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

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,079 Ratings  ·  181 Reviews
Ross Murdock, a convicted criminal, is a "volunteer" for a secret government project: Operation Retrograde. Unwillingly at first, but with increasing fervor, Murdock becomes a member of the team fighting the strangest battle of the Cold War.
The Russians have infiltrated an unknown era of the past and developed powerful new weapons by utilizing some lost technology. America
Paperback, 220 pages
Published 1972 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 1958)
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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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Feb 10, 2016 Bob rated it liked it
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
Mark Patterson
Jan 25, 2016 Mark Patterson rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-50s, 2016-read
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
Feb 09, 2015 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
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
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
This book, "Time Traders" by Andre Norton is a compendium of the first two books in her "Time Traders" series: "The Time Traders" and "Galactic Derelict." The novels were written in 1958 and 1959, respectively. They read just about as you'd expected decent science fiction to read from that era: technically good writing, good story, but a bit linear/simplistic in plotting (and there's nothing wrong with that since that's just the way it was back then). The two books aren't quite evenly matched, t ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Xan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gusta la editorial Baen, no solo por ser una referencia en la ciencia ficción que cobija a varios de mis escritores favoritos, tambien porque conoce el valor de su catálogo de libros y que no hay mejor cebo para un lector que un libro gratis. Y no libros de hace cincuenta años, como este, tambien libros actuales o de series aún en publicación ("Honor Harrington" de David Weber). Que estén en inglés es un reto asequible para quién no se asuste y tenga un poco e imaginación para cubrir los huec ...more
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
So, just to be confusing, I've completed the first novel in this two-in-one edition, which is also called Time Traders.

And it's good reading. Ross Murdock, ne'er do well, is offered the choice of rehabilitation or volunteering by the judge in charge of sentencing. So he signs up for something with the military, that turns out to be time travel. Mostly, though, it's the story of Ross fighting it out with pre-historical people and survival in the wilderness.

For those who care, there isn't any sex
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From Booklist

For this volume, Norton has updated The Time Traders (1958) and Galactic Derelict (1959) to take into account 40 years of political, social, and technological developments--such as computer games, a concluded cold war, and many more female characters in sf--without essentially changing them. In Time Traders, Ross Murdock has the choice of rehabilitation or volunteering for a secret research project, which turns out to be searching the past for the source of illicit technological i

Carl V.
Jan 16, 2013 Carl V. rated it really liked it

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
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
Stephen Theaker
There are two novels in this volume. In the first, The Time Traders, time travellers go back to ancient Britain and find aliens there - or are they future humans? Exciting at times, but a little uninspired.

In the second, Galactic Derelict, the time travellers recover a spaceship from ten thousand years in the past, only for its pre-programmed flight to be launched once they return to the present day. It's a fascinating idea - the worlds the ship takes them to are now long-abandoned, the building
Dec 17, 2012 Serena rated it really liked it
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"
Jul 14, 2010 Johnny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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
Kat  Hooper
Sep 29, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Nov 10, 2011 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Having re-read the book(s) some 30 years after my first reading, they hold up really well (this version of 1888744 is actually an omnibus edition of the first two volumes of the series, 1888744 and Galactic Derelict).

It holds up fairly well - there are few anachronisms introduced by the advance of technology since Norton wrote the stories, but there are a few strange quirks of technology. Why is a refueling station still operative (barely) thousands of years after its abandonment, but the compon
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "Time Traders" by Andre Norton 1 1 Sep 07, 2014 03:02PM  
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

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“A wise guy doesn't spill his ignorance. He uses his eyes and ears and keeps his trap shut—” 3 likes
“He discovered that lack of sight confuses the ear.” 1 likes
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