Marion Zimmer Bradley was one of the most prolific female science-fiction and fantasy authors, with more than sixty novels to her name and others written under pseudonyms. Although she was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, science fiction’s highest honors, she never won either, despite the fact that her novels contributed to the growth of science fiction and fantasy in numerous ways. After her death, she was honored with a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2000.
In her fiction, Bradley pushed the boundaries of sexual taboos, especially concerning homosexuality, with her sympathetic homosexual characters. It could also be argued that she, like fellow fantasy writer Andre Norton, served as a role model for many women who wanted to write science fiction and fantasy. As an editor, Bradley published many authors’ debut stories and helped other women writers become established in what had traditionally been a male-oriented field. Her lasting contributions to the field of science fiction and fantasy are the Darkover and Avalon series, both of which continue after her death. Twenty-seven Darkover novels were published under her name, some of which were under way when she died and completed by others.