R.I.P., Andre Norton

Science fiction writer Andre Norton died this morning.

I've been meaning to post for the past couple weeks mentioning that she had gone home from the hospital in hospice care and wasn't expected to live much longer, but other stuff intervened.

I'm glad that the Andre Norton award for young adult fiction was established before she died. (Hi, Greg and Sherwood; hope you get lots of good books to consider.)

(One funny minor side effect of her choice of pseudonym is that I grew up knowing that Andre Norton was a woman, and not having heard the name Andre in any other context, and so thinking it was a female-gendered name. I was awfully surprised the first time I encountered a male-type person named Andre.)

Looking at her bibliography, I have to confess that I didn't read very many of her books. But when I was a kid, I considered her one of the Big Names of science fiction. She wasn't my first exposure to sf by any means (I'm not sure who was, but it was probably some author among the hundreds of old paperbacks that filled my father's bookshelves), but I did like her work, and went out of my way to find and read it. And I think I was aware even then of her influence on the field. She certainly deserved the SFWA Grand Master award she received in 1983. (She was the sixth person to receive the award—and the only woman until Ursula K. Le Guin received it in 2003.) (This year Anne McCaffrey becomes the third woman to receive the award.)

Anyway. I don't know that I have anything particularly coherent to say. But I'm sad to see her go.

2 Responses to “R.I.P., Andre Norton”

  1. Michael

    When I was growing up, I bought all the Andre Norton books I could find. This was a strategy that worked fine with other authors I liked — I had 9 Anne McCaffrey books, 7 Larry Niven books, etc. I had 31 by Andre Norton by the time I went to college.

    She was much read.

  2. Jess

    Huh–I didn’t know Andre Norton was a female. Sorry to see her go. 🙁


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