Sargasso of Space

Mary Alice Norton started writing in high school and never stopped. Told that a masculine sounding name would sell adventure titles she picked Andre and eventually made that her legal first name. This was 1934and science fiction had nothing to do with it. She almost broke into f&sf in the 1930s when she sold a story to William Crawford at Marvel Tales, but the magazine went out of business before it could be published. Crawford remembered it and finally got it into print in his fanzine Fantasy Book in 1948. That story and another one in Fantasy Book were run under the name Andrew North. Why? Well, Gnome isn’t the only 40s publisher to hide mysteries.

Norton worked as an assistant to Marty Greenberg at Gnome starting in 1952, mostly as a first reader, long-distance from her home in Cleveland. Her flood of production under her own name had started in 1951 with Huon of the Horn for the mainstream publisher Harcourt, Brace & Company. For the next several years she also edited f&sf anthologies while writing juveniles for World Publishing. Perhaps having her books appear from three separate publishers as Andre Norton was at least one too many. She became Andrew North again for Sargasso of Space. The second and third Dane Thorson adventures also appeared as by Andrew North. A fourth was a surprise in 1969 but by that time Andre Norton was a brand name. All the books have been reprinted as by Norton.

Floyd C. Gale reviewed it for the September 1956 Galaxy:

[T]hough unpretentious space opera, it makes good adventure reading for a couple of carefree hours.

Sargasso of Space, by Andrew North (pseud. of Andre Norton), 1955, title #48, 185 pages, $2.50, 4000 copies printed. Hardback. Jacket design by Ed Emsh. “First Edition” stated on copyright page. Manufactured in the U.S.A. by H. Wolff. Back cover: 39 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3

1) (CURREY A) Gray cloth, spine lettered in black, 1955
2) (CURREY B) Tan boards, spine lettered in black, 1959Sargasso of Space jacket cover9?

 

Sargasso of Space jacket flaps

Sargasso of Space gray clothSargasso of Space gray boards

Sargasso of Space tipped-in Norton autograph