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Key Out of Time Paperback – May 19, 2008

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Key Out of Time + The Time Traders + Plague Ship
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix Pick (May 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604502347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604502343
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,138,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Again, Andre Norton, one of the greats among writers of teen -age science fiction (Galactic Derelict, 1959, p.658, J-316, for one), has employed his boundless imagination to create a story about two Time Agents who are catapulted back 10,000 years in time, on the deserted planet, Hawaika. The eerie adventures of Ross Murdock among three unique prehistoric races end in a horrifying, but fascinating other world battle. The appearance of the Baldies, hairless creatures who claim power by reading men's minds, constitutes an unusual threat to the agents. Owing to the author's exceptional mastery of detail, and astute control of plot, Key Out of Time stands as a novel which should more than satisfy young science fiction fanciers and fanatics. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Andre Norton was the pen name of Alice Mary Norton (February 17, 1912-March 17, 2005) author of hundreds of fantasy and science fiction novels and stories. Though she had intended to become a teacher, the depression forced her to change plans and become a librarian, a career she followed until she could become a full time author. Her first novel was published in 1934. She began writing science fiction in the fifties, continuing until her death. She received both the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
Good reads, especially by the fireplace relaxing in the evenings!
I really liked this novel, and it could have been the best of Andre Norton's time trader series.
Good stories, good plot lines and likeable characters with mostly happy endings.
California Dreamin'

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sires on March 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ashe Gordon and Ross Murdock, angry following the loss of their fellow agent and friend, Travis Fox on the planet Topaz, are on the planet Hawaikan, a warm planet that is mostly ocean, intent on setting up a time gate. The world is so different from what they expected after viewing the information from the alien ship that brought them to the planet, that they have decided to do a risky experiment and travel into the past of the planet. They are joined on this venture by two mutant dolphins and a female agent of Polynesian descent.
However, just as they set up the time gate, a storm blows up and disaster strikes. Murdock is flung through the gate and into the planet's past. The time gate is destroyed. Murdock is left to try to cope with the different and aline world he finds himself in, where it seems there is currently a three way struggle going on even without the presence of the mysterious aliens who have dogged the Time Traders from the start.
Without many references to the Russian/US race to colonize space, this book is not much dated at all. Murdock's resentment about the interjection of a woman into their crew is all too believable. However, Norton rarely takes the expected route and the story remains thoroughly entertaining.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Key out of time is one in the series that I think started with Time Traders. This is the race between the U.S. and USSR to utilize technology left in the distant past on Earth by an interstellar race.
The setting is on another planet and goes back into time on it and the travelers meet the race that originated the time technology. Throw in a coven of real witches, dolphins that can communicate with humans and you have one heck of a good story
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dray on December 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I met A Norton at a book signing a long long time ago. This was before Folks like Heinlein made the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. SCI FI did not used to be cool then we sent a man to the moon. We had Star Trek, Star Wars. and two Battle Star Galactica's. Where can we go and what can we say about SCI FI. This is the person who helped make it great.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on December 18, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Key Out of Time (1963) is the fourth SF novel in the Time Traders series, following The Defiant Agents. In the previous volume, Travis Fox and his fellow Apaches were stranded on Topaz. They fought a war of ambushes and raids against the Russians. They were assisted in their fight by the Mongols and three Baldie superweapons.

In this novel, Ross Murdock and Gordon Ashe are helping the Polynesian colonists on Hawaika. The planet is not much like the data on the Baldie tape. There are no longer any continents or large islands, only small isles scattered throughout the worldwide ocean.

Karara Trehern is a Hawaiian of the royal Alii bloodline. She is a leader among the colonists. Moreover, Tino-rau and Taua -- the dolphins -- obey her commands.

Ross and Gordon are prepared to set up a time viewer to determine what happened to the planet. So far, their search for ruins to provide a guidepost to the past has been unsuccessful. The ship will be leaving in four more days, so they need to erect the machine soon.

Karara suggests that they sweep the area with ten observers. The next day, they start the sweep by Ross, Ashe, Karara and seven more strong swimmers. Ross is the first to find something, but the dragon-like creature in the depression decides that Ross would be a nice lunch.

In this story, Ross and Ashe set up the time viewer and peep first at ten thousand years in the past. They find signs of a medieval type civilization, but with anachronisms. Two hundred years later, those natives are gone and giant pylons dominate the scene. Three hundred years after then, even the pylons are gone.

Ross and Ashe erect a time portal.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fantasyman on March 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a classic example of how Andre Norton crafts a story. Take some interesting characters, give them an important mission with the clock ticking to rush them along, and then let them loose on some alien world without them having the proper preparation, due to that ticking clock, and let them fend for themselves in dangerous situations. Ok, so the plot elements are essentially the same as the previous book in this series, The Defiant Agents. It's a series, that's why the plot elements are so much alike. Andre Norton fans understand that when they read one of her books they are in for a well told tale. She shares that same ability that Edgar Rice Burroughs possessed; the ability to return again and again to familiar plot elements, usually with different characters on different worlds, but essentially the same formula, and then tell a great story. Serious fantasy, sci-fi, or adventure aficionados recognize that the story is the most important thing, tell a good story and readers will willing accept the rehashing of familiar plot development schemes, time and time again. I never get tired of reading this sort of stuff. It usually takes a chapter or two to get the plot rolling, but, once Ms. Norton has laid out the ground work for her story, the story takes off and the reader just keeps turning the page. You want to know what happens next, and you want to know how the story is going to end. Very few writers have ever had the good fortune to maintain the loyalty of their readers to the extent Ms. Norton did in her lifetime, and beyond.
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