Once Again, With Closure: Andre Norton’s Forerunner: The Second Venture

In this last of the Forerunner books, published in 1985, Norton rounds off the series with another plucky-loner adventure. Forerunner remnant/revenant/descendant (it’s never totally clear) Simsa is back out in the wild, alone but for her loyal alien animal companion Zass, and she has cornered the market on character-in-jeopardy. This time she’s on a violently hostile alien world, she’s barely surviving, and we learn in flashbacks how she got there.

After the abrupt ending of Forerunner, Thom shipped Simsa out with supposedly trustworthy colleagues who were supposed to take her to their Zacathan boss. But Simsa picked up mental signals that led her to commandeer the ship’s escape pod and make a run for it. The male spacer wanted her for her monetary value, and the female doctor wanted to dissect her.

The pod dropped her on a blasted planet with severely inimical native life. Simsa manages to find, ...