21 SF/F Authors Project, Book 5: The Time Traders

Books & Mags

Continuing my latest reading project! First published in 1958, The Time Traders by Andre Norton starts from a Cold War setting. Russia is sending its agents back through time and gaining tech way too advanced for the world’s good from a mysterious alien race. We see America’s answer, a secret time travel project, through the eyes of two POV characters, small-time criminal Ross Murdock and Apache rancher Travis Fox. Both become time agents and share in Adventure! along with trained soldiers. The Time Traders is the first book in a series by the same name, and it shows. While the current story arc does wrap up, there’s clearly so much more in store.

Baen Andre Norton Time Traders

Andre Norton: The Time Traders. Baen Books.

I read an e-book version by Baen Books that was divided into two parts, the first focusing on Murdock and the second on Fox. Only after reading the whole thing (d’oh!) did I realize that instead of one book in two parts, the e-book in fact contained two books, The Time Traders and its sequel Galactic Derelict (first published in 1959). The Traders action alternates between the present day, a tribal society in Britain some thousands of years BCE and a glacial outpost in the last ice age; Galactic Derelict takes us to a smattering of alien planets.

Besides the Cold War setting, the only other detail that clearly dated the book was the copious use of tapes (how quaint!) to store information. Smoothly written YA-esque novels, both Traders and Derelict are competent action-focused Adventure! stories. I might like to read more Norton in the future when in the mood for a good romp.

A free e-version of The Time Traders / Galactic Derelict is available via the Baen Free Library, and The Defiant Agents and Key Out of Time (books three and four in the series) via Project Gutenberg.

P.S. Find all posts in the project with the 21 authors tag.

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