Friday, November 18, 2016

Cameloids of Darkover

Darkover was a planet mainly covered by snow and icy glaciers, uninhabitable by humans except for a band around the equator. There was a variety of climates and terrains on that band. That included a small but significant area of desert, the warmest place on Darkover, which was nicknamed the "Dry Towns." In that area, desert animals thrived, and human cultures lived lives similar to Bedouins, nomads, or oasis dwellers. The people of the Dry Towns rode imported horses but also used native creatures similar to camels, you might call them "cameloids." Another reason why Marion Zimmer Bradley invented the Dry Towns was so that she, and later her fan fiction writers, could write tragic stories about the mistreatment of women in tribal cultures. 

This illustration, which I rescued from a fan site since I had no copy of it for myself, shows the main character, a young boy, riding on a cameloid as part of a caravan. He's looking back at us readers and seems to be having a good time. 

Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", October 1986.

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