Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Review: Star Man's Son
Star Man's Son by Andre Norton is a science fiction novel set in a post apocalypric future where the survivors live in clans, eking out an existence in the wilderness. Fors is a mutant, born with the silve hair that marks him as different. He is the son of a Star Man- and as such, his place in the clan should be assured. The Star Men are the explorers of the clans, and they scour the ruined cities for knowledge and resources, avoiding the blue areas that are still radioactive. Fors aspires to be a Star Man himself, but the clan elders pass him over. After the latest such rejection, Fors decides to leave and strike out on his own, to seek out the great ruined city to the north.
He is accompanied by Lura, a great cat who is herself a mutant. Together they brave the dangers of an unknown world, with only their wits to guide them. There are other clans and scattered bands of survivors, not all of them friendly, and there is also the threat of the Beast Things- dangerous mutants that prowl the old cities. Together Fors and Lura find the lost city, the remnants of an ancient civilization, and uncover a shocking truth that may doom the clans forever.
This was one of the earliest books I read by Andre Norton, and remains one of my favorites. It's a thrilling adventure story, and presents a world that is both dangerous and exciting at the same time. Many of Norton's works had an optimistic tone, and were explorations of what is possible. I got the sense on reading this that everything was wide open, a vast new world to be explored in spite of the very real dangers. I was anxious to see what Fors would discover in the great ruined cities, and also if he would be able to return to his clan and assume a place of honor among them. There are lots of nice moments in this one. At one point Fors hears drums in the night and wonders who else is out there. At another point Fors is ambushed by Beast Things, and this leads a harrowing chase over rooftops and through the streets of a deserted city. Great stuff.
This book was also released under the title Daybreak 2250AD, with a different cover. That title gives the sense of a new beginning, I think. This is a great introduction to Andre Norton if you've never read her work, and a superb vintage science fiction novel.