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Time Traders II: The Defiant Agents & Key Out of Time Hardcover – February 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Reluctant agents for the U.S. government's secret expeditions into the past, Travis Fox and Ross Murdoch seek out history's anomalies in order to protect the future. As part of Operation Retrograde, Fox and Murdoch explore the mysteries of the Bronze Age and ancient Polynesia in search of signs of alien visitors to Earth's distant past. The latest addition to veteran sf author Norton's classic "Time Traders" series brings together two out-of-print novellas of time-travel into one volume suitable for most libraries' sf collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Baen revives more of Norton's Time Traders yarns (Time Traders [BKL N 1 00] contained the first two resuscitees). In The Defiant Agents, American agents, who have received treatments that cause them to revert to ancestral behaviors that will enable them to survive in more primitive conditions, are dispatched to the past. They encounter Russians who have been backdated to resemble Tartars and whom they can overcome only with a weapon alien to the period. In Key Out of Time, the agents venture to a ruined planet revealed by a long-lost map. There they find a device that lets them see into the past and defeat the aliens responsible for the planet's demise. Originally written in the early 1960s, both books needed and got a certain amount of technological and political updating, so that, for instance, the Russian opponents aren't Communist but newfangled Russian imperialists. The books bear revamping better than most of their contemporaries might because they were better written in the first place by one of sf's hardy perennials. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Time Traders
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067131968X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671319687
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sires on March 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
These are two books from the early 60's that were originally published as Juveniles (current category is known as Young Adult).
The Defiant Agents has not worn as well as the second book mainly because it is built around a Cold War inspired race between the US and Russia to colonize space. The thing that really saves this book from being dated though is Norton's distrust of all big government.
The US team was sent into space under Redax, a conditioning that returns their thought processes to that of their ancestors-- Apaches living in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Although they were volunteers for experimentation and exploration, they were not made fully aware of what they were going to be used for by their superiors. Consequently, when their space ships cracks up on entry the survivors. some thinking they are living in the past, some more aware of the present are confronted with a puzzle. They must figure out how to survive in an alien world where their neighbors are escapees from the Russian mind control project-- and the Russians want their people back.
Key Out of Time moves to the water world of Hawaikan. Ross Murdock, a character from the earlier books, is thrown into the past of this world when a storm blows up while they are setting up a time gate. The Russians are only mentioned in the beginning so the book feels less dated than Defiant Agents. The action here involves a struggle among the ancient people of Hawaikan to escape the influance of the mysterious aliens whose wrecked ship provided the technology that let the people of Earth reach into space.
These books are well worth reading. Individually I gave Defiant Agents a 4 and Key Out of Time a 5. The first one was pulled down by the Russian/US conflict that probably doesn't resonate with current attitude toward the Russians.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
To gain perspective on when these novellas were released, Kennedy is President and Khrushchev is in power. The first moon walk has not occurred yet and the Mets winning the world Series is several year away when these two classic novellas were released. Both hold up well even with four decades of incredible gains by the scientific and technological communities, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some Cold War vestiges may seem outdated, yet nicely fit into the two story lines.
"The Defiant Agents". Travis Fox and crew land on planet Topaz where they must reach inside to their Apache heritage to battle a difficult climate and a Russian team of explorers who likewise dig deep into their Mongol heritage.
"Key Out of Time". Time Agent Ross Murdock needs to unite three radically different cultures and potential enemies into one force to repel the dangerous invading Baldies.
The anthology remains strong and actually shows how the great Andre Norton influenced future science fiction authors. Tales like these are why she remains one of the best loved writers of the twentieth century and now the twenty-first century.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on December 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Time Traders II (2001) is the second SF omnibus edition of the Time Traders series, including The Defiant Agents and Key Out of Time. These novels are set in the near future when the Russians have discovered time travel and the Americans duplicated their efforts. Searching through time, both nations discovered traces of the alien Baldies from about ten thousand years ago. They used the alien starships to start sending colonists to former Baldie planets.

The Defiant Agents (1962) is the third SF novel in the series. In this novel, Travis Fox is an Apache indian with post-graduate training in Archaeology. After returning from his trip in time and space, he convinces some fellow Apaches to volunteer to settle on an extrasolar planet named Topaz (for its yellow skies). Forty are selected for their skills in various areas.

While attempting to deliver the Apaches to Topaz, the starship is attacked by Russian space mines. The pilot manages to overcome heavy g-forces to activate a new defensive system. The attacking devices are diverted for a few moments and the damaged ship crashlands under auto-pilot.

The crew members in the pilot compartment are killed in the crash, as are many of the passengers. Yet some survive and so do a pair of very intelligent coyotes in the cargo area. The coyotes are the first to escape the ship, but Travis is close behind them.

In this story, the surviving Apaches gather around a campfire to plan their activities. Their thoughts are confounded by memories of the past from the Redax machine.
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By Scorebar on May 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved this book! I plan on reading more of Andre Nortons books. I recommended it to my daughter also.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was afraid it would happen and it did, I got to the end of the story, feeling like a 5 year old who had his favorite toy taken away from him by Mom and put in bed for the night because tomorrow is another day and now it is time to sleep. But mmommiiiieeee! I still want to play!

Alas, the last page is unforgiving, signifying the fun is over. Dang! Yup! That's how good and well crafted this story is, with ups and downs, suspense, surprises, unexpected twists and plots within plots; making for a riveting read and a hard dreary return to the real world of the here now. Luckily I can surf to my Amazon account to download my next Andre Norton, phew!; dodged a huge bullet there.
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