Posts Tagged ‘andre norton’
When I was a kid and cable tv was shiny and new, The Banana Splits played on a station from Fort Worth, Texas every afternoon at 4pm. Among the songs, skits and cartoons was an adventure serial called Danger Island. I would rush to get my homework done so I wouldn’t miss an episode.
(The ‘Bit’s version of the adventure serial is an imported anime called “Bleach“. Similar format, but with Tivo we record the program so she doesn’t panic if she misses an episode.)
This is not anything new. Books and magazines were often printed as serials with the readers left on a cliffhanger after each installment. Many radio shows were done this way as well.
A couple of weeks ago I found the ultimate online serial. Or rather, online serial service. Daily Lit is a free online reading service where you can get a few minutes of a novel in your email every day. They have different excerpt sizes so you can tailor the service to your time needs. I gave it a try and I really like it. The reading is easy to fit into a busy day and if I miss checking email for a day or two the reading amount is still small enough for me to handle. I am reading Norton’s Time Traders, but they have many genres of books available.
Checking out the site, they also have a blog, writing contests and other offers like a free poem a day. They also have a paid subscription service for newer releases but I haven’t tested it.
While I am working on a book review (one line at time – sigh) I thought I would throw in a couple of recs. These are slightly older to “whoa, I wasn’t even born yet older” titles some of you might have missed. (Hey, I somehow missed all of Eddings‘ Belgariad books so it does happen.)
The Fall of Ile Rien by Martha Wells
The Wizard Hunters – This book has one of the best opening lines – ever- and introduces one of my favorite heroines, Tremaine Valiarde. The bad guys are invading so Tremaine sets off to save her world, gathering help along the way.
The Ships of Air – In which Tremaine gets a ship, something to wear other than tweed, and our band of would-be heroes sail the high seas and fight a very evil and creepy nemesis.
The Gate of the Gods – Spies, intrigue, secret plots abound as Tremaine’s dad Nicholas enters the fray. So to speak. There are lost cities to explore, gates to other worlds to unlock and the end game to er…play.
These books are actually more serious than I have described them and very well written. Wells weaves elements of fantasy, science fiction and steampunk together to tell a great story.
The Beastmaster Series by Andre Norton
The Beastmaster - Hosteen Storm, Navajo commando, has left earth after it was destroyed in a war with aliens and has found a planet to settle down on. Along with his genetically altered and enhanced animal buds, he finds work, makes friends with the natives and contemplates revenge. There are alien discoveries, telepathic bonds and horses. It is impossible to convey how cool this book was (to my pre-teen self) and still is today.
Lord of Thunder – Continuing adventures of Storm, his animal buds and his newly discovered brother. A ship has crashed wayyyy back in the mountains, deep in native territory and Storm treks off (hopefully) to find the survivor. Lots of alien ruins and native tensions. Metaphor and allegory hitch a ride. Even cooler than the first book.
These books were written in the late ’50s and early ’60s but they hold up very well. (and are nothing like the “we couldn’t even bother to get a guy with dark hair, much less a Native to play the Beastmaster” movie or the tv series) Several decades later Norton wrote some sequels with another writer, Lyn McConchie but since I haven’t read them I can’t offer an opinion. The original two books are excellent. Oh, did I mention the meer-cats?
You can find the Fall of Ile Rien Trilogy in bookstores, on Amazon and from any of the booksellers linked on Martha’s blog. Martha also has chapter excerpts from most of her books on her website so you can preview the books.
Some Andre Norton books can be found at the major booksellers but you may need to order the two original Beastmaster stories from Amazon or another online retailer.