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Solar Queen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Solar Queen Books

Sargasso of Space (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Plague Ship (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Voodoo Planet (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Postmarked the Stars (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Redline the Stars (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Derelict for Trade (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Mind for Trade (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Solar Queen (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Solar Queen is a series of science fiction books written by the award-winning author of young adult, science fiction and fantasy books, Alice Mary Norton under the penname Andre Norton (1912-2005). Andre always had empathy to the humanities. She embarked on her writing her career in teens inspired by her high school teacher and her first contact with the publishing world led to her, and other contemporary female authors are targeting by then a male-dominated market to use a literary pseudonym. In 1934, the author legally changed her name to Andre Alice but also used the names Allen Weston and Andrew North as pseudonyms. She was the first woman to win Gandalf Grand Master Award awarded to her by World Science Fiction in 1977. In 1983, Andre won a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America.

Andre Norton began the publication of Solar Queen series in 1955 when Sargasso of Space was published. The series lasted seven books concluding in 2003 when A Mind for Trade was published.

Sargasso of Space

Sargasso of Space is the debut novel in Solar Queen series by Andrew Norton. The book introduces the readers to Dane Thorson, a cargo apprentice who by mechanical pyscho selection is assigned to the Solar Queen, a trader ship. The ship’s crew pulls all its entire earnings and wins a whole planet at an auction. The team then explores this mysterious planet known as Limbo where they discover the remains of a lost civilization, as well as space pirates, globular natives, strange artifacts and many others.

Apparently written for young adults and juveniles, Sargasso of Space has a strong appeal for adult readers as well. Andrew Norton has become one of the most famous of all fantasy and science fiction writers, selling jillions of copies and endearing herself to the hearts of millions of readers. Her writing is simple, direct and her characters are often sharply and beautifully created and easy to identify with. Sargasso or Space, as well as other works of science fiction by Andre Norton, are in the genuine Golden Age pulp spirit, with no literary tricks, symbolism to gussy up the excitement of an intriguing and exciting story well told. By the end of this debut novel, we feel that we know more about the crew members including Dane Thorson, and yet want to know more about them.

The main character Dane Thorson is wonderfully portrayed. He has just completed his Training Pool, and his assignment is to work as an apprentice on Solar Queen, an interstellar tramp freighter. He is brave, and a perfect fit for his role as the main character. The other characters are beautifully done; you will love the good ones and love to hate the bad ones.

The first in Sargasso of Space is a fun space adventure, and there are no over the top hidden messages, and the basics of the main plot is simple and straightforward. Andre Norton focuses on world building and the conflict for space adventure on the basis of trade between planets and pits the heroes who start from a disadvantages position again the big company and wealthy people in business who seem to hold all the cards. The author also uses this stylistic device when creating her main character, Dane who comes from an orphanage, a poor background and through his efforts, receives an education, graduates and gets an opportunity for a better future.

The Solar Queen crew makes a great team. The author introduces Dane’s character as an assistant who is mentored and accepted by the ship’s crew. He perfectly fits in even though his confidence fluctuates from highs to lows as he makes rookie mistakes but soon begins the process of learning the ropes. In the Cook-Steward Frank Mura and Captain Jellico, the all-knowing Cargo-Master, Andre Norton introduces strong role models for Dane as well as other apprentices featured in the story. Additionally, the story also features a mix of cultures within all the 12 crew members.

The first few chapters are narrated from Dane’s point of view, and everything we know about this main character is told in those first few chapters.

Plague Ship

Plague Ship is the continuation of Sargasso of Space and the second in Solar Queen series by Andre Norton. The novel expands the possibilities brought forward in the previous book, increases the action, deepens the characters and leaves the readers wanting more. It is a suspenseful tale, fast moving, full of details and unexpected twists and turns. There are aspects of the novel that make it really shine including the gorp hunt that takes place on the reefs of an oily sea. Other action-packed scenes include landing in the Big Burn, raid on an asteroid emergency station, and the viewing of the mutant life forms.

What makes the books in this series unique is dynamics – something is constantly happening, and the author does not let you get bored and keeps in suspense. Moreover, also the characters and the protagonist, Dane are all simple ordinary guys. It causes sympathy. Furthermore, the rest of the crew of the “Solar Queen” are so different, and each is interesting his own way, and it is always curious to observe how they complement each other in the life-work of free traders. The very theme of space trade is also described very fascinatingly – laws, customs, rituals, goods, communication with representatives of the most diverse inhabitants of the universe.

When anyone talks about the Golden Age of Science Fiction, it is obvious that many authors come to mind, including the award-winning author, Andre Alice Norton. Even though her books are dated and were never about hard science fiction, they were cutting edge back then and are still today. Just like many authors of her time, she relied on story arc and characters more than pumping onto her readers with unnecessary physics explanations. Even though recommended to read Solar Queen series in order, the second book can be read as a standalone, meaning that it does not require you to read the first book in the series. If you enjoy reading old books and watching old movies, don’t pass this one up.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Solar Queen

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