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15841Re: [mythsoc] Norton & Key & c

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  • Mike Foster
    Nov 20, 2005
      David wrote:

      "Star Man's Son, 2500 A.D._ (also published as _Daybreak, 2500
      A.D._) might work, at least I remember it being sold as an Arrow Book
      club book for middle-grades."

      A great call, David. I remember being scared to doodah by it at first reading, 11 or so. "The Copper Bowl" and "The Curse of Yig" would soon come along to outscare it, but it was a very good tale.

      Disney's _Treasure Planet_ was quite true to Stevenson's narrative while placing it in a futuristic context.


      David Lenander wrote:

      >Interesting--I would not have thought of _The Zero Stone_ to recommend.
      > Isn't it a sequel itself to one of the other books? I also thought
      >that it was rather confusing and complex--I'd recommend one of the
      >children's book for the 12-year old, if any. Perhaps _Steel Magic_,
      >which I liked as child reader (sometimes published as _Gray Magic_ in a
      >Scholastic paperback edition). There're also knights in that book.
      >Other children's books included _Lavender Green Magic_, _Dragon Magic_
      >and _Fur Magic_, none of which is particularly well-written in my
      >estimation. But Norton does have a way of kind of transcending her
      >stylistic limitations, like L. Frank Baum or Marion Zimmer Bradley, in
      >my experience. For complexity and "adult" interest (by which I don't
      >mean sex at all, just more adult story-telling and considerable
      >complexity in the narrative and ideas, though I think there is some sex
      >and certainly violence, in the more adult books) I remember the Janus
      >books, _Judgement on Janus_ and _Victory on Janus_ as being expecially
      >rich and rewarding, among the long series of shorter books that she
      >wrote for one publisher. Later, in the 70s and into the 80s, she wrote
      >longer, similarly more adult books for another publisher, starting with
      >_Quest Crosstime_ and _Moon of Three Rings_ (which had a couple of
      >sequels, I believe), these later included _The Zero Stone_. But even
      >her earlier science fantasy novels like _The Time Traders_ and its
      >sequels, (_The Defiant Agents_, _Galactic Derelict_ and _Key out of
      >Time_--which practically features elves with magic wands on another
      >planet) are more young adult than a book like _Ella Enchanted_.
      >Perhaps _Star Man's Son, 2500 A.D._ (also published as _Daybreak, 2500
      >A.D._) might work, at least I remember it being sold as an Arrow Book
      >club book for middle-grades. I did love all of these books in 7th grade
      >and on, but I do remember being puzzled at times by the books,
      >especially some of the more complex and confusing narratives, like the
      >Janus books and _Catseye_. _The Beast Master_ and its sequel (I forget
      >the title, but it might be _Lord of Thunder_) were two that at least in
      >retrospect seem simpler, with a great relationship between the
      >trainer/agent who is psychically linked to a giant cat or lioness and
      >an eagle or very large raptor-type bird. I actually recall a
      >non-fantasy/SF book, a secret agent/spy thriller called _At Swords
      >Points_ as one of the best of her books, at least as a can't-put-down
      >exciting read. But I haven't read it since I was 14 or so. It may
      >also be that it totally followed the conventions of the genre which
      >were then new to me and today I'd find it dull. I remember James
      >Schmitz' _Witches of Karres_ as being a still-better version of an
      >Andre Norton book, space opera with magic (er, extremely advanced
      >unexplained technology)--some other Norton examples being _Storm over
      >Warlock_ and sequel _Ordeal in Otherwhere_. One notable contrast in
      >Schmitz's work is a much higher proportion of comedy, he's a lot
      >funnier along the way, and Norton was mostly always pretty serious.
      >Her prose eventually seemed stilted to me, and I think that's why I
      >didn't keep up with reading her books after sometime in the 70s, with
      >sporadic exceptions.
      >I don't recall the Key books as well, but I certainly read the
      >_Forgotten Door_ more than once, and I think several other titles.
      >They're much more definitely children's books, I think. I suspect that
      >they're better written, at least on the level of the prose style, as
      >Speaking of which, someone was objecting to the deficiencies in Tamora
      >Pierce's style and tendencies towards formula. I didn't think much of
      >the first one that I read, one of the "Immortals" series, but I have
      >read most of the "Circle of Magic" series (something like nine books at
      >this point), and I was quite impressed with them. The first quartet
      >was a finalist for the MFA, it seems to me, and I thought quite worthy,
      >as did most of the other discussants in _Once Upon A Time_, the Society
      >apa for children's literature discussion. As I mentioned, I haven't
      >read the primary series about Alanna and her protege, but as it does
      >seem there is a paucity of "girl knights" it may be all there really
      >is, and my daughter is not alone in loving the books.
      >I absolutely loved the Mad Scientists' Club stories that appeared in
      >_Boys' Life_, and later were published in book form. They've recently
      >been republished in hardcover, along with some previously unpublished
      >stories, and I think a novel (I haven't obtained the latter, but I have
      >at least the first two collections somewhere).
      >On Nov 19, 2005, at 8:37 AM, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com wrote:
      >>Message: 6
      >> Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 10:02:40 -0800 (GMT-08:00)
      >> From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
      >>Subject: Andre Norton, Alexander Key
      >>Andre Norton: THE ZERO STONE is her masterpiece. BREED TO COME is also
      >>very good. After that, there are about a dozen or so that are equally
      >>good, but I'd let her start with one of those two. Avoid WITCH WORLD
      >>or the others marked as adults; it's at the juveniles/young adults
      >>that Norton excels.
      >>Alexander Key: one of the great who's never gotten the recognition he
      >>deserved. THE FORGOTTEN DOOR, by all means; that book still has an
      >>honored place on my shelves. Also, as Margaret Dean pointed out,
      >>ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN; both stories about finding the place where
      >>you belong.
      >>Also excellent for that same age group are THE MAD SCIENTISTS CLUB and
      >>DETECTIVES IN TOGAS, though I don't remember the authors' names of
      >>those two offhand.
      >>Videos: A little late, but I'd like to second the recommendation of
      >>KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE, which I think would be the perfect animated
      >>film for someone that age. THE CAT RETURNS, by the same studio but not
      >>the same director, would also be a good choice.
      >>And, just because it didn't get mentioned earlier, Patricia Wrede's
      >>TALKING TO DRAGONS is a very good book indeed that both draws on and
      >>plays with all the fairy-tale classic motifs in a way that both kids
      >>and adults can enjoy. No female knight (for that, wait a few years and
      >>treat her to Elizabeth Moon's SHEEPFARMER'S DAUGHTER, which traces the
      >>story of the heroine from runaway farm girl to paladin) but the young
      >>fire witch who's trying to learn to control her temper is a good
      >David Lenander
      >2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      >Roseville, MN 55113
      >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      >Yahoo! Groups Links

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