Tag Archives: Andre Norton

Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part Eight

This is one of the few non-horrible covers.In my opinion, it really blurs the message when you have a theme of “prejudice is bad” and you also have what are essentially orcs. Lura reacts to Beast Thing spoor and presence the way animals do in monster movies, Fors senses something deeply wrong and unnatural about them. They cannot really be reasoned with and we do not really get a sense of them as people. Even when the narrative mentions that the Beast Things are probably descended from foreign soldiers that did not have the sense to get the heck out of Dodge when the cities were bombed, or city dwellers who had been trapped in the cities, we have no sympathy for them. The Beast Things are basically Gollum. (Compare and contrast with Fors encounter with the little lizard people. There is never a moment of doubt that the little guys are sentient people, even when they seem determined to kill Fors.) Continue reading

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Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part Seven

StarMansSon1987GollanczsmallThis time around, let us talk about Dances With Wolves. It is part of a genre where the White Guy partially assimilates and for whatever reason decides to help the culture he assimilated into. See also The Last Samurai. We may or may not have another example in John Carter. So the White Guy steps in to fight the oppression of the Other White Guys who are not as Enlightened as he is. This genre is pretty much a huge turn off for me and I tend to avoid stories with this plot because I am not sure the narrative understands what the hell it is talking about. Continue reading

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Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part Six

starmanssonfakeindiansmallOne of the major reasons I have always liked Daybreak is because of the strong rebuilding theme. A great deal of apocalyptic fiction dwells on the destruction and the complete hopelessness of the situation the characters find themselves in. I find this to be extremely unpleasant, which is why I avoid stories that involve “no win” situations. (In my more depressive moods, I usually state that this is because no-win situations are too much like “real life.”)

Once more returning to the argument with the gentleman concerning my intense dislike for Earth Abides, I was told I had failed to understand the underlying point of the book, which apparently involved how incredibly impossibly hard it would be to restore civilization. I was solemnly enjoined to re-read the book twenty years from now when presumably I would be a little smarter than I was, and therefore better able to understand the deep meaningfulness of not being able to restore civilization. Or something like that.

With Daybreak, the underlying message is “we can rebuild, and we should rebuild, but we also do not want to make the same mistakes the previous civilization made.” This is a lot more interesting to me than, “building a civilization is hard. It is hard and no one understands.” Continue reading

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Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part Two

Fors is not this old. For some reason, I am still surprised by how well this book has aged. There have been several books I have read as a kid that I cannot really enjoy now because issues I didn’t find problematic then or even notice when I was younger became glaringly obvious when I re-read as an adult. (As an example, the Dragonriders of Pern books or anything I have read (and liked) by David Eddings. I tried to read Nor Crystal Tears by Alan Dean Foster a few years back and I couldn’t get more than a chapter in because my tastes and perceptions had changed.) With Daybreak/Star Man’s Son however, I am just as enthused by the book and the character as I was when I was a kid, though as an adult I tend to engage in a lot more “meta” than I had as a kid. Continue reading

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Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part One

This is one of the few non-horrible covers.Daybreak 2250 A.D. (aka Star Man’s Son) is one of the first books I read by Andre Norton. I first read it when I was fifth grade and for some reason, it was in the adult section of the Library. (The novel actually has a “young adult” feel to it, and one of the hard back editions actually has illustrations.) After re-reading it, I found that it had aged very well, even with the “post-apocalyptic neo-barb syntax,” that makes everyone sound like movie-western Indians type “eloquent.” The general message is the importance of cooperation between groups of people and not judging people by how they look. (There is also some commentary about race, presented in a very subtle fashion.) Continue reading

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Book Review: Dark Companion by Andre Norton

Baen 
410 pp.

Dark CompanionI really like that Baen has been reprinting Andre Norton’s works (though there are times when I wonder why they chose the novels they did to combine into each of the omnibuses). This would almost be one of those times, except that I can kind of see the logic since both novels deal with adults (or near adults) who are responsible for the welfare of children in a dangerous situation. Dark Companion is the omnibus edition of Dark Piper and Dread Companion. This is my first time reading both of these books because I generally kept to her Witch World novels with only occasional forays into her science fiction. Continue reading

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