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Judgment on Janus: A good introduction to classic SF for an MG or YA audience

Judgment on Janus by Andre Norton

Naill Renfro lives in The Dipple, a ghetto on the pleasure planet of Korwar (same setting as in Catseye). He and his mother arrived there years ago as refugees when their home was destroyed by a space war. Now his mother is dying and she’s in a lot of pain and anguish. To purchase a final gift and a peaceful death for his mother, Naill sells himself into indentured servitude on a frontier planet called Janus.

When Naill arrives on Janus, he is put to work in the fields where the citizens seem to be battling the forest. They are chopping down trees as fast as they can.

Naill and the other servants are warned not to touch any artifacts they find as they work. These items are called “treasures” and they’re destroyed as soon as they’re found because they’re cursed. According to the overse... Read More

The Star King: Like James Bond in space

The Star King by Jack Vance

When he was a child, Kirth Gersen's village was raided and massacred by the five Demon Princes. He and his grandfather escaped and, at his grandfather's encouragement, Kirth has spent his life training and preparing for revenge. Now it's time...

Jack Vance's DEMON PRINCES saga consists of five short science fiction novels which each tell the tale of how Kirth Gersen tracks down and deals with one of the evil men who killed his family. In the first installment, The Star King, Kirth is looking for Attel Malagate, aka Malagate the Woe, who may be masquerading as a university academic. Along the way, Kirth must get past Malagate's henchmen, including the memorable Hildemar Dasce, also known as Beauty Dasce or Fancy Dasce:
Into the hall stepped the strangest human being of Gersen's experience.

"And there," said Teehalt with a s... Read More

The Book of Three: Our very highest recommendation

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd Alexander's fantastic five-part Chronicles of Prydain begins with The Book of Three, which is required reading for anyone who considers themselves a fantasy fan and/or a lover of children's literature — or in fact anyone who loves a darn good book. And you can't stop there — make sure you have on hand the following volumes: The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer and The High King. Three of them have won or been nominated for the Newbery Award, and are loved by readers all over the world; they belong on the shelf next to The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of ... Read More