Time Traders II

~ An Omnibus for the Time Traders Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) Time Travel, Time War or Ross Murdock

time traders ii 2002 31852 7


Contains ~

  • The Defiant Agents (1962) Published by World, HC, LCCN 62009063, 224pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller
  • Key Out of Time (1963) Published by World, HC, LCCN 63010861, 224pg ~ cover by Giac Faragasso

Synopsis ~

From the back of Paperback edition ~

Exploring space and time is a dangerous business, and no one knows that better than Time Agents Travis Fox and Ross Murdock. So, when both men are stranded on far-off planets with no hope of rescue from Earth, they must rely on their wits and their training to survive.

But Survival is only the beginning. On the alien world of Topaz, Fox and his team have been implanted with memories of their Apache ancestors - but the enemy has sent its own team of Mongols!

Meanwhile, Murdock is trapped in the in the ancient past of the water world of Hawaika, facing terrifying wizards in a kingdom he knows will soon be utterly annihilated.

The fates of two worlds, and possibly the galaxy itself, will be determined by the actions of these castaways in time – and whatever happens, the lives of Time Agents everywhere will be changed forever…


Write-up from a fan ~

The Defiant Agents ~ This picks up where Galactic Derelict left off. One of the planets discovered using the Alien (the Baldies) technology was named Topaz. The Americans decide to send a bunch of modern Apache volunteers to colonize Topaz, but unfortunately the Russians have the same idea. Each group has a way to make their guys revert to ancestral memories and behavior--The Americans evoke the Apaches of 200 years ago and the Russians go for reverting their colonists to the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. Both groups have equipment to control their people, but the American ship crashes and leaves the control machines smashed and the bosses dead. Travis Fox (met him in GD) and a few others have memories of modern world and old-time lore. Andre's love of animals shows with a pair of mutated intelligent coyotes who help Travis and the rest. They rescue a Mongol girl who is being hunted by the Reds (Russian bosses). The Reds have the Mongols under control with a machine that act like an invisible slave collar that forces obedience. A stalemate reigns until DEUS EX MACHINA time, Travis uncovers a stash of powerful Baldie Weapons a takes out the Reds and the Apaches and Mongols decide to form one big happy family. ~ PG

Key Out of Time ~ TIME TRADERS, GALACTIC DERELICT, and THE DEFIANT AGENTS have all led up to this story. A severe storm traps Ross Murdock, Gorden Ashe, Karara Trehern and a pair of telepathic dolphins in the distant past of the planet Hawaika. They make friends and enemies and of course run into the Baldies, (the big bad aliens of the series) There are many questions that they must answer such as: How may Baldies are there on the planet? How can we defeat them? Who are the Foanna and are these mysterious beings' possible allies or deadly foes? -- Great novel, but I recommend reading at least Time Traders and Galactic Derelict, so you won't get lost. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Booklist Review ~ Feb. 01, 2001

Baen revives more of Norton’s Time Traders yarns (Time Traders, 2000) contained the first two resuscitates). In The Defiant Agents, American agents, who have received treatments that cause them to revert to ancestral behaviors that will enable them to survive in more primitive conditions, are dispatched to the past. They encounter Russians who have been backdated to resemble Tartars and whom they can overcome only with a weapon alien to the period. In Key Out of Time, the agents venture to a ruined planet revealed by a long-lost map. There they find a device that lets them see into the past and defeat the aliens responsible for the planet’s demise. Originally written in the early 1960s, both books needed and got a certain amount of technological and political updating, so that, for instance, the Russian opponents aren’t Communist but newfangled Russian imperialists. The books bear revamping better than most of their contemporaries might because they were better written in the first place by one of sf’s hardy perennials. — Roland Green


Review by Publishers Weekly ~ Jan. 19, 2001

This omnibus-volume reprint of two Norton novellas, The Defiant Agents (1962) and Key Out of Time (1963), showcases the science fiction grand master's stylish way with a space-time adventure yarn. In a brave new future Earth, a doughty team of American Time Agents races evil Soviets to gain control of new worlds revealed by navigational tapes left 10,000 years earlier by the galactic-tripping Baldies, aliens who aimed at universal conquest. In The Defiant Agents, ethnic Apache Travis Fox and his team travel to Topaz, an arid planet where they must pit their newly awakened Amerindian racial memories against fierce Mongol descendants sent by the Russians to take over Topaz for themselves. Key Out of Time follows maverick Time Agent Ross Murdock to Hawaika, an aquatic world where he must unite three clashing cultures--Viking-like Sea raiders, Dark Age land-based Wreckers and the mystic Foanna--to repel the Baldie baddies. Several of Norton's trademark touches, now familiar because of her strong influence on younger authors, enliven the Time Agent derring-dos, like the pair of telepathic coyotes who scout for Fox on Topaz and the similarly equipped merry dolphins who accompany Murdock's Polynesian sea maid on Hawaika. Given the space-time restrictions of the novella form, Norton's aliens, especially the elegant, elegaic Foanna, maintain their attraction, though her Cold War frame story and her simplistic action set pieces seem dated today.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2001) Published by BAEN, HC, 0-671-31968-X, LCCN 00049426, $19.00, 370pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman {Black Paper Boards}
  • (2001) Published by BAEN, DM, 0-671-31968-X, $6.99, 396pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman
  • (2001) Published by SFBC, HC, # 37707, $10.99, 370pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman {Black Paper Boards}
  • (2002) Published by BAEN, PB, 0-671-31852-7, LCCN 00-049426, $7.99, 408pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman
  • (2021) Created by Tantor Audio, Audible, length 11hrs & 34mins, $18.37 ~ narrated by Graham Rowat

View the 1999 BAEN contract



Open menu