Color Me Surprised

I’m surprised and embarrassed. 

Surprised because two weeks ago I discovered by accident that Andre Norton, a prolific science fiction/fantasy author was a woman.  I didn’t have a clue.

The embarrassment is because not only do I read a lot and consider fantasy one of my chosen genres, but I worked in a bookstore for six years.  Six years of shelving Andre Norton titles with my own hands and not knowing.  How could I not know this?  And despite knowing the name and the genre, I have to admit I’ve never read any Norton.  I’m really don’t know why – it probably has more to do with the fact that at any given moment, there is a list of about 100 books that I’m thinking about as “next on the list”.  I just never got around to her. 

Her very first book wasn’t in the Hennepin County Library, but I did get it from InterLibrary loan, so we’ll see if I go for more after I read this one. 

But I’m still flummoxed that I didn’t know she was a woman.

What’s a big surprise you’ve had recently?  Extra points if you feel like you should have known….

29 thoughts on “Color Me Surprised”

  1. as i’m out driving my mind wanders
    it’s free to go where it wants
    i tweek it a bit with books online and podcasts by al franzen krista tippet tim ferriss and simon sineck but it still goes off on its own regularly .
    the thing that surprises me is the stories behind the things i see that i come up with to explain them
    the idiots on the road
    the folks who have procrastinated doing what seems obvious like painting the trim in their house or around their door
    i guess you get used to seeing it and you don’t see it any more a
    so it goes on like that until you decide to fix it
    my dogs seem very happy with their backyard and their daily 15 minute walk about 630 as their universe
    my fish live in those tanks and don’t question life beyond the glass
    my cats are ever inquisitive but never get to leave the house
    my kids are finding their place in the universe and i keep thinking about the next thing
    i have so many next things and it’s getting to be time to move i think in a direction that will feel less closed than my dogs fish and cats lives
    what surprises me is how it is possible to keep doing meh stuff to get to tomorrow while the neon tomorrow shines in my brain calling to me
    i’d better get on it huh
    thanks for the tweak
    i’ll take it

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Husband and I had a good long talk last night, and I learned that the real reason he joined the Christian Brothers (teaching order) after his freshman yr. at St. Mary’s was that it offered a built-in community. He’s told the story before of how he joined, but he must have told more or different details this time – how could I have missed that before? And it explains a lot…

    Liked by 6 people

  3. On Sunday, I texted the breeder of our new puppy to see if he had any updates on him, and was surprised to hear back that the breeder was showing his dog, Chester, at Crufts. He said he would send an update as soon as he got back to Oklahoma.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations on discovering Andre Norton! I read a number of her juvenile fantasy novels (the Magic Sequence) when I was a kid. “Iron Cage” was one of the stories that started me thinking about animal rights, “Star Ka’at” made me fall in love with cats, and later she wrote a companion novel to my first Tarot deck, the Tarot of the Cat People. You have a lot of great reading ahead of you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks – I was hoping someone had read her (I had my money on you!). I’m starting w/ The Sword is Drawn.


  5. Her name isn’t helpful; I wouldn’t have thought ‘Andre’ was a womans name.

    As tim said, the idiocy of people- not just on the road, but SO MANY PLACES, never ceases to amaze me.

    Saw a red-wing blackbird on the bird feeder this morning. Always a lovely surprise to see them return.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She was writing in the days when it was thought that women couldn’t write (and certainly couldn’t sell) SF–thus “James Tiptree, Jr.” and “C. L. Moore” as well as “Andre Norton”. All worth reading, btw!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. And I will say in my defense, that back when I was in the bookstores (we’re talking decades now), science fiction and the emerging fantasy genres were overwhelmingly dominated by men.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I used to work with a woman named Andree with two e’s, and an accent over the final e. When people asked for her over the phone, they would often try to turn her name into Andrea. A lot of women writers have gone with pen names that hid their gender, because, generally, men buy books written by men, and women buy books written by women and men. According to Wikipedia, Andre Norton also wrote under the names Andrew North and Allen Weston.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I was also surprised today to find all the printer drivers were missing from my work computer. My tech guy got them reinstalled. . Very frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I read a great deal of science fiction as a teenager but only sporadically in the many decades since. It’s likely that I may have read Andre Norton stories in some of the sci-fi anthologies.

    Although I was familiar with the name of female author Octavia Butler, I haven’t read anything by her and was surprised to learn that she was African American and a science fiction writer. And she’s not the only African American female writer of science fiction:

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pippin goes to the groomer every eight weeks. I let his coat grow out over the winter. He was getting pretty long. In the spring all that hair tends to collect all kinds of dirt and ick from everywhere so today was the day that his long hair got cut off. He has had a large cyst on his right side for years. It was getting quite large over the winter. Surprise, surprise! When I picked him up at the groomer I barely recognized him because he looked so much smaller with all that hair gone. I cuddled him and gave him a big hug and noticed the cyst was gone! There is no bleeding or drainage and the area looks completely normal. Come to think of it, I haven’t felt that cyst for awhile. It was kind of a creepy thing and he didn’t like me to touch it. He was at the vet by himself a month ago. I wonder if the vet removed it and never charged me. I never saw any bleeding or anything to mark when it disappeared. How strange. But it’s really gone, and it did surprise me.

    I was also surprised to learn that I have never read the book, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens. I thought I had read it. Every time I saw that title in a recommendation, I always thought, “I’ve already read that one.” Further investigation proved to me that I hadn’t. So I’m reading it now.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I am surprised at the time it is when I finally am replying to the post. I had an early start to the morning, then one of my co-workers was really sick today with a stomach bug, and the day took off without me in the drivers’ seat for the rest of the day. That bug was her surprise, unwelcome as it was.

    My surprise is that while I have struggled with my right hip for over a year, this final stage of deterioration of it occurred faster than I could believe. My orthopedist gave the opinion in November that he thought I could maintain the hip with physical therapy and cortisone shots for the next two years. 6 months later it needs replacement. So now I am working on acceptance of this. If I lapse back into the denial of how things are, all I need to do is stand up and take a step. Then back to acceptance I go.

    Liked by 4 people

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