Monday, April 6, 2015

Leslie Fish on "Compensation" in GIFTS OF DARKOVER

On a wondrous planet of telepaths and swordsmen, nonhumans and ancient mysteries, a
technologically advanced, star-faring civilization comes into inevitable conflict with one that has pursued psychic gifts and turned away from weapons of mass destruction. Darkover offers many gifts, asked for and unexpected. Those who come here, ignorant of what they will find, discover gifts outside themselves and within themselves. The door to magic swings both ways, however, and many a visitor leaves the people he encounters equally transformed.

Gifts of Darkover will be released May 5, 2015, and is now available for pre-order.

Here Leslie Fish chats with editor Deborah J. Ross about "Compensation."

Tell us about your introduction to Darkover.
I first ran into Darkover on the paperback book-racks of a general school-supply store.  It was the Ace double edition of The Sword of Aldones and The Planet Savers. I read them both in less than a week, and I was hooked for life.

What about the world drew you in?
The fascinating ecology, the number of intelligent species, the politics of a semi-telepathic society, and the characters.  I was already a SciFi fan, and this was excellent SciFi -- red meat!

What do you see as the future of Darkover?
More exploration of the interactions of the various intelligent species, more political entanglements internally and with the rest of the galaxy, and further elaborations of the environment.

Is there another story you would particularly like to write?
I'm working on it already.

What inspired your story in Gifts of Darkover?
Would you believe, our local small-town library?  The number and extent of books in even a little library is astonishing.  You could probably re-create a whole society from the knowledge contained in one American library.

Tell us about your story in Gifts of Darkover.
I got to considering the effect of literacy on the mind, how it leads to precise, logical, and critical thinking.  I recalled that most Darkovans, at least before the Terran Re-Contact, were illiterate;  most of their record-keeping was done in the Towers, by psychic recordings.  How, I wondered, would that difference effect the thought-patterns of Darkovan culture?

What have you written recently?
A few new songs, actually -- and my blog (  My most recent books are a Fantasy/Romance, Of Elven Blood, available on, and a Historical/Romance, For Love of Glory, from Fireship Press.

What lies ahead? 
I'm currently working on a short story for John Carr's continuation of Pournelle's "War World" series, and I'm also collaborating with an old friend, Chris Madsen, on a SciFi/Fantasy novel about the physics of metaphysics.  We're already hunting for an agent to peddle it.

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