~ A Novel by Andre Norton



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the flaps of the 1980 dustjacket ~

No one knew of Voor’s menace until fifty years after the first ship landed. Even then, it was only a handful of outpost villages that were hit – twenty or so deaths in each case. And there were plenty of logical reasons, if one chose to believe them; bad water… contaminated food… attacks by previously unknown native predators…
Yet none of these explanations held up after the Shadow Death struck Mungo’s Town. Logic could not explain away two hundred and twenty awful deaths.
My mother died at Mongo, and my father and I took up the only life a wise man followed on Voor. We became lopers – wandering, learning, seeking out the places where the Shadow Death had left its mark… determined to stop the horror or be taken by it!
With fifty originals illustrations by Alicia Austin.


Write-up from the back of both the tradepaper and paperback editions ~

VOOR: A new planet, declared free and open to settlers by Survey testers; a wild but fertile land, dotted with impenetrable brush and lonely wastelands that remain unexplored, where frontiersmen had hoped to carve out new lives for their families. But a Shadow stalk on Voor, striking without warning at isolated settlements, killing nearly all, and leaving Shadow touched and forever strange those few who are left alive. Now an oddly matched trio has set out to learn the secret of the Shadow Death, heading deeper into the wastelands than anyone has ever gone: an embittered wanderer and his son, and a young girl who bears a Healer’s gifts. All are Shadow touched; what they had to lose is lost already; they are free now to risk their lives in search of truth.


Write-up from a fan ~

Voorloper--An odd-looking word. Voor has a BIG problem. Like Ann McCaffrey's Pern, the first fifty years of colonization went well. Then without warning people in these scattered settlements mysteriously died with the exception of a few children. Dubbed "The Shadow Death, this disaster spared a few children who were born on Voor. Mac Turley s'Ban and his son Bart are Voorlopers which means that they travel all over Voor in a wagon (Treker) pulled by a team of Gars. These Gars resemble a Bison with horns like Texas Longhorn and a unicorn-type horn up front and have more intelligence than most people give them credit for. Bart is one of three survivors of Mungo's Town and is referred to as being Shadow Touched and has no memories of what happened. Mac, having lost his wife to the blight, has made it his purpose in life to find out what causes "Shadow Death". At Ratterslea, an untouched settlement, Bart meets the healer Illo, a shadow touched survivor of Voor's Grove, the planet's first settlement. She insists on traveling with these Voorlopers and Mac lets her come along since no one says no to a healer. A horrendous storm wrecks their Treker, loosed three of their gars and kills Mac. Bart and Illo travel on with three gars and take Mac's body back to the ruins of Mungo's Town to lay him near his wife. He makes discoveries that point him toward the Tangle, a deadly nigh-impenetrable jungle. Could the Shadow Death originate there? IF so, why did it take so long to attack? Illo and Bart, two survivors must attempt the seemingly impossible task of exploring the dreaded Tangle. What do they find? Read it and find out! ~ PG


Reviews ~

Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1980 by R. Geen in Booklist, December 01
1981 by Joe Sanders in Locus #241, February
2019 by Judith Tarr


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1980) Published by Nelson Doubleday, Book Club Edition, HC, # 3999, $6.95, 214pg ~ cover by W. Studmak, illustrated by Alicia Austin {Black Paper Boards, # K27 on Page 213}
  • (1980) Published by ACE, TP, 0-441-86609-3, LCCN 81112603, $6.95, 267pg ~ cover by W. Studmak, illustrated by Alicia Austin
  • (1981) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-86610-7, $2.75 - #86611 1984 $2.75 267pg - covers by W. Studmak, illustrated by Alicia Austin


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1983) Published in Germany; by Bergisch Gladback: Lübbe, 34-042-2054-4, Bastei Lübbe Bd. 22054, DM6.80, 204pg ~ translated by Barbara Heidkamp ~ cover by Tim White ~ German title Das Geheimnis der Voorloper [The secret of the voorloper]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2002) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-00087-9, HC, 384pg ~ cover by S. Yull & illustrations by A. Lurie ~ Russian title Звёздный охотник [Star hunter]


    • "Voorloper" as "Wandering along the Vuru" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 7-160
    • "Yurth Burden" as "The burden of yurts" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 163-276
    • "Star Hunter" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 279-383


  • (2004) Published in Moscow, by Eskmo, 5-699-08544-0, PB, 384pg ~ cover of S. Yull ~ Russian title Звездный охотник [Star hunter]


    • "Voorloper" as "Wandering along the Vuru" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 5-159
    • "Yurth Burden" as "The burden of yurts" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 160-276
    • "Star Hunter" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 277-380


  • (2015) Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 978-5-699-76610-9, HC, 992pgs ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Звёздные изгнанники [Star Exiles] ~ Limited to 3000 copies


    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Moon of Three Rings" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 5-220
    • "Exiles of the Stars" as "Star Exiles" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 221-442
    • "Voorloper" as "Wandering along the Vour" ~ translation by D. Arseniev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 443-608
    • "Forerunner" as "The Forerunner" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 609-802
    • "Forerunner: The Second Venture" as "Forerunner: The Second Adventure" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 803-989

View the Original contract

View the original Copyright app.

View the 1986 ACE contract

View the 2001 Russian contract

View a 1981 Locus Magazine add from Andre's records.

See Also: Timeline 1 - Andre's Universe entry for this title.

Interior Illustrations;



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