Read The Survivors by Marion Zimmer Bradley Free Online
Book Title: The Survivors|
The author of the book: Marion Zimmer Bradley
ISBN 13: 9780879978617
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 779 KB
Date of issue: September 1st 1983
Reader ratings: 6.5
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Read full description of the books The Survivors:
Evidently I bought this and set it aside, because I have no memory of it, and can't even come up with a framework for how it goes on.
One preliminary point: Bradley and Zimmer argue that all 'protosimians' are in a sort of permanent oestrus, and are the only sapients in the Unity who mate out of season. This seems rather less than likely. On Earth, humans are really the only primates who maintain continual fertility cycles, and sexuality plays as little part in the lives of (say) baboons as in most of the species in the Unity. Why would it be different elsewhere? Is the contention that only protosimians who DO have continual oestrus can develop 'true' intelligence? For that matter, who's setting the standards of what qualifies as 'people'? The attitudes of the protosaurians are somewhat snobbish, at least at first.
Also, I don't think a telepath who was as misanthropic and depressive as the Farspeaker in this story would be anybody's first choice for a communicator--so the implication is that Farspeakers are so rare that none can be honorably retired seems to necessarily follow.
I hadn't remembered, by the way, that the translator disks transmitted subvocalized thoughts. This is likely to cause serious problems. We may subvocalize things we don't actually want to say aloud--is there some way to bypass the translator? Still, it would make it possible to communicate without speaking loudly--an advantage in that respect, if few others.
I can't speak to the oeconomy of 'jungles' on a distant world, but the description given in this book is almost completely untrue about rainforests on Earth. There's virtually no undergrowth under the canopy of rainforests--only around watercourses, in the borders of 'natural meadows' (usually the temporary) product of one or more of the trees falling), and other border areas is there any substantial underbrush. Nor are there any low-hanging branches for the 'camouflage cats' to launch themselves from. Old-growth forests have very tall trees, in which most of the life is in the canopy. Any creature the size of the cats mentioned which launched itself from a height of about 150 feet would likely die even IF its fall was cushioned by landing on a large prey animal. And if it missed... But the fact is that creatures as voracious and active as the predators presented wouldn't live long enough to die in a broken-boned heap. They'd starve, since they couldn't possibly get enough energy from their prey to replenish what they expended in killing it, much LESS have any reserves for another hunt. There's some speculation that the 'rashas' have been deliberately selected and bred to hunt protosimians. If so, they must continually be reintroduced, given the carnage that's described. So many of the rashas are killed, they'd have to have a very rapid reproductive rate to compensate, even in ordinary conditions--and that's not even including the ones who must starve if protosimians put up any kind of resistance or evasive maneuvers, even ineffectual ones. Prey that solitary animals have to hunt out (and even chase down) is too expensive.
Furthermore, the soil under climax forests is, in fact, very poor soil. The nutrients are in the leaf-mould, and are created by indwellers in said mould from the rain of detritus (scales, leaves, feces, etc) from the canopy. These nutrients are conveyed underground, whence they are almost at once sucked up by the tree roots. Old-growth forests are bootstrapping communities, and growth is no faster there than elsewhere. Later descriptions of high-canopy forests are a little more realistic--but I'm a little puzzled by the distaste for the rich, fertile smell of leaf mould. I like the smell of chlorophyll (I'm not sure how xanthophyll smells)--but I very much prefer the smell of leaf-mould. It's that smell that distinguishes between sterile dust and soil.
There's also a flat statement that early humans on Earth exterminated their fellow hominids. There's no real evidence either way--but whatever happened, we have little evidence of their personal natures or intelligence--and I resent both the description of hominids as 'subhuman' (they're related to the local humans, but the 'chain of being' hierarchical model has never been a good basis for description of the variability of life), and to the description of chimpanzees as unintelligent and as 'monkeys'. Chimpanzees are closer than cousins to humans, and are provably capable of quite complex reasoning.
The character of Dane is argued to be quite a travelled man, but he doesn't show much sign of it. The armchair descriptions of Earth lifeforms read like the fantasies of people who haven't even bothered to dip into the pile of National Geographics beside the chair. I can't give much credence to the descriptions of the biology of other worlds from people who don't really have a good grounding in the biology of Earth. Marion Zimmer Bradley evidently learned some things over her career--but this sort of elementary errors are more than a little offputting.
I also don't care for the 'hero''s dislike of a boy who has no taste or talent for the life of an 'adrenaline junkie'. Or for his fetishist worship of his replica samurai sword. Like his partner, I don't pretend to understand his attitudes--nor do I particularly care to.
There seems to be an uneasy snobbishness in many of Marion Zimmer Bradley's works. I'm not clear about Paul Edwin Zimmer's position, but Marion Zimmer Bradley seems to have somewhat defensively believed that there is a natural aristocracy and peasantry, and to hope to be numbered among the elect. For example, Joda's father (who disappears completely from the picture after handing 'his' abused son into fosterage--and where was the boy's mother in all this?) never seems to have considered fostering his son with the First People--nor do any others, from what I can see. If a child has a scholarly bent, why should she or he have to travel off-world to get any sort of nurturance and/or fosterage in such arts?
The proto-saurian First People are traumatically affected by an assault that happened before proto-simians developed. They are committed to nonviolence, and try to impose nonviolence (in limited ways) on protosimians. But they don't display any particular philosophical commitment to nonviolence. They're perfectly prepared to accept the concept of 'justifiable homicide'--they simply debate what the limits of such violence are, and should be. Perhaps their "Saints'" guilty knowledge of prehistoric 'defensive' genocide colors their thoughts. But it's past time to get past that, as well. In all the subsequent years, hsa nobody made any ATTEMPT to find out why they were attacked in the first place? And what they might have done to negotiate peaceful relations with those ancient 'enemies' BEFORE it got to the point of deadly assaults on either side?
Read information about the authorMarion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.
Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Hamilton, and Leigh Brackett, especially when they wrote about "the glint of strange suns on worlds that never were and never would be." Her first novel and much of her subsequent work show their influence strongly.
Early in her career, writing as Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter, and Lee Chapman, Marion Zimmer Bradley produced several works outside the speculative fiction genre, including some gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels. For example, I Am a Lesbian was published in 1962. Though relatively tame by today's standards, they were considered pornographic when published, and for a long time she refused to disclose the titles she wrote under these pseudonyms.
Her 1958 story The Planet Savers introduced the planet of Darkover, which became the setting of a popular series by Bradley and other authors. The Darkover milieu may be considered as either fantasy with science fiction overtones or as science fiction with fantasy overtones, as Darkover is a lost earth colony where psi powers developed to an unusual degree. Bradley wrote many Darkover novels by herself, but in her later years collaborated with other authors for publication; her literary collaborators have continued the series since her death.
Bradley took an active role in science-fiction and fantasy fandom, promoting interaction with professional authors and publishers and making several important contributions to the subculture.
For many years, Bradley actively encouraged Darkover fan fiction and reprinted some of it in commercial Darkover anthologies, continuing to encourage submissions from unpublished authors, but this ended after a dispute with a fan over an unpublished Darkover novel of Bradley's that had similarities to some of the fan's stories. As a result, the novel remained unpublished, and Bradley demanded the cessation of all Darkover fan fiction.
Bradley was also the editor of the long-running Sword and Sorceress anthology series, which encouraged submissions of fantasy stories featuring original and non-traditional heroines from young and upcoming authors. Although she particularly encouraged young female authors, she was not averse to including male authors in her anthologies. Mercedes Lackey was just one of many authors who first appeared in the anthologies. She also maintained a large family of writers at her home in Berkeley. Ms Bradley was editing the final Sword and Sorceress manuscript up until the week of her death in September of 1999.
Probably her most famous single novel is The Mists of Avalon. A retelling of the Camelot legend from the point of view of Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar, it grew into a series of books; like the Darkover series, the later novels are written with or by other authors and have continued to appear after Bradley's death.
In 2000, she was posthumously awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
In 2014, Bradley was accused of sexual abuse by her daughter, Moira Greyland, who claims that she was molested from the age of 3 to 12. Greyland also claimed that she was not the only victim and that she was one of the people who reported her father, Walter H. Breen, for child molestation. In response to these allegations Bradley's publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd announced that they will donate all income from the sales of Bradley's e-books to the charity Save the Children.
- From Wikipedia
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