|Fandoms:||Darkover, Deryni, Amber, Doctor Who|
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Pyracantha is an artist of much Darkover and Deryni art.
Pyracantha was also one of the collators of the APA Golden-APA.
- Contes di Cottman IV
- The Deryni Archives
- Moon Phases
- Shadow Shiftin'
- other unknown zines
Some Art Samples
Pyracantha's ill friend is drawn in the world of Katherine Kurtz's world described in the "Deryni" novels. (1982)
"Darkover fans are creative types and know lots of other writers as well as films, musicals, theater, and opera. They also love to mix genres and stories so that we can get Darkovan film noir, Darkovan opera, Darkovan detective stories, Darkovan horror or romance or humor or satire and even....Ayn Rand! The notorious capitalist champion's grandiose and technocratic output filled the fantasy of at least one Darkover fan who created a Rand-esque character to bring the Rand aesthetic to the world of the Red Sun. The story takes place during the "re-colonization" of Darkover by the high-tech Terrans. "Marjorie," who was born on Darkover, works for the Terrans and is a highly ambitious type who wants to be the first person to build and operate a super-fast transport system (a space railroad, sort of) linking up the inhabited areas of the planet. As a Rand-ish character based on the railroad boss Dagny Taggart, she intimidates and defies her way through the Terran organizations, sparing no effort to achieve her goal. But what she does not know is that she is from one of the Darkovan clans who have psionic powers. She is from the Alton clan, whose special gift is that during a fit of anger, she can cast deadly mental energy bolts. In the story, she is confronted by a bureaucrat who will not give in to her will, and she explodes in a rage, almost killing him with her bare hands and the mental energy bolts. Unlike a Rand figure who would never change or apologize, Marjorie is changed by the revelation of her dangerous psychic powers and learns to work amicably with other people to continue the technical revolution on Darkover. Some of these story points may be inaccurate since I haven't read the story in ages. Note the Randian symbol of the dollar sign on her jacket. The "R" on her belt buckle stands for "Rearden," the name of the construction company she works with. Rearden was the steel works and metallic hero of Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", 1982." -- Ayn Rand comes to Darkover; archive link (December 28, 2016)
"Danilo gets the place at court with the elderly nobleman. One of his duties is to entertain the old man with his companionship during the endless winter season and listen to him talk. His best friend, Regis, who is also an apprentice at court, serenades them quietly with his harp. Regis and Danilo will soon learn that their attraction to each other is not just the friendship of two courtiers, but is true gay romantic love. This story, appearing in Marion Zimmer Bradley's THE HERITAGE OF HASTUR, is a fan favorite. Original drawing is ink on illustration board, 7" x 5", March 1983. Most of these originals were sold for a few dollars apiece at the now-gone DarkoverCon. I wonder how many of them are still extant, given the chaotic lives of many fans." -- Young Courtiers of Darkover (August 5, 2017)
"Marion Zimmer Bradley... was a daring writer who was well in advance of the usual fantasy writing of her time. She was one of the first fantasy writers who dealt seriously with real problems and afflictions like domestic abuse, sexism, violence against women, and prejudice. She created scenarios that taught readers about feminist issues. She created imaginary but realistic social movements and committed groups which attempted to find solutions for the evils of the world against women. The "Free Amazons" was one of them, where women could find a refuge from the brutality of a low-tech society. This illustration, titled "Girlfriends against Rape," was for a Bradley story in a fan magazine. In the story a young girl runs away to join the Free Amazons only to be betrayed by her own mother who spots her in a marketplace as an Amazon (not the dotcom kind) vendor. The girl is attacked by a male relative who attempts to forcibly take her away from the group. Black ink on illustration board, about 7" x 5", January 1983." -- Darkovan Domestic Violence (August 7, 2017)
"Lordy, not again. Yep, here they are again, the pretty boy and the nobleman who desires him as well as abuses him. Regis, at left, doesn't look so happy about the movin' hands of his boss. But later in the story Regis realizes, through much trial and suffering, that he really is That Way but he finds a much better and younger lover than the sinister aristocrat. This is from Marion Zimmer Bradley's book THE HERITAGE OF HASTUR which was read avidly by the fans who also commissioned and bought my art. This one was chosen by Marion herself and she put extra money down in the art show so it would be reserved for her. Black ink on illustration board, about 5 1/2" x 7", spring 1982. That sure was a long time ago." -- Dyan Ardais puts the moves on pretty Regis (January 9, 2018)
"Most fantasy settings have a medieval-style, feudalistic government based on royalty and aristocracy. Darkover was one of these, where a lost expedition of long ago devolved from spacefarers to knights and ladies. You could tell a hero or a ruler from their appearance, especially their red or blonde hair, a timeless trope. Well, what if the characters in the lower levels or peasantry of the kingdom decided they had had enough? What if some Darkovan Marx or Lenin set a revolution in motion, inciting the powerless, brown-haired proletariat to rise up against their oppressors? Here are the "Socialist Revolutionaries of Darkover," standing at the dawn of a new era. The red flag features the Communist central star surrounded by four crescents, representing the four moons of Darkover. I exhibited my "Soviet" image at DarkoverCon in 1984 and was told privately that Author M. Z. Bradley was not amused. Acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 10", October 1984." -- Socialist Revolutionaries of Darkover (January 12, 2018)
from an unknown fanzine: "Darkover had many species of native humanoids, which are detailed here in Wikipedia. (Wikipedia transcends the notion of "information".) Depicted here are the "Trailmen," who encounter the techno-humans in wilderness areas. The Trailmen were portrayed as "primitives" who could cross-breed with humans in some circumstances. Here in this story the techno-human makes friends with a group of Trailmen, thus offering Darkover fans the possibility of a benevolent colonialism. Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 10 1/2", spring 1985." -- Colonialism of Darkover (February 22, 2017)
inside art from an unknown fanzine: "Robert Raymon Kadarin was a character from the "Re-colonization" era of Darkover. A striking figure as tall as a basketball player, at least six feet nine or ten, he was a relentless agent and power broker between the old colonists and the new Terrans. He also had an active romantic life involving women, men, and probably aliens as well. That was his great secret: he was genetically mostly alien, a member of the "Chieri" folk who were not only very tall but were endowed with psychic powers. Kadarin was a recurring figure in a lot of Darkover fan fiction so I got to illustrate him in various adventures and even his childhood. He's usually dressed in a black Terran uniform and he has the same silvery hair as his alien ancestors. I have portrayed him here looking over the new city and spaceport that the Terrans are building on his old residence. Original is black ink on illustration board, about 8" x 6 1/2", spring 1982." -- Darkover Fan Art: There's More (January 5, 2017)
from an unknown fanzine: "I apologize for so many Darkover postings but it is that Darkover time of year when "Darkover Grand Council" drew a fantasy-loving Bradley fan crowd. I could fill a whole art display panel with Darkover art and sell it, too. So here's one from a fan publication starring a known Darkover character, the future bad guy "Dyan Ardais." Here he is flirting and sharing magic with a Keeper of one of the Towers, the psychic power stations you are familiar with. She is blind but she can see with her psychic powers as well as read people's minds. Keepers take vows of celibacy like nuns (abstinence is said to strengthen psychic powers) and they dress all in red. Marion B. poured forth many a chapter on the sexual/psychic travails of Keepers who found Love and had to quit the duties of the Tower. Dyan later found a nastier type of Love with young men as a sadistic overlord. Black ink on illustration board, 7" x 10", May 1985." -- Dyan of Darkover and the Blind Keeper (November 22, 2016)
from an unknown fanzine: "Constantly creative Darkover fan writers got notions to mix the genres. Darkover was already science fiction and fantasy with a strong strain of Romance. But the fans explored other genres by transplanting them to Darkover, such as detective stories including ones with an interestingly ethnic detective. For instance, there was a Japanese sleuth based on Peter Lorre's famous "Mr. Moto" character. The fans also wrote "noir" mysteries set in Darkover complete with dark psionic magic. The best-written of the Darkover detectives was the Jewish detective, Henry Levich, who works for the Terran Intelligence Agency overseeing Earth's relationship with the re-colonized Darkover. This is an end-piece, based on the famous last scene of "Casablanca," where Levich and his Darkovan contact agree that "this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Ink on illustration board, 8" x 5", December 1984." -- Darkover Noir (November 14, 2016)
"What, more Darkovan-elfish Chieri? Why not? They're pretty, psychically gifted, non-violent, and even better, hermaphroditic! This piece of illustration comes from the same fanzine sequence for which I did innumerable bits and pieces. My vague recollections from the story tell me that it is about a Terran officer who shows signs of hybridization with these "native aliens." He eventually finds a gathering of Chieri who can give him the information about his origins that he desperately needs to do his work on Darkover. He then becomes a secret agent concentrating on human and alien interactions. Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", October 1984." -- More Chieri (February 18, 2018)
"This piece was excerpted from a Darkover fan zine where I was a regular contributor. It is the cover art but it doesn't illustrate anything in any particular story. Darkover mixed scenarios from science fiction as well as the more common swashbuckling neo-Renaissance material. I did this cubistic space station, orbiting over Darkover, before the "Borg" showed up on the TV screen. Ink on illustration board, about 8 1/2" x 8 3/4", May 1984. " -- Cubist Space Station (June 25, 2017)
An Early Art Portfolio
I produced two portfolios of black and white fan art in 1981. One was from Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover," and the other was from Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" world. I copied the drawing pages on a photocopy machine and sold the folios at conventions, innocently unaware that I was violating copyright. I sold a lot of them before I was requested to stop. I still have some of them somewhere, probably where I stuffed all the other fan art and magazines I illustrated. 
See Deryni Portfolio of 1981 and Darkover Portfolio of 1981.
- ^ Warin de Grey (March 23, 2015)