Preface: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography

 by Andre Norton


     I suppose there is no one living who at one time or another has not enjoyed “talking shop” about one’s particular field of labor in this world. Writers are perhaps among the professions most eager to do this. Only---the writer approaches the subject in a different way than the outsider may do. We are far more aware of the disappointments, frustrations, and lacks in our work and ourselves which tend to make us stand off and view the results with a very critical eye.

   Having spent the larger part of my life now putting words on paper I find it very difficult indeed to see far beyond the fact that what DOES appear in print so often is not the bright and shining idea which teased one to get started in the first place.

     It has never been my intention to do more than tell a story, for it is my firm belief that that is the one and ONLY reason for writing fiction. But the characters must be as real to the reader as they are to the writer who takes a small portion of their lives to reveal in detail. As a writer I am not as aware of words as I am of pictures---for as I write I am describing the pictures in my mind, and the people who appear therein. My characters take over in every book and I merely report their actions---a great many times they surprise me with actions I had not foreseen at all.

     It has been an astounding thing for me that I have received most of the major awards in my field---the last being that of First Fandom---and I am very grateful to those who have seen fit to grant my work such standing. To be a Grand Master in any field is a proud title and I cherish this, but I know that all such recognition is not for me as a person but because of the interest and pleasure my work has given readers whom I do not know and have very little chance of ever meeting. lf one can provide even an hour of escape for someone who is worried, frustrated, unhappy---then that is an award indeed and that is what I have aimed to do.

     The new project of High Hallack is one which will make worthwhile many struggles and some disappointments of the past. We are working hard to establish an outstanding library of genre research and reference material---it now is well over ten thousand books and we are adding to it monthly---as well as videos and other unusual materials including fantasy art. We want this to become a center for those who not only are writing the books for tomorrow’s readers but also are doing research on the outstanding materials in print in the past, providing them with peace and quiet in which to work.

     I know myself what importance handy research material is for the working writer. Piles of books have given me outstanding notes, as well as plot ideas, not only for my own works such as the recent Brother to ShadowsThe Hands of Lyr, Moon of Destiny (to be published in 1995 - as Mirror of Destiny), and Lair of the Londen (as - The Monster's Legacy)---but also volumes from my over burdened shelves have served in the collaborations of such volumes as Imperial LadyEmpire of the EagleThe Elvenbane and Elvenblood, and the work in progress being shared with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey---Tiger Burning Bright.

     There is a long task before me in the near future---the ending of the Witch World Saga---the writing of The Warding of Witch World. So detailed is the necessary research for this that I have had to ask for the aid of Juanita Coulson to read and list all the incidents in the already published series of books.

     Now I wish to give my deepest thanks to Irene Harrison, whose meticulous bibliography has at times astounded me with titles of lesser works and articles I had forgotten. Not only has she undertaken bringing Dr. Schlobin’s bibliography up to date, but she is lending much time and effort in the matter of High Hallack also.

     And my gratitude also to all those who have read my books, enjoyed them, and passed them along to others. Your interest has kept me going through some difficult times in the past and is a pleasure to me now.


Andre Norton

Florida, September 18, 1994



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