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STAR RANGERS [Mass Market Paperback]

Andre Norton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind and Honor June 8 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Blasters, rocket ships, and Space Patrols became staples of science fiction very early in its life as a separate genre, usually used in rather poor, pulp-level stories that were often nothing more than Westerns translated to outer space. But Norton took these common elements and added her own special flavor, and the result is a very satisfying adventure that truly qualifies as 'real' science fiction, one that will tickle that 'sense of wonder' that is such a prime requisite for imaginative fiction.
In the waning days of a vast interstellar empire, a lone ship of the Patrol crash lands on a minor, very out of the way planet. Quickly scouting around their crash site, they find evidence of a long vanished high tech civilization in the Sealed Cities, along with nomadic hunter-gatherer level groups of humans. Looking for better shelter to tend their injured personnel, the rangers enter one of the cities, only to find it occupied by another group of refugees and ruled by the Acturian Cummi, a master telepath, one who is not above overpowering and directly controlling other peoples minds, who is bent on becoming the sole ruler of the planet. Zinga, a member of the ancient historian race of Zacathans (a reptilian race that populates many of Norton's science fiction works), and the human Kartr, both high order telepaths themselves, though not of the strength of Cummi, end up in a memorable mental battle with Cummi. The result of this battle and its aftermath lead to a very surprising and exciting ending, one that has resonated in my mind for forty years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia plays a part in the rating Oct. 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I was 9 years old I found this book in the school library. I had never read such a wonderful book! It was my first science fiction novel, and it took me places that I had never dreamed existed.
My family moved 3000 miles away soon after that, and I often thought that I might go back to that school and find the thrilling science fiction book whose name and author I couldn't remember.
As these things happen, roughly 30 years later, I found the book as I was looking through a used book shop. Of course, I was seeing it through the eyes of a child, and the book lacked the depth, sophistication and complexity that I now desire. However, the characters and the plot could form the framework for a much richer novel or movie. Anyone know a good movie producer? I haven't seen a science fiction movie worth a farthing for a long time.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
It always confused me that Andre Norton's first novel about the Stellar Patrol (1953) should deal with its demise. For that is what this excellently crafted novel deals with, the end of that noble service after 1000 years as guardians of peace and order in the First Galactic Empire.
It is a time of decadence and dissolution in the Empire. Sector wars are carrying off more and more worlds from Central Control. Individual bureaucrats are usurping their positions to carve out private kingdoms. Only the incorruptible Patrol and its Code remain to stand in their way. Yet, the Patrol has seen better days. Their ships are old and there are no replacements- only cannibalization keeps them running. The supply ships come less and less often. Communications between sectors- and with Central Control itself is breaking down. There are fewer and fewer new recruits. The only thing still as strong as ever is the dedication, honor, and tradition of the Patrol.
Specifically, this is the story of the last voyage of the Vegan Scout, Starfire. She was sent on a final, futile mission, along with her sister ships to remap and rediscover forgotten worlds near the galactic rim. In reality, she has been sent out by an ambitious Imperial bureaucrat to die- yet due to their ancient trust and loyalty the patrol obeys. Her Patrol crewmen and elite Rangers (think of them as Marine Scouts, but with finely trained telepathic powers) finally crash land on a world so ancient that all record of it has been lost. But sometimes endings come full circle- and beginnings are found and restored....
If there had been no other creator of hard science fiction, or of fantasy, in the second half of the 20th century, Andre Norton would have been enough.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book hooked me on si-fi and Andre Norton. Man has been in space so long that Terra is nearly forgotten. The social and political structure has fallen apart. A group of Space rangers and a ship of civilians crashes on a nearly empty world that has nomads, and sealed empty cities. The leader of the civilians takes control of the city and has the ability to control minds. Hate for non-humans grows and the Rangers choose to go it alone in the wild. They make the amazing discovery that this planet is Terra, the birth place of man. This was my first introduction to science fiction. I hope someday that this book will become a movie. Zinga is a match for a Drak or a Jedi anytime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flight, the chase, and an incredible ending! Dec 3 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Star Rangers was written in 1953, reissued in 1985, and at one time had the title of "The Last Planet" but the context of the story could fit in tomorrows worlds. Of all the SF I have read, it had the most lasting effects. A dying society retreating from tryanny finds an incredible discovery on a planet they know little, if anything, about. The ENDING is explosive and will never leave your thoughts, especially when you view the stars at night. I equate this Story along the lines and equal to Starship Troopers!
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