Echoes in Time

~ 6th Novel in the Time Traders Series by Andre Norton

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

Written with Sherwood Smith

echoes in time


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1999 dustjacket ~

Having revitalized the classic Solar Queen series to critical acclaim, Andre Norton and Sherwood Smith now turn their storytelling talents to Norton's popular Time Traders series.
Time Agents Ross Murdock and Eveleen Riorden are recalled from their honeymoon to take port in u dangerous assignment: find a team of Russian scientists who vanished without a trace from a research mission in the past of a far-all planet. Along with a team of Russian Time Agents with their own mysterious agenda and Saba, a new agent teamed with Gordon Ashe, they leap into the alien world's distant history.
There they encounter several alien races, whose appearance, language, and customs are almost incomprehensibly strange. Something changed this world, and music seems the only tool that might prove a key to unlocking the planet's secrets.
But as they try to decipher a digital alien Rosetta Stone, time is running out for their mission. Ross now knows what happened to the missing scientists-—but can he save his team before they too vanish forever?
This thrilling adventure of a desperate race against treacherous time itself is a tale filled with excitement and wonder in the grand time Traders tradition.


Write-up from the back of paperback edition ~

Time Agent Ross Murdock and Eveleen Riorden just wanted a little time off to enjoy their honeymoon. but when a team of Russian scientists vanishes without a trace, the couple is recalled to action and thrust headlong into danger on a distant planet.

Confronted with mysteries from the moment they arrive, Ross and Eveleen encounter natives with customs so alien as to defy understanding, and strange icons with a possible secret. Plagued by a bizarre malady sapping their energy, they begin to piece together the fate of the missing scientist. Suddenly, their mission is a race against time: if the Time Agents can't find answers to the puzzles that surround them, they too may vanish forever....


Write-up from a fan ~

The Russians have lost an exploration team investigating one of the planets that they had been awarded in the "lottery" of tapes recovered from the adventures of the American Time Traders team who recovered a Baldies' spaceship and subsequently triggered it into returning to its home world. The Cold War is winding down and the Russians and Americans are now uneasy allies, so the Russians request the help of the Americans.

Gordon Ashe, Ross and Eveleen Murdock, and a musicologist named Saba Mirium travel in space to the starport/empire capital world and back in time when it was abandoned, to try to discover what happened to the Russian team. ~ SL


I have been told by reliable sources that this book was originally supposed to be written by Andre and Pauline Griffin, at the last moment the publisher pulled Pauline from the project and brought in Sherwood Smith. This aggravated Andre to no avail for Sherwood would not listen to her input about the story. When she received her copy of the book, she hid it out of site. When a friend of hers brought the title up in a conversation Andre directed them to remove this and the other three titles by Sherwood from her house. Upon her death she willed the copyrights to Sherwood because she hated all four books so much that she did not want her Estate associated with them. When you read them, it is evident that Andre had little to do with them for they do not fit her style. They are included because her name appears on the front cover. ~ JW     See article by Sherwood Smith: Andre Norton and Me


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: Nov. 1st, 1999
In 1994’s Firehand, Norton joined forces with P.M. Griffin to launch a revival of her 30-year-old Time Traders series; now, to continue it, she’s taken on a fresh collaborator, Sherwood Smith, who worked with Norton on two Solar Queen yarns. Earth began to explore the galaxy in alien globe ships, but then had to foil an invasion attempt by the aggressive Baldies. Time-travel veterans Ross Murdock and his wife, Eveleen Riordan, now must learn to cooperate with their former rivals, the Russians, who took a beating in the Baldy attack. The Russians have lost a time-travel team on a distant planet where, eerily, archeologists uncovered a carving of a current time agent, the African musicologist Saba. The joint rescue mission arrives at the planet, finding numerous alien races devolved into animals. But back in the past when the Russian time-travelers were lost, the advanced Yilayil coexist with various other sapient races. The rescuer/investigators, however, soon fall sick. The Yilayil immediately recognize Saba and take her for special training, while the others search for the missing Russians and try to figure out what’s going on. Ross, Eveleen, and companions get sicker and sicker before Saba learns how to make contact with the planet’s plant-consciousness, which views all intelligent animals as enemies and produces spores to devolve them into harmless critters—hence the sickness. Then the Baldies attack. A much-improved, if more thoughtful re-revival, with believable aliens, a reasonable time-travel rationale, and properly worked-out consequences. 


Booklist Review ~ Nov. 15, 1999

The collaboration that produced two outstanding entries in Norton’s Solar Queen series proves equally effective in her Time Traders saga. Ross Murdock and Eveleen Riordan are snatched from their honeymoon to go time-traveling again, this time as part of a Russo-American expedition to track a party of Russian time travelers that vanished on a distant planet. Ethiopian anthropologist Saba Mariam joins them, and the whole group takes one of the captured Baldie (star-traveling nonhuman) ships to their destination. Traveling back in time, however, they discover that the Russians’ disappearance is connected with the planet’s having been controlled by a single, plantlike entity that has manipulated all visitors belonging to sapient races at the cellular level to make them harmless. The new visitors escape by the skin of their teeth and thanks to Saba Mariam’s insights. Sometimes slack in pace, the book compensates with its humane, intelligent, original development of nonhuman races. Furthermore, the sex roles, political background, and other aspects of the Time Traders saga have been gracefully updated. — Roland Green


Review by Publishers Weekly ~ Nov. 01, 1999

The prolific Norton (Wind in the Stone, Forecasts, Oct. 11, etc.) has again returned to her Time Traders series, this time in collaboration with Sherwood Smith. Begun in 1958, the long-dormant series was first revived in the 1994 with Firehand, which Norton co-wrote with P.M. Griffin. But as with their revival of Norton's Solar Queen series, Norton and Smith don't just send an old hero through familiar paces. Ross Murdock has now moved into the laptop era. The tough Time Agent also has gotten himself married to agent Eveleen Riordan, and the two must work together when they are called from their honeymoon back to Project Star, as the secret time patrol is known. Now not only must Murdock and his old partner Gordon Ashe modify their old-boy system to fit Murdock's newlywed status, but they also must join a team of Russians, long-time rivals of Project Star, to track down an earlier team gone missing on a distant planet. The story is slow to start, as background from earlier books is filled in and old cold-war conflicts are ironed out, but once the two teams land on the Yilayil planet and travel back to a time 100 years after the first team disappeared, the narrative picks up. How could the highly cultured Yilayil have become the feral Weaslies of today? Are the malevolent Baldies once again up to no good? The answers prove more complex and ambiguous than a reader of the old series might expect, as the nature of both time and the enemy are explored amid the deepening mystery of the missing comrades. This refashioned Time Traders tale should reward veteran fans of Norton and create some new ones.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

2000 by John C. Bunnell in Amazing Stories, Special Edition
2000 by Alan Fraser in Vector #209
2000 by Tom Easton in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

With heartfelt thanks to Dave Trowbridge, tech wizard extraordinaire, for unstinting help.
- S.S.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1999) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-85921-X, 978-0-312-85921-3, $23.95, 319pg ~ cover by Julie Bell {Gray Paper Boards, ISBN on Front Flap & Rear of Dust Jacket}
  • (2000) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-55274-1, 978-0-812-55274-4, $5.99 US $7.99 Canadian, 319pg ~ cover by Julie Bell
  • Time Traders III (2002) Published by SFBC, HC, 0-739-43103-X, 978-0-739-43103-0, # 54748, $12.99, 403pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman ~ Omnibus containing Echoes in Time (1999) & Atlantis Endgame (2002)
  • (2015) Created by Audible Studios, Audible, length 9hrs & 39mins, $11.99 ~ narrated by Mark F. Smith
  • (2021) Published by The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency (Worldbuilders Press), DM, No ISBN, $2.99 ~ cover by Augusta Scarlett
  • (2021) Published by The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency (Worldbuilders Press), TP, 978-1-680-682213-7, $10.99, 326pg ~ cover by Augusta Scarlett


Non-English Editions ~

  • (2006) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo and St. Petersburg, by Domino, 5-699-18073-7, HC, 400pg ~ translation by N. Sosnovskaya ~ cover by Jean Pierre Targete ~ Russian title Эхо времен [Echoes in Time] ~ Limited to 6000 copies

View the 2005 Russian contract



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