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The Time Traders (Time Traders/ Ross Murdock, #1)
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2016 Reads > TTT: Differences between the original version and edited 2000 version

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message 1: by Daryl (new)

Daryl | 93 comments I was curious about what she updated in the 2000 version of the book. Turns out not much.

Possibly very minor spoilers:

From Wikipedia

1. She reset the story in the first quarter of the Twenty-First Century instead of in the last quarter of the Twentieth, shifting the action futureward by a full generation.
2. The Reds have become the Russians and Greater Russia has replaced the Soviet Union.
3. Space travel has not gone beyond the first lunar landings instead of having not gotten beyond the first attempts to put satellites into orbit. Instead of being ridiculed as impossible, space travel is publicly ridiculed as infeasible.


message 2: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (mepcotterell) | 10 comments
"But—a spaceship!" It was something that had so long been laughed to scorn. When men had failed to go farther into space after the initial excitement of the moon landings, space flight had become a matter for jeers. -- Andre Norton. "Time Traders."



William | 434 comments I read, and loved, the originals many moons ago. I read quite a bit of SF Norton as a 11/12 year old (my library didn't have any Norton Fantasy). I'm enjoying rereading the book and trying to spot any of the differences, I've only spotted the same ones listed here. So far the changes only seem to be enhancing tweaks.

I am happy to read really old stuff that is worried about a French or German invasion, so worry about Reds wouldn't be an issue, but I do like that Ms Norton made these adjustments to keep things current rather than slipping into alt - history.


message 4: by Paulo (last edited Jul 05, 2016 06:51AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Paulo Limp (paulolimp) | 164 comments Hmm, very cool. I was concerned about how big were the changes between versions.

I love when SF writers guess correctly about future technology, especially now I'm in the "future" to verify those guesses. That is one of the things that always amazed me when reading Asimov.

Early on the book Ross observes what looked like a virtual strategy game between three of his colleagues - and I was thinking "oh, it looks so much like they were using Microsoft Surface to play!" To have anticipated this technology more than 50 years ago was a really cool feat - but I feared this might have been part of the revision.

Glad it wasn't!


message 5: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2548 comments Michael wrote: ""But—a spaceship!" It was something that had so long been laughed to scorn. When men had failed to go farther into space after the initial excitement of the moon landings, space flight had become a..."

But they have time travel! For me the concept of spaceflight being hard but time travel being easy does't ring true.


Robert Osborne (ensorceled) | 80 comments AndrewP wrote: "But they have time travel! For me the concept of spaceflight being hard but time travel being easy does't ring true. "

That's what pushed it into fantasy for me :-)


message 7: by Daryl (new)

Daryl | 93 comments Paulo wrote: "...Early on the book Ross observes what looked like a virtual strategy game between three of his colleagues - and I was thinking "oh, it looks so much like they were using Microsoft Surface to play!" To have anticipated this technology more than 50 years ago was a really cool feat - but I feared this might have been part of the revision."

They were playing RTS games! :) Maybe some Age of Empires?


William | 434 comments Daryl wrote: "... some Age of Empires? "

My thoughts exactly!


message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Knighton | 158 comments I'm reading the updated version, and I think it works well. Given the resurgence of tension between Russia nd the west under Putin, this idea of reverting to a new Cold War feels very real.


Rob  (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments I'm wondering what people think about this sort of thing in general-- should the original text be preserved? Should we be ok with an author tinkering with things sometimes years and years or even decades later?

I have to confront these questions a lot in my normal work aka English Grad School, because good lord this sort of revisionism is more common than you'd think, and one of the jobs I might have to do is creating Authoritative Texts of some work. I imagine a lot of people's gut reaction is to go with the original, and accept that that's the best/ most pure/ whatver, but it seems like that's rarely the case in academia. Things like Frankenstein, or, hell, The Hobbit, show why we tend to accept the latest texts as best. They're generally either legitimate improvements or, at the very least, make changes that have important effects on other stuff. But that's not a rule either-- like, Robert Penn Warren's final changes to his life's poetry near the end of his life are widely regarded as a massive step down from the versions that were originally published (and they actually got around this one in a neat way-- the COMPLETE collected poems feature the original versions with footnotes about changes, and the SELECTED collected poems feature the final versions again with footnotes)


message 11: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3674 comments Mod
Rob Secundus wrote: "I'm wondering what people think about this sort of thing in general-- should the original text be preserved? Should we be ok with an author tinkering with things sometimes years and years or even decades later?"

If the author thinks they can improve on the original or even if they just want to polish it, it is their work to do as they like. Movie directors do it all the time. They release the movie the studios want then if they are allowed they will release a director's cut, to show how they wanted it.
Peter Jackson was still editing the last LOTR trilogy on the day it was to have it's world premiere. He wasn't finished when he had to hand it over. He always thinks his films can be better.

After all "Art is never finished, only abandoned."

I think that the original should survive in some form for those who enjoy that version. We are looking at you George Lucas ;-)


message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Knighton | 158 comments Rob Secundus wrote: "I'm wondering what people think about this sort of thing in general-- should the original text be preserved? Should we be ok with an author tinkering with things sometimes years and years or even d..."

Art is always about building on and responding to what's come before, so I'm happy for authors to do that with their own work - especially given cases like The Hobbit where people seem to agree that it's an improvement. But it would be nice if this was made more obvious somewhere when you get hold of the book - just a note of explanation in the front or back, maybe - and the original version remained available. That way you can experience either, or both, and you know what you're looking at.

Especially if George Lucas is involved. I miss the versions of Star Wars I watched on VHS as a kid.


message 13: by Joe Informatico (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I think that the original should survive in some form for those who enjoy that version. We are looking at you George Lucas ;-)."

The original should survive for the benefit of posterity and future scholarship. Obviously, the original work had some kind of cultural impact, or a profound lack of impact, or a revised edition wouldn't have been necessary in the first place! The reasons for the revision are interesting in and of themselves and have much to say about the culture of the time. I don't know what it says about Lucas, the man who spoke before the US Congress in 1988 when the National Film Preservation Act was up for debate, and said this:

People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society. [more behind spoiler tag]

(view spoiler)


...but when the Library of Congress asked for a copy of the 1977 theatrical print of Star Wars for the National Film Registry (because that was the version that had rightly been selected for inclusion), he refused.


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