Name and location of repository
Level of description
Cheap Street Archival Collection
- 1983-1990 (Creation)
Name of creator
Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton) was born on February 7, 1912, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Adelbert Freely and Bertha Stemm Norton. Norton began her literary career at an early age, serving as the editor of a literary page in her high school's paper called The Collinwood Spotlight, for which she also wrote short stories. During this time, she actually wrote her first book, Ralestone Luck, which was eventually published as her second novel in 1938.
Norton graduated from high school in 1930, and briefly attended Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University, intending to become a teacher. However, economic circumstances obliged her to leave school in 1932, and instead, she went to work as a librarian with the Cleveland public library system. She was employed here for a number of years, during which time she worked for some time as a children's librarian for the Nottingham Branch Library in Cleveland. After a brief tenure working at the Library of Congress from 1940-1941, and a failed attempt to operate a bookstore in Mount Rainier, MD, she returned to the Cleveland Public Library. Ill health forced her to retire from the library in 1950. From 1950-1958 Norton was a reader at the SF small press Gnome Press.
In 1934, Norton published her first book, the novel The Prince Commands, being sundry adventures of Michael Karl, sometime crown prince & pretender to the throne of Morvania. She changed her name legally to "Andre Norton" at this point, believing that readers of fantasy (at that time a mainly male audience) would accept her more under a pseudonym that was not clearly female. Between 1934 and 1948 she wrote several additional historical novels. Her first genre novel was the historical fantasy Huon of the Horn (1951), an adaptation of the medieval tale of Huon, Duke of Bordeaux. Although her first actual work of science fiction or fantasy was actually the novella "The People of the Crater", which she published under the name "Andrew North" in the 1947 magazine Fantasy Book.
Norton's first science fiction novel was Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D., which was released in 1952. This inaugurated a fertile and prolific creative period in her life. By the end of her life, Norton had produced (or co-written) novels and short stories in over 20 different series (as well as many individual stand-alone works), those series including Beast Master (1959-2006, the first novel of which was semi-adapted into a film in 1982); Central Control (1953-1955); Crosstime (1956-1965); Forerunner (1960-1985); Mark of the Cat (1992-2002); Moon Singer/Moon Magic (1966-1990); Star K'aat (1976-1981); Time Traders (1958-2002); and Trillium (1990-1993).
Norton's most famous creation is probably her Witch World high fantasy novel and story cycle. The first of the series, Witch World, was released by Ace Books in 1963 and tells the story of Simon Tregarth, a resident from our Earth who, fleeing a group of assassins, is transported to a parallel world where magic rules. Magic in the Witch World is the exclusive province of women, a situation that governs much of the events that play out in the series. The novel was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel and sparked a long-running series on which Norton increasingly cooperated with other authors starting in the 1980s. Witch World, then, is an early example of what later became known as a "shared universe."
Andre Norton's abilities were recognized during her lifetime by her peers and her many fans, as evidenced by her many awards and nominations. She was nominated twice for the Hugo Award (in 1963 for Witch World, and in 1968 for Best Novelette ("Wizard's World") for numerous Locus Poll awards, and for several World Fantasy Awards. Her wins include the 1975 Phoenix Award for overall achievement in science fiction, the Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy Award in 1977 for lifetime achievement, the 1983 Edward E. Smith Award for Imaginative Fiction, the Jules Verne Award in 1984, the 1994 First Fandom Award, and a Life Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Convention in 1998. In 1984 she was made a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, the first woman to receive this prestigious award (only three other women since Norton have been given this award).
In addition, she was a founding member in the 1960s of the Swordsmen and Sorcerer's Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of heroic fantasy authors that granted entry by fantasy credentials alone. Norton was the only woman among the original eight members.
Norton moved from Florida (where she had lived since 1966) to Murfreesboro, TN in 1987. In her later years, one of her more notable projects was the formation of the High Halleck Genre Writer's Research and Reference Library, a special collections library devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and other genre writing, run by Norton on her own property. The library opened in 1999 and was dispersed after Norton's death. She died of congestive heart failure on March 17, 2005. Her last completed novel, Three Hands for Scorpio, was published a few weeks later on April 1.
In 2005, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America established the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy in Norton's honor. The Norton Award is presented yearly along as part of the Nebula Awards.
Name of creator
Tanith Lee was one of the most acclaimed, notable and prolific British authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Since the beginning of her literary career in 1968, she wrote nearly 70 novels (including works of fantasy for young adults), hundreds of short stories, multiple collected works, poems, and essays. She even dabbled in television, having written two episodes of the British science-fiction cult show Blake's 7.
Lee was born in London, England, on September 19, 1947. She began writing at the age of 9, despite suffering from dyslexia that prevented her from reading well. She attended Croydon Art College for a year after high school and then worked a variety of odd jobs for a number of years while she tried to build a writing career. Her first actual sale of work came in 1968, with the publication of "Eustace", a 90-word vignette that appeared in The Ninth Pan Book Of Horror Stories. In 1971 Macmillan published her first novel, a young adult fantasy entitled The Dragon's Hoard. Lee's first work for adults was the novel The Birthgrave, published by DAW in 1975 and the first of an eventual trilogy.
Over the course of her storied career, Lee produced a dizzying variety of works, which include the famed Tales From The Flat Earth series (1978-1987, with additional short stories from 1998-2009); The Secret Books of Paradys series (1988-1993); the Unicorn Series (1991-1997); the Blood Opera Sequence (1992-1994); the historical novel The Gods Are Thirsty (1996); and The Secret Books of Venus (1998-2003). Lee's work is noted for her lush, lyrical, and sensual tones, as well as frequent themes of darkness and eroticism.
Lee also received multiple accolades for her work. She won the 1980 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel for Death's Master (the 2nd in her Tales From The Flat Earth series), becoming the first woman to win this award. She also won the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction for "The Gorgon," that same award in 1984 for "Elle Est Trois, Le Mort", and the 2013 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. In addition, she received multiple nominations for Nebula Awards, World Fantasy Awards, Locus Poll Awards, British Fantasy Awards, and others. In 2015 she was awarded the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Horror Writers Association.
Tanith Lee married John Kaiine in 1992. She passed away from breast cancer on May 24, 2015.
Name of creator
Name of creator
Cheap Street Press was a small independent specialty press founded and operated by George and Jan O'Nale of New Castle, Virginia. For over two decades the press produced original contemporary science fiction and fantasy in a fine press format. Individual titles were produced in signed and numbered editions, on fine (sometimes handmade) paper and hand-bound in fine cloth and leather, with runs of no more than 200 copies.
Cheap Street's first production was Ervool, by Fritz Leiber, in 1980. Subsequent authors who produced work for Cheap Street included writers like Gregory Benford, Charles de Lint, Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tanith Lee, Elizabeth Lynn, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, John Sladek, Gene Wolfe, and many others. The last production of Cheap Street Press came in 2002, with Flying Saucer Rock and Roll by Howard Waldrop. In 2003, George and Jan committed mutual suicide due to increasing ill-health.
Name of creator
John Thomas Sladek was born in Waverly, Iowa on December 15, 1937. He attended the College of St. Thomas (later the University of St. Thomas) from 1955-1956 and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1959. Before he became a professional author Sladek held a number of different jobs, including working as a engineering assistant at UM, a technical writer for Technical Publications, Inc. of St. Louis Park, MN, a switchman for the Great Northern Railway from 1962-1963, and as a draftsman in New York City from 1964-1965.
Sladek began writing short stories in the early 1960s while living in America, but he moved to Great Britain in 1966, where he lived and worked for the next 20 years. His first novel was The Castle and the Key(1966), a non-SF Gothic novel written under the pseudonym "Cassanda Knye". As a science fiction writer he quickly became identified as part of the "New Wave" SF literary movement (led by Michael Moorcock).
Sladek is particularly notable for the surreal, satirical and blackly humorous nature of his work. Sladek himself noted that his novels and stories "are set in the near future, in a recognizable America in which technology has either solved all of our problems or failed to solve any of them, or something else entirely is happening. Something else entirely is always happening in science fiction, I understand." Much of his work (such as his 1980 novel Roderick, or The Education of A Young Machine) is informed by the concept of machines that can mimic or even displace human beings. He is also concerned with the process of dehumanization - with the ways in which governments and other institutions, as Sladek puts it, "attempt to reduce their citizens or members to mechanical components." This theme resonates in our own society today, and thus provides Sladek's work with continuing relevance.
Sladek was a firm materialist, deeply skeptical of claims of the occult and supernatural. In 1973 he wrote The New Apocrypha: A Guide to Strange Science and Occult Beliefs, an expose of these types of beliefs. Under the pseudonym James Vogh he wrote Arachne Rising(1977), a supposed "true" account of a thirteenth sign of the zodiac suppressed by the scientific establishment, and The Cosmic Factor : Bioastrology and You.
He also produced two pseudonymous novels with his friend Thomas M. Disch: the Gothic thriller The House that Fear Built(1966; again as "Cassandra Knye") and the satirical thriller __ Black Alice(1968; as "Thom Demijohn"). Sladek was also noted for writing a number of parodies of his fellow science fiction authors, which he collected in the 1973 anthology The Steam-Driven Boy and Other Strangers.
John Sladek returned from England to Minneapolis, MN in 1986. He continued to write once back in the United States, where he died of pulmonary fibrosis on March 10, 2000. He was the recipient of the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel Award in 1983 for the novel Tik-Tok, a black comedy that tells the story of a robot who liberates himself from his behavorial limits (expressed by his "asimov circuits", named for Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and which prevent robots from harming human beings) and commits numerous acts of murder and other crimes.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection consists of original materials that were published by the small Cheap Street Press between 1983-1990. Materials include typescripts and galley proofs of works written for Cheap Street by Elizabeth Lynn, Tanith Lee, Andre Norton, and John Sladek.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
These materials are stored offsite and require additional time for retrieval.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Purchased from Richard Murian, December 2021.
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Catalogued Cheap Street publications are held by Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, and can be found in TAMU Libraries' catalog.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Collection processed by Jeremy Brett, December 2021.
Finding aid and collection record created by Jeremy Brett, December 2021.