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4.2 out of 5 stars
Time Traders
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123 of 132 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're like me, you read these novels as a youngster in the late 50's or early 60's, and you were drawn in not just by the no-wasted-motion adventure/scifi style for which Ms. Norton became so well loved, but by the glimpses of a not-too-distant future that was clearly based on a somewhat uncertain present. The style is still there in this new edition, but the future, sadly, is gone. For reasons that elude me, the political/cultural milieu of the original near-future has been updated (the Bad Guys are no longer "Reds," they're from a post-USSR-breakup "resurgent Russia"), and the result is not a good fit. The narrative and characterizations still have that squeaky-clean Fifties feel, so the 90's references feel anachronistic. Part of the pleasure of reading classic sf is to enjoy the retro flavor; this attempt to overlay a contemporary veneer simply rings false. What's worse, the paperback edition, which I purchased, bears no indication anywhere that these revisions exist. I discovered them only as I read along and became increasingly disturbed by things that didn't fit. If you want to read a classic, and especially if you want to relive the experience of reading the classic you remember from your youth, do yourself a favor and track down the original text.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There is nothing quite like the type of space yarn that the great and greatly prolific Andre Norton wrote in the 1950s and 1960s. Well-crafted, colorful, exciting, with a wonderful sense of strangeness and awe to the settings and descriptions, these books never fail to delight, no matter how many times you read them. Even the elements which tend to date these novels add a sort of nostalgic charm that I find irresistable. Baen Books is to be applauded for its plan to re-publish a lot of her out-of-print novels in these omnibus editions. If you have yet to get into Andre Norton, now is a good time. You are bound to have a fun fun time!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first Sci Fi book I read 35 odd years ago. And it launched me into reading all her other stories and the other great Sci Fi authors too. It is fun to reread this book now for it takes place late in the 20th century. The Cold War fears of that time (remember it was written in the 50's) are all thru the book and very familiar to one who grew up then. This book and the following three are still very good reads. They are full of adventure and bold ideas and you do wnat them to end, And now I see where Ms Norton and another author are writing new Time Trader books. I cannot wait!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A reprint of the 1958 edition, this was like finding an old friend. I first read this in 1958 or 1959, when I was about 10 years old. I remembered snippets of it ever since and wondered if I would ever come across it again. The story is just as fresh as it was then. Indeed, I looked for some disclaimer that it had been updated, but found none. Other than the lack of scientific explanation underlying key aspects of the plot, thus dating its style somewhat, this was a remarkably prescient piece. And far from sophomoric in the bad sense, it appeals to the kid still inside me. I enjoyed it as much now as I did when I was 10. It has time travel, Russians, aliens, prehistoric tribes, space ships, personal struggle and triumph...what more can you want in a science fiction yarn? From over 40 years ago, it still rates 5 stars!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
"Time Traders" fell under the recommendation list for me as a free Kindle. At first, I wasn't really all that into typical science fiction stories of the 50s, though I do enjoyed some of them. The cover itself wasn't as interesting as the title itself. Admittedly, I am a fan of all things time-travel. So, I put aside a time to read this with no expectations.

This Kindle version actually have two books in one: "The Time Traders" and "Galactic Derelict." The former is the first in the series quite appropriately entitled "The Time Traders" with the latter being the second novel. The first focuses on a confrontation between the US and the "Reds" as well as the mysterious alien race that has used time travel (this novel route back and forth between present day and a trading tribal society in ancient Britain). The main character is Ross Murdock, who always in trouble with the laws, but he was chosen for his physical make-up and quickly recruited into the army of time. Through him, we discover a conflict between the Russians and the Americans in the past and by an accident, an alien race who aren't happy to see one of their own neglected crashed ships on Earth being looted. The second novel directs our attention to a new character, Travis Fox, an American Indian, as he eventually stumbled upon the army of time and became recruited as well. Both Fox and the characters of the previous story taken upon a secret mission to recover a crashed ship in the past and eventually, in an emergency, Fox, Ross, Ashe, with technician Renfry, all taken shelter inside an intact ship and became trapped when the ship takes off on an automatic course. During their journey, they'd experience three worlds, no longer alive with an advanced alien civilization, and work their way back home.

Needless to say, I actually found myself enjoying this series and will attempt to read more by this author. As I was getting into the stories, I can see that they are pure adventure, action-packed, quite suitable for young adult audience. Which, all made me wish that I would read this series when I was a kid - I would really enjoy them, then and now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Time Traders (2000) is an omnibus edition of the Time Traders series, including The Time Traders and Galactic Derelict. These novels are set in the near future when the Russians have discovered time travel and the Americans duplicated their efforts. Yet the Russians have discovered other new technologies that do not seem to be related to any previous research.

The Time Traders (1958) is the first novel in this series. In this novel, Ross Murdock is a young man with a bad record. He is held in detention and subjected to a series of psychological tests, then called back into the courtroom for sentencing. Ross is offered a chance to volunteer for an unidentified government project as an alternative to Rehabilitation.

Ross chooses to volunteer and is turned over to someone called Major. He plans to run at the first opportunity, but the Major takes him up to the roof of the building where they are picked up by a helicopter. They land on an airfield, change to flying suits, and leave in a sleek flying machine that departs straight up. By the time they reach their destination, Ross has learned that the Major is named Kelgarries, but has no idea where they are, except that it is thoroughly covered in snow.

Within the base, Ross is subjected to a series of tests, including a full day of physical examination. The rest of the time he spends in a cell-like room by himself on a very comfortable bunk. After the speaker in his room brays an announcement in the Major's voice, Ross is startled to see the opposite wall disappear, revealing an outdoor scene with mountains and fir trees, the scent of pine trees, and the moaning of the wind.

He hears a wolf howl, senses gray shadows in the trees, sees a wolf come toward him, hears it growl, and then sees it crouch down to leap. A bow twangs and the animal leaps into the air, then falls and bites at an arrow in its side. By this time, Ross has the blanket wrapped around his arm and is crouched down himself, waiting for the wolf's leap. Puzzled, he carefully walks to where the wall had been and discovers an unseen but solid surface at that location. He assumes that something new in image viewing has been developed and lies down to enjoy the remainder of the show.

In this story, Ross learns that he is teamed with Doctor Gordon Ashe -- an archaeologist -- within Operation Retrograde. Its mission is to search the past for clues to the source of the new Russian technology. Ashe takes him to mess call, where he finds other team members with the appearance of Tartars and Vikings. After a great deal of training, Ross finds himself in Stone Age Britain.

Galactic Derelict (1959) is the second SF novel in this series. In the previous volume, the project has found that the Russians discovered a starship in the past. Now Operation Retrograde is searching for a starship of their own.

In this novel, Travis Fox is an Apache. His friend Chato is an old man whose grandfather was born among the Apache holdouts in a hidden canyon about 120 years before. Travis has long wished to combine the lore of his ancestors with the knowledge of the white men, but then he is fired from an important archaeological expedition because of the prejudice of the major contributor.

A year later, Travis is looking for a reliable source of water for the herds on his brother's ranch. Based on information from Chato, he checks out the hidden canyon and comes across white eyes camping there. Scouting out the intruders, Travis is caught by Ross and brought to the other white men at gun point. Travis knows of Doctor Gordon Ashe, but Ross and the radioman Grant are unknowns.

These men are setting up a time viewer within the canyon. Naturally, they are not going to let Travis go free until their operation is completed. Yet Travis doesn't want to be released before he learns more about their mission.

In this story, Travis goes with Ashe and Ross to scout out a spaceship located a short distance away and fifteen millennia back in time. The huge spherical spaceship has crashed and holes gape in its sides. Then the men are caught in a rainstorm and take shelter in the nearby hills.

After the storm, they climb a hill and look around. Travis notices something shiny in the next valley and they check it out. The shine comes from another, smaller globe. Its lock is open and the bodies of the crew lie at the foot of the access ladder. They are wearing Baldy uniforms and are guite dead.

The scouts send back word of the second ship. A working party comes through the time pprtal and starts preparing the alien globe ship for transfer forward in time. When the nearby volcano erupts, the scouts take shelter in the alien ship. Then the time transfer grid around the ship is activated and they are thrown forward in time. But the shift in time initiates the takeoff sequence and the ship heads for space.

This series has changed over the years to adapt to the political upheaval in Russia, but the real enemies in this series have always been the Baldies. When faced with a superior technology from a group of hostile aliens, the political differences between humans looks less important. Thus, the cooperation with the Russian time travel project has been almost inevitable by the logic of this series.

This series has always been more complex than it appears on the surface, for lurking in the background is a vision of the probability multiverse such as found in Crossroads in Time. Change the past and forever lose your future. Thus, it raises the issue of how much change is required to spawn a new timeline.

This series is a prime example of the author's storytelling skills. It is a fascinating tale of time travel and alien technology. Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Norton fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of alien civilizations, time transfer, and travel among the stars.

-Arthur W. Jordin
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the stories in the series of the aliens known as "Baldies" and their science of time travel. The two major countries of the world are in a competition to control time and have been using technology recovered from Earth's past , where spaceships from another civilization of the stars have crashed.
This is a little 007 , rayguns , and historical facts , which collide in the Early European Continent.
The story deals with two main characters and one of them is Ross Murdock. The Murdock character appears in later books of this series.
Lots of good historical knowledge.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
one of the first books that I read as a young man which was so well thought out and understandable, when it came to science fiction. the only regret that I have is that she waited so long to contine the serries. Lost in the distant Past, the hero of the novel must use his wits and endure great phyiscal pain to defeat the enemy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Here is an omnibus of the first two time agent novels, _The Time Traders_ (1958) and _Galactic Derelict_ (1959). It's a series of stories that was one of Norton's best. But these novels are revisions of the originals. They are intended to be more in keeping with current developments in technology, our changing social values, our more liberated look at women, and our post Cold-War relationship with Russia. (In the originals, the villains are the "Reds".) I rather like the originals, even though I readily admit that much of the material, especially the anti-Communist rhetoric, is a bit dated. But you may prefer versions that are more up-to-date.

The basic premise is this: America and Russia have both developd time travel. They discover that during the time of prehistoric man, a fleet of spaceships manned by aliens known as Baldies landed on Earth. Some were wrecked and abandoned. There is now a race between time-agents to salvage the ships for equipment and ideas that will allow each country to make its way into space. And so it happens. But not always in the way that was intended...

The books are decent sf adventures. But you should be aware that they are _not_ the original versions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While Alice Norton used Andre as a pen name to ensure acceptance of her works by the public, it has been public knowledge for say...the last 40 years that Andre Norton was female and a pretty darn good author at that. Yes the materials in these novels is dated. It was early science fiction and rivaled nearly any of her peers or forefathers in sci fi.

If nothing else she was one of the most prolific sci fi authors ever, with a list that rivals our current day James Patterson. I dont ask that you give her a break for being a female author...but at the very least recognize it and the struggles that she faced.
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