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

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,737 ratings  ·  99 reviews

Intelligence agents have uncovered something which seems beyond belief, but the evidence is incontrovertible: the USAs greatest adversary on the world stage is sending its agents back through time! And someone or something unknown to our history is presenting them with technologies -- and weapons -- far beyond our most advanced science. We have

Paperback, 187 pages
Published 1966 by Ace (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Meh.....still have black and white TV sets and can some how time travel... alright I'll buy that.... keep reading...blah blah blah .... struggles...blah blah blah....more struggles....blah blah blah...end -mercifully-. This book could have gone so many interesting did not. At least the pain was short lived.
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
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.
I didn't finish this book because it is a low-quality, dime novel, and the narration is quite poor. The story has the credibility of really bad science fiction, but takes itself too seriously to be read as entertaining camp. It is best to just stay away.
Julie Davis
Read this on vacation since I ran out of the books I brought with me and this was on my Kindle. As entertaining as I remembered from those long ago days when I first read it as a teenager.

Ross Murdoch is a bad egg and given the chance to choose either military service or prison, he takes the military. What he doesn't know is that he's been evaluated as the type of adventurous soul who would do well in a very dangerous new venture. Time travel. Going back in time to both study history and also c...more
B. Zedan
Jul 22, 2008 B. Zedan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Folks who like action that doesn't end
Ha, nothing like conscription as the start of a story. This wise-ace, street bastard is forced to join these time travellers fighting the REDS. God, I love it. It's like an wormhole onion of espionage. My thing lately has been combinations of feudal/hunting/medieval society mixed with The Science of Future (a lot of the short stories I was reading last month by Everett Cole on Gutenberg follows that sort of line). This has that, since they bounce around a bit between Now and Then and some people...more
It was a captivating read, but I couldn't get past the author referring to the main character as his first name, then his last and sometimes his tribal name, at any given point in a paragraph. It reminds me of my boyfriend. I just don't know what to call him in different crowds, sometimes his first name, last name or nick name, or all three at one dinner sitting. Nobody knows who I'm talking about half the time, and it's his fault! He introduces himself as one, his friends call him another, he d...more
This is really two books for the price of one. Both stories are fast paced adventures dealing with time and space travelers in a realistically imagined future/past and alternate worlds. I really enjoyed the old-school style that leans more on science, as opposed to fantasy.
I liked this book a lot when I was a kid (I liked a lot of Andre Norton). Rereading it now was odd. It was written in 1958, the height of the Red scare, uncertainty about space, etc. It assumes that the Cold War continued, space exploration came to a grinding halt, and proceeds from there. The first part is kind of jerky; once action commences in the past (to try to get ahead of the Reds), it moves a bit more briskly. There's quite a lot of probably good history imbedded, but because of the date...more
Glenn Rumfellow
Pretty good science fiction, and the price was right (free on iBooks). It was written in the '50s, but it was still interesting and fun to read. The future tech was interestingly conceived. It was a little slow to start, but got good. The premise is that the Reds (communist Russians) had acquired futuristic technology that enabled them to travel back in time and hunt for more of this advanced tech. The US government was able to also get the time travelling tech and are trying to find what the Re...more
When I was in middle school, Andre Norton was my favorite author. Though, to be sure, I'd never read this one. I think mainly because I was more of a fan of the alien worlds type books she wrote.

This one kept my attention and was quite enjoyable. But I still think her other books like The Beast Master were better.

This book takes you back to a simpler time. When it was us versus the Reds. Ah, the good old days, right? Then again, no time was as simple as we think it in our memories.

Back to the...more
The response of readers to this book's prose should be a prolonged yowl. Enough said on that point.
Also, it should be easy to make a thrilling tale out of a time travel race during the Cold War to discover alien technology in the past. Absolutely no need for padding with random adventures, such as are present.
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Merge multiple GR entries for this book? 2 9 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...
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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