Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D. Critical Essays

Andre Norton


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Written during the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, this novel reflects the era’s concerns about atomic warfare and its possible aftermath. Many other science-fiction works of that time also employed this theme. Notable examples include Judith Merril’s short story “That Only a Mother” (1948), Ray Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950), and Wilmar Shiras’ novel Children of the Atom (1953).

Star Man’s Son, 2250 A.D. is Andre Norton’s first science-fiction novel, but the author already was a successful writer of adventure and historical fiction. Her first novel was The Prince Commands (1934). With Star Man’s Son, 2250 A.D., Norton began a science-fiction and fantasy writing career that has brought her numerous awards, including several for lifetime achievement. In 1977, she won the Gandalf Award, and in 1988 the prestigious World Fantasy Award.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Norton used the Cold War as background for a series of science-fiction novels beginning with The Time Traders (1958) and continuing with Galactic Derelict (1959), The Defiant Agents (1962), and Key Out of Time (1963). These novels pitted American agents against Soviets in a hunt for abandoned alien technology. An unrelated novel, Sea Siege (1957), explored the impact of atomic mutations in a post-holocaust...

(The entire section is 570 words.)