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The plot elements of this 1950s space adventure Star Born have been used, some would say abused, so many times it could be employed as a template for a course in Writing Your Own SF Novel. The genius of Andre Norton is her knack for taking a standard SF planetiary adventure and infusing it with solid characters and so many unusual plot escapades you cant resist turning the page to see how it all turns out.

We start with exiles from a warring Earth founding a colony on Astra a habitual planet somewhere in outer space. The exiles find scattered throughout their immediate area of settlement-abandoned cities, remnants of a prior civilization apparently destroyed in an atomic war. A deep distrust of technology and fear of weapons caused to exiles to avoid visiting the cities of Those Others as the natives are called. In addition to developing city destroying weapons Those Others bred a race of mermen - folk who can live both on land and under water. The mermen revolted against Those Others and eventually formed an alliance with the exiles. What starts out as an exploratory expedition by a pair of merman-exile youths turns into a quite entertain and exciting novel when Those Other team up with a new expedition from Earth to reclaim some of there ancient technology.

Norton usually wrote several novels using the same background and plot highpoints. Star Born (1957) was no exception. A prior novel, The Stars are Ours (1954) detailed the story of the exiles while on Earth and during their landing on Astra. Although book 2 Star Born leaves several plot points unresolved Norton never wrote subsequent books in this series.

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