“Complexity, compelling narrative, and positive social change are my bread and meat. Would you like to join me at the table?”
Eyes – Hazel
Body – Medium Height, Average Weight
Style – Natural
Seeking a woman, 26 to 45
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
“Darkover. The "bloody sun", the matrix gems, and all those books set in a massive world that MZB certainly didn't entirely hold in her hands anymore by the time that she died. Dozens detailed and varied characters. Thousands of years of history in a world that genuinely changed. A kind of feminism that probably looks clumsy and stilted to people who grew up on Buffy and real world female astronauts but was amazing at the time, not just for the articulation of women's concerns but for treating sexuality itself as complex and ambiguous. A man might be a "sandal wearer" but that didn't make him not a warrior.
I read all of these when I was a kid and they blew my mind. I was fascinated by what would now almost be called steampunk, by using the best of our modern understanding to tweak a world of wood and stone and iron and scale things up into something rich and sophisticated and ripe with chances for, well, or course, heroism and adventures.
Greenhouses along the walls of vast castles. An advanced science of a (then) utterly unique take on psionics. All with plenty of swordfights and silk robes and spice bread at the end of a hard-won day.
Swordfights, mind you, as written by a woman who actually knew her way around a sword out here in the real world. So her fighters had to worry about their scabbards banging into chairs when they sat down and oiling the blades regularly and now and again rewinding the leather of a hilt. Not to mention who bloody well feeds and curries the horses, how the fire alarms will work in a dry world of mountain orchards, and on and on.
I loved it. I'll bet you can tell that I still do.”