For biographical data forAndre Norton click here.
There are a number of series and sub-series within her work - possibly her best known works are the Witchworld books of which I would recommend the first three as being particularly good. However, personally, I don't like them particularly and have recently been concentrating on collecting the older books that I had read whilst still in school and their sequels or prequels.
These are mostly set in the far distant future where Humanity has spread out to the stars using the standard device of FTL travel (See here for a definition for Faster than Light), though my collection includes her 'Blake Walker' series which consists of the following two books:
which is set in an era that can travel to Parallel Universes, though it's the same year in each reality. Blake Walker has grown up on a World that could very well be ours, but almost certainly not his. When things start going wrong, he gets a strange itch that warns him.
When the Level-Hoppers are at home, they're on Vroom that had been devastated by nuclear war. As Vroom is thought to be the only Level to have developed Level hopping technology, they numbered themselves as the Prime level. All other levels are down, though levels that have not developed human life are not rated as highly as those that have, and those that developed no life at all are rated lowest of all.
Most levels are off-limits to the great majority of Vroom's inhabitants with only a few levels deemed safe enough for holidaying on. The only legal ways of travelling through the levels are if you are a member of the Patrol or a licensed Merchantman who can trade in the worlds' riches. But others exist, those who crave excitement or greater riches than legal trade could supply.
Other books of hers I have include:
The Ross Murdock sequence consists of a number of books charting the career of Ross Murdock and his colleagues from when they first find the remains of alien ships scattered throughout the Earth. These ships contain course tapes and some of them still work, giving Earthmen the stars. These books contain no mention of the Zacathans or any other species in many other of Ms Norton's stories.
But the people of Earth are not at peace and the two power blocs are racing to plant colonies on the newly discovered planets.
The 'Ross Murdock' sequence, sometimes referred to as 'The Time Traders' series consisting of
These are all set in a just slightly future Earth, with the West and Soviet (in later books, this becomes Nationalistic Russian) forces at daggers drawn as each side attempts to make the best use of alien space technology and time travel.
The following books all share a similar background, and not necessarily set in the same universe, though they may just be set in different eras, with the vast sweeps of time accounting for the differences in feel.
This group may be considered to be bookended by the first two books below
Star Guard - part of the 'Central Control' sequence. Also included in this sequence isStar Guard Star Rangers, also published under the title of The Last Planet, as a Tor Double with Alan Nourse's A Man Obsessed (aka The Mercy Men), though many thousands of years separate the two books.
Forerunner - part of the 'Forerunner' Sequence. Perhaps surprisingly, it wasn't the first book in the sequence to have been written though...
The following are often seen as part of the 'Janus' sequence, though the first book should be considered separately to the rest. The main thing these three books have in common is the aftermath of a massive interstellar war which has led to massive numbers of refugees and the blight of the Dipple on the pleasure world of Korwar.
These three books are set in two (or three) distinct locations - the Dipple near to the city of Tikil on the pleasure planet of Korwar and the planet of Janus in a far away sector.
The Dipple is a huge refugee camp housing those who had been made planetless in fighting throughout the galaxy a decade earlier. Those in the Dipple have three legal ways out - lowly employment in the shops that make up Tikil's main business, shipping off-planet as indentured labour; well, you can in theory buy out your contract, but most going this route know it is closer to an even older institution - slavery! But even this can be preferable to the final option - Death.
Death either from the many illnesses that sweep through the crowded tenements that make up the Dipple or the drugs that circulate even more freely.
A fourth way out is to join the Thieves' Guild, but this is as risky in it's way as shipping out.
Hosteen Storm was born on Terra and recruited to the military service of the Confederation when the Xik invaders turned up in Sol's part of the Galaxy. As an Amerindian he was given training as a Beastmaster, one who was paired with modified creatures to act as commando and forward scout.
Unfortunately for Storm, and others of Terra, the Xik invaders reached Sol's system and destroyed Terra itself! Now the Confederacy is faced with a mass of men who need resettlement and whose mental health may be a bit...doubtful shall we say?.
The Hosteen Storm, or Beast Master, Sequence which consists of the books:
The latter three books written in collaboration with Lyn McConchie
Brother of Shadows, a stand alone book.
The Solar Queen is a small free Trader ship that has about a dozen crew and a handful of apprentices. She plies the space lanes running small cargoes for small profits, always looking out for that trade which would make the crew richer than their wildest dreams.
The original series was written in the fifties and sixties. This consists of:
The series was continued in the 1990s:
Due to ill health, the last three books are co-written.
The future that these books are written in is consistent in that the technology is never too different and a number of organisations, the Galactic Patrol and the Thieves Guild; and races, Humanity and Zacathans, occur within most of the books but there is no feeling of a unified sweep of history as you find in, say, Asimov's 'Foundation' series.
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