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Star Soldiers (Central Control, #1-2)
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Star Soldiers (Central Control #1 & 2)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,391 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Star Guard 1953. Dominant aliens allow humans to the stars only as mercenaries. Swordsman Kana and his comrades, betrayed by Central Command, march across hostile planet Fronn.
Star Rangers 1953, The Last Planet 1955. 4K years later, telepath Kartr and Patrollers crash on a beautiful unknown yet familiar world and seek the source of a beacon to safety.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Baen (first published 1953)
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William Bentrim
Star Soldiers by Andre Norton

Humanity’s aggressive nature causes them to be galactic mercenaries when they burst out of Sol’s gravity well. Molded into a strict regime by Galactic Central Control, man’s creative aspects are ignored as they bleed off their most courageous warriors.

ANDRE NORTON needs to be capitalized for her impact on the entire genre. This book was first printed in 1953 and loses nothing in the ensuing decades. It is a great space opera with extremely humane characters.

Norton d...more
D.L. Morrese
I read several Andre Norton books when I was a kid. She wrote well over a hundred, mostly pulp space operas that were just what kids in the ‘space age’ wanted. Her tales of human space exploration, discovering other worlds, and meeting with strange aliens were simple but inspirational. We expected such tales to become a reality in the Twenty-First Century. Alas, things did not turn out so.

This Baen edition contains two of her earlier works: Star Guard (1955) and Star Rangers (1953).

Star Guard fo...more
Jul 11, 2014 Shawn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: e
Two fairly good, short novels. The main topics of both are mankind's exodus from Earth. Independently, each is a fun story of one character facing the complete change of the world he has previously known. Both characters, though being widely different in age, experience, background, etc, share the common trait of not only being prepared for the change they experience but desirous of it. This discontentedness manifests itself in reluctance to assume mantles which are thrust upon them (more so in...more
This is a collection of Norton's two Central Control novels, Star Guard (1955) and Star Rangers (1953). It's currently a free download on Amazon so I decided to give it a try. I only read Star Guard so far, and it's a pretty good old fashioned military sf yarn. Nothing terribly original, but it gets the job done. Standard plot: plucky rookie ends up helping save the world. Some of the plot - an Earth hemmed in by hostile aliens, people can only go to space through military channels - reminded me...more
This book is comprised of two separate novels, Star Guard and Star Rangers. Star Guard was a decent old-school story about a group of soldiers who were stranded on a hostile planet after their war came to an abrupt end. The story has well imagined military action but to me it went a little too long and the ending was a little flat. I would have rated this story a 3 if it was by itself.

However, Star Rangers, the second novel included in the book, was one of my favorite Andre Norton stories. She i...more
Este libro se compone de dos novelas que trazan el inicio y el ocaso de una civilización galáctica, desde el momento en que la Tierra sale al espacio y se encuentra con un imperio que establece unas limitaciones a las opciones de los terrestres, convirtiéndolos en ciudadanos de segunda solo aptos para ser los mercenarios de las guerras en la frontera. En el segundo, totalmente independiente, la Humanidad ocupa un papel central en el imperio que se desintegra y los últimos servidores de una socui...more
Two stars for the first book as it had a really bad ending, and three stars for the second, which was more of an essay in race relations.

I am a big fan of Andre Norton, and this was free from Amazon, so I thought I would give it a try, but cannot really recommend it.
Thibaldo Manrique
A classic science fiction story

This was a very tried and true formula of science fiction novels of the fifties. Good at the time,they made a wide range of assumptions, some good, some bad, and based the stories on the tech of their time.

This stories, for there are two in this book, were very good, I am sure, in their time. Reading them today, they are OK, like some black and white movie. Good, for sure, if taken in context of its time. For a contemporary reader, however, it is only entertaining,...more
Baron Greystone
Interesting combination of two novels, one set at the beginning of human activity in the galaxy, the other at the end of that huge empire. Dated, sure, but by a master of the genre. If you like that sort of retro SF, then you should pick this one up.
I read the first volume. (this is a twofer.) It was good. Enjoyable, but not good enough that I wanted to read the second. A low three stars.
I enjoyed this book and found it to be a relatively fast read. Star Soldiers is actually an omnibus of two books set in the same universe -- Star Guard and Star Rangers.

The first book is set some time after Earth has ventured into space and made contact with the rest of the galaxy. It turns out that Earth is somewhat late to the party – space is already populated by a diverse population of space-traveling aliens, and things are fairly civilized with rules in place to help keep it that way. The...more
Enjoyable book. Old school science fiction. Nothing objectionable. No female characters at all actually (except for a few minor background characters at the very end). Which sort of got me thinking... This book has humans and lots of different alien races, but no female characters, which is pretty common for old sci fi. It's a humans-the-explorers-and-adventure-seekers type story (again as is a lot of older sci fi), which I guess does tend to generally be more guys' than girls' personalities. Bu...more
An Odd1
Heroes have one-dimension, courage. Opposition includes hostile nature and fellow humans. Aliens are friends and foes. Different struggles united by common theme, brave soldiers get optimistic endings/ futures.

Star Guard 1955
Kana 18, fresh from training, joins mercenary troops, the only way alien rulers Central Control, allow humans to travel space. Leaders are shot in the back, flamed to a crisp, except for dying warning. Hansu leads survivors across hostile planet Fronn, fighting, then negoti...more
Star Soldiers is an "omnibus" of two Andre Norton pieces. Each of an approximate 200 pages in length, these novels are Star Guard and Star Rangers respectively. The author wrote them in such a similar fashion that they may be seen as set within the same "Universe" despite not truly being connected.
A few things stand out about these works. Firstly they were written in the 1950s, and do have a dash of a dated feel to them. This is not a problem in abundance due to the stark lack of any real depth...more
A.G. Lindsay
This "book" is actually made up of two books which do not have anything to do with each other, really, except terminology.

"Central Control" in the first is just at the height of it's heyday and is about to decline. In the second, CC and the Star Patrol are pretty much obsolete. It's not clear if the first CC and the second CC are the same entity.

I liked this book (or I should say "these books"), but I should warn you that it has not aged well in spots. There are few female characters, none of wh...more
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
These two Andre Norton novels are set on opposite ends of a human interstellar empire. In the first, humanity may finally be finding its way, and the other, the empire has fallen. Neither is exceptional, but they're mildly diverting 1950s style SF stories. One nice thing about both is that the aliens are drawn sympathetically. In the last, they may be called "Bemmers" short for bug-eye monsters, but they're more likely than most of the humans. Still, this "novel" is one I can only recommend for...more
Pamela Deters
This is the science fiction I really like to read and why I'm such a fan of Andre Norton. Basically there are two questions all the authors try to answer:#1 How do we leave the planet? and #2 How do we come home? This book (really composed of 2 books together) try to answer. Nice read and really makes you ask how you would deal with it if some aggressive newcomers on the scene crash the galactic status quo.
Elliotte Bagg
This sci fi double feature is from the 1950s, and holds the test of time quite well! The two stories keep great pacing, almost too quick but definitely never boring. Being such an older sci fi book, you most likely have encountered a lot of these plot points before, and the references to future tech are a bit vague, but overall, a very nice tale of space adventures!
I read this many, many moons ago. And it is still great today. Of course, some of the science is a bit dated, but great story. And remember the BEMs? (Bug Eyed Monsters for the young ones.) Have not seen that term (or Norton's derivative, bemmies, for a long time.
I stumbled across a free download of Star Soldiers recently, and decided to give it a shot because of vague memories of enjoying Andre Norton as a teen. I was thrilled to discover that this is actually two books, and the second, Star Rangers, was the book that first kindled my love of science fiction space adventures many years ago. As the galactic empire crumbles, Kartr and his fellow rangers seek to survive a crashed ship, a genocidal telepath, and the native dangers of a planet too far from C...more
Don Gubler
At its roots has some real feelings and interactions.
Charles Daniel
Classic Space Opera.

Andre Norton is a name well known and respected within the Science Fiction genre. These novels are the spiritual predecessors of Brin's Uplift Saga, Lucas' Star Wars and a host of other writers' works. If you're a fan of the newer works I've mentioned you might want to read these novels as well.
Art Forward
Even if I had read the two books in this collection in the 50's when they first came out, I wouldn't have found much new in them. But they do take the usual space opera tropes and mix them in a satisfying way. They are fun reads, and each is fairly brief so they don't overstay their welcome.
Pekka Karppi
I first read these books years ago when I was in my early teens and just getting started in scifi. These days they would probably be considered juvenile or YA books. They are fast reads, an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon. Fun, somewhat predicable stories that don't really demand much from the reader. I would recommend them to younger readers that want a good adventure story with a bit of a scifi twist.
An easy escapist read with some fun characters. Would be nice to see some more female characters, but not unexpected for old style sci-fi. One of the things I particularly enjoyed was that technology wise, this has aged quite well, possibly because the main focus was not on technology, but on characters and situations.
What did I think? I think that's two Norton books,and I give up. This was an incredibly dull book from start to utterly anti-climatic finish. That woman can't write an ending to save her life. Or compelling characters for that matter. The ideas are decent, but they need to be given over to a much more skilled author.
Laura Grabowski
This is a compilation of the ealier Star Rangers and Star Guard, first published in the 1950s. I honestly don't remember much about the books, except that I loved one of the characters -- Zinga, of a reptilian race. The books are viewed as children's fare, but that has never stopped me.
"Star Soldiers" is definitely a bit dated in it's portrayal of future technology, but the writing and character development are very good. And the ending of the second part (there are two distinct stories here) cinched the fourth star for me. This is a classic that holds up well.
Finally noticed the "Set To Today" button on review edit screen! This is a good solid Andre Norton space opera saga. As it ought to be, comprising of two books published in the early 50s that I probably read before in the early 60s, although I don't remember. Which is nice!
Enjoyable reading, but somewhat confusing. The first half, Star Guard, seemed incomplete to me, as though the entirety of the story was yet to be told. Star Rangers, the second half, was more well-rounded, more complete in its tale.
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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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“I believe that those in the city must be left to work out their own destiny," the hist-techneer said at last. "In a manner of thinking that choice is now a retreat. They wish life to remain as it always has been. But that is just what life never does. It goes up—one advances—or it goes down—one retreats. And if one tried to stand still—that is retreat.” 0 likes
“If Kartr had an instant picture of what it meant to dangle so precariously over the edge of a sheer drop he did not betray himself.” 0 likes
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