A common enemy is an excellent argument for mutual peace

fault line

We have a common purpose here

“Are we prisoners?” Ross came back to the main point.

“Not now. Our handling of the weasels took care of that. A common enemy is an excellent argument for mutual peace. And we have a common purpose here, too. If we were going to find out anything which will help Renfry, it will be in just such a collection as this.”

“It’d take a year just to shuffle though the top layer in this mess,” Ross gave a gloomy opinion.

“We know what we are looking for – we have examples on the ship. Anything we can uncover in the process which might help our winged friends, we turn over to them. And who knows what we may find?”

by Andre Norton (February 17, 1912 – March 17, 2005)
from Time Traders (first published 1958, revised 2000)
chapter – Galactic Derelict
image – theilr

Happy Birthday, Andre Norton

Science Fiction and Fantasy author Alice Mary Norton was born on February 17th, this day in 1912. Inspired by a favorite high school teacher, she started writing in her teens. Writing as the ambiguously gendered pseudonym Andre Norton began in her 20’s, when “Alice” legally changed her name to Andre Alice Norton, to better target a male-dominated readership. Even then, she was focused on the fans. Later in life, fans would call her simply “the Lady.”

Andre Norton initially hoped to become a high school teacher, but had to drop out of college because of the Great Depression. Instead, she worked in the Cleveland Library system for nearly 20 years, with brief stints at the Library of Congress and as a failed bookstore owner. In the 1950’s the Lady worked as a reader for the Gnome Press.

Norton didn’t become a full-time author until 1958, the year she turned 46, the same year Time Traders was first published. By 1958 she had already published over a dozen books. Between 1958 and her death in 2005 she sometimes published as many as eight books a year, for a lifetime total of over 170 books, not including those published after her death. She wrote consistently for over 70 years.

As was the first woman to receive a Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy award, and the Nebula Grand Master Award, the Lady was a trail blazer. Though at first critics gave Norton’s work a lukewarm response, they were won over by her consistency and grace of expression, dubbing her “the Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy.”

Not bad for a college dropout who was not able to write full-time until her mid 40’s!

Andre Norton was known for writing meticulously researched stories about what might be, if history had taken different turns. From an interview with Raymond H. Thompson, published online as part of The Camelot Project:

I don’t really think about form; I just write, fitting the story to what I think might have happened. I realize that I took liberties with tradition by proposing an earlier civilization, but I was trying to prove to myself that such a theory could account for many features of the legend. They didn’t have to be magic; Merlin might have been using forgotten lore to achieve his purposes.

In fact, I didn’t really think of my novel as science fiction. I have in my library a lot of what I call speculative archaeology, dealing with phenomena that cannot be readily explained by current theories. It was believed that the Indians came to America in 10,000 B.C., passing over the land bridge, but then objects were found that carbon dated at 40,000. Unexplained discoveries have been made in this country, such as a Roman camp in Virginia. Such discoveries ruffle the feathers of archaeologists who would rather ignore or dismiss them than change their familiar theories.

Andre Norton Quotes

There is no night without a star, so the blackness of our night can be lighted by our own efforts
from No Night without Stars

Do not fear so, here is one who would be a blade at your back. A shield across your breast. Here is kin, here is strength to lean upon, to share as you share in need.
from Beast Master’s Ark
with Lyn McConchie

Always the cat remains a little beyond the limits we try to set for him in our blind folly. A cat does not live with one; rather, one lives with a cat.
from Catfantastic: Nine Lives and Fifteen Tales

Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people.
from Catfantastic: Nine Lives and Fifteen Tales

I think the human race made a bad mistake at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. We leaped for mechanics, and threw aside things that were just as important.
from Dream Makers, Volume I
interviews by Charles Platt

As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.
from Gryphon in Glory

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3 Responses to “A common enemy is an excellent argument for mutual peace”

  1. starla Says:

    Very nicely put together Elizabeth…I LIKE THIS ONE!!!

  2. You asked, and I will deliver | QuoteSnack News | Quote Snack Says:

    […] « It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority A common enemy is an excellent argument for mutual peace […]

  3. The gift of an inquisitive nature to the young can be greater than that of the wisdom which comes of age - Brian Jacques Says:

    […] and it doesn’t hurt at all to hear about authors who come into their own later in life. Andre Norton is another […]