Star Born

~ 2nd Novel in the Astra Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) Pax


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Star Born

 

 

NOTE: This title has entered the “Public Domain” and is therefore open to any publisher that wants to print it. Many “Print on Demand” publishers have started to release this title. This site has chosen to ignore these published versions and only concentrate on estate sanctioned materials.


Synopsis ~

Write-up from an old Amazon.com posting ~

When the oppressive global dictatorship of Pax took over the Earth they put a stop to space exploration. Still, a few rebels escaped in the sleeper ships to found free new colonies- or perish in the attempt. Those few colonies that reached inhabitable worlds and survived were cut off for centuries. It was during these centuries of isolation and freedom that they were able to develop the mysterious mental powers that "civilization" had all but destroyed. Finally, when Pax had been eradicated from Earth by the Federation of Free Men, the rockets began to rise once more.
This time they possessed the faster than light drives that would enable them to make up for lost time. One such ship was the RS-10. This ship and its crew stumbled upon the world of Astra and it's strange, ruthless, degenerate, inhuman inhabitants. The Terrans did not trust these creatures but there was much that they could learn from them. Making a temporary alliance the expedition accompanied the aliens to a strange treasure city to help exploit its wonders. It was there that they discovered that the aliens had good reason to fear going to the treasure city alone. It was protected by Free Men who had arrived centuries before.

 

Write-up from the fron flap of the 1957 dustjacket ~

Far from the Terran colony's Homeport on the planet Astra, young Dalgard Nordis and his merman companion Ssuri are suddenly confronted by their old enemies, the alien Astrans. Within the ruins of the Astrans' former citadel the two discover that remnants of this nonhuman race, which had once ruled the entire planet, are struggling to recover their lost knowledge and thus regain their power. Dalgard realizes that the safety of the Terrans is seriously threatened by this, and there is no hope of warning his people in time.
When a space ship arrives from Terra, its crew ignorant of the existence of any Terran colony on the western continent across the sea, the aliens enlist the spacemen's aid. Of the members of the crew only young Raf Kurbi instinctively mistrusts the Astrans. Through a series of weird and exciting adventures among the ruins and in ancient underground tunnels, Raf eventually meets Dalgard and joins him in the fight against the Aliens.
In this sequel to the Stars Are Ours! Andre Norton has produced another superb science-fiction adventure.

 

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

Andre Norton’s Star Born is “One of the Best!” – says the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
The New York Herald-Tribune says:
“Star Born has a fresh and moving theme, and Andre Norton develops it with skill and plenty of rousing excitement.
“Nobody Today is telling better stories of straightforward interstellar adventure, whether for teen-agers or for adults.”

 

Write-up from the back of the 1980s ACE paperback editions ~

The Terran spaceship burst into alien skies – the skies of a distant planet already inhabited by Terra’s descendants! Grey-furred mermen dwelt peaceably with the children of men – but the marooned spacemen didn’t understand. To them, truth was deception and danger was a friend. How could they face the terrible ancient force that would destroy them all?
Star Born
“Has a fresh and moving theme, and Andre Norton develops it with skill and plenty of rousing excitement. Nobody today is tell better stories of straightforward interstellar adventure.” – New York Herald Tribune

Write-ups from fans ~

This is an interesting book. It is a follow-up to The Stars Are Ours taking place three generations after the events in The Stars Are Ours. The chapters are told alternately by Dalgard Nordis, the great-grandson of Dard Nordis from TSAO and Raf Kurbi, a flitter pilot from an FTL exploration ship from Earth. Andre used this technique of alternate narration in Moon of Three Rings and I think maybe others (can anyone think of anymore?). I like this technique though I have met others who think it is too confusing. I recommend reading the two books back-to-back to enjoy the planet Astra and all its Flora and Fauna. Action and adventure, danger and moral and ethical dilemmas and hard choices face the protagonists. A thoroughly enjoyable read. ~ PG

 

Dalgard Nordis and his Sea People companion are on an exploration mission, going in a direction none of the other scouts has explored--to the north of Homeport.  After days of travel, Sssuri makes mental contact with one of the hoppers, and "hears" that a tribe of night runners are on the move away from an EVIL  While investigating this possibility, Dalgard and Sssuri come upon the trace of the large vicious reptilian creature that every human and seaman have a duty to kill at any encounter.  They track the creature into a long-abandoned city of the Others, and discover that the Others have not all died off after all, and are busy looting one of their storerooms of scientific artifacts.  Meanwhile, a space ship from Earth has come exploring, seeking traces of the ships which had fled Earth while it was under the repressive rule of Pax, when any science was forbidden and any scientist was either enslaved or executed.  Not knowing of the planetary history, the spacemen make an alliance with the Others, so a small party of Earthmen accompany the Others on a trip across the ocean (to the continent where Dalgard and Sssuri live). On the way there, the Others stop at an island that turns out to be inhabited by some of the sea people, and wantonly  destroy any living beings they can.  This makes Raf Kirbi, the flitter pilot disgusted with the Others, so when Dalgard is captured, Raf is willing to answer Dalgard's mental call for help, and to free him and an injured Seaman from the colliseum where they faced death in the form of the huge reptile.  Later, Raf also helps them to destroy the artifacts the Others had brought back, but is injured in the explosion.  Dalgard and the Seapeople bring him to their underground city and later assist him to contact his closest companion aboard the spaceship for rescue.  Dalgard, however, requests that Raf not tell his spacer companions about the human colony, leaving Dalgard alone the far side of the planet from his home. ~ SL

 

1957’s Star Born returns to the universe of 1954’s The Stars Are Ours! It is not a long book, but Norton manages to get more value out of her limited page count than later authors could do with much longer narratives.
Two centuries have passed, during which time the descendents of the Scientists who discovered Astra have settled into comfortable (if technologically backward) lives next to their merman allies. The one sour note in their bucolic existence is the merman suspicion that the Others, the hubristic aliens who once ruled Astra, still survive in a stronghold over the sea…. ~ JN
Read More…

 

KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1957
Dalgard Nordis, a terran on Astra, goes through a series of adventures which reflect Andre Norton's preoccupation with social problems on a broad if simplified and the possibility of life on another planet in another solar system like Earth's. Dal people are fourth or fifth generation settlers but remember Earth well enough be disturbed by the arrival of another space ship. Its passengers, discovered and helped by Dalgard after an accident, are the cause of another discovery, the solving of the mystery of The Others, a mighty and tyrannical but supposedly lost civilization that had ruled Astra long ago. With a new threat from them overcome, the Terrans try to persuade Dalgard to return with them but he now realizes Astra is his own land. Good. 

 

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

1957 Kirkus Reviews, May 01
1957 by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August
1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, December, reprinted in: (UK) Astounding Science Fiction, April 1958
1958 by Floyd C. Gale in Galaxy Science Fiction, January
1959 by Hans Stefan Santesson in Fantastic Universe, January
1959 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, March, reprinted in: (UK) Astounding Science Fiction, June
2015 by James Nicoll, January, 30   Θ

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1957) Published by World, HC, # HC257, LCCN 57005898, $2.75, 212pg ~ cover by Virgil Finlay {Black Cloth Boards}
  • (1957) Published by Nelson, Foster & Scott, HC, $3.25 ~ Canadian printing ~ cover by Virgil Finlay
  • (1958) ACE Double Book containing Star Born and A Planet for Texans by H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire, Published by ACE, PB, # D-299, $0.35, 186+101pg ~ cover of Star Born by Ed Emshwiller ~ cover of A Planet for Texans by Kersher

    Synopsis for A Planet for Texans ~
    When the whole ornery state of Texas took off for a new planet more to their liking, New Texas was the result: a rough-and-tumble world where everyone packs a gun and it's legal to shoot politicians (if they deserve it)! But now these rugged and independent space pioneers are the targets of an expansive race of aliens. Is the Solar League's new ambassador tough enough to steer them back to Earth's embrace?

  • (1963) Published by ACE, PB, # F-192, $0.40, 186pg ~ # M-148 1966 $0.45 186pg, covers by Ed Emshwiller ~ #78011 1971 $0.75 189pg, #78012 1973 $0.95 189pg, #78013 1975 $1.25 189pg,  covers by Dean Ellis ~ #78014 1978 $1.75 248pg, #78015 1980 $1.95 248pg, #78016 ???? $2.25 248pg, #78017 1984 $2.50 248pg, covers by Dino D'Archille
  • (1973) Published by Gollancz, HC, 0-575-01501-2, £1.40, 212pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by David Smee
  • Star Flight (2007) Published by BAEN, HC, 1-416-55506-4, $24.00 ~ cover by Steve Hickman ~ Omnibus containing Star Born (1957) & The Stars Are Ours (1954)
  • (2017) Published by Open Road Media, DM, no ISBN, $0.99, 160pg ~ cover by Ian Koviak

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (19??) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73741674, Terra SF 343, 66pg ~ German title Flammen über Astra
  • (1991) Combined with "The Stars Are Ours!", Star Guard" and "Star Rangers" ~ Published in Moscow, by Eskmo-Press, 5-040-06859-X, HC, 512pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ cover by Igor Varavin ~ Russian title Звездная стража [Star Guard]
  • (1994) Combined with "The Stars Are Ours!" ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14037-2, HC, 368pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Астра [Astra]

 

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