Can’t Wait Wednesday: Witch World

Witch World

Recently I’ve noticed HP over at Every Day Should Be Tuesday doing these “Can’t Wait Wednesday” post things. Turns out it’s a weekly, multi-blog festival of a sort, hosted by the Wishful Endings book blog.

Back when I used to run a blog about Japanese language and culture these sorts multi-blog thematic writing events/prompts were called blog festivals (or matsuri). Not sure what they’re called now.

Anyway, how fun!

One book I’ve been looking forward to getting to is Witch World, by Andre Norton. I’ve already read several of her short stories and came away impressed with the quality and range of her writing. Apparently one of the tales takes place in the same setting as her signature work – the Witch World series.

This one has been on my radar for a while now and ties into my exploration of Appendix N – the list of authors and stories that contributed to the development of Dungeons and Dragons. Turns out Witch World has inspired other games, too.

Witch World game

Now that I’m almost finished with the four-volume Planet of Adventure books by Jack Vance, I think it may be a good time to pick up Witch World.


I don’t really know what to expect from Witch World, but by reputation it’s a high quality bit of scifi/fantasy. I can’t wait to dig in!



  1. So you drank the cultural blog koolaid too eh? Sigh.
    I don’t want to discourage ANYONE from blogging more, but I swear, I see so many day of the week “meme” posts that sometimes I wonder if people can think for themselves.
    That was a hyperbolic, just in case you couldn’t tell. But only kind of. But it was. Maybe. You get the point. I’m very conflicted on this issue.

    I found Witchworld to be some of Andre’s most boring and unfun reads. I dnf’d the second book and never understood why it was so popular. Hope you find it more to your taste than I did.

    I have found Norton’s writing to be dry and completely unemotional and I have no idea if that was really her style or if she deliberately wrote that way so no one could point at her and call her “that emotional woman writer” and scorn her. If I cared enough, I could probably read some biographies or something. Thankfully, I don’t care enough so I’m safe…

    • Haha yeah, I don’t plan on doing it every week. Just testing the waters.

      Some people do a “currently reading” or “to-read” list, but I don’t want to clutter the page.

      And I don’t know why they call it a “meme.” That’s not what the word means!

      We will see, anyway! I liked her short stories that I’ve read, though I totally get what you mean about her being dry. I had to warm up to her writing.

      • * wipes brow *
        Phew, you had me worried there for a second.

        On a site like GR or LT or something, I can see a Currently Reading list. I even toyed with doing a sidebar Widget but since most people don’t visit my actual page, it was kind of useless. Plus, updating it was a real pain in the butt.

  2. I always enjoyed Andre Norton’s work, but tastes vary. As you point out, it is high-quality, wide-ranging (she wrote mystery, horror and historical fiction in addition to SF/F) and prolific. She has at least one novel title for each letter of the alphabet, although I would be wary of any stories that have a co-author, as those were published after her health went into decline.

    Norton was influenced by authors like A. Merritt and C.L.Moore and like them, often wrote stories that included both science fiction and fantasy elements. Although her first novel was published in the mid 30’s, she didn’t really hit her stride in SF until the mid 50’s. She worked many years as a librarian, so I think she had some idea of how the public viewed fantasy and science fiction. She was tagged as a juvenile/young adult writer early on and she wrote for that market. I think that is why her style strikes people as dry and unemotional; most people don’t want their children/teenagers getting MORE emotional.

    Give Witch World a try; if it is to your taste, there is plenty more in that series or in the five or six other series she wrote. She wrote so much, over such a long period of time that you’ll be surprised at the influence she’s had on SF/F. Her work developed concepts like Time Travel, Alternate Worlds, Psionics, Alien Contact, Mind Transfers, Pre-Human Civilizations and more; once you read Norton, you’ll be surprised how often you’ll hear echoes of her work in newer books.

    *if you’re interested in a look at her historical fiction, I recommend Shadow Hawk, set in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, 3800 years ago.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment, John. I already know that I like her take on psionics in the short story “Wizard’s World” better than Lanier’s in Hiero’s Journey.

      Will let you know what I think if Witch’s World and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it, too.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Sensor Sweep: Joe Jusko, Witch World, Battlefleet –
  2. Andre Norton's Witch World - Bushi SF/F

Leave a Reply