Classic sci-fi book review of THE TIME TRADERS (Andre Norton)


PLEASE NOTE: This novel is available for free download at Project Gutenberg


Back in the 1950s, at a time when there were still very few female science fiction writers, one of the most successful and prolific was Andre Norton (whose real name was Alice Mary Norton). And among her most celebrated series was the Time Traders, consisting of four books---all of which are available online for free download, because the Copyright has now expired. This review is concerned with the first book, titled THE TIME TRADERS (1958).


Ross Murdock is a small time criminal who is given the choice between either undergoing a new medical procedure called "rehabilitation" or embarking on a top secret government mission. Hoping for a chance to escape, Ross chooses to go on the mission. He soon realizes, as he is taken to a secret base in the Arctic, that this is something beyond anything he has ever imagined----a time travel quest back through time to the Bronze Age to spy on Soviet operatives, who are often referred to in the novel as "the Reds". The Reds, who happen to have time travel technology of their own, are apparently in pursuit of some highly advanced technology which has been hidden back in time. The American government wants to find this technology before the Reds do.


Posing as a Bronze Age man, Ross and his newfound allies Ashe and McNeil travel back in time to prehistory and begin exploring an area near the Baltic Sea, searching for the hidden Soviet base. But then after getting separated from the others, Ross stumbles alone onto the base and is captured by the Reds.

Eventually managing to escape, Ross comes across a half-buried globe in the ice. He enters the globe which he soon discovers is an alien spacecraft. It doesn't take long before Ross comes face to face with the telepathic extra-terrestrial "Baldies", who seem to have hostile intentions. After having escaped and rejoined his group, The Baldies begin attacking the group.


There is lots more that happens in this fast-paced, action-packed classic sci-fi adventure. Andre Norton's powerful storytelling skills are at their peak in this novel.


R. K. Wigal at 2017-11-13 08:54:20
Andre Norton was a prolific writer. I'm definitely interested in her time travel stories.

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