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The Time Traders (Time Traders / Ross Murdock #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,995 ratings  ·  121 reviews
If it is possible to conquer space, then perhaps it is also possible to conquer time. At least that was the theory American scientists were exploring in an effort to explain the new sources of knowledge the Russians possessed. Perhaps Russian scientists had discovered how to transport themselves back in time in order to learn long-forgotten secrets of the past. That was wh ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 31st 2006 by Wildside Press (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tim
This was one of my favorite science-fiction books when I was a kid. My brothers and I read it over and over. Of course, the cold war setting is now an anachronism, but for us it was everyday reality.

I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the imagery. When we were really exhausted from a long day outdoors, my brother James would say "The red jelly! We need the red jelly!" And of course we'd know exactly what he meant.

I haven't read it for years. I wonder how it would hold up.

P.S. I
...more
Ken Doggett
This is a classic book by the classic Science Fiction and Fantasy writer, Andre Norton. This ebook consisted of the title story and its sequel, Galactic Derelict, the first written in 1958, the second in 1959, and both updated in 2000. In both, Norton comes off as a capable writer, but not an especially great one; I'm sure many of her fans would disagree on that point, so she probably wrote some great stuff later on. But here I encountered some awkward prose in places, and it was often hard to t ...more
Laura
In The Time Traders , Norton crafts a Cold War world in which both sides have discovered time travel. Somehow, the Russians have technology beyond their capabilities, and so it is Operation Retrograde's job to investigate. When Ross Murdock, ignorant of all of this, is given the option to either "volunteer" or be sent to a rehabilitation centre feared by all convicts, he choses the first one. Little does he know that the world as he knows it is about to be turned upside down... and backwords in ...more
Thom Swennes
During the Cold War, writers used this subversive conflict as a base for literally thousands of novels. An archenemy was the ticket to the best seller list. The Time Traders combines science fiction with Cold War intrigue and takes the reader back to almost the beginning of time. Ross Murdock, as a young prisoner is offered a chance at redemption. If he joins a secrete program, his sentence will be commuted. Figuring that almost anything will be better than wasting away where he is, accepts and ...more
Tim
This story lacks only interest and a good plot. 0 of 10 stars
J.D.
This is the first book by Andre Norton that I've read. It is firmly in the category of classic adventure science fiction. It reminds me of the Murray Leinster & Keith Laumer stories I've come to like. It is a bit dated by the premise of the cold war competition with the Russians, but hey, that did happen, so I just accept it an move on. It was slow starting, and most of the initial adventure was of the blend into primitive society type. Once you throw the sort-of aliens and future tech into ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
Today is my mother's birthday, and as such I told her I would read whatever book she chose for me. She dug deep and came up with one of her childhood favourites for me. I have no doubt, now that I've finished it, that knowing this influenced how I approached the book and how I felt about it; as I read I kept imaginging what my mother would have thought of it, probably never imagining that "in this first quarter of the twenty-first century", when the book is set, the true story is that she would ...more
Sandi
A good, short read, suitable for younger readers. The reactions and attitude of the young punk at the beginning felt authentic. The only part I found a little unrealistic was the way they tried to keep him in the dark after bringing him to their training base without any explanation; counting on some magical sense of rightness and patriotism to make him subsume himself to their agenda was a little contrived. With the other technology in place being used, you would think they would have some sort ...more
J. Kevin
At the height of the Cold War, American and Soviet agents are both using time travel to explore prehistoric times. Paradoxically, they have discovered evidence of an advanced civilization that used futuristic technology, so the race is on to see which side can uncover and exploit it first. Ross Murdock, a young troublemaker about to be sent to prison, is given the opportunity to avoid his sentence and become a time-traveling spy instead.

The mechanics and complications of time travel aren't explo
...more
Margot
The Time Trader centers around Ross Murdock, a scrappy young criminal who has fallen on the wrong side of the law one too many times and now faces the choice of a reform camp or being drafted as a recruit into a top secret project. Turns out the project involves highly trained special ops traveling through time to find ancient future technologies. Ancient future technologies, you say? Yes, well that is where the plot gets interesting.

For the most part, Ross had very little personality of his own
...more
Mjmahoney
I found this a bit slow getting started, but once I got into it I enjoyed it. The plot is definitely driven more by the story than the characters. The characters are barely distinct personalities, especially the main character. The entertainment and drama is in where and when they travel and what happens to them. The Cold War setting was a real flash back and added a fun element which might be considered cliché until you remember the novel was written in the late 1950s. I would definitely pick u ...more
Carl V.

The Cold War escalates when Western forces discover that the Reds may be using time travel to access alien technology from artifacts located in the indeterminate past. Ross Murdock is a criminal with a special skill set, captured and volunteered for a trip back in time in the hopes of finding the location of the Red base and with it the source of this alien technology.

This is time travel in its purest adventure form with the focus on the destination, not the technology used to get the character
...more
Valerie
This book is not set in the late 50s when it was written. Internal chronology places the starting date at 1982 (25 years after Sputnik).

Anachronisms abound, unsurprisingly. The (anti?)hero expects to see black-and-white tv. The (vague and undefined) Soviet Union has changed, as has the West--but it's not really clear how. Attempts at space travel are defined as unsuccessful, after a promising (threatening?) start. No real ecological information is included (for example, a base under Arctic ice i
...more
Serena
This I quite liked, when it comes to doing time-travel right, Andre Norton knows what she's doing.

Here we have something stirring around the time of the Cold Wars, with the Russians and their allies getting weapons that they couldn't have invented; and when Ross Murdock traces them back in time with Ashe - his partner and mentor in the program - they find a ship that crashed a very, very long time ago. Andre Norton is always vague about the details in just such a way that I think her "Baldies"
...more
Johnny
The first of a series, Time Traders feels like two novellas forced into one package. The first "novella" features the protagonist's induction into a covert operation into humankind's early history in order to discover artifacts left by aliens in a van Daniken-like scenario. There is a cold war overtone to this time travel as, to use a cliche, the protagonist's group is not alone. The time travel aspects are similar to those in Clifford Simak's Mastodonia because time travel is limited to pre-his ...more
Anastasia (Here There Be Books)
My second Andre Norton book! Unfortunately, I didn't really like it. It's sci-fi, which is what she's famous for, so that's good. There's time travel! I like time travel, generally. And there's also aliens(?) and lots of Cold War stuff, which can both be interesting.[2. especially if you're interested in xenophobia and social movements and whatnot.] However! Despite all the good stuff, I just couldn't get into this book.

I think my main problem was that even though it's set roughly 60+ years int
...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.

Ross Murdock just can’t follow the rules, so he keeps getting in trouble with the law. He’s arrogant, rebellious, independent, smart, competent, and proud. That makes him the perfect recruit for the government’s secret Time Traders program, so when they offer Ross the option to either join up or go to jail, he doesn’t have much choice. Ross has no idea what’s going on with his new job, but he figures he’ll be able to escape. That turns out to be a lot harder than he e
...more
David
This is one that can be had in e-pub format from Baen Books Free Library. Being the first in the series, the hope is that you will enjoy it enough to buy other volumes. This is a real piece of classic Sci-Fi, first published in 1958 or so--time being flexible in this tale.

This is the first of the Ross Murdoch books. Ross is a street-wise petty criminal, young and defiant, but very resourceful. He is given a choice, face the music in court or "volunteer" for some unspecified project. This is the
...more
Joey Brockert
Ross Murdock is a juvenile delinquent, but this time the judge offers him a choice between jail or something with this guy who is just standing in the courtroom. It was a no-brainer because the jail time would also include something to do with his mind. It amounted to being exiled to the far North to work on a project that involved going back in time. He gets there and finds out he has chosen slavery, of a sort, helping the defense department uncover some interesting stuff in the past. There is ...more
Laudys
Ah, nothing like a great character to remind you how lacking YA seems to be in that area lately. Like, really, what's up with all these annoying, spineless "heroines". There was something refreshing at the fact that the adventure wasn't thrust upon his reluctant self or that doesn't have super powers of any kind or that the balance of the world rests on his shoulders. No, Ross Murdock is not "the one" of anything, he's just a guy with a very bad rep doing his best to come on top on any given sit ...more
James
Ross Murdock is a small time criminal who has been in and out of scraps with the law. About to pull some serious prison time, he is offered an opportunity to volunteer for a secret government project. What he doesn't know is that the project involves searching the past for the source of illicit technological innovations. Sent back to prehistoric Britain, he finds that the Russians are there also. When they destroy the U.S. base of operations in Britain, Ross and his two comrades are left to surv ...more
Fantasy Literature
Ross Murdock just can’t follow the rules, so he keeps getting in trouble with the law. He’s arrogant, rebellious, independent, smart, competent, and proud. That makes him the perfect recruit for the government’s secret Time Traders program, so when they offer Ross the option to either join up or go to jail, he doesn’t have much choice. Ross has no idea what’s going on with his new job, but he figures he’ll be able to escape. That turns out to be a lot harder than he expected — because they’ve se ...more
Kenneth
I don't think I can remember a single thing about any of the Andre Norton books I read as a kid, except that I can definitely remember that I loved them all. At that point in my life, her books were my idea of real Science Fiction, with mind-stretching concepts, sympathetic characters, and propulsive plots. I'd recommend them warmly to any young person who's interested in classic SF... hell, I'd love to dip into one today!
Ian Russell
Having no prior knowledge of this author and having chosen to download this book amongst several others, simply because of its title, I hadn't appreciated she was regarded as a writer of "young adult" fiction. It's an awful tag but I know what they meant after reading the first chapter. Nevertheless, I found it engaging enough to read on.

It's a sci-fi action hero adventure, pure and simple. There is no philosophical message, no metaphorical devices - and, come to think of it, there isn't a lot o
...more
Jon
Andre Norton's The Time Traders is a pretty solid time-traveling adventure novel. It was well-written and the prose flowed nicely. Despite my overall lack of interest in the concept of traveling through time (too many complexities to deal with, such as the effect on history), I enjoyed this book. The author dealt with said complexities by ignoring them entirely simply to deliver a fun story.
Shawn
A fun and good read that does suffer a bit from the time period it was written in. This is a time travel novel written during the height of the cold war. So it is very much the U.S. government versus the Russians. If you can get past this and take it for what it is, this is a good book and part of a time travel series by one of the greats Andre Norton. A book any time travel afficianado should read.
Sheralyn
I really gave this book more chances than I normally would. I am not too fond of stories that start confusing and stay confusing thinking it will keep interest. Not in my case. Its redeeming value lies in the fact I caught on eventually and it was clean of sex and language. There's a chance my son will enjoy the plot though I am happy it is over.
Dan
Another audio book to keep me entertained while driving across the country. Turns out, this was a great library find!

Without paying much attention to the description, I began listening to The Time Traders and was soon sucked into a futuristic time travel story. I was engaged and happy to move though the fast paced and exciting adventure. It was only when I got home and signed onto Goodreads that I realized this book was written in 1958, and that Andre Norton is really none other than the ground
...more
Amber
I've just recently been rereading Norton and I had forgotten how much I loved this when I first checked it out from the library as a kid. There's something about the sheer determination Ross brought to every obstacle that appeals to me still. Not something I've ever outgrown. Recommend.
Tim
A fifties-era SF story that feels very much of its time; Cold War competition with time travelling and aliens as a backdrop. It was...fine. The story feels dated, the characters are sketchy and the ideas aren't particularly fresh now, but I found it a reasonably entertaining read.
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Merge multiple GR entries for this book? 2 10 Apr 09, 2009 12:28AM  
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Time Traders / Ross Murdock (8 books)
  • Galactic Derelict (Time Traders/Ross Murdock, #2)
  • The Defiant Agents (Time Traders/Ross Murdock, #3)
  • Key Out of Time (Time Traders / Ross Murdock #4)
  • Firehand (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #5)
  • Echoes in Time (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #6)
  • Atlantis Endgame: A New Time Traders Adventure (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #7)
  • Time Traders III: Echoes In Time / Atlantis Endgame
The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles, #1) Elvenblood (Halfblood Chronicles, #2) Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3) Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1) Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D

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