Science fiction author Norton passes away | HT Tech

Science fiction author Norton passes away

Science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton, who wrote the popular "Witch World" series, has died. She was 93.

| Updated on: Mar 19 2005, 20:46 IST

Science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton, who wrote the popular 'Witch World' series, has died. She was 93.

Her death was announced by friend Jean Rabe, who said Norton died on Thursday of congestive heart failure at her home in Murfreesboro, a Nashville suburb.

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Born Alice Mary Norton on Feb. 17, 1912, in Cleveland, she wrote more than 130 books in many genres during her career of nearly 70 years. She used a pen name — which she made her legal name in 1934 — because she expected to be writing mostly for young boys and thought a male name would help sales.

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The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently created the Andre Norton Award for young adult novels, and the first award will be presented in 2006.

'She was wonderful with new or younger writers,' said Jane Jewell, executive director of SFWA. 'On many occasions, she worked with new writers and collaborated with them on novels to help them get started.'

Her first novel, 'The Prince Commands,' is set in a mythical European kingdom and tells of a young nobleman who returns from exile to stop a communist takeover of his homeland. It was published in 1934 when Norton was 22. The 'Witch World' series, which details life on an imaginary planet reachable only through hidden gateways, included more than 30 novels.

She was the first woman to receive the Grand Master of Fantasy Award from the SFWA in 1977, and she won the Nebula Grand Master Award in 1984.

Her last complete novel, 'Three Hands of Scorpio,' is set to be released in April. Norton's publisher, Tor Books, rushed to have one copy printed so that the author, who had been sick for almost a year, could see it.

'She was able to hold it on Friday,' Jewell said. 'She took it and said, 'What a pretty cobalt blue for the cover.'' Norton requested before her death that she not have a funeral service, but instead asked to be cremated along with a copy of her first and last novels.

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First Published Date: 18 Mar, 20:28 IST