Star Guard

~ 2nd Novel in the Central Control Series by Andre Norton

star guard 1955


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1955 HC ~

3956 A.D. found the people of earth, Terra, firmly under the power of Central Control - or so it seemed. Arch Swordsman Kana Karr had been taught like the rest of earth's men that the role in the universe assigned to them was to be its mercenaries. Under the command of officers from other planets, they went wherever fighting was necessary.
Outwardly there seemed to be no trouble. But rumors were beginning to spread - rumors of disasters that had wiped out whole units of Terra's men. Kana Karr knew of these rumors when he set out on his first mission, but it was to be a seemingly easy police action on the planet Fronn. The assignment proved to be anything but what was expected. Kana and his comrades faced, not just disaster, but the planned annihilation of their whole force! In these distant planets, some power was beginning a campaign to overthrow the whole system.
How could word be gotten back to Central Control? What network of forces was operating under an apparently calm surface? And what did this all mean for the planet Terra and mankind? In a breath-taking novel of outer space, Andre Norton spins a tale of excitement and intrigue, this time thrusting the reader into a future world where men are not the masters but underdogs of the universe. Star Guard is another tightly plotted, fast moving adventure to add to such popular Norton books as Star RangersStar Man's Son, and At Swords' Point.


Write-up from the back of the ACE paperback edition ~

In a breathtaking novel of outer space, Andre Norton spins a web of excitement and intrigue, this time taking the reader into a future epoch where men are not the masters but the underdogs of the universe – hired soldiers who wear the uniforms of their alien masters.
Andre Norton’s Star Guard in the fast-action account of the courageous recruit was first dared to challenge that science-dictatorship on behalf of the whole of Earth.
It’s a thriller,” said The Cleveland Press


Write-up from the back of the Fawcett paperback edition ~

“Intrigue, Espionage, Battle… A fast-moving adventure which should enthrall!” – The New York Times
They were Terrans, considered by Central Control to be the ideal mercenaries of the galaxy. Divided into “Hordes” and “Legions”, the former serving on primitive worlds with hand weapons. The latter indulging in technical warfare on more advanced planets. These men of death followed orders perfectly – until rumors of whole unit annihilations began to spread.
Kana Karr was just Swordsman of an ordinary Horde. He had been sent to an un-extraordinary planet to quell a common rebellion. A simple assignment – until Kana discovered the awesome truth behind the intergalactic rumors and realized that not only his life but the fate of the whole human race was irrevocably entwined with the outcome.
“Fantastic, valorous, Fast-Paced.” – Saturday Review


Write-up from the back of the Ballantine Del Rey paperback edition ~

Mercenary Menace
Central Control was the Law. And by that law, the “barbarian” Terrans were allowed access to the stars only as mercenaries.
So, Kana Karr became a Swordsman, a specialist in primitive warfare on low-tech planets. His first assignment – helping to quell a rebellion on an underdeveloped planet – should have been simple. But someone was fighting dirty – and the intended victims were the Terran mercenaries.
Then Kana stumbled on the truth behind the killings and learned that the fate of all Terrans hung in the balance.
“Andre Norton has filled her book with enough intrigue, espionage and battle to make a fast-moving adventure which should enthrall.” – The New York Times Book Review


Write-ups from fans ~

Space opera at its finest. Terrans, newcomers to space, looked down upon by Central Control, a confederation of ET races. So the only way for men to go to the stars is a Mercenaries, either the low-tech "Archs" or the high-tech "Mechs". Kana Karr, Arch swordsman 3rd class, Alien Liason specialist. Is assigned to a Horde on the Planet Fronn. Everything went well for a while until their unit is betrayed by a group of Mechs with superior weaponry. This, of course, is against all the rules and regulations governing Terran mercenaries. The horde has to flee for their lives through hostile territory in dreadful weather seeking any allies that they can find. Can they get word back to Earth so they can be rescued? What does the future hold for one Kana Karr, Arch Swordsman 3rd Class? Read this exciting book and find out! ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: Aug. 1st, 1955
Worlds and cons away are the adventures of Kana Karr, Swordsman Third Class, who goes to the planet Fronn with Yorke Horde in the 5th millennium A.D.-Terran figuring. Earth, or Terra, under a despotic and all-powerful Central Control has developed a system of, professional fighting men, which it sends out for needed patrol duty in other solar systems. For his first assignment Kana, who is one of these soldiers, is sent out as part of a patrol to quell an uprising between two humanoid factions on forbidding Fronn. The adventures that follow are protracted and typical of Andre Norton's well-developed sets of fantastic circumstances and they result in Kang's initiation to the coterie of Terrans who are breaking away from Central Control and seeking freedom to pioneer on their own on other planets. Absorbing. 


Booklist Review ~ March 01, 1956
Although regarded as barbarians, forced for generations to serve as hired mercenaries on other planets, and still denied Galactic citizenship in the universe of 3956 A.D., the men of Earth have never lost the will to struggle for their rights. Arch Swordsman Kana Karr, a young Earth combatant sent to fight on Fronn, wins his chance to join in the Terran revolt for freedom in this imaginative tale of strange creatures, deadly battles, and intrigue among the stars.


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

1956 by Floyd C. Gale in Galaxy Science Fiction, January
1956 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, January
1956 by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February
1956 by Villiers Gerson in Amazing Stories, March
1956 by Henry Bott in Imagination, August
1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction, August, reprinted in: (UK) Astounding Science Fiction, December
1979 by H. Flick Jr. in Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, January
2015 by James Nicoll
2019 by Judith Tarr


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1955) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, LCCN 55007612, $3.00, 247pg ~ illustrated ~ cover by Richard Powers {Green Cloth Boards}
  • (1956) ACE Double Book containing Star Guard and Planet of No Return by Poul Anderson, Published by ACE Double, PB, # D-199, $0.35, 214+105pg ~ cover of Star Guard by Ed Emshwiller ~ cover of Planet of No Return by Edward Valigursky
  • (1961) Published by ACE, PB, #D-527, $0.35, 214pg - #G-599 1966 $0.50 214pg - covers by Ed Emshwiller ~ #78131 1973 $0.95 254pg - #78132 1974 $1.25 254pg - #78133 1977 $1.50 254pg - covers by Chris Foss
  • (1969) Published by Gollancz, HC, 0-575-00208-5, £ 18s (216p), 256pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Alan Breese {Olive Cloth Boards}
  • (1981) Published by Fawcett, PB, 0-449-23646-3, $1.75 ~ cover by Ken Barr
  • (1984) Published by Ballantine Del Rey, PB, 0-345-31624-X, $2.25, 224pg ~ #35036-7 1987 $2.50 ~ cover by Laurence Schwinger
  • Star Soldiers (2001) Published by BAEN, HC, 0-671-31827-6, $18.00, 434pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman ~ Omnibus containing Star Guard (1955) & Star Rangers (1953)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1958) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 72941805, Utopia Großband 81, DM1.00, 95pg ~ translation by M. F. Arnemann ~ cover by R. S. Lonati ~ German title Die Rebellen [The rebels]
  • (1958) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 73753135, Utopia Großband 81, 94pg ~ German title Die Rebellen [The rebels]
  • (1973) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, Terra TB 210, DM2.80, 159pg ~ translation by Heinz F. Kliem ~ cover by Jack Gaughan ~ German title Die Rebellen von Terra [The Rebels of Terra]
  • (1971) Published in Milan, Italy; by Editrice Nord, 88-429-0020-9, OCLC: 70715663, 1,000 lir, 183pg ~ translated by Gabriele Tamburini ~ cover by Antonio Cazzamali ~ Italian title Riscatto cosmico [Cosmic redemption]
  • (1978) Published in Japan; by Tokuma Shoten, 41-915-1580-2, 244pg ~ translatedby Sakawa Mariko ~ cover by Naitou Sadao ~ Japanese title 燃える惑星 スター・ガード [Burning planet star guard]
  • (1996) Published in Kaunus, Lithuania; by Eridanas, 99-864-8633-5, 206pg ~ translated by Anita Kapočiūtė _ Lithuanian title Žvaigždžių gvardija [Star Guard]
  • (1995) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 83-861-3809-2, 218pg ~ translation by Włodzimierz Nowaczyk ~ cover by Agentur Luserke ~ Polish title Gwiezdna Straż [Space Guard]
  • (1965) Published in Vertice, Spain; TP, 240pg ~ translation by Enrique de Juan ~ Spanish title Guardia estelar [Star Guard]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (1991)-1 Published in Moscow, by All Moscow, HC, 206pg ~ Russian title Галактический патруль [Galactic Patrol]


    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by V. Martov, pp. 3-102
    • "The Last Planet" ~ translation by V. Martov, pp. 103-202


  • (1992)-1 Published in Angarsk, by Amber and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14007-0, HC, 528pg ~ Russian title Звездная стража [Star Guard]


    • "The Last Planet" ~ pp. 3-154
    • "Catseye" as "The Cat's Eye" ~ pp. 155-274
    • "Star Hunter" ~ pp. 275-367
    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 368-519


  • (1992)-2 Published in St. Petersburg, by Library "Stars", 5-718-30041-0, HC, 352pg ~ cover by N. Zubkov ~ Russian title Звездный легион. [Star Legion]


    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 3-151
    • "The Voyage of the Space Beagle" by A.E. van Vogt as "The Journey of the Space Hound" ~ pp. 153-348


  •  (1992)-3 Published in Kaliningrad by Russia's West, 5-829-4-30109-6, HC, 500pg ~ cover by B. Trubin ~ Russian title Камень предтеч [Forerunner Stone] ~ The book also sold with 2 pirated dust jackets


    • Leonid Tkachuk. There are miracles ... (article), p. 3-7
    • "Catseye" as "Cat's gaze" ~ translation by D. Arseniev , illustrations by I. Shaganov, pp. 8-140
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by L. Tkachuk , illustrations by I. Shaganov, pp. 141-301
    • "The Zero Stone" as "The Baptist Stone" ~ translation by A. Prokofieva , illustrations by I. Shaganov, pp. 302-502


  • (1992)-5 Published in Chisinau, Moldova by EYA, 5-85268-048-6, HC, 544pg ~ cover by O. Polishchuk ~ Russian title Рассвет в 2250 году [Dawn in the year 2250 AD]


    • "Daybreak 2250 A.D." as "Dawn in 2250" ~ pp. 3-136
    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 137-253
    • "The Last Planet" ~ pp. 254-376
    • "Secrets of the Lost Race" as "Treasure of the Mysterious Race" ~ pp. 377-469
    • "Star Hunter" ~ pp 470-542


  • (1992)-6 Published in Stavropol, by Caucasian Region, 5-867-11064-8, HC, 538pg ~ ~ Russian title Романы и рассказы [Novels and Stories]


    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by L. Tkachuk, pp. 3-162
    • one Roger Zelazny novel and six short stories ~ pp.165-337
    • and one Robert Heinlein novel with three short stories ~ 341-536


  • (1992)-7 Published in Irkutsk, Siberia by Lisna, HC, 367pg ~ Cover and illustrations by V. Plyaskin ~ Russian title Эндрю Нортон. Избранное. Том 3 [Andrew Norton. Favorites. Volume 3]


    • "Catseye" as "The Cat's Eye" ~ pp. 3-108
    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 109-237
    • "The Last Planet" ~ pp. 238-366


  • (1993)-1 Published in Tallinn, Estonia by Melora, 5-797-90480-2, HC, 512pg ~ cover by M. Shevdova, illustrations by Yu. Shutov ~ Russian title Планета приключений I. [Adventure Planet 1] ~ The story "War with robots" is part of the novel "Brother Berserkerby Fred Saberhagen


    • "The Last Planet" as "Space Rangers" ~ pp. 3-135
    • "Treasur on Thunder Moon" by Edmond Hamilton as "Treasure Thieves" ~ pp. 136-201
    • "Star Guard" as "Mercenaries of the Galaxy" ~ pp. 202-334
    • "Star Man's Son" as "After Judgment Day" ~ pp. 335-489
    • "Brother Beserker" by Fred Saberhagen as "War with robots" ~ pp. 490-509


  • (1993)-2 Published in Tver by Mediator, 5-85754-055-0, HC, 254pg ~ cover of A. Perfilyev ~ Russian title Грех чародейства [Sin of sorcery]


    • "The Sun Smasher" by Edmond Hamilton as "Hammer of the Valkars" ~ translation by M. Nachmanson, pp. 5-92
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by E. Novikova, pp. 93-254


  • (1994)-1 Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenograd book and in Moscow, by Sigma Press, 5-863-14034-8, HC, 528pg ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Звездная стража [Star Guard]


    • "The Last Planet" ~ pp. 3-154
    • "Catseye" as "The Cat's Eye" ~ pp. 155-274
    • "Star Hunter" ~ pp. 275-367
    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 368-519


  • (1994)-2 Published in Tashkent, Uzbekistan by Pravda Vostoka, 5-855-83001-2, HC, 480pg ~ Russian title Звездная стража. Звездные бродяги. Зеркало Мерлина. [Star Guard. Star tramps. Merlin's Mirror]


    • "Star Guard"
    • "Merlin's Mirror"


  • (2001) Published in Moscow, by Eskmo-Press, 5-040-06859-X, HC, 512pg ~ cover by Igor Varavin ~ Russian title Звездная стража [Star Guard] ~ In this edition of The Last Planet, chapter 13 "The Kingdom of Kummy" is missing. Page numbering is not interrupted, chapter 12 ends and 14 begins on page 481


    • "The Stars are Ours!" as "The stars belong to us!" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 5-136
    • "Star Born" as "Born among the Stars" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev, pp. 137-256
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 257-388
    • "The Last Planet" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 389-509


  • (2004) Published in Moscow, by Eskmo, 5-699-06863-5, PB, 384pg ~ Russian title Последняя планета [Last planet] ~ Limited to 8000 copies


    • "The Last Planet" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 5-190
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev, pp. 191-380


  • (2015) Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699827817, HC, 704pgs ~ cover by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Последняя планета [Last planet] ~ Limited to 5000 copies


    • "Secrets of the Lost Race" as "The Mystery of the Lost Race" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 5-124
    • "Sioux Spaceman" as "Space Sioux" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 125-264
    • "Yurth Burden" as "The burden of yurts" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 265-374
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 375-538
    • "The Last Planet" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 539-701


  •  Pirated edition, marked as being published by "North-east", a non-existent publisher. ~ cover by C. Achilleos ~ Russian title Камень предтеч [Forerunner Stone] ~ see: 1992-3


    • "Catseye" as "The Cat's Eye" ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by L. Tkachuk
    • "The Zero Stone" ~ translation by A. Prokofiev


Ukrainian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (1991)-2 Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Dzherelo, 5-580-15076-X, PB, 320pg ~ cover by V.I. Barbary ~ Ukrainian title Звездная стража. Крестоносцы неба. [Star Guard. Crusaders of heaven.] ~ Released with 2 different covers


    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 3-172
    • "The High Crusade" by Paul Anderson as "Crusaders of the sky" ~ pp. 173-318


  • (1992)-4 Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Enthalpy and Moscow by Pilgrim, 5-886-02002-0, 416pg ~ Ukrainian title Кошачьим взглядом. Звездная стража. Зеркало Мерлина. [Cat's eye. Star Guard. Merlin's mirror.]


    • "Catseye" as "The Cat's Eye" ~ pp. 3-116
    • "Star Guard" ~ pp. 117-260
    • "Merlin's Mirror" ~ pp. 261-414


  • (1996) Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Alterpres, 5-770-73611-9, HC, 576pg ~ cover by S. Pavlenko and illustrations by T. Kostetskaya ~ Ukrainian title Камень предтеч [The forerunner stone]


    • L. Tkachuk. Life Given to a Dream (article), pp. 5-8
    • "The Zero Stone" as "The Baptist Stone" ~ translation by A. Prokofieva, pp. 9-212
    • "Uncharted Stars" as "Unknown stars" ~ translation by S. Snegur, pp. 213-408
    • "Star Guard" ~ translation by L. Tkachuk, pp. 409-575

View the Original contract

View the 1978 ACE contract

View the 1983 Copyright renewal app.

View the 2004 Russian contract ~ no publishing data at this time

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


Original drawing by Barbi Johnson 1970? from one of Andre's scrapbooks



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