Marion Zimmer Bradley
Writes a mixture of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Most of her novels are set in the sci-fi Darkover universe, which she created. Sadly died during 1999.
The planet Darkover was originally a human colony that lost contact with Earth. The colonists crossbred with Aliens, already on the planet, which their children inherited the ability of"Laran". Those with strong ability are marked by having red hair. The ability can be amplified by using Matrix stones, which are blue jewels. Once the Terran Empire rediscover Darkover it becomes important as a stopover point for Terran Starships travelling the Empire. An epic series that covers the discovery of Darkover, by the colonists, to the destruction by the Terran Empire.
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Paul Farris 1997