August 24, 2005

Warlock, by Andre Norton

Here's yet another Norton omnibus, of three novels in this case: Storm Over Warlock, Ordeal in Otherwhere, and Forerunner Foray. The first two are directly related and take place on the planet Warlock; the third is only loosely related to the first two. All three were pretty good, especially Forerunner Foray. Ironically, I tried reading the latter two when I was a kid, and didn't get very far into either one.

The main difference between Norton's work and the science fiction being published today, it seems to me, is primarily one of length--science fiction and fantasy novels have gotten much, much longer over the last fifty years, to the point where it takes two or three of the older novels to fill out a paperback to a respectable length. As a result, current novels are richer in detail and description, and to some extent in character development as well, without necessarily adding anything more in the way of plot or imagination. For example, it's become clear to me that most of Norton's science fiction takes place in a single consistently realized future. She doesn't really call attention to this, and it's a big enough future that we rarely meet the same characters twice, but the connections are there if you look for them.

Anyway, I enjoyed these; it was especially nice discovering that Forerunner Foray is a good read after all.

Posted by Will Duquette at August 24, 2005 07:52 PM