Review: The Colors of Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Hiya, Happy Readers!

This is going to be a quick review. I actually finished ‘listening’ to a good book (free on YouTube) yesterday, and wanted to share it with you all.

Before I get into it, though, I have to address something about this author (that some of you may know). The person who wrote this story is accused of some horrible things. Things that I believe. I actually had forgotten who she was when I started listening to this one. In fact, I didn’t remember it until I started to write this review. The book had been a ‘to read’ in my queue for many many years (probably before I ever heard the story to begin with), and it recently rose to the top of the pile based on a ranking order I came up with that included the length of time I’d had it on the list. Now, if I had remembered the bad stuff about her beforehand, I probably would have dropped it on principle. However, it was a ‘book of opportunity’ that I found in a random YouTube search for a free audiobook to listen to while I did some monotonous keyboard-monkey stuff. So, regarding the author’s issues, I am not addressing that here. I am talking about this book.

Writing is writing. You can write well and be a bad person. Such is life. In this case, the book is in the public domain, and the author is deceased, so I don’t feel I’m contributing to anything other than the sharing of a good story. And it was a good story. I will not, however, be spreading this review to my normal social media channels. It’s for me, to remember what I’ve read and how I felt about it, and those Happy Readers who decided to sign up for the email list to this blog.

Now, enough of that junk… on to the book review!

Goodreads Blurb

It was a week before the Lhari ship went into warp-drive, and all that time young Bart Steele had stayed in his cabin. He was so bored with his own company that the Mentorian medic was a welcome sight when he came to prepare him for cold-sleep.

The Mentorian paused, needle in hand. “Do you wish to be wakened for the time we shall spend in each of the three star systems, sir? You can, of course, be given enough drug to keep you in cold-sleep until we reach your destination.”

Bart felt tempted — he wanted very much to see the other star systems. But he couldn’t risk meeting other passengers.

The needle went into his arm. In sudden panic, he realized he was helpless. The ship would touch down on three worlds, and on any of them the Lhari might have his description, or his alias! He could be taken off, unconscious, and might never wake up! He tried to move, to protest, but he couldn’t. There was a freezing moment of intense cold and then nothing.

1st Published in 1963

1989 Cover Published by Lightning

My Review (non-spoiler)

A classic sci-fi book that still holds up well today. It is not hard science fiction, so there’s not a lot of retrograde tech to clash with today’s. The theme of color is well done throughout. The characters are well developed and the prose is descriptive without too much floweriness to weigh it down. I don’t want to spoil it with an in depth review, so you should go listen/read it for yourself.

Instead, here’s a summary…

Aliens that hold (or withhold) the keys to faster-than-light space travel keep it hidden from humans do with a deathly zeal. One young man is pulled into the intrigue of finding out their secrets by the disappearance of his father. What he finds in his search for humanity’s next step forward is a surprise of understanding that may take them even further… if he can get away with it.

There are tropes & underlying messages, but good ones. I recommend this retro-read, and give it 3.5 our of 5 stars.

Oh, and you can listen to a very well read free version of it on YouTube right here.

It is also free on Project Gutenberg here.

It’s a short review, but very easy access for you Happy Readers if you want to try it yourself!

Until next blog…

Happy Reading!

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If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.


Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver (short story)

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Null Gravitas (short story)

New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.

Escaping Aurora (novella)

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


Oh, and check out these Corner Scribblers anthologies. I have stories in them all! Here are some links!