Baen, Oct 2007, $24.00
The Stars Are Ours. Humanity established space stations so that interplanetary flight could occur cheaper. However, terrorists took control of a station and attacked earth from it devastating the planet. Survivor Arturo Renzi saw his loved ones die so he preached an anti-science message that led to his assassination. Outraged, his followers attacked the opposition with a vengeance forming the dictatorial Company of Pax. Brothers Dard and Lars Nordis and the latter’s pregnant wife Kathia fled the purge; however Lars was crippled and Kathia suffered a brain injury and after giving birth to Dessie she died. The siblings and Dessie hide at a remote farm for a decade until the Pax Peacemen arrive. They try to escape, but Lars dies leaving Dard and Dessie running from the Peacemen.
Star Born. The Pax ended space exploration as part of their anti-scientific campaign as they blame the pandemic devastation on scientists. However, some rebels managed to steal a few spaceships and flee to form colonies that had no ties to earth. A century passes with the Federation of Free Men having disposed of the Pax and space exploration redeployed with faster than light engines. The RS-10 ship reaches Astra where an earth colony was established. However, it is the fiendish natives that greet the terrans who they have plans to eradicate with their strange science.
This omnibus reprint of Andre Norton past-apocalyptic “Star” saga showcases how talented the author truly is especially in “The Stars Are Ours”; in which a terrorist act leads to security superseding freedom (the Neocons must have wolfed this one down). “Star Born” is also well written, but pales compared to its predecessor as the evil species that plan to wipe out humanity on RS-10 display no redeeming quality not even rationalizing saving a way of life from outsiders. Still these are two entertaining science fiction tales sets one hundred years apart in different galaxy locations. Ms. Norton’s fans will soar with STAR FLIGHT.