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Full Version: Can her books be read standalone, or should they be read in order?
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Using this, it seems that many of her books are part of a "series". I just got done reading my first book of hers, "Catseye", and according to Wikipedia it's part of the "Dipple" series. After reading the book, I now know Dipple is a lower class section of the city. So the other books in the series will probably take place in or around there. It also appears that some of the books tie to other series. Furthermore, the backs of the books give no hint that they are part of any series, even the ones in the same series.

So I'm wondering a few things. Can I read the books in any order I want? Especially for Witch World since there are a lot of books for them. And what's the difference between Estcarp and High Hallack cycle? Can I read books from them in any order? And finally, are these books all in the same universe?

Thank you.

EDIT: Reading another thread it appears that there are at least 4 universes she created. How do I know which books go to what universe?
Depending on the edition and how early or late in the series a book is written, they often say things like "A Solar Queen Novel" or "A Witch World Book" somewhere on the cover or dust jacket. However, there are several fan lists that explain which series the books belong to. You can see reference to them here in the forum (sorry -- I'm running late and don't have time to dig for the threads). You can also search for "Witch World Books", "Time Trader Books", "Solar Queen Books", etc.

All that said, Andre tried to write her books so that the reader did not need to have the others. Although you get the sense from each story that there is something larger going on, they were usually well able to stand on their own. There were a few sub-series within a couple of the series, and they are a bit more tightly integrated. For example, in the Witch World books there are the Tregarth family stories, the Gryphon stories, and so on.

The Estcarp books were written for one continent of the Witch World and the High Hallack/Arvon books were written for another continent. However, a few of the later stories tie the two continents together.

As far as the science fiction books go, some fans have suggested that the Forerunner books are probably in the same universe as the Solar Queen and Star Patrol books but I think Andre left that up in the air. There are certainly inconsistencies in the stories.
Interesting. Most of my books were published in the 60's and such, so they just say complete and unabridged. I'll keep what you said in mind, thanks.
The Dipple books are NOT in any particular order. They are joined by two phrases
1) "Dipple" itself, implying the place where refugees were put during a Galactic war, and usually a slum. The "Dipple" area can exist on separate worlds, and is usually an area near the Port.
2) The game of "Stars and Comets" which is something like poker, and played all over the galaxy, by "The Patrol" and in ZERO STONE and FORERUNNER

There are a few mini-series, where it is nicest to read the first book in that series: ZERO STONE, FORERUNNER, MOONSINGER

You should start the Witch World books with WITCH WORLD after that, go in order of publication dates if possible.
Here is the link to Jay Watts really good web site.

Oh - there ARE no rules. Read as you wish. If you find something puzzling - look to see if there is a related book, like
ORDEAL IN OTHERWHERE is best if you have read STORM OVER WARLOCK but not required.
Ok glad to see that for the most part I can read them in any order.
As Irene said, Jay Watts' site is brilliant. If you look on the left side of the page, there is a link for "Series" which is excellent. The majority of Andre's sci-fi novels are set in what I like to call her "Forerunner" universe because most of them mention ruins of ancient star civilizations at some point. On my little fan wiki I've been working on a rough timeline of where her "Forerunner" novels take place in relation to each other at: if you're curious.