Darkover Landfall was first published in December 1972, by DAW Books, with cover art by Jack Gaughan. It was the seventh Darkover book to be published. In the chronology of the series, this is the first book; it takes place in a time period called The Founding.
A Terran colony ship crash-lands on an uncharted planet far off its original course. The planet is metal poor and has a very hostile environment in terms of dangerous wild life, poisonous or hallucinagenic plants, and a very cold climate. Part of the colony ships inhabitants are keen on colonizing the planet while the other part is desperate to get the ship fixed and find out how to get off the planet and back in touch with the terran empire.
- Rafael MacAran: a colonist aboard the crashed starship, geologist.
- Camilla Del Rey: navigator and first officer of the starship.
- Judith Lovat: dietetist, mates with a chieri.
- Harry Leicester: captain of the starship.
- Ewen Ross: medical doctor on first exploration trip. Heather's fiancée.
- Heather Stuart: microbiologist on first exploration. Ewen's fiancée.
- Marco Zabal: a xenobotanist, in middle thirties.
- Lewis MacLeod: zoologist, veterinary specialist.
- Mr. Moray: the representative of the Earth Expeditionary, a colonist.
- A chieri, mates with Judith Lovat.
- Doctor di Asturien, chief medical officer.
- Laurence Patrick, chief engineer.
- Janice, a colonist and member of the New Hebrides Commune.
- Major Frazer, anthropologist of the starship.
- Margaret Raimondi, nurse.
- Alastair, a colonist of the New Herbrides Commune.
- Fiona MacMorair, a colonist of the New Hebrides Commune.
- Danforth, security officer.
- Marcia Cameron
- Major Layton
- Eloise, a communications officer.
- Alanna, a colonist of the New Hebrides Commune, p. 135: "Alastair's girl".
- Ruth Fontana
- Laura, a colonist.
- Domenick, a colonist, studied geology for work in the Phi Coronis Delta colony.
- Mhari, Rafael and Camilla's youngest daughter, born some 14 years after landfall, fostered to Heather Stuart and Ewen Ross.
- Lori Lovat, Judith Lovat and the chieri's daughter.
- Harry, propably the son of Fiona MacMorair and Captain Leicester, one of the first children born on Darkover, beget during the first Ghost Wind.
- Alanna, one of the smaller children.
- several trailmen in the woods.
Characters only mentioned, not actually appearing in the story
- Jenny MacAran, Rafael MacAran's only sister, died in the ship crash.
- The Third Officer, died 20 minutes after the impact of the crash.
- Seven children of Camilla Del Rey who had survived the terrible famine winter, two eldest and two youngest (youngest being Mhari) of them Rafael's, the three middle ones fathered by Ewen Ross, Lewis MacLeod and one other, unknown to even Camilla herself.
- Seven children of Heather Stuart, only one of which had lived more than a month after birth.
- Children of Rafael by three other women.
- Bradley, Marion Zimmer. Darkover Landfall. New York, N.Y.: DAW Books, 1972. t.p. verso.
- Bradley, Marion Zimmer. "A Darkover Retrospective" in The Planet Savers [and] The Sword of Aldones. New York, New York: Ace, 1980. p. 307.