Andre Norton

Connavar

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Which one Conn? One of the first SF novels I read in my formative years was Star Rangers (aka The Last Planet). Written in 1953 (I've still got my copy), it is a space opera with feelings for the characters. Great for younger readers, which I was at the time. I've read it again in the past decade and I still enjoyed it. It was the story that hooked me, not its inclusion into the SF or the F camp. Sometimes I think we get a little too patriotic about our chosen genres. :rolleyes:
My first was Moon of Three Rings.

It started like an adventure like space story and became much about ideas,humans,cultures,aliens.

Must say i like the first half of the book much more than the second half. The hole space traders that lived,bred,worked in their ships and trading around the galaxy was interesting. Coming to a weird human planet with feudal society .

It lost too much late in the book.
 

Parson

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When I spoke of "degeneration" I was using my taste in literature as the starting point. JD is absolutely correct. I have no taste at all for Fantasy, high or otherwise. One of the hardest books to finish, that I did finish was "the Hobbit." Which is one of the Fantasy Classics. I finally watched the LOTR movies with my son, who loved them. I found them hard to follow with breathtaking scenery and magnificent cinematography. I never identified with any of the characters or the settings. I can only name Gandolf? and Bo Boggins? as characters. And am still creeped out by that little sub human creature who was such a key character in the last book. I can't remember his name. If that doesn't mean I'm not cut out for fantasy, I'm not sure what will.

What I did not mean was to pass judgment on Andre Norton, nor anyone who likes Fantasy. That's a personal taste; as is mine. And economically it makes great sense for an author to shift over the Fantasy side of things. They must out sell real SF by about 50 to 1.
 

Anthony G Williams

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I somehow missed reading much Andre Norton (although I was massively into reading SF in the 1960s). However, one of my favourite stories was one of hers: Judgment on Janus. I read it as a kid and it stuck in my mind so much that I bought a copy decades later, plus the sequel Victory on Janus, and enjoyed them all over again. Great escapism.
 

Beamer

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She was one of the writers I grew up with and even though I have over 100 of her books there are so many of her stories I wish she would have written sequels to. One of my favorites of her juviniles was Star Rangers or The Last Planet (retitle) and it opened up so many possibilities for related stories that it seemed like she never got to. Sad thats she no longer with us.
 

Tom Hering

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I've never read Norton, and her books are absent from most lists of classic SF, so which book would her fans say is her best? Witch World seems to be brought up almost every time her name is mentioned, and Daybreak - 2250 A.D. was the all-time bestseller for Ace Books, at least through 1980 or so (though Ace editor Donald Wollheim credited the classic cover art for that fact).
 
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BAYLOR

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I've never read Norton, and her books are absent from most lists of classic SF, so which book would her fans say is her best? Witch World seems to be brought up almost every time her name is mentioned. And Daybreak: 2250 A.D. was the all-time bestseller for Ace Books, at least through 1980 or so (though Ace editor Donald Wollheim credited the classic cover art for that fact).

I had that exact book. read it twice. (y)
 

Parson

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I also read Daybreak - 2250, an excellent story for the period. But, for me the best Andre Norton is/was "Cats Eye."
 

clovis-man

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Many worthwhile, dare I say great, books by Andre Norton. One of the earliest I read and still a favorite is The Last Planet (Star Rangers). Originally from 1953 under the original title, it's a quintessential space opera.
 

Parson

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Many worthwhile, dare I say great, books by Andre Norton. One of the earliest I read and still a favorite is The Last Planet (Star Rangers). Originally from 1953 under the original title, it's a quintessential space opera.
Yes, a good one indeed. Recently re-read it. Offered free through Kindle.
 

Al Jackson

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When I started reading science fiction in 1953 I quickly discovered Robert Heinlein's young adult novels.
Heinlein was writing one a year I remember my first was Red Planet I was blown away. By 1954 I had read all the way to Star Man Jones there would be nothing else until Star Beast. So I cast about, actually there was a lot of 'adult' SF to read so that was fine. Asimov and Donald A. Wollheim had some 'teenage' SF but it was not really good. Lucky for me I stumbled on Andre Norton. First I read were Star Guard and Star Rangers.
Star Guard is particularly interesting , when humanity is just mastering star flight a galaxy wide civilization restricts the Earth's place to being mercenaries (North really feeds off SF from the 1940s she backgrounds all with an Asimov like historical entry.) Mercenaries are divided into Arch and Mechs , Archs are relegated to primitive weapons and Mechs can use technological one like blasters. The core of Star Guard is Xenophon's Anabasis, a true story from the times of the Greek - Persian wars.
Thing I first noticed about Norton's SF was a Heinlein-like attention to world built lived-in details. Unlike Heinlein Norton has no background in engineering but she sure must of read a lot of SF by about 1950 because she knew how to incorporate the science in an understated way (legacy of John Campbells stable of great writers.)(Norton was also a technophobe , which became evident later.)
Star Rangers also borrows of SF of the 1940s , is a a lost para-military patrol solving a detective story.
These stories are nowhere as good as Heinlein's young adult novels but they are better than Asimov's.
Norton's future fiction as a kind of integrated Future History setting spanning a period of almost 8000 years. The feeling I got from these and other Norton novels was that Heinlein was on the front page and Norton had like page 5!
I re read Star Guard recently , it still reads well, but alas what set my 15 year old brain a-thrill no longer does. The narrative and characterization are a bit clunky. This is not true of Heinlein's 'juvies'
they can be read as an adult.
 

Matteo

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Currently reading Galactic Derelict (Ace F-310) and it's fun.
 

Al Jackson

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Norton had a intriguing series called The Dipple. Cats Eye (1961) Judgment on Janus (1963), Night of Masks (1964), and Forerunner Foray (1973). The Dipple is only a staging area for these four stories , some youngster takes off to another planet from the city called Dipple on the planet Korwar. The Dipple is sort refugee city (on Korwar) with escapees from many war torn worlds.
For me the city of the Dipple was more interesting than the off world adventure that our hero experiences on another world.
Norton had a talent for borrowing technological urban landscapes from mostly Astounding but some from Galaxy magazine. The Dipple is space-opera-on-a-chipped plate. It has a urban-lived-in feel to it. I always enjoyed the first part of these novels more than bigger off planet story.
(It's a bit odd that she writes the Dipple so well when she is obviously pro pastoral and anti city.)
One wishes she had just written a story that took place in the Dipple.
 

Parson

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Ha! I did not know that my all time favorite Andre Norton book Cat's Eye, which I read about 1962 (it was part of the Scholastic Book catalogue that our school supplied to student --- to raise money I know discern) was a part of a series. I shall go and see if they are available.

Edit: Went and checked. It is available and bought the ebook. But there is a a lot of confusion about Andre Norton's series. Exactly which book went in which series was abundantly unclear. ie Judgement on Janus is considered part of the Dipple series in one list, and a part of the Janus series in another. I wonder if Andre didn't originally write them in series but sometimes wrote stories from settings she knew. Her output was so prodigious (probably to earn a living in a niche field) that this rings true to me.
 
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BAYLOR

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Most if not all of her books are out of print .
 

Vince W

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There are a number of them available in e-format at least.
 

Happy Joe

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I am a long time fan of Andre Nortons work.
...Recently sent nearly my entire Norton library to my sister; had most of them memorized...
I have found almost all of Andre Norton's books available as e-books and copies reside on the backup drive and in the e-reader.
One of her hardest to find novels; one of her last and best of her later career, IMO, was "Mark of the Cat; Year of the Rat" the first half was originally published as Mark of the cat then the second half was later added with a few changes to the first book

Of all the Norton books that I have read I still revisit some every few years;
Beastmaster and its sequel Lord of Thunder; later published as an omnibus; Beastmaster's Planet.
Beastmaster's Ark continued (kind of) the storyline.

Cat's eye was an early favorite, and still reads well.
When I hunger for some light Sf or fantasy I often peruse her works.

Enjoy!
 

Al Jackson

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There are a number of them available in e-format at least.
It is sad to go to a retail book store and find no science fiction by good writers who were a bit prolific, like Andre Norton or Paul Anderson, who were good writers.
A quick look on Amazon shows there have been recent republications of their novels ranging back 10 years, but I guess Barnes and Noble does not like stocking too many reprints? I guess one orders these on line as standard procedure these days.
Fantasy out numbers SF in the SF (!) section these days.
(Actually Manga outnumbers SF and Fantasy on the shelves which does past beyond my understanding.)
 
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