The Game of Stars and Comets

~ An Omnibus of Novels by Andre Norton


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The Game of Stars and Comets

 

 

 

 Contains ~

  • Eye of the Monster (1972) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-22375-3, $1.25, 135pg ~ cover by unknown
  • The Sioux Spaceman (1966) Published by ACE, PB, # F-408, $0.40, 143pg ~ cover by Edward Valigursky
  • Voorloper (1980) Published by Nelson Doubleday, Book Club Edition, HC, # 3999, $6.95, 214pg ~ cover by W. Studmak, illustrated by Alicia Austin {Black Paper Boards, # K27 on Page 213}
  • The X Factor (1965) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, LCCN 65017992, $3.25, 191pg ~ Cover Richard Powers {Orange Cloth Boards}

 

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Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of the tradepaper ~

A GAME WTH LIFE AND DEATH ODDS...

Four novels of rapid-fire interstellar adventure, set in a common universe, by the Grand Master of the form:

The X Factor - Only Diskan Fentress's mutant powers had a chance of stopping the looting of his new world.

Voorloper - Three those survivors - an embittered wanderer, his son, and a young girl with a healing power - know they have nothing to lose and set out to find the secret of the Shadow Death that blights the planet Voor.

The Eye of the Monster - Rees Naper had survived the onslaught of the alien Ishkurian "crocs," but had to cover miles of jungle and pass through croc armies to reach safety.  To do that, he would have to think like a croc, move like a croc... and see through the eye of the monster.

The Sioux Spaceman - Kade Whitehawk chose to join the battle for Ikkinni freedom, even though that choice made him a renegade to his own people, and would almost certainly mean his death.

 

Write-up from a fan ~

Eye of the Monster ~ This is an odd one, folks--xenophobia to the max. For some reason known only to the plot, Terrans settled a colony on Ishkur where the dominant race is sentient savage and Crocodilian with killer cases of body Odor (and here we thought the Throgs in Storm Over Warlock were bad) Scattered around are trading posts, research stations and mines and a spaceport. Ishkurians (Crocs) even hate the machines that these humans have brought to their planet. However, as long as Terra has troops on the planet, they pretend to get along with the off-worlders. Due to budget cuts, the troops have been removed and a bloodbath ensues.
Rees Naper, and a neighbor boy and a pair of female Salariki (natives of Sargol from Plague Ship) flee for safety in a "roller" and after many trials and tribulations, get away. This is worth reading as she expands on the characteristics of the female Salariki. I wish she had written more about the Lady-cat. ~ PG

The Sioux Spaceman ~ Another mention of Nuclear War. Since the war the Amerindian tribes have flourished. But Humankind, having gone out to Space, has to put up with an obnoxious but very powerful Race called the Styor. They look down on humans and consider them tools or peons. Teams of Terran "traders" can have only one member of any ethnic group at any given time, so when Jon Steele, a Sioux tribesman, is murdered, He is replaced by another Sioux, Kade Whitehawk. This was Kade's last chance as he had gotten in trouble for sympathizing with a native race on Lodi where the Styor ruled with a cruel iron fist. Now assigned to the mixed team on Klor, he wondered why they would put him on another world where the Styor enslaved the native Ikkinni. After a lot of trouble, including someone trying to set up a fatal "accident", Kade decides to help the Ikkinni free themselves from Styor subjugation and he discovers that he is part of a much grander plan. ~ PG

Voorloper ~ An odd-looking word. Voor has a BIG problem. Like Ann McCaffrey's Pern, the first fifty years of colonization went well. Then without warning people in these scattered settlements mysteriously died with the exception of a few children. Dubbed "The Shadow Death, this disaster spared a few children who were born on Voor. Mac Turley s'Ban and his son Bart are Voorlopers which means that they travel all over Voor in a wagon (Treker) pulled by a team of Gars. These Gars resemble a Bison with horns like Texas Longhorn and a unicorn-type horn up front and have more intelligence then most people give them credit for. Bart is one of three survivors of Mungo's Town and is referred to as being Shadow Touched and has no memories of what happened. Mac, having lost his wife to the blight, has made it his purpose in life to find out what causes "Shadow Death". At Ratterslea, an untouched settlement, Bart meets the healer Illo, a shadow touched survivor of Voor's Grove, the planet's first settlement. She insists on traveling with these Voorlopers and Mac lets her come along since no one says no to a healer. A horrendous storm wrecks their Treker, loosed three of their gars and kills Mac. Bart and Illo travel on with three gars and take Mac's body back to the ruins of Mungo's Town to lay him near his wife. He makes discoveries that point him toward the Tangle, a deadly nigh-impenetrable jungle. Could the Shadow Death originate there? IF so, why did it take so long to attack? Illo and Bart, two survivors must attempt the seemingly impossible task of exploring the dreaded Tangle. What do they find? Read it and find out! ~ PG

The X Factor ~ Diskan Fentress, mutant (who doesn't have some mutation after so much space travel) son of a First-In-Scout. His mother died giving him life and his father was off-planet and declared missing and presumed dead and he was raised in the government Creche. As an adult,he was very large and clumsy, but he did possess (He kept it secret)the ability to mentally contact and sometimes control animals. He was assigned heavy labor as he could not be trusted with anything delicate. Then, his father shows up and takes him home to a new family on another planet. Diskan does not fit in on this planet. Everything is soft, pretty, and fragil; all the things that Diskan is not. His frustration drives him to steal one of his father's journey tapes and steal a ship and take off for points unknown. He crash lands on Mimir and barely escapes the ship before it sinks in a mud bog taking all his supplies. He finds an emergency cache and raids it for supplies, He stumbles across a Zacathan archaeologist and his human assistant after first meeting some telepathic native animals and gerrin history lessons via smoke induced dreams. The archaeological survey had been attacked by Jacks who had heard rumors of vast treasure to be found. The natives, the " Brothers-in-Fur" want Diskan to help restore their civilization to its former glory. So he must hide the Archaeologists, fool the Jacks, save his foster brother who has shown up and run off to live with the natives, all of which is much better than going home to face piracy and theft charges. ~ PG

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2009) Published by BAEN, TP, 1-416-59155-9, $14.00, 528pg ~ cover by Bob Eggleton
  • (2009) Published by BAEN, DM, 1-416-59155-9, $6.99, 528pg ~ cover by Bob Eggleton
  • (2010) Published by BAEN, PB, 978-1-439133-72-9, 720pg ~ cover by Bob Eggleton

 

 

View the 1999 BAEN contract

 

 

 

 

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