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Reviews in Project: 50 Nortons in 50 Weeks (50)

Crosstime Adventure

Crossroads of Time  (Crosstime, book 1)

By Andre Norton  

10 Jan, 2015

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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1956’s Crossroads of Time is in many respects another straightforward, serviceable little adventure novel that I would have found unremarkable except for an interesting choice of protagonist and a date of publication that makes the previous even more interesting. These two points cause me to stroke my beard in a thoughtful manner, which I believe makes me look intellectual rather than itchy.

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Before the fall

Star Guard  (Central Control, book 2)

By Andre Norton  

2 Jan, 2015

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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1955’s Star Guard is a prequel to Star Rangers. Although this book is set thousands of years before Star Rangers, Star Guards galaxy is ruled by the same Central Control that is in the process of falling apart in Star Rangers. The difference is that Star Guards Central Control is dominated by the galaxy’s elder races and humans are an ill-regarded junior race. Humans struggling for freedom in a galaxy set against them is a familiar story, but Norton provides a fascinating, if very dark, twist by placing this in the same universe as Star Rangers.

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Introducing the Solar Queen

Sargasso of Space  (Solar Queen, book 1)

By Andre Norton  

27 Dec, 2014

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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1955’s Sargasso of Space, which Norton originally published under the pen name Andrew North, is memorable because it is the first of the Solar Queen novels. These form a seven-book series1 about Dale Thorson and his fellow Free Traders, who ply their trade between the stars and scrabble for a living despite the fact the game is rigged against them. 

The book is notable for me because it just so happens that I caused the text of the 2003 omnibus to be very slightly amended, a story I will tell later on. 

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Imperial collapse, as seen from the bottom 

Star Rangers  (Central Control, book 1)

By Andre Norton  

12 Dec, 2014

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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1953’s The Star Rangers takes us to a First Galactic Empire three thousand years old, just past the point where slow decline becomes rapid collapse. Central Control is no longer so central or so in control but the Patrol remains loyal to its former master. This makes the Patrol an impediment to Imperial functionaries trying to transition from regional bureaucrat to local warlord and so the Vegan registry Patrol ship Starfire finds itself ordered to chart uncharted worlds, a long term exploration mission whose real purpose is to keep the men of the Starfire occupied long enough to be killed in the course of their duties. 

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Classic Norton

Daybreak — 2250 A.D.

By Andre Norton  

5 Dec, 2014

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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Originally published as Starman’s Son, 2250 A.D., Norton’s first science fiction novel has been also titled Daybreak — 2250 A.D. (the version I have) and Starman’s Son. Ace seems to have preferred the Daybreak variant and I think it is because they were worried readers might be misled by the title. This is not a world where young men [1] find their destinies between the stars. It is one where they struggle to find a better way of life on the radioactive ruins of Earth.

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The 50 Nortons in 50 Weeks Begins

Huon of the Horn

By Andre Norton  

21 Nov, 2014

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks

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When I picked up Andre Norton’s 1951 novel, Huon of the Horn, I was expecting a standard fantasy. What I got has a lot more in common with Poul Anderson’s Hrolf Kraki’s Saga,which is also a modern presentation of a centuries-old work. This discovery casts a lot of light on some of the peculiarities of the Witch World series now that I know one of the sources that inspired that series.

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