Marion Zimmer Bradley

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(June 3, 1930 – September 25, 1999)

Marion Zimmer Bradley was an actifan and later a prominent pro writer. Born Marion E. Zimmer, she was known for a time as Marion Breen, and often referred to as MZB.


She was active in fandom from the 1940s. She co-founded the Vampyre Society. She ran for TAFF in 1963. She was a member of IPSO, FAPA (of which she was OE), and the Fellowship of the Ring. She wrote for many fanzines. She feuded with FTLaney, inspiring the Ballard Code.

In 1961, she said of herself: "I am a member of Circus Fans of America, have other interests in Tolkien fandom, opera, folk songs, mountain climbing, and rock collecting."

In 1966, she helped found and named the Society for Creative Anachronism where she was known as "Elfrida of Greenwalls." She was involved in developing several local SCA groups, including in New York and was an editor of Pennoncel and Banneret. In the 1970s, she lived in Greyhaven.


Professionally, she is primarily known for her influential Darkover series, about which a fringe fandom grew, the focus of the Darkover Grand Council conventions.

She made her first sale to Amazing Stories in 1949 with a story which had previously appeared in the fanzine Spacewarp. She founded and sustained Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine. She briefly published the Darkover Newsletter.

Personal Life[edit]

Her brother was fan Paul Edwin Zimmer. Originally from Albany, NY, she married first Robert Bradley in 1949 and lived Rochester, Texas, through the early 1960s; they had one son, David Bradley. She divorced Robert in 1964 and then married Walter Breen (of later Breendoggle fame), with whom she had two children. She finished college in 1965 and moved to the Bay Area for graduate school, finishing in 1967. Subsequently, she lived in New York and the Bay Area.

Bradley and Breen separated in 1979 while remaining married, and continued a business relationship and lived on the same street. They divorced in 1990, after Breen was arrested on child molestation charges, though she later testified that she had been aware of his activities for many years.

Her legacy was considerably tainted by that, and by posthumous accusations against her of child sexual abuse and rape by her younger children, Mark and Moira Greyland.

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