I got that last rant out of my system. Now, on to more serious topics.
There are plenty of reasons to enjoy Ms. Norton. I will give the list on why I adore her.
1. Her protagonists are often outcasts/pariahs/lepers in her/his respective community/society/world/planet.
2. This outcast often does not know what is in store for them. Then, in the middle of their woes, their destiny arrives!
3. Norton appears to have used more disabled characters than other fictional authors. Also, because her character is disabled, doesn't default them to 'bad guy/bad girl'.
4. The disability stays with the character. Whether it's in a Norton science fiction or fantasy, the disability is often a boon.
5. The disability is also not glorified but is unpleasant for the protagonist. Norton's literary descriptions of how a real-life or fictional disability can affect the character in profound ways - by their internal monologues, their physical or 'magical' limitations, she as a writer appeared to have a good grasp on portraying a disability in a realistic way. However, by the middle of the story, he/she finds out how the 'disability' helps on the quest or in the middle of a conflict.
6. Norton likes 'furries', and the protagonist will often be accompanied by either a recognizable creature (cat or dog), or, a creature native to that particular planet/dimension/world.
7. Said 'furry companion' will often be more intelligent than the protagonist and often dispels the reader's ideas about 'pets'.
8. There are clues, riddles, puzzles to solve, ancient languages to decipher. Some of Norton's best stories (Most are) read as crime thrillers or murder mysteries.
9. Her novels, short story collections, series, and shared worlds are equally populated genderwise. That means she has just as much female protagonists as her male protagonists.
10. Norton appears to like shape-shifting, polymorphism, and out-of-body-experiences.
11. The woman got me more obsessed about psychic phenomenon! In many of her stories when the protag and 'furry' companion were 'linked', it was often through telepathy.
12. Norton's villains were not the Van Dyke-mustache-twirling types. Often, they simply were philosophically/politically/socially/genetically opposed to the protagonist. And if there was 'evil', it was a forgotten source of power left on some ancient abandoned world.
In honor of Andre Norton being taught at my campus, I will have another post on the Grand Dame of Science Fiction/Fantasy!
And some pics from my collection! Take care!
[Part 4 coming up]