Adrienne Martine-Barnes (1942-2015)

Popular Darkover author Adrienne Martine-Barnes died July 20 in Portland, OR.

Born in Los Angeles, she joined LASFS in 1961 at the age of 19. She attended the University of Redlands for a year and UCLA for another. She married Ronald Hicks in 1964 and they had a son before divorcing in 1968.

Larry Niven wrote in “Adrienne and Irish Coffee” (Playgrounds of the Mind) that in the mid 1960s –

I developed a strong preference for Irish coffee. Somewhere in there, I started taking Adrienne Martine to Bergin’s. She too was a novice writer. She says that Bergin’s should have put our names on the wall, for all the Irish coffee we consumed. We may have overdone it. Adrienne developed an allergy to caffeine.

We’d spin stories at each other, then poke holes in the plot lines. Hers were generally fantasy: a heroine in her late teens finds a portal out of an intolerable situation into a world where magic is more powerful…

Soon afterwards she moved to New York and became an agent.

The first King and Queen of the SCA's East Kingdom, from the Bomticc Tapestry.

The first King and Queen of the SCA’s East Kingdom, from the Bomticc Tapestry.

On the East Coast she participated in the recently-formed Society for Creative Anachronism under the name Adrienne of Toledo. In the summer of 1968 she served as first Queen of the East Kingdom – a reign that lasted less than two months:

The seneschal/autocrat appointed Maragorn and Adrienne to be King and Queen so they could preside over the first tourney and first crown lists. However, the tourney was rained out and postponed.

Her special expertise was the life and times of Eleanor of Aquitaine. She was well-known for her knowledge of medieval cooking and costume.

She married Larry Barnes in 1972.

She was a very active costumer. A gallery of her masquerade entries is here.

Adrienne Martine-Barnes at Costume Con 3 in 1985 wearing "Tea Party Gown from Planet Glitzy"

Adrienne Martine-Barnes at Costume Con 3 in 1985 wearing “Tea Party Gown from Planet Glitzy”

In contrast to most fans referenced in the book, Martine-Barnes’ character in the Niven/Pournelle/Flynn novel Fallen Angels used her real name.

Although Niven says in their brainstorming days in the Sixties she never seemed to finish a story in spite of her friends’ encouragement, by the 1980s she had clearly learned the knack. She published five fantasy novels during the decade. The Fire Sword, The Crystal Sword, The Rainbow Sword, and The Sea Sword were notable for “her somewhat off-the-wall interpretations of Celtic and Mediterranean gods” commented the Science Fiction Encyclopedia. She also wrote a stand-alone fantasy The Dragon Rises.

Then in the 1990s she wrote a trilogy of Exile’s Song, The Shadow Matrix, and Traitor’s Sun, set on Marion Zimmer Bradley’s fictional planet of Darkover, which Naomi Fisher says are, “the finest written about that world in decades, and brought new life and fully-realized, sympathetic characters into the series.”

She also co-authored three novels with Diana L. Paxson in the 1990s, a series called the Chronicles of Fionn Mac Cumhal — Master of Earth and Water, The Shield Between the Worlds, and Sword of Fire and Shadow.

In accordance with her request to be near family, she will be buried in Kingman, Indiana.