of all my Dad’s science fiction novels, none held my interest as much as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series.
Darkover was a small planet that a ship of humans crashed and become a unique culture – sort of feudal organized but with psychic abilities and most interesting to me – gay men.
She also wrote gay novels at the same time she was writing science fiction pulps, I learned later.
but nothing in the Darkover series captured my imagine more than the Free Amazons.
so when I went to a science fiction convention and got to meet her – and not just – ooo she was on the panel and I got an autograph – I actually didn’t get one at all.
I was on the convention organizing committee and Marion Zimmer Bradley was escorted to the panel called
How Not To Get Published
the other con-com member saw me and asked me to shepard her back to her room – so I was thrilled that I was going to get to hang out with her.
Afterwards, we had lunch – and she refused my offer for me to pay – I wanted to for several reasons, but mostly because it would improve my fan purity score – buying lunch for an A List guest was big points.
It was possibility the most painful 90 minutes of my life.
every attempt I made to be friendly was rebuked. I couldn’t find any common ground and worse, I had left my copy of Mists of Avalon in my car trunk, where it got damp and the spine curled so much – I may as well have dropped it in the bathtub.
at the very end of the time with her. I last ditched pulled out Elvis – and finally – we had common ground. Too late for that convention.
I met her one more time. at a convention in Seattle.
This time, I was prepared – I wanted to take the Darkover Amazon oath and I wanted her to hear it.
The Oath of the Free Amazon
Men dia pre’z’biuro…
From this day forth, I renounce the right to marry save as a freemate. No man shall bind me di catenas and I will dwell in no man’s household as a baragana.
I swear that I am prepared to defend myself by force if I am attacked by force, and that I shall turn to no man for protection.
From this day forth I swear I shall never again be known by the name of any man, be he father, guardian, lover or husband, but simply and solely as the daughter of my mother.
From this day forth I swear I will bear no child to any man save for my own pleasure and at my own time and choice; I will bear no child to any man for house or heritage, clan or inheritance, pride or prosperity; I swear that I alone will determine the rearing and fosterage of any child I bear, without regard to any man’s place, position or pride.
From this day forth I renounce allegiance to any family, clan, household, warden or liege lord, and take oath that I owe allegiance only to the laws of the land as a free citizen must; to the kingdom, the crown and the Gods.
I shall appeal to no man as of right, for protection, support or succor: but shall owe allegiance only to my oath-mother, to my sisters in the Guild and to my employer for the season of my employment.
And I further swear that the members of the Guild of Free Amazons shall be to me, each and every one, as my mother, my sister or my daughter, born of one blood with me, and that no woman sealed by oath to the Guild shall appeal to me in vain.
From this moment, I swear to obey all the laws of the Guild of Free Amazons and any lawful command of my oath-mother, the Guild members or my elected leader for the season of my employment. And if I betray any secret of the Guild, or prove false to my oath, then I shall submit myself to the Guild-mothers for discipline as they shall choose; and if I fail, then may every woman’s hand turn against me, let them slay me like an animal and consign my body unburied to corruption and my soul to the mercy of the Goddess.
and I had the most amazing thing happen – I was in the elevator and she got on – all alone.
So I went for it
“Hi Ms. Bradley, I know you won’t remember me from V Con, but I wanted to take the Amazon-”
“I discourage that nonsense”
and then she got off the elevator.
the next thing that I was aware of, was a very tall man looking down at me, and I wondered, how can he be that tall?
then I realized
I was sitting on the floor in the corner of the elevator and he was normal sized and bending over
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Jun 27, 2014 – Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon” is a magisterial retelling of the … over Breen’s child sexual abuse, and I had not read her testimony in the case. And this month, Zimmer Bradley’s daughter Moira Greyland came …