The Stars Are Ours!

~ 1st Novel in the Astra Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) Pax


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of 1954 dustjacket ~

Andre Norton, one of America’s best loved and ever-popular writers of science-fiction tales, presents another suspenseful story of men and deeds in space – a story of pursuit and terror, of escape to another planet in another solar system. The year is 2500 and tyranny stalks Terra as Renzi and his henchmen build a monstrous police state out of the ashes of an atomized world, where now all scientists are slaves. It is Dard Nordis and his sister Dessie, pursued and harassed by the brutal Peacemen, who join the small group of Free Scientists and their families hidden deep within a range of mountains. There, under the leadership of Tas Kordov, they are slowly and painfully planning their escape Ad Astra, a project so vast in scope as to make one shudder. It is Dard and space-pilot Kimber who must penetrate Renzi’s inner sanctum to gain crucially needed secrets.
A last-minute getaway under fire and a voyage through space lasting many years brings them to another world, where there are trees that bear golden fruits, and ruined cities of an extinct civilization. How they battle almost to the death in a lair of snakelike dragons, and how they make friends with a strange amphibious people makes for top-flight entertainment for all science-fiction and adventure fans.


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

Gateway to the Universe
Terra: 2500 A.D.
A world where science is hated and scientists enslaved.
Dar Nordis
A young man who sought escape through space flight.
“The Stars Are Ours!”
A terrific novel of freedom’s future battlecry.
Andre Norton
Tops among science-fiction writers, author of this highly praised novel.
“Extremely Exciting.” – Chicago Tribune


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

Earth in 2500 A.D. is no place for a young man with a dream of freedom. And Dard Nordis is worse off than most; his brother was executed for covert activities as a Scientist in a world where science is blamed for all evil that befell the world in the late 20th century. Now Dard is a hunted man, trying to find his brother’s friends before his brother’s enemies find him. The stakes are the highest; he can be shot down like a dog, or he can escape to the stars in the secret spaceship the Scientist have built.


Write-ups from fans ~

This is another post-apocalyptic novel with a twist. Science is outlawed, because some scientists were framed for the nuclear holocaust that destroyed much of the world. The world government, PAX is always hunting down "Stinkmen"(scientists) to stop them from destroying the world again. Some renegade scientists are building a colony ship to get away from the tyranny of PAX. This book has everything--tyrants, the oppressed, and people caught in the middle and unexpected allies. There is a harrowing flight to take vital information to the scientists' hidden base It has a daring raid on PAX headquarters to use the last known functioning computer, desperate escapees, and a climactic battle and the ship taking off. And this is just the first half!
The second half concerns landing upon a new planet and all the discoveries, both dangerous and beneficial to these colonists. They must share this world, but with whom and how successfully? This is an exciting, fast-paced novel which leads into the sequel, Star Born. ~ PG


1954’s The Stars Are Ours is, sadly, one of Norton’s minor efforts. Because I read this for the SFBC a decade ago I knew that going in  but  while this novel is something I am reading for completion’s sake, it does have its interesting elements1
In the world of this novel, science remained in thrall to nationalism, proceeding from fission bombs all the way to null bombs and, of course, their use. Following the death of the majority of humanity and the establishment of Pax, a fanatically anti-science autocracy, the Earth sank towards a long dark age. Only a…. ~ JN


KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1954
Past master at serious science fiction that includes human relationships on personal as well as political levels, is Andre Norton whose latest book is a graphic picture of a hard won trial at new life in another planetary system. Part I of her story is set on an Earth ravaged by atomic weapons and under the tight rule of an Orwellian power that has stifled free thought. Under these conditions, the underground movement of Free Scientists has managed to construct a ship that takes a small party to another planet and we see the trip through the eyes of young Dard Nordis whose older brother has helped with the preparations. The new land has some fascinating aspects to watch as the author reveals them- red rivers, a blue-green vegetation- but the main task of the "terrans", that still remains a challenge at the end, is alliance with the "mer- people" against opposition in a terrifying new dimension. Thoughtful. 


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Yrars

1954 Kirkus Reviews, August 01
1954 by Groff Conklin in Galaxy Science Fiction, December
1955 by The Editor in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February
1955 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, March, reprinted in: (UK) P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, June
1956 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, March
2014 by James Nicoll, December, 20 Θ
2019 by Judith Tarr at, Sept. 09


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

For Harlan Ellison
Who is a veteran of galactic voyages and an ever prepared guide to the realms of outer Space.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1954) Published by World, HC, LCCN 54008169, $2.75, 237pg ~ cover by Virgil Finlay {Blue Cloth Boards}
  • (1955) ACE Double Book containing The Stars Are Ours! and Three Faces of Time by Sam Merwin Jr, Published by ACE, PB, # D-121, $0.35, 183+135pg ~ cover for both titles by Ed Valigursky
  • (1955) ACE Special Edition ~ PB, # D-121, $0.35 ~ This is a rare edition that appears to be the one half of the ACE Double – Although it carries the ACE Double number it is only The Stars Are Ours! – The back is a blue field with the words “AN ACE BOOK”
  • (1963) Published by ACE, PB, # F-207, $0.40, 183pg ~ # M-147 1966 $0.45 183pg, covers by Ed Valigursky ~ #78431 1972 $0.75 191pg, #78432 1974 $1.25 191pg, #78433 1976 $1.50 191pg, ~ covers by Victor Kalin, ~ #78434 1981 $1.95 191pg, #78435 1983 $2.50 191pg, #78436 1992 $3.99 191pg ~ covers by J. Harston
  • 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)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1956) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 73753119, Utopia Großband 31, 83pg ~ translation by Walter Ernsting and Walter Spiegl ~ German title Terra
  • (1956) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 73753121, Utopia SF Großband 33, 85pg ~ German title Ad Astra
  • (1966) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73892329, Terra Extra 88, 65pg ~ German title Ad Astra Teil I
  • (1966) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73892331, Terra Extra 89, 64pg ~ German title Ad Astra Teil 2
  • (1972) Published in Frankurt, Germany; by Ullstein, ~ translation by Walter Ernsting, 123pg ~ German title Die Sterne Gehoren Uns
  • (1958) Published in Milan, Italy; by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Urania 175, 128pg ~ translation by Mario Galli ~ Illustrated by Carlo Jacono ~ Italian title Addio alla Terra ~ with a story by Isaac Asimov
  • (1993) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Wydawnictwo Alkazar, 83-857-8418-7, 361pg ~ translated by Adam Budzyński ~ Polish title Gwiazdy należą do nas
  • (1991) Combined with "Star Born", 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 "Star Born" ~ 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]
  • (2014) Combined with “Star Hunter” & “Eye of the Monster”, Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699753215, HC, 704pgs ~ “The Stars Are Ours!” translation by D. Arseniev, “Star Hunter” translation by D. Arseniev & A. Kolesnikov, “Eye of the Monster” translation by D. Saveliev & Y. Savelyev ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ series: All Norton ~ Russian title Звёздный охотник [Star Hunter]


View the Original contract

View the 1974 German contract

View the 1982 copyright renewal app.

View the 2004 Russian contract  ~ no publishing data at this time