One of the things I’m most thankful for is that I was raised by two readers, who instilled a lifelong love of reading in me. Growing up my genre of choice was science fiction books, aided along by my dad’s closetful of vintage paperbacks. There were two authors in particular who I returned to again and again: Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton. In particular, I loved Norton’s SF books from the ’50s and ’60s, titles like The Sioux Spaceman, The Crossroads of Time, and my favorite, Sargasso of Space. I’ve got a lot of fond memories of Norton’s writing, and that makes me thoroughly disappointed that I won’t be in Atlanta for DragonCon this weekend, where a new documentary about Norton will be premiering.
Entitled Andre Norton: The Grand Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the documentary will be screening tomorrow night, August 31, for con-goers at Atlanta’s annual DragonCon. The film explores the life of Alice Mary Norton, who began writing under the pen name of Andre Norton (as well as Andrew North) so that she could break into the male-dominated world of science fiction. She published her first novel at the age of 22, and then went on to a long and venerable career, publishing over 130 novels and co-authoring 180 more. She passed away in 2005, at the age of 93.
I’m hoping the documentary will eventually find its way to DVD or Netflix or some other format so that I and other Norton fans can enjoy this look back at her life and stories. In the mean time, I wonder if my dad will let me borrow his old copy of Sargasso of Space…
Some of Norton’s works are available as eBooks from Premier Digital Publishing. You can look at their selections right here. You can find out more about DragonCon at the official website.