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
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:
- Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Diving Lokworm in Uncharted Stars.
- After the End
- All of the Other Reindeer
- 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.
- Badass Native: A'plenty.
- The Beastmaster: The Trope Namer.
- Blind Jump
- Bond Creatures: The Beast Master, one of the earliest examples.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: Free Traders, Murdoc Jern in The Zero Stone and Uncharted Stars, etc.
- Cat Folk
- Changeling Fantasy
- Changing of the Guard: Her series often start with one character, then move on to their children or other characters.
- A Child Shall Lead Them
- 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.
- Color-Coded Wizardry
- Come to Gawk
- Commonality Connection: In Dragon Magic
- Cool Gate
- Darkest Hour
- Derelict Graveyard: In space!
- Dreaming of Times Gone By
- Due to the Dead
- Earth That Was
- The Empire: The Space Adventures of Andre Norton have this.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold
- The Fair Folk: In Here Abide Monsters, and the short story "The Long Night of Waiting".
- 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."
- Feudal Future
- Field Promotion
- Fire-Forged Friends
- Flowery Elizabethan English: Rogue Reynard from beginning to end.
- Functional Magic
- Gender-Restricted Ability: Played straight with the witches of Witch World and the Wyverns of Warlock, then subverted by Simon Tregarth and others.
- Give Me a Sword
- Happily Adopted
- Heir Club for Men
- Hidden Backup Prince: Michael in The Prince Command.
- Home Sweet Home
- I Gave My Word
- I Know Your True Name
- Intelligent Gerbil
- Intrepid Merchant: Her Free Traders, who appear in almost all her science fiction.
- Kill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand
- La Résistance: Specifically, the Dutch Resistance from World War II, in the first and third books of the Sword series.
- Lizard Folk
- Made a Slave
- 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.
- Meaningful Rename
- Needle in a Stack of Needles
- 90% of Your Brain : Chances are, any given protagonist will discover he's got latent Psychic Powers by about half way through the book.
- No One Gets Left Behind
- Our Dragons Are Different: Her Elvenbane series, Dragon Magic, and Quag Keep.
- Our Elves Are Better: Also her Elvenbane series.
- People of Hair Color
- Planet Terra: Most of her science fiction.
- The Power of Love
- Precursors: Possibly the ur-example.
- Psychic Powers
- The Remnant: The villains in The Beast Master; the spy organization in Catseye may also qualify.
- Revenge by Proxy
- 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.
- Space Police
- Species Loyalty: A villainous motivation in Secret of the Lost Race
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: often a result of Rip Van Winkle.
- Switched at Birth
- Talking in Your Dreams
- Thieves' Guild: In space!): generally referred to simply as the Guild.
- Time Travel: Usually to reach neat settings rather than to deal with temporal paradoxes.
- True Companions
- Unicorn: Her Elvenbane series.
- Victory Guided Amnesia
- Virgin Power: The witches, although several have been shown to keep their power after losing their virginity.
- War Refugees: One way to start the story is as one of these.
- 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 Can't Go Home Again: Occurs to refugees of various wars and some victims of Cool Gates.