III. Story Review

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Before this story begins:

Few historic records survived when the the Great Galactic Library was destroyed. During an archaeology dig on the former Library Planet almost 200 years ago, a deep underground vault was discovered that among other things held a damaged recording unit.

Several decades ago, we were finally able to obtain access to this collection.
It has taken our team this long to decipher and translate the stories that those records contained.
It is with great pride that we present here to you, for the first time together in a single volume, this collection of stories of long-lost ancient Terra and the legendary First Galactic Empire. 

These stories provide only glimpses of insight, brief moments spread out over a historic era that spans more than 6,000 years, with great gaps in between. Wherever possible and for added clarity, we have filled in some of those gaps with brief updates on important political or sociological references from these stories, or from other independent sources. 

We hope you enjoy the result of our efforts. 

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Editor's Note:
Stories that are passed on over millennia change in the retelling. As may be expected, there are inconsistencies between these stories. Footnotes about time references and inconsistencies can be found on THIS PAGE  

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I. 2000- 3500  A.D.
Star Flight; Atomic Wars; Barbarism (6 titles)

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Before this story begins:

Earth had built 3 space stations. Mercenaries occupied one of them and used its equipment to set off world-wide destruction = The "Big Blow-up, aka the Great Burn-Off" ca 2030 A.D. 
Scientists were blamed for the disaster and persecuted. Soon thereafter Saxon Bort organized the PAX world dictatorship.


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series: Pax / Astra

2 titles.  Continuing story, definitely read together in this order

1. The Stars are Ours

The persecuted Free Scientists secretly build a starship and take off just as Pax forces break into their hide-out. They reach Astra.

2. Star Born

The dictatorship of the Company of Pax has fallen, and the story of the Free Men’s starship is found among their records. Many starships are sent but none return. RS-10 leaves Earth and is the first ship to reach Astra. They help the Seafolk and Terran colonists to defeat the evil 'Others.' Then they begin their return to Terra.

Editor's Comment:

Many starships were sent out, none returned, including the RS-10. Earth lost hope of ever reaching the stars.The political union that had made this effort possible dissolved into nations. The wars that followed destroyed the remaining urban centers and left few survivors. (1st Atomic Wars)        
Earth fell back into Barbarism, and star flight was forgotten by all but a few.

From: ("Starborn')
There are and will be other lost colonies among the stars. We could not have been the only outlaws who broke forth during the rule of Pax, and before the blight of that dictatorship, there were at least two expeditions that went forth on Galactic explorations.

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series: Post-nuclear Barbarism

Ca. AD 2050-3500    (overlapping timelines)
4 titles, unconnected stories, read in this order
Common elements:  post-apocalypse society, mutant people and animals in symbiotic relation, shamanism and sorcery.

1. Sea Siege

Scientists on a remote island know something bad has happened on the mainland, but don't know what. 
Then the creatures of the sea attack...

2. Daybreak 2250 AD

aka Star Man’s Son
 Fors and his feline companion journey into the Great Blow-up lands to find the ancient knowledge of the Old Ones that had taken men to the stars.

3. No Night Without Stars

Three centuries after the cataclysm that caused the Dark Time, young Sander searches for the legendary skills of the metalworkers of the Before Time. He encounters Shaman Fanyi, and together they face incredible danger and evil in an ancient stronghold.

4. Moon Called

10 generations after the Before Time ends, Thora the Chosen and Kort the dog save Malkin from certain death and take her back home to the Valley of the Windriders.

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II. 2900-4000 A.D. -
Sol System and Beyond (6 titles)

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Before this story begins:

New urban centers arose, but many areas remained severely damaged. Eventually, Terra recovered the lost technologies and started explored its own solar system (again). Psi-talents appeared after the first atomic wars. Espers were increasingly oppressed.   

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series: Sol system x3

3 short stories linked by Mars colonization.   Stand-alone reads, random order

1. Wizards’ World

Esper Craike was smuggled out of an eastern E-camp and is sent to explore the area that used to be Reno. But he was tricked into revealing himself and is being tracked by an Esper hound.

2. Mousetrap

 Sam Levatts finds a ‘sand monster’ and goes looking for the Martian race that created it.

3. All Cats Are Gray

Steena & friends board a derelict interplanetary pleasure liner, and kill the invisible alien that had killed the passengers and many would-be salvagers. Steena and Cliff get rich and married.

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series: Alien Encounters x3

Before this story begins:

Shortly after First Contact came a period of rapid expansion.
In less than 1000 years, there were Terran colonies in every sector of the galaxy.

From: ("Star Guard”)
Ca. 3650 A.D. - 1000 years after the First Atomic Wars, a reliable stardrive was developed. The 1st Human spaceship ended up in Central Control territory.

Earth was adopted as a limited member into the C.C. confederation. Humans were only allowed to go to space as mercenaries, with aptitude tests determining what jobs they could get. Being who they are, Humans quickly organized covert opposition to Central Control limitations.

1. Star Guard

3956 A.D. The Yorke Horde has been hired as mercenaries to intervene in a war of succession. Kana discovers that Central Control has sent Mech Combatants in a systematic attempt to exterminate Human soldiers. Kana escapes and is rescued by and reports to the Hidden Prime, a resistance organization which works to get Terrans to the stars. 

From: (“Star Guard”)
By this time, 1000+ planets had secret Terran colonies. Twenty X-Tee worlds were also colonizing in secret. 

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Before this story begins:

The duplicity of Central Control towards Humans led to open resistance against the Central Control limitations. Terra implemented a rapid colonization program by forced migration. Terra became the center of a fast-growing Confederation with a sphere of influence to rival Central Control (= Council)

The Terrans met up with many alien races (X-tees) during their explorations. Not all such meetings were friendly.

2. Secret of the Lost Race

stand-alone read

A young dealer in an illegal gambling den, is picked up in a raid and shipped off-world to Fenris for indentured labor. After the driver of his prison transport dies in an avalanche, he becomes a hunted man.  

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3. The Sioux Spaceman

stand-alone read

Before this story begins:

The League of Free Traders was founded to protect Free Traders’ interests from the larger Trading Companies and piracy. This “League of Worlds’ was a major economic and  political power, but not much of a military one.

Kade Whitehawk, a Lakota of the Northwest Terran Confederation, is re-assigned to Klor where the Styor brutally suppress the native Ikkinni. Kade imports Terran horses with the intent to teach the Ikkinni to ride and use them in guerrilla warfare against their hated Styor masters. When his operation is ended prematurely, Kade is informed of ‘the Plan’ for human resistance and told to keep up the good work.

Editor's Comment:
The Styor Empire eventually collapsed and was absorbed by the quickly-growing Terran Confederation.                          

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III.  4000 - 4500 A.D. 
A Time of War (20 titles)

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Before this story begins:

The inevitable revelation of Terran resistance turned into rampant hostility and civil war.

THE WAR OF TWO SECTORS was a devastating civil war that tore up entire sectors of the galaxy.
The Dipple refugee camp on Korwar was created at the beginning of the war, but persisted long after.

Terra's influence was greatly reduced after the War of the Two Sectors. Contact with distant colonies was lost. Many did not survive. Others wouldn't be rediscovered until many centuries later.

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Editor's note:

The 10 Warlock / Korwar stories that follow are all inter-referenced within about 40-50 years bracketing the 5-year 'War of the Two Sectors'.

These stories are not about that war. The 2 Shann Lantee stories on Warlock happen before the war. The other 8 happen shortly after, in part concurrently with overlapping time lines. ("Brother to Shadows") is the final story of this group.

For a more pleasant reading experience, these stories are listed by their series, not chronology.

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Series: The Dipple Books 

2 titles, linked by the Dipple refugee camp
stand-alone reads with common location, read in this chronological order

1. Catseye

Troy Horan finds a job with an exotic pet store. The Terran animals are psi-gifted. He ends up allying himself with the animals and fleeing with them into Korwar’s wilderness, ends up in a ruined Forerunner city.

Editor's note:

1. Four stories mention the Dipple on Korwar as a recent event within 10-20 years:
    Catseye, Night of Masks, Judgment on Janus, Forerunner Foray.

2.This story mentions the time viewer of the Fauklow expedition, which will return in Brother to Shadows.

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2. Night of Masks

Nik Kolherne has a scarred face after a house fire in the Dipple. When the Thieves’ Guild offers him a new face in exchange for his service, he helps the Guild kidnap someone.

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Series: The Janus Books 

2 titles, continuing story of Naill Renfro, definitely read together in this order

1. Judgment on Janus
2. Victory on Janus 

1. Naill Renfro contracts as indentured laborer to get medicine for his dying mother. He finds an alien artifact on Janus that changes him into an Iftin warrior. He is hunted as a demon by the colonists, but he escapes into the forest and encounters other new Ift. They learn of the evil of “That Which Abides” and fight it to a standstill.

2. Naill and the other new Ift learn that “That Which Abides” was a malfunctioning computer from an alien colonization ship They disable the computer and free its prisoners.

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Series: The Star Stones / Jern Murdoc cycle

2 titles, continuing story of  Jern Murdoc, definitely read together in this order

1. The Zero Stone
2. Uncharted Stars

When Murdoc Jern’s father  was murdered by outlaw competitors, he left behind an odd ring. With his companion Eet, a feline mutant with phenomenal mental powers, he eventually discovered that the stone in the ring was actually a Zero Stone—a Forerunner device—and it was the key to powers beyond human imagination. Murdoc and Eet had to solve the secret of the Zero Stone, and very quickly, because very greedy and dangerous people wanted that ring, and wouldn’t hesitate at more murder to obtain it.

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series:   Warlock / Lantee cycle

3 titles, read together in this order for common context.

1+2 are linked stories on planet Warlock with Shann Lantee as the protagonist. These 2 stories take place before the war, some 20-40 years before ("Forerunner Foray") 

("Forerunner Foray") takes place on Korwar, a generation later, = 10-20 years after the big war.
Ris Lantee = son of Shann Lantee. 

WARNING: These 3 stories are not connected to the Forerunner Simsa cycle. 

Before this story begins:

During the early period of rapid expansion, the Terran Confederation encountered many alien races. Not all of those contacts were friendly. Some even led to open war. 100+ years before (“Storm Over Warlock”), Terrans first encountered the Throgs, an insect-like race in competition for the same colonization-suitable planets. After efforts at communication failed, the Terrans and Throgs began a war to claim the desired planets.

1. Storm over Warlock

Throgs attack and wipe out a Survey planet exploration camp on planet Warlock.
Shann Lantee, sole survivor, and his wolverine pair Taggi and Togi join up with local Wyverns to defeat the Throgs .

2. Ordeal in Otherwhere

Charis Nordholm is brought to Warlock by a Free Trader, and is taken by the Wyverns. The Free Trader post is destroyed by Company traders on a grab-raid. Charis finds herself allied with Shann Lantee, Taggi, Togi, and the curl-cat Tsstu to help defeat the Jacks.

3. Forerunner Foray

A generation later
Ziantha of the Thieves' Guild on planet Korwar steals a strange stone which takes her into several ancient Forerunner societies of of that world... 

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Also during this era:

1. Brother to Shadows

stand-alone read, after ("Forerunner Foray").

Jofre is an off-worlder who was adopted into and trained by an assasin clan since childhood. When his master dies, he is expelled and oaths to Zurzal, a young Zacathan searching for archaeological treasure to prove the worth of his time viewer.

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series: Lost Worlds

5 titles, stand-alone reads, random order

Before this story begins:

These are stories from worlds that were abandoned in a time of war. We do not always know what wars these were, or when they happened. Yet, one thing remains the same throughout: in times of war, people suffer. 

1. Star Gate

A lost colony story, stand-alone read

The Star Lords had come from a dying Earth and settled on Earth-like Gorth where they found a primitive society and helped the inhabitants to rise to civilization. But now the native folk of Gorth have grown resentful and jealous of the Star Lords, who have refused to share their secrets of (apparent) immortality and their powerful weapons-technology which led to the loss of Earth.

Editor's Note:
Many colonies did not survive or were lost in later wars. New or experimental technologies were sometimes abandoned as too dangerous, or were lost together with the colonies and never rediscovered.

2. Iron Cage

A lost colony story, stand-alone read

Rutee and her son Jony have been kidnapped from Ishtar by Zalan (the Big Ones,) aliens who use her in a breeding experiment. They escape on an unnamed planet where they are aided by bear-like 'People.'
After their mother's death, Jony and the twins Maba and Geogee grow up among the People. During his explorations, Jony discovers a warehouse full of weapons from an early human colony.
When a scout ship arrives — fugitives from a distant war — they capture the twins, and find the warehouse. To protect the planet, Jony destroys the weapons and the ship.

3. Eye of the Monster

An abandoned colony story, stand-alone read

When the Patrol begins to withdraw from Ishkur, the native Ishkurians slaughter most off-worlders. By luck, Rees survives and rescues a Terran and a Salarika child. Together with a Salarika adult they journey together to a mining camp with heavy defenses; there they signal the few remaining Patrol members and fight off the Ishkurians until a robo flyer arrives to take them off-planet.

4. Dark Piper

An abandoned colony story, stand-alone read

The planet Beltane had been unscathed by the Four Sectors War. But then Vere and his friends are trapped underground when raiders bomb the surface. When they emerge, they are the last human survivors on Beltane...

5. Dread Companion

An abandoned colony story, stand-alone read

First-in Survey Scout Jorth Kosgro discovers the planet Dylan in 2301 A.F.; he wanders into the Folk’s world and is lost.  Some 100 years later, Kilda becomes a teacher and governess to two young children on Dylan. One of the children has an invisible ‘dread companion’ that leads them into a Faerie world. When they escape, almost 80 years have passed on Dylan and they return to a world devastated by war.

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series: Beast Master / Hosteen Storm cycle x5

5 titles, read together  in this order

Before this story begins:

Earth was burnt off and left a radioactive cinder at the end of the Xicks War. Beast Master Hosteen Storm relocates to Arzor. These are his adventures on that planet.

1 The Beast Master

When he investigates a livestock theft, Storm discovers that the Xicks have a ship and camp on Arzor. During his escape from a hugely destructive Xicks attack, he  discovers the Forerunner Gardens.

2 Lord of Thunder
3 Beast Master’s Ark
4 Beast Master’s Circus
5 Beast Master’s Quest

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Editor's Note:
The abandoned Earth disappeared in obscurity and became legend...                   

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IV.  4500 - 7500 A.D. 
A Time of Peace (22 titles)

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Before this story begins:

The League of Free Traders had been founded ca. 4000 A.D. to protect Free Traders’ interests from the interstellar Trading Companies and piracy. The Stellar Patrol developed into a galaxy-wide police and military force to maintain Peace, Law and Order. 

Without their planet of origin to rally to, Terran colonies were assimilated by their respective sectors. Trade and the Patrol consolidated and unified the colonies, leading to the 1st galactic empire and the Pax Galactica.

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series: The Solar Queen cycle

Ca. 4500-4800 A.D. - 7 books Continuing story, definitely read together in this order

1 Sargasso of Space

This is Norton’s first book that mentions Forerunners by this name.

Dane Thorson is assigned to the “Solar Queen”, a Free Trader ship. The Queen’s crew participates in a Survey auction and buys the right to exploit the planet Limbo. Accompanied by a team of archaeologists, they find Forerunner ruins.

2 Plague Ship
3 Voodoo Planet
4 Postmarked the Stars
5 Redline the Stars
6 Derelict for Trade
7 A Mind for Trade

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EVENT: ca. 5000. A.D.  

Foundation of the 1st Galactic Empire.
The Galactic Empire has managed to keep the peace for nearly 3000 years… (“Star Rangers”)

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series: Forerunner Planets

3 (+2) titles, stand-alone reads, random reading order.

Before this story begins:

Council, Federation, Patrol and League: all were sending out First-in Scouts to find new worlds fit for human occupation. Their job is lonely, risky, and they don’t always get it right when they declare a planet safe.

Note from the editor:
These following 5 stories cannot be dated with any measure of confidence. 

1. Voorloper

Bart s’Lorn, a “Voorloper” (wandering trader), and Illo, a Healer, both survived major attacks of the Shadow Death as children.  When they meet, they end up searching out the cause of the Shadow Death and defeating the Shadows.

2. Star Hunter

Stand-alone read.

Ras Hume  counterfeits a claimant to the Kogan fortune, and conditions Vye Lansor to be the claimant Rynch Brodie. Vye is dropped as a 'survivor' and helps Hume to escape from a Forerunner trap ... 

3. The X Factor

A misfit son of a First-in Scout steals a spaceship and travels to planet Mimir, where he gets mixed up with a Zacathan alien, a guild of criminals, Jacks and Forerunner ruins.

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series: Forerunner Simsa cycle

2 titles, the continuing story of Simsa, a real-life Forerunner; could well be included in the 'Forerunner Planets' series.

1. Forerunner
2. Forerunner: The Second Venture

1. On ancient Kuxortal, Simsa grew up among garbage pickers who live upon the ancient Forerunners ruins. But then star ranger Thorn leads her to an ancient Forerunner city where she discovery her origins as a true descendant of one of the Forerunner races. 

2. Simsa escapes from a space ship and crash lands on another world touched by her Forerunner civilization.

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series: Criminal Minds

6 titles (2 novels + 4 SS)
Stand-alone reads, random reading order.

Common theme: Criminal use of Mind Power

Note from the editor:
("Ice Crown") can be dated to ca. 5200-5300 A.D. because of references to the Psychocrats overturn of ca. 4900 A.D.
("Android at Arms")  can be dated to ca. 3700-3775 A.D.
The Dreamer stories cannot be dated with any measure of confidence. 

1. Ice Crown

ca. 5200-5300 A.D.
Offlas Keil and his niece Roane seek Forerunner artifacts on planet Clio, but find something very different...

2. Android at Arms

ca. 3700-3775 A.D. 
Andas Kastor, Imperial Prince of the Dinganian Empire, wakes up in a world he does not remember, imprisoned by Mengians, who are the Heirs to the Psychocrats. He ends up in a parallel world...

3-6.  Perilous Dreams:

4 short stories about the ‘Dreamers’ on planet Ty-Kry.
Read  together for context. 1+2 about Tamisan, the other 2  are separate stories.

4. Toys of Tamisan
5. Ship of Mist 

A Dreamer and her clients end up in parallel worlds.

6. Get out of my Dream

A Dreamer goes back in time to destroy an ancient threat to their planet.

7. Nightmare

Someone is killing Dreamers...

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Series: Moonsinger cycle

aka Free Traders cycle
aka Krip Vorlund cycle

4 titles, the continuing story of Krip Vorlund, definitely read together in this order.

Ca. 6000-6500 A.D.

1 Moon of Three Rings

The life of a Free Trader was all Krip Vorlund knew. That life ended after he was abducted on Yiktor.

2 Exiles of the Stars

The galactic trade ship Lydis lands in a battle of ancient powers and nameless evil, with a Forerunner treasure at its heart. The crew seems normal, but Krip Vorlund is a man who walks in a body not his own, and his pet hides the mind of Maelen the Moon Singer.

3 Flight in Yiktor
4 Dare to Go A-Hunting

Farree is a hunchback orphan in the slum of a tough, lawless world on the edge of the known galaxy. His only friend is a war-beast rescued from starvation and the fighting pits with whom he has a telepathic connection. Farree discovers his true heritage as one of the ancient Little People, the Faery Folk, of legend—but as far as he knows, he is the only one of his kind to survive. Then Krip Vorlund and Maelen, the Moonsinger, find a clue on a distant world which points to the location of Farree’s birthplace.

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V. 7500-8500 A.D. 
Death of an Empire (1 title)

From (“Star Rangers”)  Chapter 1:
The First Galactic Empire was breaking up. Dictators, Emperors, Consolidators wrested the rulership of their own or kindred solar systems from Central Control. Space pirates raised flags and recruited fleets to gorge on spoil plundered from this wreckage. It was a time in which only the ruthless could flourish...

Editor's Note:
The decline of a galaxy-wide empire does not happen overnight. Long after distant regions have separated, the empire still stands, withdrawing and consolidating its power around the center of government. Some of the 'Lost Worlds' stories may well have happened during these later times of trouble.

1. Star Rangers

aka The Last Planet  –  8054-? A.D.  
Stand-alone read. 

Jorcam Dester, the last Control Agent of Deneb, ordered the few available Patrol Ships away, allegedly to locate and re-map forgotten galactic border systems no-one had visited in at least four generations.  Starfire leaves on her last trip and crashes on Earth where they only find abandoned cities and a few primitive nomadic tribes.

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VI. 8500-??? A.D. -
A Post-Human Planet (2 titles)

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Series: Post-Human Earth

2 titles, read in this order.

common themes: plague planet, evacuation by humans, sentient animals

Note from the editor:
We do not know for certain if these 2 stories are historic references, of just fantastic stories. These stories are consistent with the legendary status of Terra after ca. 5000 A.D. and sentient animals were known long before then, but these may well be merely legends explaining why the location of Terra disappeared from Human knowledge.

1. London Bridge

6 years after the last plague attack:
Prequel to ‘Breed to Come’.

 The children who survived the plagues try to survive in the ruined cities.

When the Rhyming Man shows up, children begin to disappear. Lew follows the Rhyming and manages to get Outside, where he and the other children begin a new life.

2. Breed to Come

Plague had decimated humans, and the survivors fled the planet. A new breed of intelligence arose: the catlike People. When humans returned centuries later, the People are in no mood to deal once again with the “demons” who abandoned them so long ago.

THE END of Andre Norton’s Future History

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Word Searches, Quotes, etc.
Word-searches I used to figure out what books belong in this collection. This is rough draft text that has not been cleaned up, but you're welcome to review it. 

  1. I. Introduction
  2. II. Recommended Reading Order
  3. III. Story Review