Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fictionwise Stocks "Mousetrap," a Short Story by Andre Norton (1954)

Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in June 1954, “Mousetrap,” a short story written by science fiction grand master Andre Norton, has been reprinted in several anthologies and is now available for purchase as an eBook through Fictionwise.

Here’s the description from Fictionwise: “The tourist's guides on Mars referred to Sam Levatts as a ‘desert spider.’ To all the locals he was just a drunk. A barfly that frequents the taverns with a wild tale of ‘the lovely lady.’ But Len Collins thinks there might be something more to Sam's drunken tales. For everyone,
even the tourists, knows of the value of the ‘sand monsters.’ The
‘sand monsters’ are gigantic, horrible, sand statues that are worth their weight in any treasure imaginable. And Sam is the only one that may know their secret.”

And here’s a slightly different description from Andre Norton Books: Bibliography and Cover-art Collection, a fan website: “The ‘sand monsters’ of Mars are mysterious statues in the desert, that have withstood time, storm, and extreme heat and cold ~ but they crumble into dust at a touch. The tourist bureaus (and the Space Marines) now have the surviving statues protected from everyone trying out his personal version of superglue (since the museums and scientists have gigantic standing rewards for anyone who can get one to Earth). Any would-be hero will have to find an undiscovered sand monster to get a chance at the reward.”

Mousetrap” was read by Rick Stringer on The Time Traveler Show, Episode #7, September 2006, which you can download and listen to as an mp3 file (approx. 23 minutes).

A fascinating woman, lover of cats, and prolific writer of science fiction and fantasy, Andre Alice Norton died in 2005. According to, Ms. Norton’s estate is involved in a legal dispute over issues related to copyrights and royalties.

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