It's easy to know where I got the idea for MUSIC OF DARKOVER. Deborah J. Ross and I are editing an anthology called STARS OF DARKOVER, to be published in June 2014, and Leslie Fish submitted a 34,000-word story. (It's the story version of the filk song "Horsetamer's Daughter, which runs 12-14 minutes, so I guess the length isn't too surprising, but that's a bit more than a third of an anthology.)
I really liked the story, so I came up with the idea of giving it its own anthology--after all it was a third of a book. And if there was a subject I knew something about after spending two decades in MZB's employ, it was music. Marion was a gifted musician and a great lover of opera--she had box seats at the San Francisco Opera. Then there was the memorable occasion when she was in Germany for the annual Frankfurt Book Fair and somebody invited her to go to the Vienna Staatsopera. She jumped at the chance and made it memorable for the rest of us by not telling us about it. From our point of view, she disappeared in Germany, and then turned up in Austria three anxious days later (anxious for us, that is; she had a great time).
So I started with Leslie's filk song and story, and added a story by India Edghill with an accompanying song by her sister Rosemary, three stories about music from earlier Darkover anthologies, an article by Margaret Davis about working with Marion when Margaret and Kristoph Klover were starting Flowinglass Music, Marion's songs from DARKOVER LANDFALL and the two she wrote herself, filk songs by Cynthia McQuillin, new stories by Raul S. Reyes and Michael Spence, and the traditional short, funny story for the end, which I wound up writing myself.
One amusing this about this project: Marion always said that "filk singing should be done in private by consenting adults." I remarked in one of the introductions that nowadays it seems to be done well after I go to bed at cons. I was at CONduit in Salt Lake City a week before the book came out, and I woke up at 3 a.m. Monday morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and went down to the business center to work. On my way to the elevator I encountered a group of filk singers, who hadn't yet been to bed. For me it was Monday morning; for them I think it was still Sunday night. So I guess filk singing is being done by consenting adults.