|An enormously prolific author, the Albany native Marion Zimmer attended college there from 1946 to 1948. (She eventually received her B.A. from Hardin-Simmons College in 1964). In October, 1949 she married Robert Bradley, changing her name to Marion Zimmer Bradley, a name she kept even after the couple divorced in 1963. Bradley began her science fiction career in 1953 with a short story in Vortex Science Fiction magazine. Her debut novel, FALCONS ON NARABEDLA, was published in 1957. The following year, Bradley wrote the first entry in what was to become one of the best-known--and longest lasting--science fiction series ever. THE PLANET SAVERS introduced readers to the world of Darkover, a forgotten human colony that has been isolated for so long that the inhabitants have developed their own technology, and their genetic structure has altered slightly. This series, which has stretched to more than 20 books by Bradley, has also been used by many other authors as a basis for their own stories. It proved so popular that magazines have been devoted to fan-written stories set in the world. Bradley's own writing has increasingly focused on gender issues--both in the Darkover books and in her many other titles. In 1983's THE MISTS OF AVALONA, a retelling of the legend of King Arthur through the eyes of Morgan Le Fey, Bradley reached the ranks of best-selling authors for the first time. This book also signaled a slight change of focus for Bradley, who branched away from science fiction into fantasy projects, including editing Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, a successful quarterly. The sequels to MISTS..., THE FOREST HOUSE and LADY OF AVALON, were also bestsellers. Bradley has written horror and mystery stories, and is also a musician.