The Time Traders

Andre Norton
The Time Traders Cover

The Time Traders


Time Traveling. Cold War. Space Exploration. Aliens. Advanced Technology. Traders. Artifacts.

Time Travelers by Andre Norton is a fun romp into classic science fiction. This omnibus consists of two relatively short novels -- The Time Traders copyrighted 1958 and Galactic Derelict copyrighted 1959 -- which share the same set of characters. The book has the feel of a 1960's television program and reminds me a bit of the more recent Stargate series. Both books have a bit of the theme of the misfit finding his niche.

Briefly, in the first book we meet Ross, a misunderstood criminal who chooses to "volunteer" for an undisclosed project rather than submit to the more ominous sounding "rehabilitation." Ross soon discovers that the project involves traveling into the past to discover how the Russians are suddenly acquiring advanced technology. This leads him to a direct encounter with aliens. In the second book we meet Travis, an Apache who quit school because of racial prejudice. While in the desert, he accidentally stumbles on the latest time traveling project. His archeological background makes him a perfect candidate for time travel. But, the project ends up taking him and the team to distant planets.

The book isn't particularly complex by modern standards, but it is entertaining. I could almost see the 1960's special effects as I read the stories. Yet, the books left me pondering about the rise and fall of civilizations. As an aside, Norton was prophetic when she wrote in the book, in the late 1950's, that the government stopped manned exploration of space after landing on the moon. Science fiction lovers like me owe a debt of gratitude to Andre Norton and her fellow writers who blazed a trail for modern science fiction.

(Review originally published on my blog.)