The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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“The Door Through Space” is a science fiction novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley, first published in 1961. The novel is set in a distant future, where humanity has colonized various planets and established trade routes between them. The story follows the adventures of a Terran agent named Northwest Smith, who is tasked with investigating a mysterious alien race known as the “Lhari.”
The novel is notable for its strong and complex female characters, which was a hallmark of Bradley’s work. The story is told from the perspective of a young woman named Vanye, who accompanies Smith on his mission. Vanye is a member of the “Witch World,” a matriarchal society where women hold all the power and men are relegated to the role of servants and protectors. Despite her upbringing, Vanye is a skilled warrior and proves to be a valuable asset to Smith.
The Lhari, the alien race at the center of the story, are shrouded in mystery and feared by many. They are described as tall, thin, and bird-like, with shimmering, iridescent feathers. They possess advanced technology and are capable of traveling through space using “doors,” which are portals that connect different planets. The Lhari are also rumored to have telepathic abilities, although this is never fully confirmed.
As Smith and Vanye delve deeper into their investigation, they uncover a conspiracy involving the Lhari and a group of humans who seek to exploit their technology for their own gain. Along the way, they encounter a variety of colorful characters, including pirates, smugglers, and assassins. The story culminates in a thrilling showdown between Smith and the conspirators, with Vanye playing a crucial role in the outcome.
“The Door Through Space” is a fast-paced, action-packed novel that blends science fiction with elements of fantasy and adventure. Bradley’s vivid descriptions bring the various planets and cultures to life, creating a rich and immersive world that readers can easily lose themselves in. The novel also tackles themes of power, gender roles, and the dangers of unchecked ambition, making it a thought-provoking read that still resonates with readers today.
Overall, “The Door Through Space” is a classic of science fiction and a must-read for fans of the genre. Bradley’s masterful storytelling and complex characters make this novel a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers decades after its initial publication.