Date: 2014-12-12 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w. dow rieder (from
I recall this one vividly. I'm not sure it's the first Norton I read, but it's definitely the first one I remember well. More than forty years later I still remember details like the evil telepath having a strange hound like flunky/telepathic booster, the numerical ratings of the telepaths, and the kindly (to the protagonist) lizard-folk who hid that they, too were telepaths.

I think this was the book that firmly established the 'prejudice is bad' meme for me.

Definitely worth reading if you can put yourself in the mind frame of a bookish kid in the early 70s, and possible otherwise, too.

Date: 2014-12-12 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The lizard-folk, whose species name I forget, cropped up in a lot of her books. I know they were in The Zero Stone series, and others. Definitely superior to human beings.

I always pronounced "Kartr" as "Kar-truh." Sometimes I don't see the forest for the trees, I guess ;).

Date: 2014-12-12 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The lizard-folk are Zacathans; their homeworld is Zacan.

If you scroll down, Fancher drew Kartr years ago. Nice art!

Date: 2014-12-12 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm pretty sure it was the first Norton I read, and I remember those details too. Also the way the scene where they're reading the system names off the backs of the chairs sent shivers down my spine. Other bits: Kartr watching the avian alien Ranger climb and wondering if his people regretted giving up flight for intelligence; Kartr and the Zacanthan testing a Patrol member for resistance to mental influence, which I think is the first confirmation that the Zacanthan is an empath too, and more powerful than Kartr.

I absolutely loved this book at the time (about 1972/3) - I think the edition I read was this one:

-- Paul Clarke

Date: 2014-12-13 10:30 am (UTC)
julesjones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] julesjones
One of the earliest Nortons for me, I think. I re-read it a couple of years ago, and the scene reading the system names *still* sends shivers down my spine.

Date: 2014-12-12 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
For a long time the only thing that stuck in my mind about this was the Roman legion bit in the opening, and a reference to an all robot planet named Tantor (which reminded me of Trantor). When I finally reread it though, a lot more rang a bell, particularly the discovery made at the very end of the book.

Date: 2014-12-13 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not ringing any bells for me, and I thought I knew my Nortons pretty well. I've downloaded it, and I'll have a look to see if this truly is a new-to-me Norton.

Date: 2014-12-13 06:50 am (UTC)
ext_12246: (books)
From: [identity profile]
Zacathans! I don't recall reading this book, but "Zacathan" struck a resonance, and from somewhere "Zinga the Zacathan" popped up in my mind. ... So I googled it, and ... ho-ly .... it's from the same book all right.

Date: 2014-12-14 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just reread this one. I'd only read it once (unlike most other Norton), and it wasn't as much of a downer as I remembered. Not the most hopeful of her works, but, like Dread Companion, it definitely ends on an optimistic note, unlike Dark Piper, which is astoundingly grim.

I was amused by one bit - in this book (where I believe Norton first introduced the Zacathans), she didn't mention their 1,000+ year lifespans. While all of the human characters in the book will live and die on the planet, if we assume that Zinga is relatively young, perhaps not more than 200, and maybe no more than 100, then there's an excellent chance that in 500-700 years either some explorers from the next growing interstellar polity will discover Earth or that by that time, the inhabitants might have built new spacecraft. So, my bet is on Zinga getting to see at least the beginning of the next interstellar age.


james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

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