Castalia House New Release: THE LAST CLOSET: THE DARK SIDE OF AVALON

Wednesday , 13, December 2017 7 Comments

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a bestselling science fiction author, a feminist icon, and was awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. She was best known for the Arthurian fiction novel THE MISTS OF AVALON and for her very popular Darkover series.

She was also a monster.


THE LAST CLOSET: The Dark Side of Avalon is a brutal tale of a harrowing childhood. It is the true story of predatory adults preying on the innocence of children without shame, guilt, or remorse. It is an eyewitness account of how high-minded utopian intellectuals, unchecked by law, tradition, religion, or morality, can create a literal Hell on Earth.


THE LAST CLOSET is also an inspiring story of survival. It is a powerful testimony to courage, to hope, and to faith. It is the story of Moira Greyland, the only daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and convicted child molester Walter Breen, told in her own words.

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From the Foreword by editor Vox Day:

And then, of course, there was the historical Breendoggle, a fifty-year-old debate among science-fiction fandom concerning whether a child molester, Walter Breen, should have been permitted to attend the science-fiction convention known as Pacificon II or not. Believe it or not, the greater part of fandom at the time was outraged by the committee’s sensible decision to deny Breen permission to attend the 1964 convention; science-fiction fandom continued to cover for the notorious pedophile even after his death in 1993. In “Conspiracy of silence: fandom and Marion Zimmer Bradley”, Martin Wisse wrote:

Why indeed did it take until MZB was dead for her covering for convicted abuser Walter Breen to become public knowledge and not just whispered amongst in the know fans. Why in fact was Breen allowed to remain in fandom, being able to groom new victims? Breen after all was first convicted in 1954, yet could carry out his grooming almost unhindered at sf cons until the late nineties. And when the 1964 Worldcon did ban him, a large part of fandom got very upset at them for doing so.

The fact that fandom had been covering for pedophiles for decades was deeply troubling. And yet, we would soon learn that this wrongness in science fiction ran even deeper than the most cynical critics suspected.

On June 3, 2014, a writer named Deirdre Saorse Moen put up a post protesting the decision of Tor Books to posthumously honor Tor author and World Fantasy Award-winner Marion Zimmer Bradley, on the basis of Bradley’s 1998 testimony given in a legal deposition about her late husband. When Moen was called out by Bradley fans for supposedly misrepresenting Bradley, she reached out to someone she correctly felt would know the truth about the feminist icon: Moira Greyland, the daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen.

Little did Moen know how dark the truth about the famous award-winning feminist was. For when Moira responded a few days later, she confirmed Moen’s statement about Marion Zimmer Bradley knowing all about her pedophile husband’s behavior. However, Moira also added that her famous mother had been a child molester as well, and that in fact, Bradley had been far more violently abusive to both her and her brother than Breen!

I will not say more about the harrowing subject of this book because it is the author’s story to tell, not mine. But I will take this opportunity to say something about the author, whom I have come to admire for her courage, for her faith, and most of all, for her ability to survive an unthinkably brutal upbringing with both her sanity and her sense of humor intact.

7 Comments
  • viktor says:

    Appendix A was the first place I looked to read. It has a typo in the first paragraph. Needs a quotation mark at the end.

    I suspect that a whole lot of cut-n-copy went on, because the formatting in this appendix is terrible.

  • What a book. Can’t put it down. That said, please run it through a spell checker and update the ebook.

  • I’d love to give this book a 5 star review when complete. I would call it an important read that gives so much insight into the culture we live in today. Though at this point I’d take a star off for the editor not taking the care to fix simple issues that a spell check could have caught likewords missing a space or words missing letters “oe”. Is that petty? Maybe if there were only a few such mistakes. I think it amounts to respecting the author’s work enough to at least take care of the basics. Though I am happy there is an avenue to address such criticisms before ensconcing them in an Amazon review of the product itself.

    • Nathan says:

      Castalia House uses an iterative approach to editing. Please make sure you have the most current version updated on your device. If the issues still remain in the newest version, please let us know.

  • Todd Everhart says:

    Thank you for the tip, your concern, and the professionalism of your response.

  • Bianca says:

    Thank you so much for releasing this very, very important book. I’ve bought the eBook and I’ll read it during the holiday.

  • EFT says:

    I just finished it. (and the typoes called out earlier were still in my copy. I’ll try updating in a couple days.)

    I’m posting in the hopes it’s a way to get a message to the author: to say it’s the bravest book I’ve ever read and I respect the author enormously.

    And.. I wonder, since bibliotherapy helped originally, if this particular book might be worth reading for her: FORGIVING & NOT FORGIVING: whiy it’s sometimes better not to forvgive by Jeanne Safer. It’s the least glib book on the subject I’ve ever run across, and covers how long processing (much milder offenses than MG suffered) can take.

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