Literature / The Time Traders

The Time Traders was a series of science fiction works by Andre Norton, with the four original books from the late 50's and early 60's, and three additional books from 1994, 1999 and 2002.

It features a band of time travelling agents, working for the US Government, initially in an effort to investigate Mother Russia's sudden rise in technology. It evolves into a book series featuring myth arcs, intrepid merchants, and exploring ancient civilizations, both human and alien.

The books are:

  • The Time Traders (1958)
  • Galactic Derelict (1959)
  • The Defiant Agents (1962)
  • Key Out Of Time (1963)
  • Firehand (1994)
  • Echoes in Time (1999)
  • Atlantis Endgame (2002)

The series contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Due to AuthorExistenceFailure, the overarching Myth Arc that the series was building up will never be complete.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The first planet the group lands on in Galactic Derelict. It is a large, possibly planetwide city, but it is mostly in ruins and abandoned.
    • Again, for the last planet they land on in Galactic Derelict, before their return trip home. What are the remains of an ancient spaceport with obvious signs of technology, and multiple cultures, but only remains of cultures and sentient creatures, until Echoes in Time, whenthey go back to its past, and revealed to be a highly integrated society with multiple sentient beings and tight-knit, evolved culture..
  • Derelict Graveyard
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Baldies, in Atlantis Endgame.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The humans discover the alien spaceships and their corresponding datatapes, but are never fully understood.
  • Intrepid Merchant: The group was this in the first book; merchants can go anywhere and no one would blink.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In The Defiant Agents.
  • Lost Technology: Scattered nicely throughout the series, especially on other, alien, planets.
  • Make the Bear Angry Again: Up until the new series of books, which were published past the USSR.
  • Myth Arc: The series enemies, the Baldies, and their involvement with humanity, are built up over the series.
  • Psychic Powers
  • Scars Are Forever: Ross Murdock's burn-scarred left hand.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: Ross Murdock is recruited from prison.