Review #58 Rediscovery by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey

When this book was first published in 1993, I let out a squeal of glee.  Two of my favourite authors had teamed up to fill in a gap in the Darkover timeline.  Rediscovery is an insightful and compelling story of how Darkover came to be “rediscovered” by the Terran Empire some 2000 years after one of the Lost Colony ships crashed on the planet of the red sun.

Mercedes Lackey, or Misty as Marion often called in in anthologies, returns to write this tale with the mentor who discovered her early work through the Swords and Sorceress anthologies that she edited through the 80s.  Lackey went on to take those early short stories and write more about her world Valdemar, becoming a well-respected and prolific writer in her own right.  Marion often mentioned how proud she was of Mercedes’ success.

These two authors collaborate seamlessly to tell the vivid tale of how advanced human technology reacts when they encounter human stock in a pre-industrialized setting.  Both women excel at social commentary to explore the type of difficult issues that Bradley never shied away from including abortion, exploitation, gender stereotyping, drug trafficking and cultural interference.  Unlike many writing teams that share their separate styles back and forth in a double narrative, Rediscovery is a wonderful blend that flows so well, it is hard to tell who had a hand in writing which section.

Many readers of the Darkover series have mused at how the planet might have been without ever coming into contact with the broader universe and the terran empire, but they should remember the first few stories about Darkover were precisely about that conflict between the two worlds and cultures.  Without conflict… there is often no story.  I m glad that both of these writers crafted this tale for me to enjoy this summer.

Hardcover format, 307 pages, published in 1993 by DAW Books.

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