It was Sargasso of Space (1955), one of her classic SF juveniles written originally under the name Andrew North, and I enjoyed it well enough though it is everything about classic SF that makes me tired – male heroes and anti-heroes having boy’s own adventures as far as the eye can see. (In retrospect I think I would probably enjoy the Witch World series much more, and I have loaded up on super cheap Andre Norton omnibus editions thanks to my Kindle – I’m determined to find one that I love!)
It’s not surprising at all that she became such a popular writer in the genre, being able to write that classic, traditionally masculine style of science fiction so deftly. But Sargasso of Space comes at the very beginning of Norton’s long career, and is only a small piece of the picture.
She wrote over 130 novels in all, over 70+ years (she died in her 90’s).
She was the only woman to be named a SFWA Grand Master during the 20th century (in 1984).
She was also the first woman to receive a Gandalf Award (1977), and the first women to be inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame (1997).
She was honoured with the World Fantasy Convention Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and went on to write or co-write at least 19 more books after that.
Yes, that’s actually the level of achievement you have to get to in order to be remembered and occasionally spoken of in the same breath as Heinlein and Asimov. Andre Norton is one of those female authors who make such an extraordinary contribution that no one can deny her place in history. But *wow* that’s a high bar against which to measure other writers.