The Time Traders

English language

Published March 31, 2020 by Standard Ebooks.

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4 stars (1 review)

The Time Traders is the first book in Andre Norton’s Time Traders series. First published in 1958 by World Publishing Co., The Time Traders is told from the perspective of Ross Murdock, a young criminal faced with a choice: be turned over to the new Rehabilitation Service or volunteer for a secret government project.

Murdock chooses the secret government project, hoping for a chance to escape. At the Arctic base he learns what the project is, and instead of escaping he joins a team posing as Beaker Traders during Europe’s Bronze Age. His team makes several jumps through time searching for the source of technology the Reds are using to gain advantages in the present.

3 editions

Enjoyable cold war spy thriller...through TIME

4 stars

Apparently I’m still a sucker for time travel stories. The Time Traders (1958) is a cold war spy novel, but it’s a temporal cold war – more accurately, it’s a temporal front in our cold war. Both sides have time travel, the “Reds” have been plundering another era for technology, and the west is trying to find the source and shut it down.

I wouldn’t accuse it of being deep. About the only philosophical point is that today’s misfits blend in better with other times. It’s also very rooted in the cold war mentality. But it’s a satisfying adventure through the arctic and bronze age Europe, with characters who have modern knowledge and goals, but are making do with bronze-age technology. There is a swerve toward the end, but it works.


  • Science fiction
  • Time travel -- Fiction