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Darkover Landfall by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Published by DAW Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
They were never supposed to found a colony on the uncharted planet where their starship crashlanded. They were supposed to be a followup mission, bringing additional settlers to the colony on Phi Coronis Delta. They didn't have the equipment or the personnel to build a colony from the ground up.
Thus their first priority was to repair their starship and continue to their original destination. But this world had more than a few surprises in store for them. There were mysterious simians in the forests who might be borderline sapient. And then there was the Ghost Wind.
One day, without any warning, the wind blew a strange psychedelic pollen into the emergency camp that surrounded the broken starship. Unprepared for its effects, the humans went temporarily insane. Suddenly repairing the starship was no longer an option. Somehow they had to make this world their home. A world their descendants would call Darkover.
Marion Zimmer Bradley did not originally set out to write the story of the origin of the Comyn when she began this novel. In fact she was quite sick of the Darkover series when Donald A. Wolheim approached her about writing a novel for the new line of books he was starting. She pulled out an old one about an ancient race testing humans for worthiness to be considered people. When she made the humans into survivors of a wrecked spaceship, the story finally came to life. Only as Ms. Bradley was nearing the end did Wolheim suggest that she change a few details to set it on Darkover because a known series would sell better. Thus Darkover doesn't have the feeling that the author's trying too hard to explain everything which often mars prequels.
Click to buy Darkover Landfall in mass market paperback.
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Review posted October 5, 2000
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