Bookshelf spotlight: Andre Norton

Lately I have been going wild at second-hand bookshops, fleshing out my SFF library. Some books and authors I have read, some not. Andre Norton is a queen of the SFF genre, so of course she was top of my list of books to hunt down. I’ve collected nine of her Witch World books and am enjoying making my way through them, and have another few of her Fantasy books, but today I thought I’d share the collection of her Science Fiction offerings that I’m managed to put together so far.

First up is Star Man’s Son, a.k.a. Daybreak 2250 AD. There is a linked book, No Night Without Stars that was published 23 years later, but I haven’t found it yet.

Star Man's Son by Andre Norton

The holocaust had ravaged the world 200 years before. Survivors were scattered across the frightening wastelands. Some struggled merely for life… others, like Fors the Star Man’s son, dared the terrifying unknown to recapture the knowledge… the knowledge that could once again destroy them.

Next, I have managed to collect books two and four of her Solar Queen series, and now just need to track down Sargasso of Space (book one) and Voodoo Planet (book three). Since I don’t have book one, I won’t be giving a summary of it for the series.

Postmarked the Stars, and Plague Ship

I have managed to find all four books of her Time Traders series (I’m excluding the ones published 30 years later with other authors). But the first one is in a newer omnibus that contains books one and two, so I’m hoping I’ll find a volume of just Time Traders eventually.

Time Traders, Galactic Derelict, The Defiant Agents and Key Out of Time.

Intelligence agents have discovered that the USA’s greatest adversary is sending its agents back through time! And someone or something unknown to our history is presenting them with technology far beyond our advanced science. We have only one option: create time-transfer technology ourselves, find the opposition’s ancient source… and take it down.

When small-time criminal Ross Murdock and Apache rancher Travis Fox stumble separately onto America’s secret time travel project, their mere presence means that they know too much to go free. But Murdock and Fox have a thirst for adventure, and Operation Retrograde offers that in spades. Both men become time agents, taking the battle to the enemy, from ancient Britain to prehistoric America, and finally to the farthest reaches of interstellar space.

I’ve collected four out of five of the Forerunner series. Alas, book one, Storm over Warlock, is proving to be elusive. So again, no blurb for you.

Ordeal in Otherwhere, Forerunner, Forerunner Foray, and The Second Venture.

Moon of Three Rings is the first book in the Moonsinger series.

Moon of Three Rings

The blurb on the back of the book sounded interesting.

At the time of the Moon of the Three Rings, the galactic trade ship Lydis lands on the planet Yiktor. On Yiktor, Krip Vorlund, a junior crew member, seeks amusement at a beast show. He is strangely attracted to the owner of the show animals, a delicate and mysterious woman, Maelen. When Vorlund is kidnapped by a Combine seeking to control the planet, he learns too well the nature of Maelen’s sorcery; she transforms him into a wolfish creature, in which form he retains his own soul.

But it is the blurb/excerpt just inside the front cover that really caught my attention:

I am, or was, Maelen of the Kontra, Moon Singer, leader of the little ones. I have been other things in the past, and am also now under bonds for a time.

What did we care for lord or Trader in that meeting in a tent at the fair of Yrjar? Neither were more to us than the dust of cities that stifle us with their dirt and greed and clamor, and the drab thoughts of those who will themselves into such confines. But it is not necessary now to speak of the Thassa and their beliefs and customs, only of how my life came to be pushed from one future to another only because I took no care for the acts of men…

I’ve also picked up several standalones. The Iron Breed is an omnibus of two: Iron Cage and Breed to Come. At least, Fantastic Fiction lists these both as standalones, with Breed to Come having been published first. But looking at the blurb, these are at the least two standalones in the same world, if not two linked books.

The Iron Breed

Iron Cage: Johnny has always loved and been protected by the People, the bearlike inhabitants of the planet he calls home. But when a starship arrives carrying Johnny’s original species, humans – humans who seek to exploit the People for their own ends – Johnny is forced to choose between loyalty to the creatures he considers his family, and the need to reconnect with his long lost heritage.

Breed to Come: On a distant future Earth, humans have polluted the planet and departed, leaving their pets behind to inherit a wrecked world. But from that devastated pat, a new breed of intelligence arises: the catlike People. Now humans are returning and the People are in no mood to deal once again with the “demons” who abandoned them to fate so long ago.

The other three standalones really do seem to be standalones.

The Sioux Spaceman, Star Gate, and The Mark of The Cat.

The Sioux Spaceman

Kade Whitehawk had two strikes against him in the Space Service. First, he had bungled his assignment on the planet Lodi. Second, he believed all creatures had a right to freedom and dignity – and having such opinions was strictly against the rules.

But when he was assigned to Klor, he found the Ikkinni there – tortured yet defiant slaves of a vicious tyrant race.

Right then Kade swung at the last pitch. For rules or no rules, The Sioux Spaceman knew that he had to help these strange creatures gain their freedom… and that he alone, because of his Indian blood, had the key to win it for them.

Star Gate

With the passing of the alien Star Lords from Gorth, Kincar of the half-blood is forced to travel through the mysterious Start Gate to escape death at the hands of the native Gorthians.

But on the other side is a greater danger – a parallel Gorth in which brutal Star Lords rule as Gods, terrorising and enslaving the population. How can Kincar save the people from their cruel fate? With his companions from the old world, Kincar sets out to defeat the warped Star Lords in their lowland fortresses. But how little they understand the evil and mystifying forces that await them.

The Mark of the Cat

In the imperiled queendom of Kahulawe the most feared enemy is the sand cat. Ancient enmities divide mankind from those highly intelligent and beautiful animals.

The boy Hynkkel, refusing to take up a trade in arms, is brutally outcast into a desert lands populated by giant rats and scoured by sandstorms that can flay a man in seconds. His chances are small. Until, that is, he is accepted into cat society. Hynkkel’s fate will lead him and his cat companions into adventures that will enmesh them in the affairs of the empire. His choices mean he has chosen a hard path. Or maybe it has chosen him.

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