. Dimover now resides. We do have some more Original Hits as well as a new Best-seller list. Enjoy!)

Regarding "Any Wings to Fly": "Jean Lamb writes that she has a story in MOON PHASES #11, called "Any Wings to Fly," set in the Darkover universe. It's a tale about what happened when Danvan Hatur first learned that, of all his gifted kin, he would have no laran--ever. "I'm pretty proud of this story . . . . THE RIVALS, an original universe sword and sorcery novel, is still at DAW, and I've submitted a story on spec to Janet Morris for LORDS IN HELL. Wish me luck!"" [21]

  • Editorial (2)
  • Dinner at Shadowcrag by Dorothy Boyd (3)
  • Tramping Song of Bard di Asturien by j.e. jenins (17)
  • Journey's End by Jeanette Port (18)
  • Garris by Janet Boyd (31)
  • A Meeting of Minds by Roxana Pierson (32)
  • Dream of Freedom by Kyri Freeman (36)
  • Any Wings to Fly by Jean Lamb (37)
  • Darkovan Bestsellers by j.e. jenkins (56)
  • In the High Country by Lois McDowell (57)
  • On the Edge of Hali Plain by Patricia Shaw Mathews (m/m pairing: Dyan Ardais/Lerrys Montray-Aldaran) (75)
  • The Keepers of the Flame by Dorothy Boyd (78) (Jean Lamb comments on this story in a later issue: "... good look at the trailpeople. it'd be interesting to see a story about them from their point of view (no, [name redacted], I don't have time! I have to work on Masks, remember?" )
  • Upon this Rock by Meg MacDonald (80)
  • Recall by Nina Boal (96)
  • Letter to the Editor (107)
  • Hot T-Shirts, humor by Perrenelle Doublehanded (115)
  • art by Chris Soto, TACS, J. P. Vedder, Linda Sax, Reg Boyd, M. Kurcharski, Leigh Motooka

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

Moon Phases #11 is in. Tell J.E. Jenkins there is actually a story—I wrote it—called "Darkover Landfill" with exactly the theme she describes! It's in one of the Contes di Cottman IVs.

"Recall". Interesting. I badly wanted something good to happen to Cephi, but that would be Hollywood.

"Upon This Rock" is a good exploration of an unsophisticated chaplain meeting the monks of Nevarsin. It took a little more background in Catholic theology than I have to fully appreciate, and I longed for a Jesuit to step in and translate. Or dear, heart-wise Father Mulcahey on MASH.

"Keepers of the Flame" — good.

"On the Edge of Hali Plain" - trivial.

"In the High Country" - nice, but I doubt it. Everybody wants to crack Dyan's shell and put chickens back into eggs.

"Any Wings to Fly" - I do love Jean Lamb's Danvan Hastur stories. She obviously loves the character and has made everybody else like him.

"Meeting of Minds" is a neat little vignette that needs to be expanded to be a story. Part of a novel? An outtake from City of Sorcery? I disagree with Colin that Hilary would have a hard time accepting Magda's child - and what if it were a boy? I think her physical problems and Ellemir's love of children account for the fosterage.

"Journey's End" - good reconciliation story.

"Dinner at Shadowcrag" - more, please. [22]

Congratulations on yet another fine issue of MOON PHASES (no. 11).

Without denigrating any of the other artwork, which is quite nice too, I must say the back cover illo of Regis and Danilo by Chris Soto is one of the most gorgeous pieces I've ever seen. Wow! On Paring Down. Of course I always think the more Darkover stories the better, but I can certainly understand the constraints you're under. I'd rather you go to a smaller page count than drastically reduce the typeface size you user. Interstat (the Star Trek letterzine) does the latter and I often have to get out a magnifying glass to readit. On to comments on the stories—

"Dinner at Shadowcrag". I remembered "Dinner at Delatoro" as a hilarious "Taming of the Shrew" with a spin (i.e., no taming is necessary) so the turn to danger came as a surprise. But I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with this cast of characters again. With all Luisa's energy I'm expecting great things from her!

"Journey's End". Absolutely tops! One of the most emotionally powerful Darkover stories I've ever read1 It's very like Marion's vision in its recognition of ambiguity, of how 'the way not taken' affects our lives, of shaky new hope arising out of tragic loss. And the image of breda-bond and love are unparalleled. Whoever J. Port is, I hope he or she is writing away furiously on more such poignant stories!

"Meeting of Minds". A nice sidelight glimpse of the way it might have been at Armida before tragedy engulfed the Forbidden Tower. Short but illuminating.

"Any Wings to Fly". Even knowing Jean Lamb's passion for this character, I'd only met "her" Danvan Hastur before when he was outwardly the "gray eminence" of the novels. So it was quite neat to see him during a formative experience of his young adulthood. A good story, Jean, which I very much enjoyed. The time Danvan spent as an ordinary Darkovan cottager may have contributed tohis understanding in later years in ways that even laran couldn't! About the only thing in this story that gave me pause was the "bad guy" role of the wolves. North American wolves, no matter how hungry, would not attack cattle in the presence of two or three armed men. But possibly Darkovan wolves are a different breed?

On the Edge of Hali Plain. Here's another aspect of Dyan (stalker of illicit towers?) Not too consistent with his role in the preceding story, or in the Cleindori affair, oh well. I like the traces of Darkovan folk-legends woven in here - how about some more on them?

"Upon This Rock". I've never read a really bad story by Meg McDonald. But I have to admit that I don't think this one is among her best; it doesn't nearly come up to the other "Catholic priest comes to Darkover" stories, by Pat Buard and Bill West. At times it was hard to figure out what was going on, both with the rescue/survival attempts and in the philosophy. Bit a worthwhile attempt to blend two worlds of Christianity.

"Recall". We seldom find Darkovans entering technical or spacefaring occupations, so this premise for Marja is pretty startling. So is the idea of Dorilys calling to her over those vast stretches of time and space. You bring the two of these laran-gifted daughters together with a connection I never would have thought of -- but it sure works! Bravo.

I'm looking forward to Masks in the next issue of MOON PHASES. I think the opportunity to find more Darkover novels in the pages of MP and Contes is great new development. Some of us need a regular fix of them. [23]

I enjoyed nearly all of MOON PHASES #11. I especially like the mix of art, poetry, and humor you have along with your fiction. Only one criticism: the print didn't seem to copy very well in spots. Yes, I know whose fault that is for using a ticky-tacky dotmatrix printer! I'll make sure to use a better ribbon next time.

COVER (TACS): Good inking technique, as well as composition. An excellent illo for "In the High Country" as well. The only critique I could possibly make is that the rider on the white horse could have been moved over a little bit, as there doesn't seem to be enough room between the two riders to keep their legs from tangling. Of course, for some people this has its advantages.

"Dinner at Shadowcrag" by Dorothy Boyd was a nice, slightly more serious look at the people we met in "Dinner at Delatoro". I have long despised people like Dom Diego who can eat anything they want in vast quantities, bit other than that he seems all right. I never would have kept Azan around as long as Luisa did, but that only shows her soft heart beneath the snarly temper. I look forward to future "Dinner" stories, especially when Luisa runs into the Mother's Curse ('May you have children who are just like you!').

"We're Off to Save Carlina"—somebody's off, that's for sure! Let's encourage this person. Lions and tigers and bears—and watch out for the oh my's!

"Journey's End" by J. Port is a good story about changing attitudes and maturing. Hope she or he sent it to RENUNCIATES OF DARKOVER, and was accepted. If not, it should have been.

"Garris" by Janet Boyd is a hopeful counterpart to Dorothy's lament. Actually, it might have had a little more impact placed closer to "Any Wings to Fly", but as a poem I can't find any flaws.

"Meeting of Minds" by Roxana Pierson is a pleasant interlude, but hardly a story, though perhaps the beginning of one. Magda may not be in love with anyone she's met once, but she's already shown herself capable of falling in bed on impulse (Wade Montray and Camilla n'ha Kyria in one busy Midsummer day/evening comes to mind, but what's Festival for, right?). Fun to read, but could have used more substance.

"Any Wings to Fly"—as you will see in the next zine, I'm not done with the boy yet!

"Darkover Bestsellers for the Tenday" shows an interesting trend towards sick humor in this zine (more, more!), j.e. Jenkins, who corrupted you? We must talk!

"In the High Country" by Lois McDowell was excellent. She really understands how Dyan Ardais thinks. My only possible criticism was the floating point of view, which occasionally drifted about without much notice (I've had trouble with it myself, so I notice it more). I found the story well-plotted and the characterization extremely well-done. And that last line twisted the knife so neatly it was almost a pleasure to feel its sharp point.

"On the Edge of Hali Plain" by Pat Mathews was enjoyable to me (as was the Chris Soto illo), but mostly because I was familiar with the song "The Horse-Tamer's Daughter", Someone not to familiar might have been totally lost. Mathews conveys the flavor of Dyan Ardais' character well through his speech patterns, though.

"The Keepers of the Flame" by Dorothy Boyd is a good look at the trailpeople. It'd be interesting to see a story about them from their point of view (no, Nina! I don't have time! I have to work on MASKS, remember?).

"Upon This Rock" by Meg McDonald worked the recurring theme of a priest visiting Nevarsin. I had trouble understanding exactly what was going on until I reread it several times. Maybe I was just slow that day, but I had to work hard to figure out where the main character was at any given moment. Meg! Please! We're all headblind around here. But the general theme was good.

"Recall" by Nina Boal could have been improved by running it through a rewrite to do something about repetitive uses of the same terms in the same paragraph, if nothing else. I did like reading about Marja Alton and Dorilys of Aldaran (my, what a combination!), but you know you can do better. Cephi comes across as a young Lewis-Gabriel (does he make house calls? My house is a mess!). I would like to see a sequel, though (in your Copious Spare Time).

"T-Shirts! Hot T-Shirts!" by Perrenelle Doublehanded—well, I've got one for her: DAIN BRAMAGED.

The back cover illo of Regis and Danilo by Chris Soto was, as always, excellent. I especially enjoyed the inset of the four moons (or is that just one moon through four phases?). Anyway, it's great and I wish I could draw that well, too.

Thanks for another great ish of MOON PHASES![24]

Moon Phases 11: Excellent - cover; back cover; "Tramping Song"; illo p. 19; "Journey's End"; "Garris" and its illo; "Dream of Freedom"; "Any Wings to Fly"; "In the High Country" (exceptional); illo p. 65 (also exceptional); illo p. 71; "Keepers of the Flame"; "Upon This Rock"; "In That Day"; "Recall"; "Tee Shirts". Speaking of "Recall", I'd like more of it! Again, thanks for a great zine! [25]

"Dinner at Shadowcrag". Worthy sequel to "Delatoro". Especially glad to see a better side of Diego. (I cannot abide one-dimensional characters!)

"Journey's End". I liked this story a lot. Vivid, poetic imagery, angst and a happy ending; what else do you need in a story?

"Any Wings to Fly". Neat! Danvan Hastur as a teenager. (The mind boggles!) The poor guy gets a long-deserved, all-too-brief vacation. Strange but fun, to see him as Dani.

"In the High Country". I'm a sucker for Dyan stories, so I loved this one. I'd like to think that it really happened this way, that Dyan and Larry eventually made a sort of peace with each other. It is so logical, that they would band together to help Kennard, despite the fact that they disapprove of what he is doing. And the illos are abundantly breathtaking! So beautifully tender and expressive. "On the Edge of Hali Plain". Another Dyan tale! This one is pure fun. She's got Dyan just right: unimaginative, arrogant, but not a total boob.

"Upon This Rock". Fascinating story, though I'm not sure I understand it entirely. Perhaps if T were more familiar with the Christian mythos it would mean more.

I'm afraid that's all I can remember. Looking forward to next ish... [26]

Issue 12

front cover of issue #12, Chris Soto
back cover of issue #12, Leigh Motooka

Moon Phases 12 is undated, but it was available for order in June 1991 [27] and published in July 1991 [28] (AFTER issue #13. See issue #13's editorial for an explanation.).

a June 1992 ad in On the Double #23

It was available for sale to fans until at least summer of 1993. [29]

This issue was edited by Nina Boal and contains 250 pages.

Art credits: Chris Soto, cover and p. 137; Leigh Motooka, back cover; Kiri Namtvedt, all other art; Jude Jaekson, title page and other titles.

This issue consists of a single novel called "Masks" by Jean Lamb, a story that was very controversial. See: Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy.

Issue 12: Mentions in Various Ads

  • "A novel-length work by Jean Lamb. A tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and eventual triumph. Should be available Fall 1990."[30]
  • "Delayed due to uncontrolled circumstances. But will be worth the wait! Full-length novel of Danvan Hastur, 'Masks,' by 3rd place finisher of the esteemed Gryphon Award for Fantasy, Jean Lamb."[31]
  • "Ready at last, and well worth the wait! 250 thrilling pages of high adventures. A full-length novel in the Darkover universe of Marion Zimmer Bradley -- that grand work written by... Jean Lamb. A headblind heir in a land ruled by telepathic powers."[32]
  • "A full-length novel in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover universe by Gryphon Award 3rd place finisher Jean Lamb. A tale of sacrifice, love, and eventual triumph. A 'headblind' Heir in a land where mind-powers rule." [33]
  • "Permanently out of print." [34]

Issue 12: The Editorial

There really isn't any real need for a table of contents, as this entire issue conists of Jean Lamb's massive work, MASKS. At the very end are LOCs on MOON PHASES 13 (which due to situations beyond control, was published before this issue, MOON PHASES 12).

I think (and hope) that Darkover fans will agree that MASKS is one of the most monumental works of fan writing ever accomplished. Jean Lamb finished third in the 1990 Gryphon awards, for an original fantasy novel, PHOENIX IN SHADOW. This is quite an accomplishment in the professional SF/fantasy field. Hopefully, it will not be too long before we see PHOENIX IN SHADOW at our local bookstores. Jean has already made it into the ranks of professional writing with her story "Shut-In" which is in RENUNCIATES OF DARKOVER. At any rate, MASKS is finally available to Darkover addicts aficionados.
 Darkover artists, Chris Soto, Kiri Namtvedt, and Leigh Motooka as well as
 letterer Jude Jackson, have outdone themselves this time. LOCs are 
fervently welcomed and will be passed on to the author as well as being 
printed in MOON PHASES 14 (you'll get your $1 discount for your LOC — so 
get writing!! I also need some stories as well.) So now indulge yourself
 and ENJOY...

MASKS is copyright (c) 1991 by Jean Lamb; the Darkover setting is copyright (c) by Marion Zimmer Bradley. MOON PHASES is printed with the permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Issue 12: Author's Acknowledgments

The poems attributed to 'Queen Ysabet' were actually written by Queen Elizabeth I (shortly after the execution of Thomas Seymour).

Kadarin's song is slightly adapted from a poem on the inside frontispiece of the story "The Repairer of Reputations" from Robert W. Chambers' THE KING IN YELLOW. The excerpts from "The Ballad of Hastur and Cassilda are quoted from its appearance in RED SUN OF DARKOVER. I wish to thank the following people for their assistance with this work: Rhonda Adams, for an easy shoulder to cry on and her advice regarding the vagaries of plant people (as well as her work on her Darkovan Botanical Survey). Shirley Leggett. chief of the typo police, who didn't mind listening for hours about Danvan Hastur's personal problems. Nina Boal, who's pledged her life, her fortune and her sacred Visa to publish this novel:

And most of all, to Marion Zimmer Bradley, without whose work I wouldn't have this lovely universe to play around with in the first place. I hope it's apparent that MASKS was written in love.

Issue 12: Sample Interior Gallery

Issue 13

Moon Phases 13 was published in 1989 (BEFORE issue #12, see #12's editorial) and contains 81 pages. It was edited by Nina Boal. Aside from the front and back covers, it has no other art. The editor notes that Shona Jackson, the artist who did the back cover, has passed away. There is a special thank you to Jean Lamb for the typing.

front cover of issue #13 by TACS
back cover of issue #13 by Shona Jackson

From a 1991 ad: "Issue #13 now available (yes, before #12). More tales of love, sacrifice, and telepathic technology in Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Land of the Bloody Sun.' Two youths from a warring kingdom swear eternal allegiance. A lost daughter confronts her natural father." [35]

From a 1993 ad: "Go where no telepath has gone before: a variety of gripping tales from MZB's Darkover series." [36]

From the editor:

Yes, you are reading this correctly. This is Moon Phases #13, which is being published before Moon Phases #12 (so all the issue #11 LOCS are in this issue.) Circumstances beyond control have delayed the completetion of Moon Phases #12, which will be a full-length novel, 'Masks,' by Jean Lamb. I already have the cover for it (which says Moon Phases #12), so Masks will still be #12 in the series. I think that when 'Masks' is ready, you will find that it has been worth the wait!... LOCS are welcome, but get them in QUICKLY as they should be going into delayed issue #12, although some of them could also fit into #14, along with LOCS on 'Masks.'

In the meantime, Darkover Grand Council, 1990 was right around the corner and MOON PHASES 13 was already full, so I Federal-Expressed the manuscripts to Jean Lamb, who yet again is giving o a stellar effort in helping with the typing and reduction. It's ready to go, so.... Here it is, a bit earlier than expected.

The only thing that this issue is missing is art. Sorry, but this is because of the pushed-up publishing schedule of this issue. I have cover art. The front is a lovely TACS pencil drawing which is half-toned for publication. And the back cover is a drawing by the late Shona Jackson. Shona has done many pieces of art for MOON PHASES, CONTES DI COTTMAN IV, JUMEAUX as well as other fannish endeavors. She will be missed. Anyway, once more, come on a journey to the Land of the Bloody Sun. LOCS are welcome, but get them in QUICKLY as they should be going into the delayed issue #12, although some of them could also fit into #14, along with the LOCS on MASKS. Anyone who sends a nice LOC, suitable for publication, will get $1 off of the issue it is printed in.)

  • Editorial
  • Silent 1 by Kyri Freeman (2)
  • Aillard's Luck by Diann Partridge (3)
  • Romilly and Sunstar by Kyri Freeman (4)
  • Knifebrothers by Emily Ross (8) (An AU story, Professionals, where Bodie is called "Myles" and Doyle is called "Crispin. [37])
  • The Sacred Bird of Nimabanti by Lyne Armstrong Jones (18)
  • Farmer in the Dell by Jean Lamb (26)
  • The Envoy by Patricia Shaw Mathews (27)
  • Darkovan Lamet by Kyri Freeman (32)
  • Bredini by Nina Boal (33)
  • Three Poems by Kyri Freeman (38)
  • Dream of Shadows by Dorothy Boyd (39)
  • The Renunciate's Lament by Kyri Freeman (48)
  • Sins of the Father by Nina Boal and Jean Lamb (49)
  • Father by Ysabet-Diana Ardais (57)
  • Dyan: Of Himself by Ysabet-Diana Ardais (55)
  • The Scattered Brain by P. n'ha Prunella & P. Doublehanded (58)
  • Dream of Freedom by Kyri Freeman (63)
  • Computers and Laran Don't Mix by Jacquie Groom (64)
  • Song for a Comyn Woman by j.e. jenkins (78)
  • Two Untitled Poems by j.e. jenkins (79)
  • Letters to the Editor (79)
  • art by TACS (front cover) and Shona Jackson (back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 13

I received my copy of Moon Phases #13 yesterday. They get better all the time! How do you do it? Of course, yours and Jean's stories are always my favourite things. I was delighted to see my breda Jacquie Groom's story, too. It was good, but I hate the idea of Dani being involved with a woman, even for awhile - just as I hate Regis having to make that dynastic marriage and being supposed to like it! Also, as an Ardais, I HATE computers! I had to use one for years, as a journalist, but that didn't make me LIKE them! My IBM Selectric is as mechanized as I ever hoped to be! It was nice to see Perrenelle Doublehanded again! Love her! I especially loved your "Bredini" and hope for a full-length novel from it, please. [38]

I enjoyed Moon Phases 13 and am looking forward to #12. The cover by TACS was great, on a par with her usual standard. I don't relate well to poetry, so I'll not comment on any of the poems.

My favorite of the stories was "Computers and Laran Don't Mix", mainly, I think because I'd never thought of such a mixture and because Dani gets the girl for once.

My other choice as best story is "The Envoy". Patricia Mathews is a good writer whose work I have enjoyed before. It is a different way of seeing a very painful and humiliating event in a young woman's life. It has provoked thoughts several times since I read it.

"Sins of the Father" fills in a gap in the published story line so neatly, it should be official. Very neat job. The only item I did not relate to was "The Scattered Brain". This kind of thing just doesn't do anything for me. a purely personal quirk, nothing to do with the quality of the work.

I can't comment on each story, as I would need another page and another etc. On the whole, the zine is well organized and very readable. My compliments to all the writers and the editor.

Thanks and keep up the good work! [39]

I particularly admire a well-written short story because it is so much harder to pack both originality and intensity into a small space. All the stories in MOON PHASES #13 are relatively short ones. This may disappoint some readers who are biased toward longer stories, but some writers are really quite good at shorter lengths.

Lynne Armstrong-Jones proved herself a master of the short story with "N-Sisti's Solutions" in MZB's FANTASY MAGAZINE #9. It was not only the finest story in the i3sue, but one of the best short stories I've ever read anywhere. I was delighted to see her name in the table of contents of MOON PHASES #13. Her story, "The Sacred Bird of Nimobanti" was definitely the most original in this issue of MOON PHASES. At first glance, a Renunciate being commissioned to kill a bird predator isn't terribly original. It seems to be a variant on the banshee story. Yet the story develops in an unpredictable direction. I say this, even though the tale turns out to be theoretically parallel to "N-Sisti's Solutions". I only noticed the parallel in retrospect, however. When I read "The Sacred Bird of Nimabanti" it was just as fresh and surprising as it would have been had I not read anything by Lynne Armstrong-Jones. In addition to the parallel theme from "N-Sisti's Solutions", there is also a concern with ecological balance in this story that I considered very welcome. Darkovan humans' regard for the environment manifests in the strict fire rules, and the grief over the devastation brought about during the Ages of Chaos. Yet never have I seen any indication of respect for other species. In "The Sacred Bird of Nimabanti", Darkovans designate a bird as sacred because it is endangered. I would like to think that this is something that Darkovans would be caring enough to do.

"Bredini". Nina Boal's story about a separated pair of lesbian lovers, is a lovely tale. but it would have been much better if it had been longer. I would have loved to have seen Nina write more about the history of the lesbian relationship before they parted, and about how the Renunciates fared when they were underground. She could have shown us this through a series of scenes in which there were also telepathic exchanges between the two protagonists. This would not only have made the plot more complex, but the lesbian relationship would have been deepened by the additional communication between the lovers.

In "Sins of the Father", Nina collaborates with Jean Lamb to show us Camilla n'ha Kyria's encounter with her father, Lorill Hastur. I would have liked circumstances that could have prolonged the story and made the final meeting more dramatic. Jean and Nina have arranged for a situation that makes Lorill seem very vulnerable—not at all the formidable Lord Hastur. This causes the inherently dramatic conflict between father and daughter to appear muted. The story is touching, fcutit could have been more.

"Dream of Shadows" by Dorothy Boyd, a story about the effects of the Ghost Wind on a puritanical Terran was quite effective and emotionally intense. Yet I was bothered by the anti-abortion slant of the story. It's fine for a woman to choose to carry her child. It's fine to show us that Darkovans are opposed to abortion. I'm sure that they are in most circumstances. Yet in a story in which the Darkovan and Terran cultures meet and interact, there should be a dialogue going on between the cultural perspectives. I see no indication here thata woman might choose to abort and still be considered an ethical and decent human being. I say this as a 20th century American living in an atmosphere of backlash against the right of abortion. Given the political climate in this country, the perspective of Terran Medical is too easily dismissed.

The story by Pat Mathews, "The Envoy", is really quite good. The point of view character, a Dry Town woman who had married into Comyn, but who had returned home to the Dry Towns after being widowed, is definitely unusual. The tale is also steeped in cultural atmosphere. I felt like I understood the Dry Towns better after reading it. Nevertheless, the plot is more or less predictable. I kept on wondering about this extraordinary matriarchal grandmother, and how she got to be that way.

I really don't mean to discourage a new writer, but "Computers and Laran Don't Mix" by Jacquie Groom is problematical. I admit that I'm prejudiced against stories in which the commitment between Regis and Danilo is questioned. It seems to me that no matter how intelligent or beautiful the female protagonist might be. Regis represents years of caring and loyalty. I can't imagine Danilo wanting to throw that away. And this woman isn't even Darkovan, so she and Danilo don't even share a cultural frame of reference. They have so little in common. This was underscored for me when the woman. Cherry Balance, calls Danilo "darling", and Danilo remarks that no one has ever called him "darling" except Regis. I am sure that Jacquie thought this was a lovely romantic exchange, but I am willing to bet that what Regis calls Danilo is "caryu" not darling. The sound of an endearment in your own language had a different impact than the sound of an endearment in any alien tongue with no past associations. It boggles my mind that she could be a threat to Regis with whom Danilo shares so much. Yet putting that issue aside, there is also a serious plot improbability. It was established early in the story that John Trelin, the perfidious Head of Computer Operations at Terran HQ was habitually working late. Yet when he arrived late at night disguised as a maintenance technician to sabotage Cherry's console, the disguise worked. The woman who admitted him didn't recognize him at all. Since she was a regular late shift employee, she should have noticed the Head of Ops working overtime and been able to identify him immediately. The idea that computers might be subject to laran tampering is an interesting one, but this story didn't work very well.

The other stories in this issue include "Aillard's Luck" by Diann Partridge which was far too short to capture my interest, and "Knifebrothers" by Emily Ross with a plot and characters that seemed a bit too ordinary. I had heard the "Knifebrothers" was originally intended as an a/u story about a pair of English media characters called Bodie and Doyle. I am sure that it would have stood out more in a Bodie/Doyle zine than it does in a Darkover zine. There are also two humor pieces. One "The Farmer in the Dell" by the incorrigible Jean Lamb, has appeared previously in 8th Domain. The other "The Scattered Brain" by Perdita n'ha Prunella and Perrenelle Doublehanded fell a bit flat with me. Perhaps other readers would find it amusing.

Now we come to the cover art. The front cover by TACS is outstanding. I have seen a great deal of work by TACS in STAR TREK zines, and I can unequivocally say this is the finest piece I have ever seen by her. The back cover is a reprint that will see very familiar to established Darkover fans. There is no interior art in this issue.

I was saddened to learn from the editorial in MOON PHASES #13 that Shona Jackson, the back cover artist, was dead. Our community has suffered a number of such losses lately.

In conclusion, nearly all the stories in this issue are at least competently written. Several are a good deal better than that. Darkover fans who haven't been exposed to zines from other fandoms don't know how unusual this is. We are fortunately to have editors like Nina Boa! and zines like MOON PHASES. [40]

Thank you so much for Moon Phases #13.... I thought it was particularly good issue. There wasn't wasn't one story I didn't like.

DIANN: There's no doubt about your knack for writing drama! This had me on the edge of my seat.

EMILY: I enjoyed this story very much. The Ages of Chaos is not very well documented and I felt you captured the spirit of the time with its fierce loyalties and war-like attitudes. Do write more stories set in this era. please.

LYNNE: Fascinating glimpse into yet another facet of Darkovan life. And your characters really came to life.

JEAN: Avarra help us! Are you going to do spoofs on all the old songs and nursery rhymes? The mind boggles! Cralmac Donal indeed! Shame on you, girl!

PATRICIA: This was great. So little is known about the Dry Town culture and yet what little there is is fascinating. Now, thanks to your story and Nina's earlier ones I am beginning to understand the concept of 'kihar'. More, please!

NINA: Again, a facet of Darkover revealed. The life of those in the Towers and the awesome powers they control. Yet, in your story they feel and love and defy an unjust decree. I think you wrote this from the heart.

JEAN & NINA: It might be ignoble but how glad I am that Lorill Hastur got his come-uppance! The pair of you make a great Deus ex Machine for Camilla!

THE TWO P's: What can I say? Except, more, of course. I just love that twisted humour. Never stop, please!

JACQUIE; I'd never thought of laran power addling a computer. But it made the basis for an excellent story. The ending was a little sad but it did leave an opening for the future reunion of father and daughter. Yes?

For KYRI, YSABET-DYANA and J.E. JENKINS: Thanks for the poems and the beautiful imagery they contained. Emotion somehow seems to have greater impact expressed in verse. Yours certainly did.

Thanks again, Nina, for a terrific zine. The work you put in [it] shows and is greatly appreciated. [41]

Just wanted to put in a note about MOON PHASES 13. I enjoyed it all, even the stories that probably won't get individual comments here. Nina, the cover illustration is lovely, but why do I have the feeling these are two characters who wandered in from another universe? Sorry, but they just don't match my mental image of Ragis and Danilo at all. Ch well—I could be wrong. It's a beautiful piece of artwork regardless.

"Knifebrothers." this is a perfectly adequate story, with an ending that's just unexpected enough to wind things up plausibly. It's probably my fault that I can't find the adventures and tugs of conflicting loyalty of the two young men really compelling. (Too much exposure to adolescent male protagonists from reading all that SF over the years; any more they have to be unusually well done to interest me.).

"Sins of the Father." A very good story filling in some gaps in the annals of the Comyn, and in the lives of two favorite characters of the story's authors also. It lacks the fireworks I'd half-expected in such a confrontation, but it's more realistic and poignant the way it turned out.

"The Scattered Brain." A delightful romp through a wildly alternative planet. Joe Isuzu with an FTL stardrive — Oh no! But Rawhide and Leonie get a better break than their counterparts "back home", and Kyril gets just what he deserves! Hey, do you have any idea how handy that title comes in for explaining lapses in correspondence and daily life?

"Bredini." Overtly this is a heart-warming little tale about acceptance and love. But I found it easily the most provocative and exasperating story in the issue, because of all the things hinted at and not explained: Items: # Laran-aimed missiles that take 10 days to "lumber" to Aldaran? Maybe I've been brainwashed by the Gulf War, but this evoked a rather strange mental picture. # Lord Hastur revoking the Renunciate charter because his aunt joined up? Hm. I'll bet there's more to it than that. (On Darkover, as in history, there are usually multiple influences feeding into policy decisions like this one). # Colleagues disdaining the young women's attachment when they were together at Corandolis? I thought the Towers were more tolerant than this. And why is Ariane willing to share her breda with a husband while Dyannis feels it would compromise her honor? [Actually I'd like to hove a talk with that Liane Aillard: she's not behaving at all like a Lady of Aillard should.) Maybe you should write more stories about these characters. Nina! I'd like to see what Dyannis went through while she was in hiding with the Free Amazons. And how about AI to preserve that rare laran gift which truly does seem to be crucial here? Oops, wrong era for that, I guess, but this Tower circle seems pretty innovative...give them some more stories and surely they'll figure some solution out.

"The Envoy." The predicament of women shown here is so terribly grim that I wanted to dismiss it as "just a Drytowns" fantasy", but there are too many parallels with earth attitudes, unfortunately even with our own. (And we're supporting Middle Eastern regimes where such an episode could easily take place...) A story that may haunt me: definitely not one to read for simple enjoyment.

"Aillard's Luck." A passing-strange way to get a matrix crystal! Just think what Classic Trek could have done with Tyreel during one of those cracked-dilithium crystal crises! Sorry, Diann, don't mean to be overly flip but it would be an interesting thing to watch on the screen.

Usually I don't feel qualified to comment on poems, but there were two in this issue I found particularly striking: "Romilly and Sunstar" by Kyri Freeman, and "Dyan: of Himself" by Ysobet Dyana Ardais.

Looking forward to MASKS! [42]

Issue 14

cover of issue #14

Moon Phases 14 is dated 1992 ("© 1992 by Marion Zimmer Bradley") , probably before June. It was edited by Nina Boal and contains 108 pages.

The art is by Kiri Namtvedt, Leigh Matooka, Chris Soto, TACS, Linda Sax, Emily Alward, and Jude Jackson.

Oddity regarding dates: A request for submissions: "Moon Phases 14 is looking for imaginative authors to write tales based on MZB's "Darkover" books. Will take any sort of relationship or orientation (no age-statement required descriptions, please) or just good action/adventure. SASE for complete guidelines. This ad in On the Double #23 (June 1992) is perplexing as the zine had already been published. This is perhaps explained that "On the Double" was usually printed a few months late. Even more mysterious is the same ad was run in the July 1993 issue of GAZ, which negates the first theory. On possibility is that this zine series was in disarray after the major controversy regarding #12; #14 was the first issue published after #12 (remember, #13 was published before #12), and either the date on #14 is wrong, or there was something else going on.

The editorial:

Welcome to MOON PHASES 14. I have a number of stories which I know that Darkover fans will enjoy. Some original characters are included along with different views and visions of familiar characters. I also received the usual fine efforts of our Darkover artists. And MOON PHASES will be continuing as a publication, so all you writers and artists keep sending in your fabulous material! There are already a number of stories scheduled for Issue #15, but I have space for more. Alas, I received no poetry this time, so I hope that will be rectified for the next issue. Letters of Comment are welcome and will be printed next issue, unless the letter-writer asks for it not to be published. Enjoy....

  • Editorial (1)
  • Shelter from the Storm by Jeffrey Kasten (3)
  • Holocaust by Julie Vaux (11)
  • Goddess’s Fire by Emily Alward (17)
  • The Fox of Scaravel by Patricia Anne Buard (51)
  • Wildfire Forge by Sara Ryan (This story is m/m slash.) (58)
  • The Star In Your Stone by Sara Ryan (66)
  • The Ladies of Kilghard by Charley Pearson (71)
  • A Clever Woman by Linda Stoops (77)
  • Kihar by Linda Stoops (90)
  • The Rescue by Jude Jackson (98)
  • Sob Story by Jude Jackson (107)

Issue 15

cover of issue #15, xerox copy

Moon Phases 15 was published in 1993 and contains 96 pages. It was edited by Nina Boal, and it was, according to the editorial, to be the last issue (though there is an addendum to it that suggests there was one more issue (containing no fiction) published.)

All of the art ("except Dover art") is by Kiri Namtvedt. Titles by Linda Sax. There is a thank you to Donna Chamberlain for help with the typing.

The editorial:

Welcome to MOON PHASES 15. We have everything here from Renunciates, Regis and Dani, Javanne Hastur, Cleindori Aillard, plus other great adventures. Plus B.C. Sturm answered my call for poetry, and you'll see the results here. I got some more great art from Kiri Namtvedt, who responded to my procrastination in great style! Unfortunately, this issue of MOON PHASES marks an end to its publication of Darkover fiction. Due to legal problems which I don't wish to go into here, Darkover fan fiction can no longer be written. All of the stories in this issue were written and edited before the legal troubles broke out, and so they have been gathered here for one final "fling," so to speak. MOON PHASES started out as a Darkover newsletter, begun by Ingrid Maack who graciously handed it over to me in 1984. I would very much like for MOON PHASES not to end. With this goal in mind, I intend for future issues of MOON PHASES to consist of articles, analyses, assorted rants and ramblings etc. about the Darkover universe, the novels, topics related to Darkover and/or fantasy/SF. I also welcome reviews of Darkover books, favorite stories in anthologies or in previously published fanzines. This includes Letters of Comment on MOON PHASES 14 and 15, both of which are still in print. My understanding is that I will be allowed to reprint revised editions of some of the out-of-print back issues. Please, please send me SASES for non-fiction guidelines, and then please send me your articles, LOCS and varied natterings. Depending on the amount of material I receive, MOON PHASES will come out either once or twice a year. [see accompanying image for the handwritten "late note"]

from the title page, click to read
  • Editorial
  • Candles in the the Rain, and, Ghostwind by B.C. Sturm (2)
  • Judella by Priscilla Armstrong (3)
  • The Call by Diana Gill (10)
  • Amazon by B.C. Sturm (13)
  • Tower and Guild by Priscilla Armstrong (14)
  • Justice Come Softly by Charley Pearson (25)
  • What is Love, and, Tangled Branches by B.C. Strum (48)
  • Lemvirizi by Patricia Shaw Mathews (50)
  • Hidden Knowledge, Hidden Deeds by Joan Marie Verba (55)
  • Siren Song by B.C. Sturm (65)
  • The Right to Choose by Tamlyn Scott (65)
  • Baldy by Charley Pearson (71)
  • Royal Emissary by Diann Partridge and Richard Arrants (75)
  • Heartsong, and, Just a Friend by B.C. Sturm (91)
  • Melitta by Patricia Shaw Mathews (92)
  • Letter of Comment (96)

Issue 16

Moon Phases 16 was edited by Nina Boal. This appears to be the last issue, and one that contains no fiction. It was not mentioned (along with issues #14 and #15) in an April 1995 ad in GAZ, so most likely published after that. If at all.


  1. ^ from Media Monitor #34 referring to issue #15
  2. ^ from an ad in The Monthly
  3. ^ from Universal Translator #28
  4. ^ Darkovan heroes fanzine cover by Pyracantha, September 7, 2011
  5. ^ from a LoC in Moon Phases #13
  6. ^ from a LoC in Moon Phases #13
  7. ^ pyracanthasketch
  8. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  9. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  10. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  11. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  12. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  13. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  14. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #10
  15. ^ from a LoC in Moon Phases #13
  16. ^ an LoC by Patricia Mathews in "Moon Phases" #11
  17. ^ an LoC by Meg MacDonald in "Moon Phases" #11
  18. ^ an LoC by Jean Lamb in "Moon Phases" #11
  19. ^ an LoC by Leigh Motooka in "Moon Phases" #11
  20. ^ an LoC by Dorothy Boyd in "Moon Phases" #11
  21. ^ comment and quote from Queen's Own, April 1989 issue
  22. ^ from an LoC in Moon Phases #13
  23. ^ from an LoC in Moon Phases #13
  24. ^ from an LoC in Moon Phases #13
  25. ^ from an LoC in Moon Phases #13
  26. ^ from an LoC in Moon Phases #13
  27. ^ from an ad in On the Double #19
  28. ^ confirmed by a 8.2011 email from Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, at [1], the depository for MZB's work
  29. ^ There is a June 1993 ad for it in On the Double #27. There is an ad for it in the July 1993 issue of GAZ.
  30. ^ From an ad in The Monthly in November 1990.
  31. ^ from an ad in The Monthly in January 1991
  32. ^ From an ad in The Monthly in July 1991
  33. ^ from an ad in On the Double #19 and #28
  34. ^ from GAZ v.8 n.1 (April 1995)
  35. ^ from an ad in The Monthly (January 1991)
  36. ^ from the July 1993 issue of GAZ.
  37. ^ There is some discussion of this story here CI5 Headquarters, posted 9.27.2011, accessed 9.28.2011
  38. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #12
  39. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #12
  40. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #12
  41. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #12
  42. ^ from an LoC in "Moon Phases" #12