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The Last Planet (Central Control #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  626 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Cover code #47162 indicates a 1974 printing. Novel first published in 1953 as "Star Rangers". First in the "Central Control" sequence, which also includes the 1955 novel, "Star Guard."
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Ace (first published 1953)
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Oct 03, 2011 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA SF fans; Norton fans in general
Typical Norton. And make no mistake, that's a good thing.

One of the last Patrol vessels of the crumbling Galactic Empire, Starfire, crashes on an uncharted planet and the surviving crew (regular Patrolmen and the Rangers who explore new worlds) must cope with surviving on an unfamiliar world and coming to terms with the end of their civilization.

As the straight-forward, old-school, YA SF adventure at which Norton excelled, The Last Planet does a good job of entertaining the reader with a quickly
Stephen Goldin
This was the first book I ever owned, and it set me on the path to being a science fiction writer.
While the history doesn't seem to quite match up, this is ostensibly set in the same universe as Star Guard, after jumping forward a thousand or so years to the decline the galactic empire that humans have become part of. A little laggy in parts, but with some enjoyable parts.

Women actually appear in the book! And a couple have names and everything. :) Actually serving in the Patrol, but in a kind of "Women's auxiliary" supply corps. And the usual wives and mothers.
Ingrid Hardy
This was one of many, many sci-fi books I read while in high school. I hated high school with a vengeance and so spent most of my time in the library reading every Andre Norton book there was, and this was one of them. While a bit dated, her books were eye-opening to me at the time, and along with some of her Witch World books, and gave me a safe haven. Along with several other authors of course.

If I absolutely had to choose, I might pick Susan Cooper over Andre Norton as among my favorite autho
Peter Vialls
I first read Star Rangers in junior school, in a hardback from the local library. Reading it again, now, I was surprised how well I remembered it. It had made an impression the first times I read it (I'm sure I had it out from the library at least twice). It tells of a Patrol starship that makes its final landfall. The Galactic Empire is disintegrating, and the ship has no prospect of lifting again. On the distant world they have discovered, off all the star-charts, they must now make their new ...more
Set in the twilight days of a waning galactic empire, this book deals with growing prejudice and fragmentation. The lost Patrol ship is marooned on a planet that's providentially ideal for their (somewhat varied) species.

Lin Carter pointed out that the Empire in question must have been quite small, and that it's improbable that 'Arth-type' planets so close to centers of civilization would have been abandoned.

I have to say, I've always found the 'history repeats itself' paradigm more than a littl
William Bentrim
Star Rangers by Andre Norton

In a post galactic apocalypse, the Star Rangers, the former peace keepers find their true home and look forward to reestablishing galactic peace.

I mentioned in my last review how Norton does a wonderful job examining motivation and behavior. She paints honorable protagonists and sinister villains. She shows the evils of intolerance and the benefits of integration when racial inequities were still common place in our own nation.

The galactic empire was dissolving into
I found this book in a used book store in Seattle last year. I hadn't read anything from Andre Norton since high school, and it brought up all sorts of memories. It was written in 1953, and this is an early edition paperback.

Andre Norton usually writes Sci-Fi/Fantasy books about spaceflight, other planets, alien races, and adding humans into the mix. Her heroes are often marginalized characters who have hidden psychic or metaphysical powers, but this book is a divergence from that realm. In it,
Interesting sci-fi by Andre Norton, who, in case you did not know, was a woman. She seems to be advancing a very cautious agenda here. The story involves Rangers, a mixed group of humans and aliens, some of them "sensitives" who can read minds. They work closely with Patrol, a humans-only group that is suspicious of mind reading. Their interactions deliver a message of tolerance and diversity, while also creating a new way to look at men -- as people who can use "sensitivity" as a tool, even a w ...more

What a fun book! Good old-fashioned space (well, planet) adventure, with an ending that shot the story well past "pretty good" and into "great!" I already knew I loved Andre Norton, but I'm extra loving discovering more of her work.
John Faherty
Typical of Ms. Norton's works her story unfolds on a strange and mysterious planet on the far fringes of the galaxy. There she depicts a time and place where a once great galactic empire has begun to decay and crumble under its own weight. The crew of a lone patrol ship are perhaps the last guardians of law and order left. This hardy yet weary crew, devoid of fuel and other resources is forced to crash land on a desolate and forbidding world.There the survivors of the patrol make a startling dis ...more
This weekend I struck gold in a hitherto unknown used bookstore near the harbor. In the back I found a treasure trove of Andre Norton books, including six I did not have copies of, four of which I had never read before. Unexpected happiness!
Star Rangers was originally published in 1953 and my copy was printed in 1980 or '81. It is awesome fantasy (although it's got scifi elements, the Psi elements place it in my fantasy list)that starts when a Patrol ship crash lands on an un-named planet that's
I didn't enjoy this 2nd book of the Central Control series as much as Star Guard. However there is a twist in the tail and it is a worthwhile read.
The more pulp sci-fi I read, the more enamored I become of the genre. This is a classic from the era -- and unique, considering it's written by a woman. Good to see the fairer sex can also churn out typically macho fare such as this, though it's not as blatantly macho as other pulp I've read -- though it does appear that the natives involved are left to perish from the plague introduced by the interlopers. Yes, it abounds with sci-fi cliches, but that's what pulp is supposed to do.

Good character
Fredrick Danysh
The galactic empire is coming apart and ambitious men are setting up their own empires. The Space Patrol with its Rangers have been the law enforcement arm of space for over a thousand years. One warlord orders the Space Patrol in his region to explore uncharted regions of space. One one such ship, after numerous landfalls, the ship crashes on a Earth-like planet. Another ship carrying refugees from a Patrol base that was attacked by pirates drops its cargo in care of the Rangers and then lures ...more
Gail Morris
very good sci-fi story of a far flung future.
aka Last Planet
I read this book about 35 years ago when I was a kid. There was very little of the plot that I recalled, but I always remembered enjoying it. Strangely enough, I always recalled the cover art from the 1974 paper back version. Norton's writing is obviously a bit dated (published in 1953). But she spins a great "old school" science fiction story that concentrates on the characters rather than the technology, and then she plugs in a twist at the end that's both poignant and hopeful.
Nigel Williamson
I first read this book when i was 8 or 9, back in the 1960's, when i found it in the school library. i enjoyed it then, being the target audience, and I have a hardback copy now on my bookshelf. I will always enjoy this book, even though my tastes have inevitably become more sophisticated, because there is an innocence and clarity about the story and the writing style that I find immensely appealing, even after all these years. Definitely a keeper!
I had never managed to get much farther than a couple chapters into a Norton book. Maybe I just needed to be in the right frame of mind or my taste in books needed to change but after having this one on my shelves for 7 years I decided to give it another try.

While it came across as a boys adventure story with some aliens and spaceships thrown in for fun and a racism is bad message, I ended up enjoying the story.
Of the two novels in Star Soldiers, I enjoyed this one more than Star Guard. It had more of the things I always liked about Norton's stories: inter-species cooperation, telepathy, and an upbeat ending. The characters evince ranges of behavior, with the major ones developing as the story progresses. "People" (not all of them human) you don't mind hanging out with, for awhile.
As a kid, I started a couple of Andre Norton books but I don't think I ever finished one. So I think this is the first I have read all the way through. Not a great science fiction story but it was easy reading for classic 50's science fiction. It is always interesting to pick up little details that reflect when the book was written.
Londonmabel Mabel
Mixed feelings. The thing I liked best was how the non-human characters were treated. Equals to the protagonist, interesting personalities. That's why I gave three stars. But I found the book dragged, maybe because it felt like there were three different stories, like episodes from a tv show. Only the middle one was too long.
Charles Eldredge
Good read even after all this time.
This was the first book I've read by Andre Norton. I enjoyed it pretty well, Norton has an enjoyable writing style and I liked her concepts and galaxy-building.
This book has been published as either 'the last planet' or 'star rangers'. It's great! A very interesting and easy to read science fiction.
Didn't enjoy this as much as "Star Guard". The story is rather generic and the use of telepathy as a major plot point is not my cup of tea.
1979 grade A-

aka Star Rangers

Title on book =
The Last Planet
Original Title: Star Rangers
Jul 26, 2010 Jennifer marked it as to-read
I haven't finished it yet, somebody stole it so I had to by another one off ebay and try again
Reread this every couple of years. One of my favorite sci-fi books. Straightforward. Enjoyable.
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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
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Central Control (3 books)
  • Star Guard (Central Control, #2)
  • Star Soldiers (Central Control, #1-2)

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