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Cristofori's Dream
Robert Italia
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into The 3.5 Billion Year History Of The Human Body
Neil Shubin, Marc Cashman
The Enchanted Wood
Enid Blyton
The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell
The Ghosts Of Evolution Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, And Other Ecological Anachronisms
Connie Barlow

The Planet Savers

The Planet Savers - Marion Zimmer Bradley Reading [b:The Colors of Space|472228|The Colors of Space|Marion Zimmer Bradley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331253069s/472228.jpg|1579006] made me immediately want to read something else by Marion Zimmer Bradley. In reading about her, I found myself intrigued by her "Darkover" series of which I kept finding mention. In researching it, it turns out to be an ever-expanding tree of books, stories, and fan fiction such that I couldn't figure out what to read first. If you read the books in the order that she wrote them, you'd not be reading them chronologically because she wrote prequels here or branched off on storyline tangents there. While some books of tangent series withing the series are available on Kindle, others are only available as brittle used paperbacks.

So what is the series about? Hmm ... well ... it seems to take place on a planet called Darkover. There are apparently immigrants there from earth as well as 2 types of natives of the planet. One variety of natives are human while the others, the "trailmen", are evolutionarily still living in the trees. There also seems to be some people on the planet that have developed long- and short-distance telepathy.

The series sucked me in with it's futuristic human civilization living on another planet, its Jeckyll/Hyde character, its impending plague, its mountain-climbing adventure, and its tree-dwelling almost-human native population. We have our hero (as a Mr. Hyde-type) leading a mountaineering expedition to convince the trailmen to help our hero's alter ego create a vaccine for a plague that decimates the human population every 48 years but for which the trailmen are immune.

Despite fantasy not really being my genre of choice, I found the book enjoyable. The telepathy part was understated enough not to seem silly. The evolutionarily-behind trailmen were intriguing. And the adventure parts of the novel were interesting. While there wasn't really any one character or storyline that I feel the need to revisit, I am left wondering more about the planet of Darkover in general. And you have to admit that "the Darkover series" sounds like something that would be intriguing just because she's named the planet well.

So, will I read more? Well, the problem is both ebook availability and knowing where in the world to go from here. While this particular book is the first book that author wrote that is set on the Darkover planet, it is chronologically the 3rd in this particular tangent series within the series. I could start with Book 1 in this tangent series, [b:The Bloody Sun|740506|The Bloody Sun (Darkover)|Marion Zimmer Bradley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1228709298s/740506.jpg|1191601] (the 3rd book she actually wrote), but it's not available on Kindle and Book 2 of this tangent series within the series, ([b:The Heritage of Hastur|472778|The Heritage of Hastur (Darkover Series)|Marion Zimmer Bradley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1175044337s/472778.jpg|461050]), is only available on Kindle packaged with another book. Or ... I could start with [b:Darkover Landfall|673158|Darkover Landfall (Darkover, #1)|Marion Zimmer Bradley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1212103566s/673158.jpg|2265576] which is chronologically the first book of the entire series. But, alas, it's not available on Kindle either. So I really don't know where to go from here if I want to start reading the series since none of the obvious starting places are really available. However, the book that the author wrote immediately after writing this one ([b:The Sword of Aldones|740511|The Sword of Aldones (Darkover, #20)|Marion Zimmer Bradley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1228796025s/740511.jpg|1849189]) is available on Kindle. Although I can't say that it looks terribly interesting. Meh. We'll see. I'm not sucked in enough that I can't quit while I'm ahead, but I am still curious.

Hmm ... someone's purchased the rights to turn the series into a television series. That may be easier in the long run that running down all the tangents of the book series.