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Star man's son

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,086 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
The holocaust had ravaged the world 200 years before. Survivors were scattered across the frightening wastelands. Some struggled merely for life...others, like Fors the Star Man's son, dared the terrifying unknown to recapture the knowledge...the knowledge that could once again destroy them...
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1978 by Fawcett Books (first published January 1st 1951)
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(showing 1-30)
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Let's get one thing right out of the way - this is not high literature. It is a pulpy story, well-written. "Solid" is the word that comes to mind, but not mind-bending by any means. If you're looking for a golden age scifi post-apocalyptic book that fills your need for post-atomic mutants and radiation porn, it's adequate to the task.

That said, this is one of the earliest examples of post-nuclear holocaust fiction. One can see how other books, movies, and even games dipped deeply into this work.
The thing about reading so-called "Golden Age" science fiction (or at least Silver Age) is you always have to remember that the stories were written in a different time. A time when the world that we now live in was the stuff of science fiction and the world as it existed ,when the writer was creating, influenced him or her.

Now at this point you are say, "No kidding Captain Obvious?"

Yes I know. I hear what you're saying and the sarcasm is very.....obvious. Nevertheless it needs to be stated. S
Nikki Barnabee
Apr 08, 2011 Nikki Barnabee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this is 7th grade, then re-read it in high school. I love futuristic, after-the-nuclear-holocaust tales, and who couldn't get into scenes of long-deserted, half-destroyed cities being explored by a boy and his big cat? ;-} Humans are now tribal, hunt with spears, etc., and there are intense battles with nasty, violent creatures who slink through the cities, but my favorite scene was the one in which we see the childlike joy experienced by Fors when he discovers an amazing modern invention ...more
Louis Shalako
Mar 18, 2011 Louis Shalako rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the few science fiction books around the house when I was younger. Probably the one book that hooked me on SF. Andre Norton is better known for more recent fantasy, and her rocket and ray guns books of the fifties and sixties, but this one is apocalyptic SF. It had a big influence on me, as you can imagine. Other of her works were a little disappointing, after re-reading them three decades later. I would like to read this one again. If the only Andre Norton book you have ever read was 'Re ...more
Deborah Lightfoot
This was the first book I ever bought for myself, with my own money. It made me a fan of Andre Norton and started me reading science fiction and fantasy. In short, it was my gateway drug to adventure. Thank you, Ms. Norton.
Bree Brouwer
Norton's writing is a solid example of a traditional, classic novel from the Golden Age of science fiction, with somewhat lofty and descriptive overtones, but modern readers used to more decisive plots and immediate action will most likely find it difficult to get through.

The story is written in much of an epic styles, where the hero Fors risks becoming an outlaw so he can make a name for himself to prove he belongs in his clan despite his mutant genes. He goes from one place to another, seeing
Feb 17, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had been looking for this title for 10 years. Until I came to goodreads, I had been rebuffed in my search for the title because I could not remember if it was 2025 or not. By digging, Andre Norton's name came up, and I remembered. This was one of the books that really made me think about the aftermath of our egos, nuclear war, and survivors.
Sep 27, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A favorite scifi coming-of-age novel from my middle school years.
Rereading this, I'm struck by two things.

Andre Norton was no racist. And Andre Norton was a racist.

It's impressive that Norton had the nerve to be able to write “And color of skin, or eyes, or the customs of a man’s tribe must mean no more to strangers when meeting than the dust they wash from their hands before they take meat.

Brave words for 1940's America, when such words could have got her into serious trouble.

But then she ruins the entire sentiment by just transferring all prejudice
Orlando Falvo
Aug 05, 2010 Orlando Falvo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book I ever purchased and read, cover to cover.A real accomplishment for a 2nd grader in the 60's. I loved the story because it reflected my own.
Ann aka Iftcan
Originally published as "Starman's Son" this book was one of the first that Norton published and started her amazing arc of at least one book a year for over 50 years. For those interested, that's 1951 with this book and running until 2002. She had no books published in 2003, then had a new book published in 2004 and 2005. The 2005 book was published just before her death on St. Patrick's Day. Since her death she has had several new books published that were in the pipeline before her death. Als ...more
Mar 21, 2010 Regina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in second grade(1964)Didnt go over well as a book review for class(pic of mutan rats,lol)...the teacher tried to make me read Lady and The Tramp and those kind of books instead from then on.But I was hooked on sci fi from then on.Andre Norton took me to new worlds and I will ever be grateful to her. She helped me escape from a lonely and often unpleasant childhood.She was my first favorite author and will always hold a special place in my heart.My regret is that I never wa ...more
Dellani Oakes
Feb 22, 2009 Dellani Oakes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Dellani by: a librarian when I was 11
In this futuristic, post apocalytic world, Star Men are the cartographers, explorers and adventurers. Fors, son of a Star Man, hopes to be chosen himself. Unfortunately, the elders don't think he's fit to be a Star Man. He sets out on his own with only his giant cat, Lyra, for company, to explore the dangers of the long abandoned city.

Andre Norton was one of the best science fiction/ fantasy writers of all time. Star Man's Son, though targeting a young adult audience, is excellent for adults as
Sandy Shin
Jun 22, 2013 Sandy Shin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first science fiction book, read many years ago. I reread it last year and found it just as exciting and entertaining. I was still captured by the characters and their adventures and triumphs and highly recommend this book and author to anyone with an imagination and curious mind
I would have appreciated this book more if Norton hadn't fallen back on her old standby--people who don't count, and can be murdered, tortured, etc with no moral stain on the killer. No attempt is made to negotiate with the 'Beast Things', and the same behavior that's accepted (with reservations) in humans (and even lizard people) is regarded as making the Beast Things 'not human' and candidates for extermination. The only real difference, so far as I can see, is that the Beast Things don't smel ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure I also read this back in the early 1980s when I was playing Gamma World, as it's one of the books listed as that game's inspiration, and it all seems kind of familiar. It's a tightly written adventure story set 200 years after a nuclear war (something on our minds in the 1980s) and while it's a bit cheesy at times, there are some nice messages and it's never dull.

Sometimes it's all a bit too Leatherstocking Tales (they were captured! they escaped! they were captured again!)but i
Aug 26, 2016 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nikki's review captured my sentiments, exactly, when I read this book in the early 1960s (The book was still titled "Star Man's Son: 2250 A.D.") nuclear war was only a button-push away. Despite the grim subject in the aftermath of a terrible war, Andre Norton always had a certain gentleness in her writing about these matters that made her books both easily accessible and powerful in their message, especially to a seventh grader like myself who had just lived through the Cuban missile crisis. The ...more
Just not a very good book. It's total pulp, and for all the interesting world-building, the characterization is pretty flat. It's also supremely irritating to read a book by a woman that has basically no women in it. Sure, it's a hero's journey and he's a male, which is totally fine, and I don't want random women thrown into the mix, but when the lead disrespects a powerful female chieftain and then gives his loyalty to a small, pretty girl instead - ugh. Still, I enjoyed the post nuclear war la ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that started it all for me. Growing up poor the one extravagance my sister and I had was the monthly book club at school. We could sometimes buy a book or two and one of the books I ordered, (my first science fiction novel), was Star Man's Son. It blew my 11 year old mind and I reread it several times. I see from the comments left at Goodreads that many of us obtained the book through school scholastic programs and it left quite the impression on us all. The post-apocalyptic wor ...more
David B
A fun read with an admirable message about the necessity of cooperation among all peoples if we are to avoid destruction. It's interesting that humanity requires a common enemy, the Beast Things, in order to unite it. This displays a realistic understanding of human psychology that is undermined to some extent by an ending in which everything is wrapped up a bit too tidily. There is a problem with pacing--the most exciting scenes occur in the middle of the story. Also, the Beast Things just neve ...more
Just finished reading this old favorite to the boys. They loved it and begged for me to read at nights which is not always the case with books we choose to read out loud. This is a coming of age story as the majority of Andre Norton's are. It is post apocalyptic. This is a strong anti war sermon at its heart. There are themes of friendship, perseverance and tolerance also. A good read for the tween set if they are good with language as AN's prose can be poetic and a bit convoluted at times. Fun ...more
Sep 09, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this in the 60's and was hooked on SF&F forever. The world is believable and Ms Norton weaves characters, worlds and events effortlessly. I still have the original paperback on my shelf and turned my kids on to SF&F by introducing them to this book...
Nona King
Mar 01, 2010 Nona King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first post-apocalyptic novel to read. The visuals and the characterization were true to form: engaging and entertaining.
Timothy Boyd
Good solid SiFi story. Norton's Early SiFi stories always gives you a good easy read. Recommended
Jay Wright
Jan 01, 2017 Jay Wright rated it really liked it
Way back when I was just a young man, this book started me in the world of reading. I just read it again and the plot is still fast moving and the subject more relevant today. This is a delightful read by a good writer.
Published in 1952, this is one of Andre Norton's earliest novels. Set 200 years after a nuclear and biological world war, it describes a world where humans have retrogressed to a state something like the middle ages. The ruined cities are infested with violent creatures called the Beast Things, who appear to be some kind of mutant rat-man hybrids. There are other fantastic forms of mutation, like a tribe of tiny, intelligent lizards. The novel's hero, Fors, is a wanderer who goes out into this d ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The original title of this book is "Star Man's Son." It has been 200 years since a catastrophe - probably nuclear war or something similar - devastated the earth and reduced humans to a primitive existence. Various societies have sprung up since then, including the Star Men, who seek to discover and preserve ancient knowledge. Fors is the son of a Star Man, who died leaving him alone in the world except for his feline companion Lura. Fors is different than the others in his community - he has wh ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Chrisl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, 1950s
The book that started my interest in post apocalypse science fiction. Written by a Cleveland librarian.

review copied and pasted from "
The author of Scarface and Sword In Sheath with another and this time slightly deeper adventure tale- placed in the future and dealing with the plains people, mountain people and Beast Things which inhabited the earth as survivors of the great atomic Blow Up caused by the sins of the "Old Ones". As a youth in the mountain Puma Clan, it is Fors' ambiti
Oct 09, 2016 Derek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andre Norton's novel, originally titled STAR MAN'S SON, is a compelling, well-written, and influential science fiction novel set in a future scarred by an atomic war that has thrown society back into a tribal existence.

Several generations after the war, For (and his mutant cat, Lura) breaks from his clan's traditions and sets out to discover more about society before the war, and to see if he can solve some of the mysteries left behind after his father's death at the hands of the "beast people."
Aaron Kleinheksel
I occasionally enjoy old Sci Fi, and this 1952 book exemplifies the genre. Taking place 200 years following an atomic war, it follows the 1st-person adventure of a man across what seems to be the North America of that imagined dark future. It is formulaic, but again it is vintage material, and must be viewed from that perspective. I did think having the hero get captured by the same opponents twice was a mark against the narrative, but otherwise the story was quite engaging.

I really like these o
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
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