I remember reading about this. Both Mists of Avalon and the Red Tent by Anita Diamant have scenes of adults raping young girls, presented as "consensual."

I always wondered if there was some sort of Judith Butler, Pat Califia, libfem pedo connection there.

True, there is one disturbing scene beetween a man and a little girl in the mists of Avalon. Its very short, and involves unnamed characters you never hear of again afterwards.

Can’t read it without registering.

I thought it had been known for years that Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband sexually abused their children? I’ve certainly seen it talked about in various places.

Its been known since 2014 apparently. I never visited those spaces. I found out by accident when I foogled her name for some reason, I think.

I think you already know about the information in the article then probably. It must have been talked about mostly in sf/fantasy related places?

This is the first I've heard of any abuse from either her or her husband, but I'm not surprised and I believe the daughter. I wrote this below in response to another poster, but it bears repeating:

There is a disturbing scene in Avalon that takes place during a religious orgy (the orgy itself wasn't disturbing per se when it described consenting adults) but in this scene a young girl, like 7 or 8, opens her legs to accept some grown man having sex with her and it's described as a natural impulse for girls to spread their legs for sex with men. It disturbed me when I read it at like 20 and I knew that was fucked up, he was raping a child and the writer wrote it as if were a natural thing for girls to want. But I did love the rest of the book.

Same here! I read a lot of strange things in fantasy books that somethimes left a bad feeling in me ( ex the whole Drogo and Daenerys relasionship, especially in the beginning, in a song of ice and fire) as a young teenager. Now as an adult I could clearly explain and understand what that feeling of discomfort comes from, but its harder to do that when you are younger. As you, I could read a book, register some disturbing thing in it, but then go on to love the rest of the book. I think in the orgy scene the little girl is described as not wanting it at first until some natural reflex makes her open her legs. Disgusting and sad.

I remember when this news broke on io9. I hadn't realized until then about her husband and that people were starting to edge them out of cons much earlier.

I'm kind-of not really surprised by this sort of thing, given her generation. I've learned to not expect much of older generations and to take their writing in context. (Other e.g.s Simone de Beauvoir engaging in dodgy behaviour with students; rapey material in both Anne McCaffrey and JK Rowling's books; Alice Miller being a terrible parent.) MZB did write some interesting material about female separatism and related issues, and she did provide a platform to a lot of new writers. So, flawed human being. I wonder if she was ever sorry.

I hope the daughter is ok.

[–] LH [OP] 4 points Edited

True, I was very disapointed a well when I found out about Simone de Beauvoir, its more than just dodgy behaviours with students. What rapey material does JK Rowling have in her books? :O ( only read the HP books, is it the love portion thing?)

The love potions, the gang rape of Umbridge by centaurs. I didn't realize about the gang rape until I read this article.

[–] bluff 5 points Edited

The "Umbridge was gang raped by centaurs" thing is such a crock of shit, imo. It only blew up after people wanted to cancel her. I didn't know about the whole rape myth regarding centaurs until everyone tried to villainize her with it, and I'd guess she didn’t know about it either.

I'm surprised users here buy into this lie. What are the chances that a feminist and abuse survivor like Rowling would decide to punish a female character with rape? So stupid.

Also , should she not have physical damages if she was gang-raped by centaurs? Atleast one person has died from having sex with a horse. Horse penises are huge..

What!??? I did not believe you at first. It sounded to far fetched and weird... Then I read the article. Why would she do that? Its like condoning rape as a punishment.

[–] LH [OP] 8 points Edited

I know this is old news, but I first learned of this at the beginning of 2021. Its really shocking. I first read The mists of Avalon at age 12 or 13. I have also reread it, and read other of her works. The Mists of Avalon really made an impression on me, I still think about it from time to time even as an adult.

If anyone else here read her books, what are your thoughts on this? And did you also find out late? Will you buy or reread her works again?

MZB's books were groundbreaking for me, especially the Thendara House books, in part because there was hardly anyone to read back then (we were all reading the rapey leper books because of that). Now I know how Woody Allen fans feel.

I have no interest in rereading any of her books – I kind of got as much as I was going to a long time ago, and her most recent books were pretty awful. If I were going to it would be with caution, but I figure people should read everything with caution regardless.

Do you mean some book series written by Stephen R Donaldson?

Haha, I atleast had a lot to choose from! Althought I did read some of his books as well, the mirror ones.

You are right! This is how it must feel for Woody Allen fans etc.

Its just confusing that something you found meaningful was created by someone who did awful things.

Yep, Donaldson. I remember the mirror ones, too, now that you mention them.

Back in the day, we had MZB, Anne McCaffrey, and ummm . . . . There were other female authors, we just didn't know about them (like Andre Norton). Then MZB mentored a bunch of younger writers so we had them, too.

I think MZB's books were meaningful because she was addressing issues women were facing in the second wave, including issues she was facing herself. IIRC, she left her pedo husband and started a relationship with a woman. So she was a work in progress. I think De Beauvoir was, too (there's a new bio I should check out that goes into that). I don't think anyone can really say that about Woody Allen or Roman Polanski or Bill Cosby or most other creepy men, unfortunately.

I believe the daughter. there is a disturbing scene in Avalon with a religious orgy (that wasn't disturbing per se) but in this scene a young girl, like 7 or 8, opens her legs to accept some grown man having sex with her and it's described as a natural impulse for girls to spread their legs for sex with men. It disturbed me when I read it at like 20 and I knew that was fucked up, but I did love the rest of the book.

Which scene is that? I know i was not a fan of the whole thing where gwynefer gets abducted and raped. Speaking of which i tried to reread Gabaldons outlander and the scene where he beats her up ... I couldn't continue after that...

Right? He no shit beats her with a belt until his arm is too tired to hit her more, and it’s some grand romance because history something something.

it's the pagan orgy scene in the woods where everyone has ritualistic sex. It's been decades since I read it.

I’ve known about this for a while. If I recall correctly she is dead, so buying her books doesn’t financially benefit her. More broadly, I am also a fan of the New School of literary criticism, which says among other things that works mean what they mean to the reader, whether or not that’s the intended meaning of the author. If you find a book valuable, or entertaining, or life-changing, or just a good way to spend a few hours on an airplane, then that’s what that book is to you, independently of any quality of the author’s.

This is the approach the idiots should be taking to the harry potter books, in my opinion. I’ve never seen any of them argue that the books are inherently “transphobic” - just that she is and therefore the books are anathema. Mists of Avalon and Firebrand do not seem to me to present children or sexuality in a problematic light, so I personally have no problem reading them and enjoying them. I think some of her science fiction was a little bit weirder in that regard - I remember reading a book about a girl who could summon storms that were somehow linked to her orgasms and finding it a bit strange, but I haven’t read them enough, or recently enough, to have a clear opinion.

Isnt this the approach Daniel Radcliffe encourages ( trans) people to take regarding the Harry Potter books?


The advice in his letter could also be applied to MZBs work .

I guess my brain does this in regards to The mists of Avalon ( and The firebrand!), to some extent wheter I want it to or not.

Also as you say, she does not make any money from this anymore, but still.

I also don’t fault anybody who can’t bring themselves to enjoy a work if they find out the creator is someone they find loathesome. My point is just that you can defensibly say “the work is the work, and what I find in it is valid and still meaningful, even if the creator is awful/I would never pick it up if I’d known in the first place.”

I liked a couple of Woody Allen movies and just can’t bear to watch them, even pirated when giving him no money.

There may have been other feminist/woman-centered reimagining of the Arthurian cycle and Iliad, but I don’t know of them, and it meant the world to me as a young teen to read these iconic stories, which I’d been exposed to at about 5-6 and which loomed large in my imaginary life, reframed through women’s eyes. I don’t think that would change if she came back from the dead and admitted to being a child molester. If I’d never read them, then I probably would not bother, knowing what I do now, though. It’s complicated.

I read the entire series of 7 Avalon books, knowing about the author and feeling guilty the whole time. I don't think I'll buy or reread her work again, though.

It's the only book i often reread besides Harry Potter, if this is true it's really sad and i don't know how to feel about the book anymore.

I did feel conflicted about posting this as I am not sure I wanted to know this either. But not posting or knowing this does not seem right towards her daughter, as the daughter felt for a long time that she should keep quiet to not destroy her mothers legacy, wich is sad.

I loved that book and have not revisited it since. It would be interesting to see how it feels to read knowing more about the author and her living situation.

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I don't know how to feel about this.

I want to believe the victim, because that's horrific.

But the accused isn't alive to defend herself either.

The father was a pedo and went to jail for it, so the mother could be a co-conspirator, but why not accuse her at that time as well? I don't know.

ETA: This is the first I've heard of this and apparently this has been known for a while? So if she's a creepy pedo, then she should be called out.

Here is the blog that published the mail where MZBs daughter tells her story:


The link is from the article. As you mention, since she is dead she cant defend herself, but sadly these allegations seems true atleast from what I have read online. I feel sorry for her daughter.