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March 18, 2005

Andre Norton

From the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune:

Science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton, who wrote the popular "Witch World" series, has died. She was 93.

Her death was announced by friend Jean Rabe, who said Norton died Thursday of congestive heart failure at her home in Murfreesboro, a Nashville suburb.

Norton requested before her death that she not have a funeral service, but instead asked to be cremated along with a copy of her first and last novels.

Born Alice Mary Norton on Feb. 17, 1912, in Cleveland, she wrote more than 130 books in many genres during her career of nearly 70 years. She used a pen name - which she made her legal name in 1934 - because she expected to be writing mostly for young boys and thought a male name would help sales.

In all honesty, I thought she'd already died. I'd read a ton of her books, and found them fascinating. I just finished reading “The Zero Stone” to my kids a few months ago. I never cared much for her fantasy books, but enjoyed the Science Fiction, as well as her first novel “The Prince Commands”. I avidly devoured every one of her books that wasn't obviously fantasy, during my high school years. She did have a tendency to be a touch dark, in the sense that there always seemed to be this depressing gloom that drifted through her books, but she still took creative ideas and worked great stories out of them.

I still remember curling up with “Breed to Come” (which she dedicated to her cats), while suffering from what I thought was a seriously, bad cold, high up in the Colorado Rockies. (I later found out it was altitude sickness). A fascinating book, although I wished it had ended differently.

While maybe not as creative as her other books (that I've read), I believe my favorite (which I still have a copy of) is “The Last Planet”, but then I always was a sucker for a happy ending.

Hat tip: Dean's World

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 18, 2005 11:08 AM

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