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The Guardians of Time

(Time Patrol #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,513 ratings  ·  49 reviews
HARD TIMES That's what leads Manson Everard to answer an ad offering "high pay and foreign travel for men and women with military experience." But compared to where - and when - he's going, "hard times" in the 20th-century U.S.A. are easy!

9 • Time Patrol • [Time Patrol • 1] • (1955) • novelette by Poul Anderson
65 • Brave to Be a King • [Time Patrol • 2] • (1959) •
Mass Market Paperback, 254 pages
Published November 28th 1982 by Tor Books (first published 1955)
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Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ray Bradbury put forth the idea that science fiction was just a sub-genre of fantasy; essentially a fantastic imaginative literature that was established with a scientific foundation. Within this sub-genre, there exists the sub-sub fantastic genre of time travel.

Time travel novels owe lineage to H.G. Wells and The Time Machine, first published in 1895. However, I think many modern time travel books may be connected to Ray Bradbury’s classic short story A Sound of Thunder with it’s butterfly
David Corvine
William S. Burroughs used to write GETS in the margins of books that contained usable material.... "good enough to steal". My copy hasn't actually been annotated thus... but it could have been.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Anderson while working on a NORML petition drive in the early 80's. This book is a set of four stories from his series titled "Time Patrol" that ran in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, written between 1955 and 1959. for their era actually, they still read really well. Despite the fact that recent news has given us the kibosh to time travel (at least, perhaps, for travel to the past) such a notion was instrumental, of course, in the development of the ...more
Timothy Darling
Entertaining and definitely not for those who are easily bored by history. Anderson tackles some odd moments in time, creating at the same time an alternate path designed to draw the reader along into possibilities. Miesel gives a good literary analysis at the end, offering a deeper human interpretation of Anderson's purpose, but in the end, it's more of a fun romp through time. Everard is full of the hard-as-nails idealism (though not unexamined) and just a touch of the careful risque' of the ...more
Allan Brewer
I read this book in my impressionable youth and was very moved by it - so much so that 50 years later I was motivated to re-read it. But what a disappointment. The heroes are very swashbuckling Americans who seem endlessly to be fighting battles with multifarious historical groups (though that's not restricted to 20th Century SciFi - I have the same criticism of recent time travel literature), not much subtle intervention here. The history justifications are long, detailed, dry and tedious (I ...more
Patrick Conner
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vintage Anderson with a lot of his better themes. The rise and fall of civilizations, the supremacy of individual morality, the quirks of history. It's not his best work, but it's solid and enjoyable.

There is one story where the misogyny basically punches you in the face at the end, reminding you that 1960s Anderson still hadn't exactly made his peace with feminism, women's liberation, or the basic humanity of women, but it's a lot better than his efforts in the 1950s. And to his credit, he
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book, given the era in which it was written. It was entertaining and well thought out. Gender representation could have been better but at least he wrote women like people. I'll have to read more by this author.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much liked the rollicking time-travelling advetures of this series of lightly connected stories. The Time Patrol is a cool idea and well-executed. Not that we expect any less of Poul Anderson.
Eloise Sunshine
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastic-stuff
Say what you will, but these stories were very much for my taste. Even so, that towards the end of the book I kept slowing the pace of reading it in order to keep the guardians of time longer with me, to linger still in their adventure and ignore my own reality.
Keep them coming, please!
Florin Constantinescu
A collection of short work by Poul Anderson that has not really aged well.
All of the time travel subjects treated here are pretty old-fashioned and insipid by the 21st century.
Characters are bland and the action is slow and boring.
Zach Smith
Definitely dated, but the stories are pretty fun to read. They go into history in a way that many books don't and have been well thought out,
My rating: ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chatching stories, new points of view on time-travelling... :)
Some chapters bit too long. :)))
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had a wonderful "time" reading it.
Tony Ellis
For old-fashioned, 1950s escapist science fiction, these four novellas are a fine, fun read. They have the flaws of that period - a lot of exposition, manly male protagonists, women as decoration - but they also have Anderson's infectious fascination with historic cultures, and his ability to depict a good swashbuckling sword fight. His respect for his subject matter also lifts these stories above the average, repeatedly showing that early peoples weren't the ignorant savages of the pulps, but ...more
V.W. Singer
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given that the first story in the book Guardians of Time by SF grand master Poul Anderson, "Time Patrol" was published in 1955, and taking into account the technology of the period, that story and all the others in the Guardians of Time were an extremely impressive achievement, as well as a thoroughly entertaining read. The book contains five stories, all featuring the same principal character and in (his) chronological sequence.

[Spoiler Alert] – I'm going to mainly talk about the themes and
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Four short stories about time travel. They felt very much of their time, pulp fiction of the mid-50's. The concepts good, but the execution was...meh. Fleshed out the idea could have made one good novel. As it was each story felt underdeveloped, a little confused in places, and certainly rushed.

As expected the stories get progressively better as you make your way through the book with the second story being pretty much a re-write, re-telling, variation of the first. The last story, one of a
I was enchanted with these stories when I was a kid. Maybe because after i learned about the passage of time - an event which came later, i think, then the first death in the family (although, perhaps closely following it) - and realized the finiteness of its personal use span, a time-travel fantasy became a positivist substitute for a more dangerous fantasy adolescent boys can be prone to: that of one's personal immortality.

Re-reading these now, I still derive some slight pleasure from
Random thoughts on this collection of stories:

The stories are definitely dated in its attitude toward women, but I enjoyed some of the historical elements enough to get me through it.

I thought the last story in which the main characters jump forward to discover a completely new timeline was an interesting enough premise to be a novel. I felt as though it were a missed opportunity.

Considering that the mandate of the Time Patrol is to prevent problems, they sure seem to create as many as they
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best ScFi is concerned with the question "What if ?" Well, what if someone threatened to travel back in time and stop your father meeting your mother so you were never born ? That's when you'd want to call in Poul Andeson's Time Patrol, recruited from everywhere and everywhen, to counter such mischievous intererence with the proper order of things.
Anderson's hero is recruited in the mid 20th Century, then plunged into a series of temporal scenarios where, amongst other things, the
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Good collection of "What-If?" stories. Having said that, the only reason I picked up this dated collection is because it was one of the pioneers in the time-travel genre (and how not to write them now.
Wonderful stories for the imagination! I first read this when I was 15 and I've never been the same. I especially loved the short story Delenda Est. Mr. Anderson opened up an infinite universe of possibilities for me and I've been in love with science-fiction and alternate-history ever since.
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I really liked this - four stories about the same character, who works for an organisation that patrols time. Excellent!! I loved the four scenarios and what the one little thing that changed did to the rest of the world!!
I first read "Guardians of Time" in the 1960's. I reread the book. The new version has one more story (Gibraltar Falls). The book contains 5 short stories.
Time patrol police come from the future and travel through the centuries to police history.
Aleix Dorca
Fun stories, simple endings though. Has no problems with paradoxes because time 'heals' itself. Heinlein's time-travel stories were more 'serious'.
Amy Buckingham
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. Time travel at its best. The strong main character and his adventures in preserving different historic times are just wonderful. A lot of fun to read. Revs up the imagination.
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sentimental favorite of mine. Four novelettes about the Time Patrol. The stories here have a zest and compactness that make them quite entertaining.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of four stories following a time travel cop who chases down people who break the rules of time travel.
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Interesting connected short stories... it left me wanting more.
Aug 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Read it because I enjoy SF, but not very impressed
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Pseudonym A. A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders, P. A. Kingsley.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous

Other books in the series

Time Patrol (4 books)
  • Time Patrolman
  • The Year of the Ransom
  • The Shield of Time