The Gifts of Asti

~ A Short Story by Andre Norton


NOTE: This title has entered the “Public Domain” and is therefore open to any publisher that wants to print it. Many “Print on Demand” publishers have started to release this title. This site has chosen to ignore these published versions and only concentrate on estate sanctioned materials.


Synopsis ~

Varta, the last priestess of Asti, lives alone with Lur, a telepath of the lizardfolk, in Asti's isolated mountain retreat. Decadent Memphir has long since drifted away from the austere paths of Asti, and now the barbarians of Klem are sacking the city, and the smoke of its burning drifts up to the temple. Asti's followers, however, foresaw that this day would come to Memphir, as Varta has learned from her study of the ancient chronicles.


Write-up from a fan ~

Varta, the last maiden of the Virgins of Asti watches the city Memphir burning below the Temple, sack by the barbarians of Klem. She and her reptilian companion, Lur, abandon the Temple, after Varta removes the miniature solar system that had always hovered  over the hand of the statue of Asti. Together, Varta and Lur go down into caverns below the Temple and come out upon a strange lake whose waters seem to preserve anything fallen into them. One of the things that fell into the water was a strange ship. The same suit that enabled Varta to traverse the noxious fumes of the underground ways also enables her to safely investigate the strange ship -- which obviously had flown through the air -- or even space? Inside this ship she finds a locked closet that is holding prisoner a young man. She pulls him ashore and he revives. Lur advises her not to "disdain the Gifts of Asti." ~ SL


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • Fantasy Book Vol.1 # 3 [as Andrew North] (1948) Edited by Garret Ford, Published by Fantasy Publishing, TP, $0.25, 66pg ~ cover by Crozetti

    4 • The Great Judge • shortstory by A. E. van Vogt
    8 • The Gifts of Asti • shortstory by Andre Norton [as by Andrew North ]
    9 •  The Gifts of Asti • interior artwork by Laura Ruth Crozetti [as by Crozetti ]
    18 • Songs of the Spaceways • essay by uncredited
    18 • We'll Launch Our Space Ships Yet • poem by Lilith Lorraine
    18 • Recognition • poem by Enola Chamberlain
    19 • Upon the Planet Valapo • poem by Stanton A. Coblentz
    19 • Lost Earth • poem by Rita Barr
    20 • Secret Weapon • shortstory by Larry T. Shaw [as by Terry Thor ]
    27 • Blurb • shortstory by E. Everett Evans
    36 • The Book Shelf (Fantasy Book, Vol. 1 No. 3) • essay by Lilith Lorraine
    37 •   Review: Out of the Unknown by A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull • review by uncredited
    37 •   Review: The Key to the Great Gate by Hinko Gottlieb • review by uncredited
    38 •   Review: The World of Null-A by A. E. van Vogt • review by uncredited
    38 •   Review: The Black Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum • review by uncredited
    38 •   Review: The Well of the Unicorn by Fletcher Pratt • review by uncredited
    39 • Turnabout • shortstory by H. S. W. Chibbett
    40 •  Turnabout • interior artwork by Laura Ruth Crozetti [as by Crozetti ]
    53 • The Machine-God Laughs (Part 2 of 3) • serial by Festus Pragnell
    62 • The Book Mark (Fantasy Book, Vol. 1 No. 3) • essay by uncredited
    62 •  Letter (Fantasy Book, Vol. 1 No. 3) • essay by Chad Oliver
    62 • Editor's Notebook (Fantasy Book, Vol. 1 No. 3) • [Editor's Notebook (Fantasy Book)] • essay by uncredited
    66 • Publisher's Note • essay by uncredited


  • Science Fantasy Series – Griffin Booklet One - Empire of Dust / Gifts of Asti [as Andrew North] (1949) Published by Griffin Publishing, 47pg ~ Empire of Dust by Basil Wells
  • (1979) Educational Progress Published by Western Publishing Co. a division of Educational Development Corp, #1-803538 ~ One of 5 Short Story titles published as a Stand Alone Booklet. Extremely Scarce in any condition.
  • The Time Curve (1968) by Sam Moskowitz and Roger Elwood, Published by Tower, PB, 43-986, $0.60, 189pg

    7 • Unto Him That Hath • (1952) • novelette by Lester del Rey
    42 • Nice Girl with 5 Husbands • (1951) • shortstory by Fritz Leiber (variant of Nice Girl with Five Husbands)
    55 • Death of a Dinosaur • (1956) • shortstory by Sam Moskowitz
    70 • Terror Out of Time • (1933) • novelette by Jack Williamson
    93 • Time Wounds All Heels • [Lefty Feep] • (1942) • shortstory by Robert Bloch
    113 • Over the River and Through the Woods • (1965) • shortstory by Clifford D. Simak
    123 • A Gun for Dinosaur • [Reginald Rivers] • (1956) • novelette by L. Sprague de Camp
    153 • Operation Peep • (1951) • shortstory by John Wyndham (variant of Pawley's Peepholes)
    169 • The Great Judge • (1948) • shortstory by A. E. van Vogt
    174 • The Gifts of Asti • (1948) • shortstory by Andre Norton


  • Book of Andre Norton, The (1975) Edited by – Rodger Elwood, Published by DAW, PB, 0-451-UY119-8, $1.25, 221pg ~ cover by Jack Gaughan
  • The Gifts of Asti and Other Stories of Science Fiction (1975) Edited by Roger Elwood, Published by Follett, HC, 0-695-40534-9, 216pg

    Bettyann • [Bettyann • 1] • (1951) • novelette by Kris Neville
    Hawksbill Station • (1967) • novella by Robert Silverberg
    Forever and Amen • (1972) • shortstory by Robert Bloch
    The Gifts of Asti • (1948) • shortstory by Andre Norton
    Stella • (1972) • shortstory by Ted White
    Second Nature • (1973) • novelette by Chad Oliver
    To Sleep, Perchance to Dream • (1974) • shortstory by Nancy Mackenroth
    Fireday: Firenight • (1974) • shortstory by Barry N. Malzberg

This provocative collection of eight stories includes pieces by some of the greats of the science fiction genre. Andre Norton, whose immensely successful career spans almost a quarter-century, contributes the title story—a haunting and lyrical tale of the destruction of two great civilizations and a young woman who holds the key to their rebirth. “Hawksbill Station,“ by Hugo- and Nebula-award-winner Robert Silverberg, examines a colony of political prisoners exiled in the late Cambrian era by means of one-way time travel. The nature of human freedom, the quest for immortality, the relationship of intellect to environment —these and other great themes of science fiction are explored in a manner that is certain to stimulate in young readers a new awareness of the here and now.


  • Phantasmagoria: Tales of Fantasy and the Supernatural (1977) Edited by Jane Mobley, Published by Anchor Books, PB, 0-385-12329-9, 439pg

    13 • Preface (Phantasmagoria: Tales of Fantasy and the Supernatural) • essay by Jane Mobley
    19 • The Wondrous Fair: Magical Fantasy (section introduction) • essay by Jane Mobley
    36 • Arthur and the Gorlagon • shortstory by Jane Mobley and uncredited
    54 • The Golden Key • (1867) • novelette by George MacDonald
    83 • The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth • (1908) • shortstory by Lord Dunsany [as by Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, Lord Dunsany ]
    100 • The Silken-Swift • (1953) • shortstory by Theodore Sturgeon
    121 • The Dark Isle • (1939) • shortstory by Robert Bloch
    147 • The Rejected Sorcerer • (1960) • shortstory by Jorge Luís Borges
    150 • According to Tradition • (1965) • shortstory by Nicholas Stuart Gray
    165 • The Gifts of Asti • (1948) • shortstory by Andre Norton
    181 • The Rule of Names • [Earthsea Cycle] • (1964) • shortstory by Ursula K. Le Guin
    192 • Winged Creatures • novelette by Sylvia Townsend Warner
    214 • Sia (excerpt) • shortfiction by Peter S. Beagle
    223 • The Passing Strange: Supernatural Fiction (section introduction) • essay by Jane Mobley
    236 • An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street • (1853) • novelette by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
    248 • "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad" • (1904) • novelette by M. R. James
    259 • Confession • (1921) • shortstory by Algernon Blackwood and Wilfred Wilson [as by Algernon Blackwood ]
    279 • The Beckoning Fair One • (1911) • novella by Oliver Onions
    369 • Come Lady Death • (1963) • shortstory by Peter S. Beagle
    387 • Three Miles Up • (1951) • shortstory by Elizabeth Jane Howard
    407 • Benson Watts is Dead and in Virginia • (1973) • novelette by Doris Betts


  • Anthology of Sci-Fi: The Pulp Writers: Volume 1 (2013) Published by Spastic Cat Press, Edited by unknown, TP, 1-483-70097-6, 978-1-483-70097-7, $8.99, 100pgs

    The Martian • (1932) • novelette by A. Rowley Hilliard and Allen Glasser
    The Gifts of Asti • (1948) • shortstory by Andre Norton
    McIlvaine's Star • [Tex Harrigan] • (1952) • shortfiction by August Derleth [as by August William Derleth]
    A Traveler in Time • [Tex Harrigan] • (1953) • shortfiction by August Derleth [as by August William Derleth]
    All Cats Are Gray • (1953) • shortstory by Andre Norton [as by Andrew North]
    The Mating of the Moons • (1953) • shortstory by Bryce Walton [as by Kenneth O'Hara]


NOTE: The following book has The Gifts of Asti listed on the cover but the story does not appear inside.

  • The Human Zero and Other Science Fiction Masterpieces (1967) Edited by Sam Moskowitz and Roger Elwood, Published by Tower, PB, 43-906, $0.60, 224pg {Image}


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1993) Combined with "Operation Time Search", "Catseye", "Long Live Lord Kor!", "Mousetrap", "All Cats Are Gray", "The Long Night of Waiting" all translation by L. Deutsch, and "Garan the Eternal" translation by N. Khokhlova ~ Published in Niahny Novgorod, by Phlox, 5-871-98046-5, HC, 480pg ~ "The Gifts of Asti" translation by N. Rezanova ~ cover by A. Tarasov ~ Russian title Долгая ночь ожидания [The Long Night of Waiting]