Creator / Andre Norton

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Dont be tricked by the name! She's been a lady all along.

Andre Norton (born Alice Norton) was a particularly prolific Speculative Fiction writer. She was dubbed "Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy" by her biographers, fans, and peers, and has an award comparable to a Nebula for young adult speculative fiction named after her. She published her first novel in 1934 (when she was 21!) and her last posthumously in 2005.

Norton is well-known for her "soft" Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, and Fantasy novels, although she also wrote such things as spy stories, Westerns, and gothic romance. Her most famous works are probably the Witch World series and her Beastmaster novels, the latter of which were later adapted (sort of) to film and a tv series. Her work greatly influenced many modern authors, including Mercedes Lackey and David Weber. A number of female authors were encouraged to write on finding out that Andre was a pen name, and she was a woman.

Her complete bibliography would take up several pages, so here is a very incomplete list:

Series:

Stand-alone works:

Full list here. (Even The Other Wiki had to split the bibliography into a page of its own.)


Tropes commonly found in Norton's novels:

  • Ancient Astronauts: The forerunners, among others.
  • Antlion Monster: In Judgment on Janus. Niall/Ayyar falls into a pit dug by a kalcrok (a large spider-like monster). The kalcrok skillfully fashioned the pit walls to be unclimbable, so after killing it he must crawl though its nest to find an exit.
  • Apocalypse How: Happens to Earth in The Beastmaster.
  • Author Appeal: Cats, cats, cats. And occasionally horses.
  • Changing of the Guard: Her series often start with one character, then move on to their children or other characters.
  • The City Narrows: The Dipple, a refugee camp in the planet Korwar's capital city of Tikil, appears in several novels, e.g. Judgement on Janus, Catseye.
  • Fantastic Racism: Many times. In Star Guard (Xenophon's Anabasis Recycled In Space), for instance, Terrans are looked down on and virtually enslaved as cannon fodder by the humanoid rulers of Central Control, but get along fine with nonhumans such as the Zacathans. There're also scenes in that book where Terran soldiers refer to the humanoids of one planet as "fur faces." In the chronologically later Star Rangers, humans rule Central Control — and many call nonhumans "Bemmies."
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Played straight with the witches of Witch World and the Wyverns of Warlock, then subverted by Simon Tregarth and others.
  • Magical Negro: The depiction of the tribal elders in Voodoo Planet, in the Solar Queen series, is a bit too close for comfort for modern readers, even if their culture is sympathetic in other ways, such as being founded by Africans escaping from a concentration camp.
  • Psychometry: In Forerunner Foray, Ziantha can access an item's psychic abilities, if any, by touching the object she wants to read/contact.
  • The Remnant: The villains in The Beast Master; the spy organization in Catseye may also qualify.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Anyone who travels through a Cool Gate and back may find time very different on either side.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Free Trader ship Solar Queen is described as both "small" and "needle-slim." It's also clearly a rocket shape. But when Norton explains the accommodations on a single deck within that "small" hull, it's clear that to have "needle-slim" proportions at that size, it'd need to be about the height of a Saturn V.
    • Also, in Star Rangers, Terra's whereabouts have been forgotten, and it's said to be far from the centers of galactic civilization. The man who sent the ship on its last mission is in charge of Deneb, approximately 1400 light-years from Sol. But the villain is from the highly civilized Arcturus system, which is ... only 36 light-years away from the forgotten boonies — not all that great a distance when a small scout starship can cover some 1400 in a few years (with exploratory landings along the way).
    • And the ship is "Vegan registry" - Vega is a mere 25 light-years from Earth.
  • Virgin Power: The witches, although several have been shown to keep their power after losing their virginity.
  • Wretched Hive: The Dipple, a barracks for people who can't return to their homes because those have been destroyed or, more often, ceded to the enemy in the aftermath of a major interstellar war. (The name probably derives from D.P.L. for "Displaced Persons Lodging.")
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Quag Keep doesn't have them all meet there, but the viewpoint character and one other do.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Occurs to refugees of various wars and some victims of Cool Gates.

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