Talk:Marion Zimmer Bradley

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recent discussion of abuse allegations[edit]

Thank you NeilN for your comment below. My revised comment: Previous talk page discussion, including recent comments by MZB's daughter on several matters, are currently archived and accessible via the archive link on this page. Arguably the most significant discussion there comes from several years ago, and debated whether or not to continue including allegations based on legal testimony/cases that apparently implicate MZB in complicity with crimes against minors. A pretty good sense of what this entails can be gathered from the current version of the entry on MZB's husband Walter H. Breen. Both of these individuals are now deceased. I believe that some discussion of these matters, which became in the 1960s and in some ways remain to this day a shattering controversy in the world of organized science fiction and fantasy fandom (search terms "breen boondoggle" "breendoggle"), belongs in the MZB article as well. Praghmatic (talk) 02:37, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

The talk page wasn't deleted but archived - you can access it by clicking the "1" in the archive box. This is usually done when conversations are no longer active. Most of the conversations were last active 5-7 years ago. The single conversation active this year was last posted to over a month ago. I don't recommend bringing these old conversation back, but if you must, copy them from the archive to here and then delete them from the archive, leaving edit summaries indicating what you are doing. That way, we don't have duplicate copies. --NeilN talk to me 04:55, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
@Praghmatic: In order to discuss changes to the article, there needs to be reliable sources that cover potential content. A cursory search reveals only blogs/tweets. Do you have anything that is of higher-quality? --NeilN talk to me 02:46, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
@NeilN: This is the main source for the recent accusations. The author of the post knows Moira Greyland, MZB's daughter. Supposedly, Greyland sent the author an email from her personal address, and Greyland is active in the comments section of this article. In absence of any conflicting evidence, I believe there's sufficient reason to believe the article is legit and, therefore, the article should be given the same importance as one authored by Greyland herself. The depositions (posted in 2000) can be read as further support of Greyland's claims, but inferences are not ironclad. Corax rarus (talk) 04:16, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
A blog is not a reliable source. The fact that you (an editor with exactly one edit) tell us that the blogger knows Moira Greyland, and that the blogger "supposedly" received the email directly from Moira Greyland is not going to make the blog reliable. As for your statement that Greyland has been active on this talk page, we don't know that. An editor who claimed to be Moira Greyland made exactly one edit to this page, and never responded when the edit was removed and a polite, detailed message was left on her talk page explaining why. I'll leave instructions on her talk page on how to go about proving her identity if she wants to edit under her own name. Meters (talk) 04:58, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
"The fact that you (an editor with exactly one edit) tell us..." is a poor argument (although apt given the argument over MZB's works). And I'm not referring to the Talk page. Anyhow, how reliable of a source is Moira Greyland's public Facebook page? It's connected to Greyland's official website (, and it's "official" (just as Twitter celebrities are "official"). I'm not sure if everyone can see her June 12 post, but she verifies that the article is legitimate. Corax rarus (talk) 05:41, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
These kinds of things need to be reported on by high-quality secondary sources before they make it into the article. --NeilN talk to me 13:38, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
I was surprised at the lack of inclusion in this article, but then I did a search and discovered the lack of reliable sources. Perhaps sometimes soon this will be picked up by a serious news outlet. However, her contributions to Breen's writings are known and perhaps are noteworthy. (talk) 17:54, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
The library and publishing news site Teleread has reported on the controversy. Is this considered a reliable news source? Artemis-Arethusa (talk) 01:13, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Any secondary source is going to be relying on this publicly-available primary source (Greyland's verified/official Facebook). As for reliable sourcing, MZB is deceased so that restriction does not apply. Could we mention it as "Greyland claims..." which then leaves us with WP:SELFSOURCE? I don't see which of the 5 SELFSOURCE rules it would violate (MZB is not a third party, this would not be an "exceptional" claim, etc) Corax rarus (talk) 17:28, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
In this situation, it would be considered an exceptional claim. Mike VTalk 22:56, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Meters, thank you for leaving Moira the information on how to prove her identity; I'm helping her with that. (I've known her since our teens.) (edited to add signature) Zentomologist (talk) 04:25, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
These allegations have been circulated within the SciFi/Fantasy communities for years (as well as within the court case), so I jumped to thinking that this wasn't that extraordinary. However, I see how this could be a conflict of interest and/or out of character if someone is not familiar with MZB's history (her deposition was considered very out of character when it first went public).
Zentomologist: If this is the case, I'm not too sure that proving Moira's identity as the Wikipedia editor will help, since she's still the author of the primary source and the potential issues for exceptional claims would still be present. Corax rarus (talk) 06:43, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
The question I have is the following: If no "reliable source" picks this up, does that mean there is no chance this information will be added to the Wikipedia page? What is actually in dispute? If you look at Moira Greyland's comments on this Facebook post she confirms that she sent the E-Mail to Deidre and is the one who comments on Deidre's posts. So there is no doubt the allegations of child abuse against MZB come directly from her. Are you saying that her allegations alone are not credible enough to be included in the page? How would this be changed by a "reliable source" documenting her allegations? Sirana (talk) 08:48, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
OK, the Guardian picked it up. This should be enough to include it in the page by any standard. Sirana (talk) 08:57, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 June 2014[edit]

The "Last Whole Earth Catalog", August 1972 edition, page 218, contains a letter from MZB about the possible dangers of home birth without access to professional medical assistance; it describes the near-disastrous birth of her third child. (talk) 11:52, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 13:05, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Son's Request for Privacy[edit]

Patrick Breen would like his current name to NOT be linked to his birth name on his mother's wikipedia page. I have done that on the current page; if there's a way to remove it from the older copies, could an admin do that? I hope his privacy can be both respected and protected. Zentomologist (talk) 23:27, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Update 27 June 2014: Mark Greyland (previously Patrick Breen) has given permission for his current name to be used. Zentomologist (talk) 11:19, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Religion section[edit]

Bradley was a powerful influence on Neo-paganism, yet there was only a passing mention with none of her actual accomplishments listed. I've listed several of them with citations (and ran it past her daughter first, to make sure I wasn't putting up anything the family had requested not be posted). Zentomologist (talk) 04:18, 23 June 2014 (UTC)


The noted critic Damon Knight has written[22] "Her work is distinctively feminine in tone, but lacks the clichés, overemphasis and other kittenish tricks which often make female fiction unreadable by males."

Good God, but this is sexist. Really, Wikipedia? This needs to be in the article?

Imagine substituting a race for a gender in that quote: "His work...lacks the cliches, overemphasis and other tricks which often make black fiction unreadable by whites."


I agree. What a horribly insulting quote to use in an otherwise balanced article. (talk) 20:36, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
The way I interpreted that quote was "She was such a good writer that she managed to break through and make a name for herself even in the face of overtly sexist book critics." [I have no personal opinion on her writing, never read it.] I didn't think Wikipedia was endorsing Damon Knight's perspective, but rather showing a sample of critics at the time.

Allegations of abuse in the lead[edit]

The reference to the allegations of sexual abuse has been removed from the lead by Sandstein. The reason given was "Considering that these accusations have just been made, they are not yet a prominent enough part of her bio to be mentioned in the lead." I disagree with this. I think it is important that such controversial developments are reflected in the lead and I have not found anything in the Manual of Style (Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section#Biographies_of_living_persons -I am aware that MZB is not alive any more, but it is the most closely fitting section-) that something should be kept out of the lead, because it is too current. Also it should be noted that the allegations have been published on June 10, even if they have only been picked up by the Guardion on June, 27. If you believe the allegation should be kept out of the lead I would like you to post your criteria of when/under what condition they should be included. Thank you for your input. Sirana (talk) 16:24, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the ping. This isn't a BLP issue, as the subject is dead. Per MOS:LEAD, "The lead ... should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. ... The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources." The abuse allegations are a prominent controversy, but they are based on a single blog post a day or so old. This means that they can't be seen by reliable sources to be as significant as the whole rest of Zimmer Bradley's biography put together - but that's how the lead would have appeared, judging by the length of the text added. Moreover, the lead is supposed to be a summary, but the text added would have been as long or longer than what is in the main article about the allegations. In brief, the text I removed from the lead would have given the issue undue weight within the lead, and would have looked like WP:RECENTISM. I imagine that if the issue keeps receiving coverage in mainstream media, a brief mention in a (somewhat expanded) lead would be appropriate.  Sandstein  17:31, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia should be very careful about including something "based on a single blog post a day or so old" in the article at all. We aren't news media. Jonathunder (talk) 17:52, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the swift reply and clarification, Sandstein. If there is more coverage about this I will expand the part about the allegations in the biography and add a summery in an expanded lead, if that is warranted. I would wish to add that this is not "based on a single blog post a day or so old". The Guardian article that is referenced is not only based on the blogpost (which was written on June 10) but also on comments Moira Greyland has made directly to the Guardian and the story has since been reported by the Washington Post. as well.Sirana (talk) 19:21, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Your Washington Post link takes us to a piece by Alyssa Rosenberg who "blogs about pop culture for The Washington Post's Opinions section" as indicated there. It's an essay, not a news article. Jonathunder (talk) 19:31, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

It's been covered in the Guardian, the WashPo, Bild and a number of fantasy/sci-fi publications. Given the fact that she is dead, I'm not sure how much more attention any fact about her could possibly get. As others have expressed, it's unlikely that this controversy is ever going to get a fair and complete hearing. Nevertheless, it's clearly of signal importance to understanding her life and placing her work into context -- and many of the facts, such as her testimony in court and her ex-husbands convictions, are indisputable. Nathan T 23:51, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


Nothing is said here of the frequent criticism that MZB, especially in later Darkover works, seemed to excessively dwell on male homoerotic encounters. I haven't read up on her stuff in ages, but I recall this being a big "why we're not reading 'Darkover' any more" issue among fans in the late 80s, early 90s.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:22, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

If you are suggesting that it be added, it will need to be reliably sourced or it will just be POV or OR. I doubt that it was a big enough deal to have been covered in anything that would qualify as a reliable source. Meters (talk) 02:22, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

I don't know how to indicate this in a citation, but footnote #18 ("Marion Zimmer Bradley In Her Own Words") leads to a dead link.

The Stephen Goldin site has been mirrored at - I'll update links in the article. Argyriou (talk) 18:43, 27 July 2015 (UTC)


For split. It needs to be redirected to its special bibliography page.The Mad Hatter (talk)

  • Oppose. Readable prose size of page is 19 kB, far below the 50 kB line that WP:SPLIT even begins to consider too big, and I don't see any justification for a WP:FORK based on content. —swpbT 18:34, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It would be preferable to make the bibliography less than complete; an overview of works is an important part of articles on writers and other creative artists, and it is preferable to have that overview within the biography to set what is said elsewhere in context, but if the length is excessive there is no reason for us to list every last thing a writer published, especially if we have articles on series to link to. However in this case, I see no reason to doubt swpb's statement that the article is not too long per the standards established by consensus, so there is no clear reason to reduce it that way either. Yngvadottir (talk) 10:06, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose Would the proposer of the split care to actually give a reason for the split? "It needs to be" is not even close to a reasonable rationale. It's not large enough to need to be split, and the bibliography is a key part of an article about an author. Meters (talk) 17:07, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Weak support: Often, authors with extensive works have a better quality biography if the bibliography is split off. At least, perhaps have this put into a chart format or have proper, full citations. Montanabw(talk) 21:23, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose: The bibliography is long enough to justify a separate page: I looked at a "random sampling" of 20 author bibliography pages (from "Bibliographies by writer", E's and F's) -- exactly half of them were shorter than Bradley's and half were longer. But that alone is not really enough to justify a split if the rest of the page is (as swpb says) less than half of the recommended "split" size. Darrah (talk) 12:45, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    • Comment: Usually it isn't a question of the article's size, it's a question of flow and readability. Also, how long the published works list is, which in this case is very long. But I think that it is also best to maybe focus on improving the article itself. Montanabw(talk) 02:23, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment: What is the problem of keeping full Categories of Fantasy and Sci-fi bibliographies, when so many authors, really need split pages and respected Darrah said many are half that big and half that small? As a librarian and information scientist, I believe that bibliographies should be divided if too big and really author is young or not that productive through his life-time. Kindest regards guys: The Mad Hatter (talk)
  • Oppose at present: there is no point in splitting the list of titles into its own low-quality article with no sources and no added value. The main article would still need information about her output. I suggest the OP and any other interested editors start improving the current article to the point where a split would offer clear benefits and result in two high-quality articles. The main article needs extra well-sourced prose content covering things like an overview of each series, evolution of writing style, character development and portrayal, critical responses, ... The list would need sources (which databases were consulted to prepare the list, at a minimum), publishing history, ISBNs, details of cover art where available, a tabulation of information about each book (as we already have in List of Darkover books for that series), ... . --Mirokado (talk) 23:27, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Support I think the section on the bibliography can have it's own section with a basic introduction here and a link to the list of works.--Taeyebaar (talk) 00:09, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment There are enough bibliography-sites like Sci Fan and Fantastic Fiction that provide good cover for much of the novels and the respected article can be turned a bit smaller and more readable in size than the current mash up and it can also lighten-up the article and put further motion into editing the main bibliography-page further. The Mad Hatter (talk)

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