Star Gate

~ A Novel by Andre Norton


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Star Gate

 

 

Synopsis ~

 

Write up from the front flap of the 1958 dustjacket ~

With tightly woven action and high suspense, Andre Norton tells a breath-taking story of time levels in a future world inhabited by heroic men and extraordinary animals.
The wise and great Star Lords, who in time past had come to live on the planet Gorth, had raised the Gorthians from savages to men of a feudal civilization, but could not agree among themselves whether to give their magic gifts of advanced technology to the natives or to withhold them. As the people of Gorth took sides, quarrels arose. Then suddenly the Lords departed in their silver star ships, leaving behind their empty, echoing city, Terranna.
Young Kincar, who was of mixed Gorthian and Star blood, joined a handful of Star Lords who had chosen to remain behind. In the midst of battle, he and his comrades escape through a shimmering star gate - a device permitting transmigration in time - only to find themselves in a wholly different Gorth. This Gorth existed in a parallel time to their own and was viciously dominated by Star Lords, but these were brutal and powerful. With no chance of return, their star gate destroyed, could the band of refugees survive against these evil forces? Could they right the cruel and terrifying wrongs that so outraged their sense of justice?
Star Gate will further extend Andre Norton's superb reputation as one of the finest craftsmen in the science-fiction field.
 

Write-up from the back of the early ACE paperback editions ~

Star Gate may well be Andre Norton’s best book yet. It’s a complex tale of adventure on a remote planet in several alternate universis, so that the protagonists find themselves at times battling with their own evil selves – as-they-might-have-been – a concept that sounds confusing, but is crystal clear as Andre Norton sets it forth. Her immutably vigorous storytelling and sense of high emprise are heightened here by a delicate touch of mysticism – and by the creation in the hero’s pet Mord, of the most fascinating alien animal since Heinlein’s Star Lummox.” – New York Herald-Tribune

 

Write-up from the back of the 1970s ACE paperback edition ~

When Kincar s’Rud, of mixed Gorthian and Star Lord Blood, followed the Star Lords through the shimmering gate that led to alternate universes, he found himself on a Gorth entirely different from the world he has known.
At first the Gorthians appeared to be the same, but his former friends, turned out to be his enemies. For they were the people his friends might have been, had they made different choices at crucial moments in their lives.
And soon Kincar and his real allies would have to confront their own evil, might-have-been-selves….

 

Write-up from the back of the Fawcatt paperback edition ~

“Fascinating science fiction from the pen of an author who has tantalizing and enthralled readers….”-Saturday Review
Andre Norton is the reigning queen of masterful science-fiction storytelling. In Star Gate she tells a breathtaking story of time levels in a future world inhabited by heroic men and extraordinary animals. A tale of tightly woven action and high suspense, Star Gate will further enhance Andre Norton’s superb reputation as one of the finest writers in the field of science fiction…. Superb Talent.” – The New York Times
“This science-fiction fantasy combines taut suspense with the mysterious, heroic atmosphere of pure romance.” The Washington Post

 

Write-up from the back of the Ballantine Del Rey paperback Edition ~

A Second Chance
Kincar was heir to Styr’s Holding on the planet Gorth, but when he learned the truth of his birth, he turned his back on that part of his life. Most of the Star Lords had abandoned Gorth, but a renegade group remained, and Kincar meant to accompany them through a Star Gate in their quest for an alternate world.
But beyond the gate they confronted a nightmare, and suddenly Kincar, the misfit, was crucial to the Star Lords’ plans!

 

Write-up from the back of the UK paperback edition ~

The Gate into an unknown universe The Gate of no return
With the passing of the alien Star Lords from Gorth, Kincar of the half-blood is forced to travel through the mysterious Star Gate to escape death at the hands of the native Gorthians…
But on the other side is a greater danger – a parallel Gorth in which brutal Star Lords rule as Gods, terrorizing and enslaving the population. How can Kincar save the people from their cruel fate? With his companions from the old world, Kincar sets out to defeat the warped Star Lords in their lowland fortresses. But how little they understand the evil and mystifying forces that await them…
“An imagination quite out of this world’ – T.L.S.
 

Write-ups from fans ~

As in Crossroads of Time, she uses the alternate side-by-side worlds, this time though, on another planet.
Terrans colonized Gorth and used their advanced technology to "help" the natives advance their civilization. Turns out, this was a bad idea and caused resentment. They decide to open gates to look for an alternate version of Gorth where there was no native population. During a period of over 500 years, some of the Star Lords (Terrans) had interbred with some of the Gorthians. Kincar s'Rud, being one of these half-breeds, was unable to take up leadership of his mother's family's holding and left of join the Star Lords. They were attacked during their second gate jump and the gate was destroyed. The new Gorth is one where The Star Lords were ruthless tyrants. Some of Kincar's Star Lords find out that they have evil duplicates on this world and they decide to fight this world's Dark Star Lords and free all the natives. This story has a lot of twists and turns concerning Magic talismans and power and various weaponry and animals. Quite a "ripping good yarn" I had forgotten how good this one is. ~ PG

 

Kincar s'Rud is summoned to the beside of his grandfather, Hold Lord of Styr, and told to take up his entire heritage, which consists of a mail shirt, a sword and a surcoat with the device of the Star Lords worked upon the front.  Though he is Hold Daughter's Son, therefore the rightful heir to the Lordship of the Hold, he is half of the Star Lords blood, and his Lordship will be disputed by his mother's brother.  Rather than allow the war for the succession, his grandfather tells him to leave to join with the Star Lords. Most of the Star Lords have decided to leave the planet of Gorth because of their unwitting blunders in trying to help the native race raise itself from barbarism.  However, those Terrans with native wives and half-breed children stay behind to look for another home through the interdimensional gate; Kincar joins these just as a rebel force attacks them to prevent their departure.  In the ensuing battle, the Gate is destroyed, though all of the Star Lords' party makes it through safely.  They then discover that, instead of the unpeopled world they wished for, they have arrived in one wherein the Star Lords enslaved the native population, instead of the benevolent half-rule they had practiced on the original Gorth.  Kincar, as the only one of their group who shows no trace of his half-blood ancestry volunteers to act as scout in the heart of the Dark Lords' domain.  He is captured, but rescues himself with the help of his mord (winged hunter) and a chance to steal one of the Dark Lords' flying machines.  He arrive back at the citadel the Star Lords have occupied, and with the information he brings, the Star Lords plan to ambush the Dard Lords at their annual reunion at the place their spaceships landed.  By fortune the ships are still activated, and the Star Lords manage to launch them, thereby sending the Dark Lords off planet.  With materials they salvaged from the ships, the Star Lords rebuild their Gate mechanism and set off on their search for a Gorth of their own. ~ SL

 

1958’s Star Gate is a standalone novel, but it foreshadows later works by Norton. Here, she tries out new themes: magic and interdimensional gateways. Although this novel’s setting features hi-tech devices like blasters, there is also magic. Starships exist, but the main characters reach their destination via interdimensional gateway.
Years before Kincar s’Rud was born, the Star Lords settled on Gorth, where they attempted to raise Gorth’s twelve-fingered natives from barbarism into the light of civilization (as defined by the Star Lords). The Star Lords eventually concluded that their intervention had inflicted more harm than good. They boarded their…. ~ JN
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KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1958
When Kincar, half Star and half Gorthian, decides to leave Gorth and join the Star lords, he passes through a shimmering gate of time. In this new element he encounters Star warriors, quite different from those who raised the Gorthians from a primitive feudal level, for the lords he now meets are tyranical and without mercy. As Kincar works out his destiny in this new world of time he simultaneously works out the fate of a magic stone which has been left in his care, and which will burn into his flesh until he finds the person to whom it must be delivered. Andre Norton, whose ability to extend scientific thought to the limit of imagination has won him many enthusiasts among science fiction fans, elaborates in Star Gate on the possibility of alternate destinies governed by optional changes in time. A fascinating concept, masterfully handled by the author. 

 

Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles about Andre

1958 Kirkus Reviews, August 01
1958 by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November
1958 by S. E. Cotts in Amazing Science Fiction Stories, December
1959 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, May, reprinted in: (UK) Astounding Science Fiction, August/September
1959 by Floyd C. Gale in Galaxy Magazine, June
1987 by Andy Sawyer in Paperback Inferno #68
2015 by James Nicoll, February, 06   Θ
2017 by Martha Wells at TOR.com ~ May 09

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1958) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, LCCN 58008626, $3.00, 192pg ~ cover by Richard Powers {Yellow Cloth Boards}
  • (1958) Published by Longmans, HC, $3.50, 192pg ~ Canadian printing ~ cover by Richard Powers
  • (1963) Published by ACE, PB, # F-231, $0.40, ~ # M-167 1967 $0.45 190pg, covers by Ed Emshwiller ~ Prologue added by Andre Norton ~ #78071 1971 $0.60 188pg, #78072 1974 0.95 188pg, #78073 1977 $1.50 188pg, covers by John Schoenherr
  • (1970) Published by Gollancz, HC, 0-575-00396-0, £ 18s (216p), 192pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Alan Breese
  • (1980) Published by Fawcett, PB, 0-449-24276-5, $1.95 ~ cover by Ken Barr
  • (1983) Published by Ballantine Del Rey, PB, 0-345-31193-, $2.25 ~ cover by Laurence Schwinger
  • (1987) Published by Gollancz, PB, 0-575-04007-6, £2.50, 192pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by John Harris

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1973) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 74175641, Pabel TB 216. 159pg ~ translation by Susi-Maria Roediger ~ German title Blut der sternengötter
  • (1986) Published in Japan; by Hayakawa, 41-501-0664-9, SF S61, 274pg ~ translation by Li Ogiso Ayako ~ Cover by Reiko Okano ~ Japanese title スター・ゲイト
  • (1992) Combined with "Judgement on Janus" and "Victory on Janus" translation by L. Morgan ~ Published in Moscow, and Ekaterinburg, by Verb, 5-731-20009-2, HC, 432pg ~ "Star Gate" translation by Kreines ~ Russian title Звездные врата. Суд на Янусе. Победа на Янусе.
  • (1995) Combined with "Breed to Come" translation by V. Shcherbakova ~ Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14039-9, HC, 416pg ~ "Star Gate" translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Новая порода [Breed to Come]
  • (2001) Combined with "Operation Time Search" and "The Crossroad of Time" ~ Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-040-07452-2, HC, 512pg ~ translation by Dimtry Arseniev ~ cover by W. Nartova ~ Russian title Звездные врата [Star Gate]

 

View the original contract

View the 1978 Ace Contract

 

 

 

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"The Tie of the Three"

Original drawing by Barbi Johnson 1967? from one of Andre's scrapbooks