Visions of Paradise

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Andre Norton

Many lifelong readers of science fiction entered the genre through one of several authors, such as Robert A. Heinlein or Andre Norton. In my case, I sequed from Tom Swift Jr. books right to Galaxy and Worlds of IF magazines. I became acquainted with Heinlein since he was publishing his 1960 novels in IF, including Podkayne of Mars, Farnham’s Freehold and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

But Andre Norton never made the jump to prozines in the 1960s, so I read basically none of her fiction until very recently when I decided to see what I was missing. Recently I began reading Star Born on my e-reader, and my immediate impression is that it is typical of the quality of fiction published in IF in the 1960s. So I wonder why Norton never made the extra money by serializing some of her novels along with the paperback sales.

I know—my first suspicious thought is that she was a woman, but since her pseudonym was male, why would that scare an editor away? My second thought was that she was considered a “young adult” writer, but her fiction was certainly comparable in quality to many of the other serials in IF, such as Poul Anderson’s Three Worlds to Conquer, Keith Laumer & Rosel Brown’s Earthblood, John Brunner’s Altar at Asconel and A. Bertram Chandler’s The Road to the Rim, so that hardly seems a valid reason not to publish her fiction.

Is it possible that she never considered submitting to prozines? I assume she was aware of them, but that may not be true. From my own point of view, that was too bad since I think I would have enjoyed her fiction when I was a teenager more than as a jaded adult. Still, I plan to read some more of her fiction when I finish Star Born, and think I will enjoy them in spite of my age.


  • Norton did make some appearances in the sf magazines such as the Magazine of Fantasy & SF, Fantasy Book and some others.

    Her only appearance in IF that I could find was "Toys of Tamisan" appeared in the Apr. and May 1969 issues.

    Her work was very popular in the Ace Double Books. She left Ace when Donald Wollheim (her editor at Ace) started DAW Books.

    I always considered her one of the more under-rated sf writers of that time.

    By Blogger Jim Black, At 7:46 PM  

  • I believe "Toys of Tamisan" was in Worlds Fantasy, not IF. If my memory is not failing--since I'm too far from home to check this--I think "Wizard's World" was in IF. But those stories were in the very late 60s. why she did not have any sf stories in prozines during the 1950s and bulk of the 1960s, when many other Ace Double authors, such as John Brunner, Poul Anderson, and Robert Silverberg, were double-dipping? Personally, I wish I had discovered her at the same time I was discovering the others.

    By Blogger adamosf, At 1:46 PM  

  • I actually just bought a copy of Star Born and started reading it a couple of days ago. So far I am really enjoying it. This is my first experience with Andre Norton's work, I'm sad to say, but if it keeps going like this it will not be my last.

    By Blogger Carl V., At 5:19 AM  

  • I'm back home, Jim, and you were right about "Toys of Tamisan" appearing in IF, in addition to "Wizard's World." "Long Live Lord Kor!" was the short novel that appeared in WORLDS OF FANTASY. But they were all late 60s. Norton did not have a single appearance in the prozines from the mid-50s until the late 60s. Too bad.

    By Blogger adamosf, At 1:31 PM  

  • She was sadly definitely very underrated:(

    Andre Norton biography and bibliography

    By Blogger A Question Of ITIL, At 1:44 AM  

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