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Daybreak 2250 AD

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,305 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Fors was a mutant. He did not know what drove him to explore the empty lands to the north, where the great skeleton ruins of the old civilization rusted away in the wreckage of mankind's hopes.
But he could not resist the urging that led him through danger and adventure, to the place where he faced the menace of the Star Men.

Two centuries after an atomic war on earth, a sil
Published (first published January 1st 1951)
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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.
Nikki Barnabee
Apr 08, 2011 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
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
Louis Shalako
Mar 18, 2011 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.
Feb 17, 2013 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.
Rick Aucoin
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first novel I ever read, in about 6th grade. Probably the cause of my lifelong love of the post-apocalyptic genre.

Certainly a good read for its target audience, the 10-14 year old.
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
Orlando Falvo
Aug 05, 2010 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.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A favorite scifi coming-of-age novel from my middle school years.
While I enjoyed this older book, I found the ending grossly insufficient. All this build up and then suddenly everything is hunky dory and somewhat predictable. I did enjoy the mutant aspect of the story. This story was originally written in the 50's when the treat of nuclear war was real and the mutagenic fear of radiation was always present. This book is a testament to those fearful times.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, 1950s
Way back when, starting during grade school years, I likely read at least a dozen books by the extremely prolific "Norton." This is my favorite, probably the only re-read. It started my interest in post apocalypse science fiction. Could identify with the main character, his quest. Written by a Cleveland librarian.

selected quotes from a KIRKUS REVIEW:

" ... adventure tale- placed in the future and dealing with the plains people, mountain people and Beast Things which inhabited the earth as survivo
Dan Quigley
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I were to wish to introduce a teenager to the genre of post-apocalyptic science fiction, I can think of no better novel to hand him or her than this. It hasn't dated and still possesses all the elements with none of the whistles. Bold and original for its time maybe, it now serves as the most typical work in the field. This book is also Andre Norton's first science fiction novel, her earliest determined effort to write for this genre. It's quite a break-in achievement. Technically speaking, i ...more
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
Sandy Shin
Jun 22, 2013 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
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
Timothy Boyd
Oct 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Good solid SiFi story. Norton's Early SiFi stories always gives you a good easy read. Recommended
Jun 12, 2014 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
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 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
Mar 21, 2010 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 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
Sep 09, 2011 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 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.
Lenny Husen
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this in the 1970s--still think about it sometimes. GREAT book. Loved the main character's relationship with the cat--a mutant telepathic Siamese as large as a panther.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys the old stuff.
Such a joyful nostalgia to go back to the favorite author of my teenage years. I've had this copy of Daybreak - 2250 A.D. on my shelves ever since then. In every house I've lived in, every state I've moved to, everywhere. And I finally pick it up after decades.

What. A. Joy.

When I was younger I don't think I caught on to the surprising amount of social commentary in this book. Ms. Norton managed to fit some insightful thoughts on race and society that no doubt informed my young mind in a good w
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I can't remember where I got this paperback edition, it may have been one of several Norton books I found at a bus stop I first read it as "Star Man's Son" in 3rd grade, and as I remember it, I convinced the teacher to read it to the class. I think that was something he did, read a student's suggested book out loud. This was probably the first science fiction book I ever read, I guess.
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
Aug 26, 2016 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
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
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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. She also used the names Andrew North and Allen ...more