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

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,347 Ratings  ·  219 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 January 1st 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rob
Executive Summary: I'm not a great gauge for Science Fiction, especially older works as I generally don't read and enjoy it as much as fantasy. There were elements here I liked, but not enough ever really get into the story. I considered giving this a 2.5 and rounding up, but opted to just stick to 2.

Full Review
Of all the science fiction tropes, time travel has always been one of my favorite. Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Looper, Primer, Terminator among others. You'll notice though that all
...more
Carl
Aug 02, 2010 Carl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
To be honest, I didn't read the paperback, but the free digital book offered by Baen. Thank god for them!

I am tired of finding science fiction tailored for today's YA readers with disposable cash and love to be spoon-fed. Classic tales like this one from Andre Norton remind me why I fell in love with science fiction in the first place: stories take place on strange worlds and new technology is met with wonder, not suspicion.

Characters aren't as complex (read: deep) as many in today's best-seller
...more
Stephen Richter
Jul 10, 2016 Stephen Richter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, s-l-bom
This was not the Andre Norton book I wanted to read. This book borrows from the past, not improving much on the Edgar Rice Burroughsliterary invent of a modern man in a pre-modern society (John Carter). This time instead of a magical cave, Norton uses a time travel plate. I hope this is not representative of Norton's style, rather writing for the literary market of the 1950s with its "go it alone" main protagonist against the "Reds"
AndrewP
A slightly revised edition of a book originally published back in the good old pulp days. The overall story had some good ideas and it's not bad, but unfortunately it follows a formula that gets old really quickly if you have read enough of them. It goes something like this:
Protagonist is thrown into an unusual situation.
Gets captured by tribe A, but then escapes.
Gets captured by tribe B but escapes again.
.. repeat several times ..
Is facing certain death from tribe C but is then rescued by an al
...more
Tim
Mar 12, 2015 Tim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story lacks only interest and a good plot. 0 of 10 stars
Dave Packard
I finished it.
Melissa (ladybug)
Nov 18, 2015 Melissa (ladybug) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SciFi lovers
I don't know how many times I have read this book, but it just gets better with time. It has been some years since last reading it, and I had forgotten the story line. I loved being able to read a book that was new but old at the same time. :D I love almost all the books that Andre Norton has written.
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
Tim
Aug 01, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Tsedai
Jul 06, 2016 Tsedai rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Renee Babcock
A free download for Kindle of a classic novel. I knew nothing about this story but I certainly know of Norton and have read some of her work in the past. It's the story of a ne'er-do-well who os given a choice: jail or sign up for a secret mission. He chooses the later. And it turns out the secret mission involves time travel into the past to find out why the Russians have seemingly come upon new technologies they shouldn't have. Murdock is on his first mission into the past and he discovers the ...more
Geoff
I'd compare this book to a Cold War-era version Time Salvager by Wesley Chu. Rather than agents time traveling to collect rare artifacts needed in a future society, it is to compete with the Russians, who are winning, in developing technology.

The book was entertaining at times but all plot developments were brought on from pretty much the same problem cropping up time after time (the problem omitted for spoiler reasons). And that gets boring when it happens the third time.

The free ebook versio
...more
Kat
Dec 29, 2012 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fredrik
When the petty criminal Ross Murdock stands is offered the choice between a prison sentence or volunteering for a secret government project, he takes the latter, and after some adjustment difficulties he becomes an inter-temporal spy and jumps back to the early bronze age to put a stop to Russian time-shenanigans. So the premise is "The cold war expanded into the fourth dimension." (The book was written i 1958, so very topical)

However, I did not much care for the the story. I appreciated the his
...more
Ed [Redacted]
Dated and extremely YA, the first half was pretty boring and the second half picked up well, seemed like a couple of long short stories sewn together to make a novel. Norton has skill to be sure, I would like to read something more adult from her.
terpkristin
The July S&L pick, this was a refreshingly quick read. I like time travel books, so the premise of this one was good to start out with. I think it started strong and got a little weird in the middle/last third or so. But luckily, it didn't have time to meander too long, as it was a rather short book overall. I could point out flaws and concerns with the book, but honestly, it was a quick and fun romp into the past with an unlikeable dude as the narrator, and the flaws didn't kill the book fo ...more
Lara
Jul 11, 2016 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Andre Norton was one of my favorite authors when I was growing up, but I hadn't read this book before. I'm not sure I would have if it hadn't been chosen for a group read as I'm not a fan of time travel stories. The protagonist is not a good guy at the beginning, but he gets involved in a covert mission that he finds is actually fascinating. Then he comes to realize that it's pretty dangerous as well. By that time he's pretty well sucked in to the excitement. And boy does he find excitement. It' ...more
Laura
Mar 19, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Tamsin
Only 2 stars as I think that my issues with this book were more to do with me rather than the story itself. I found that I just couldn't relate to any of the characters, the writing was shallow without as much depth or description as I would have liked. Story line was intriguing but I could not get to grips with the way that it was put across. Not my cup of tea.
Emily
Nov 20, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Slow at times, with undeveloped characters and one female we see briefly only twice. Definitely feels like two novellas put together, which it is. Still, not bad, and surprisingly doesn't show its age as badly as I expected.
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
Adrian
My rating: 3 stars
Audiobook narrator Peter Ganim rating: 3.5 stars

I started reading this because of the Sword and Laser book of the month group. This book has a similar feel to other Cold War Sci-Fi books of this time frame (from authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick).

I feel like the author does a good job of providing little bits of review here and there in order to help with reading comprehension. The overall thought process and plot of this book are very interesting, but I seemed t
...more
Bob
Feb 10, 2016 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the first books I bought with my own money was Andre Norton's "Beast Master" which I have fondly on the shelf but haven't been tempted to revisit. 1958's "The Time Traders" seems to represent a genre I wasn't aware of - Cold War sci-fi ("Time travel has been written up in fiction; it has been discussed otherwise as an impossibility. Then we discover that the Reds have it working --").
Some clever premises, some terrible first draft writing ("that'll take time - time we haven't got!") with
...more
Mark Patterson
Jan 25, 2016 Mark Patterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-50s
50’s science fiction is a LOT of us vs them. Like, almost too much. And though Time Traders is no exception, it’s more “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” than Heinlein.

On the surface, it’s a template story about time traveling Americans and Russians trying to find ways to control the future by traveling back into the past. Beneath all that, it’s a pretty bitter (and subtle - maybe too subtle at times) indictment of unchecked nationalism.

Norton plays up the isolation between characters (her main ch
...more
Jlawrence
Mostly bland Cold-War-infused time travel thriller/adventure with mediocre characters, mediocre writing and not too much exciting done with the science-fiction concepts. Even undoes the fun it could have had just as a action-y adventure via some lame "escapes". For instance, a tip for Russian time travel agents who want to kill an enemy agent: (view spoiler) ...more
Eric
Jun 19, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is absolutely worth your time to go and grab this one.

I picked up the Baen Free Library version when I was in between other titles and was just drawn into this one. Fantastic fun idea - Time Agents. There are certain aspects of this book that date it, both in world view from the time (America's greatest enemy) and in the descriptions of certain technology that was alien to the main characters. At one point in the book a set of headphones are described. I knew what they were, but the way they
...more
Jessica
Wow, this was a chore for me to get through. I've read Norton's fantasy before and liked some of it, but this was something altogether different.

I might have tried to explain my dislike for the way this book was written with the evolution of common writing styles that has occurred over the last 60 years, but then I realized that Alfred Bester's The Stars my Destination, which completely blew me away (LOVED that book!), was published just one year before this one. Both are sci fi written in the 1
...more
Valerie
I had a lot of trouble getting through this book, especially given how short it is. I've never read Andre Norton before, though I knew a little about her life going into this book and think she was an amazing person who did so very much for the genre. Still, I think I might have been better off starting with her fantasy. A dated feel to sci-fi can really ruin it, and the actions of the characters are often nonsensical from a modern perspective. I never really bonded with any of the characters, a ...more
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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

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“A wise guy doesn't spill his ignorance. He uses his eyes and ears and keeps his trap shut—” 4 likes
“He discovered that lack of sight confuses the ear.” 1 likes
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