Andre Norton John Rowe Townsend - Essay

John Rowe Townsend

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although [Andre Norton's] fantasies and historical stories have merit, it seems to me that the science fiction is the most interesting part of her work and the basis of her reputation.

Miss Norton's science fiction books are, in the main, 'space opera': stories of galactic and inter-galactic adventure. This is the category of science fiction which is least likely to be found acceptable by the literati. Space opera is associated with pulp magazines, and is apt to be written off on superficial inspection as wild, undisciplined stuff, all about clashing fleets of spaceships, battles with bug-eyed monsters, death and destruction by ray-gun: action of meaningless violence in settings which are spatially...

(The entire section is 2283 words.)