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Forerunner Paperback – February 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Forerunner (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765331918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765331915
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,777,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A superb storyteller with a narrative pace all her own."
The New York Times
 
"The grande dame of science fiction."
—Life Magazine

"In giving us amazing stories, she serves as an ongoing inspiration for more than one generation of fantasy writers."
Mercedes Lackey, bestselling author of Exile's Valor

About the Author

For well over a half century, ANDRE NORTON was one of the most popular science fiction and fantasy authors in the world. With series such as Time Traders, Solar Queen, Forerunner, Beast Master, Crosstime, and Janus, as well as many stand-alone novels, her tales of adventure have drawn countless readers to science fiction. Her fantasy novels, including the bestselling Witch World series, her Magic series, and many other unrelated novels, have been popular with readers for decades. Lauded as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, she is the recipient of a Life Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Convention. An Ohio native, Norton lived for many years in Winter Park, Florida, and died in March 2005 at her home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on October 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Other Andre Norton books which include her Forerunner theme are "Sargasso of Space" (1955), "Exiles of the Stars" (1971), "Forerunner Foray" (1973), "Moon Called" (1982), and "Forerunner: The Second Venture" (1985). In most of these SF novels, Norton describes the ancient Forerunner ruins as vast, underground high technology installations where ordinary human beings can be driven crazy just by the odd angles to the walls, the mazes and tunnels where they're always getting lost, or by the harmful emanations from the ancient and only partly understood machines.

In "Forerunner" (1981) and its sequel, "Forerunner: The Second Venture" (1985), author Norton veers off the super technology highway and onto the mythical road of nature/nurture goddesses. All of a sudden, Forerunners (at least one of them) bear a strong resemblance to Ceres, Persephone, and (if you follow the Witch World novels) Gunnora. In Andre Norton's universe, there was more than one race that preceded humans into space. I just wish that she had differentiated between the technology-based Forerunner civilizations, and the Forerunner civilization that is explicated in this novel, which seems very anti-technology.

"Forerunner" begins in the ancient port of Kuxortal, which has built and rebuilt itself upon the ruins of ancient and decayed civilizations. The lowly Burrow-dwellers sometimes discover artifacts from the past as they tunnel beneath the current city's towers.

Simsa had been a runner and fetcher for an old Burrow-dweller, "until the mists of the riverside burrow bit so far into Old One's crippled bones that her body at last gave up..." She buries her mentor, who had probably rescued Simsa off of a garbage heap as an infant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on March 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Don't confuse this book with _Forerunner Foray_ (public libraries sometimes mix them up). They're not part of the same series, in that they don't deal with the same characters or locales - just the same universe.
"Forerunner", in this setting, is a term used to refer to ancient artifacts of extinct species ('ancient' can be millions, or billions, of years). Forerunner artifacts may be gemstones, tumbled ruins - or massive automated installations, no telling, since there's no one 'Forerunner' civilization; it's just a catch-all term indicating both great age and alien culture. In this universe, archeologists compete not only with legitimate government agencies over custody of their finds, but with the Guild, that shadowy, loose organization of the Galaxy's criminals.
On the backwater, low-tech world where this story begins (if one can speak of real beginnings where roots run so deep), Kuxortal, favored by its location, draws not only on the sea trade and the trade of the continent drained by the river Kux, but the ships of the offworlders. While Kuxortal doesn't offer goods to attract the great combines who take the cream of interstellar trade, that in itself appeals to other elements - ships run by men who want a port where they can warehouse and exchange goods without awkward formalities like customs inspectors (as long as they pay due respect, and other proper dues, to the Guild Lords who run the city).
But the Guild Lords' palaces in the high reaches of Kuxortal are not the whole city - a city so old that its origins are lost in time, where any space vacated by the collapse or destruction of a building is speedily filled again, gradually raising the city ever higher above the river and the shore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Forerunner (1981) is the first SF novel in the Forerunner duology. It is set on an ancient world dominated by Kuxortal, a city built on a mound of older buildings. At the top of the mound live the High Lords. Far below live the Burrowers among the buried remains of the old city.

Kuxortal has a spaceport, where offworld ships come to trade. The Guilds zealously keep the common people away from the spacers. But sometimes offworlders come to buy old artifacts.

In this novel, Simsa is a Burrower. Her skin is deepest black and her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are silver. She lived with Ferwar until she died. Now she and Zass lives in Ferwar's former dwelling.

Ferwar was a very old Burrower. She collected and studied ancient writings. She taught Simsa much about old objects.

Zass is a zorsal, a winged animal. Simsa found her fluttering on a rubbish heap with a broken wing. She and her two sons were tamed by Simsa.

Gathar is a warehouse commander. He rents the use of the two male zorsals from Simsa.

Arfellen is a High Lord. He is probably the most powerful Lord in the city.

Thorn Chan-li is an offworlder. Yun is looking for his elder brother.

In this story, Simsa was accepted as Ferwar's fetcher and errand runner, but the death of Ferwar has made her vulnerable. Some want to move into the comfortable lodging and use Simsa as a bedmate.

One decides to take the dwelling and bedmate. As he strides toward Simsa, the bystander start making bets. Simsa slips out claws from her fingers and toes and rips up the man until he can no longer stand.

After that incident, Simsa stations Zass above the door at night. She also starts making plans to move up in the world.
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