Quest Crosstime

(aka) Crosstime Agent

~ 2nd Novel in the Crosstime Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) Blake Walker


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1965 HC ~

In spite of the storm and the forbidding landscape of the lifeless alternate world to which she and her twin had come, Marfly should have known no fear. The girls were Erc Rogan's daughters and used to crosstime travel, and besides, Marfy's personnel disk told her that her sister Marva was present, not to distant, and safe. But the disk lied. Marva was gone. She was not anywhere - not at least in the time levels familiar to Vroom or its successor worlds. And when Marfy and Blake Walker, hurrying to to report the mystery to Rogan in Vroom, found themselves sabotaged onto an unlisted level inhabited by lizard warriors ruled by turtle, it was clear the powerful enemy who had spirited the missing girl to an outside level of time was also intent on destroying Vroom itself.
A master storyteller, Andre Norton is considered by many the leading science fiction writer for young people today. In this fast-paced adventure which swings Blake and Marfy across the fabric of counted years from the successor world of Vroom to a strange level called E625, warred over by rival factions of a remotely familiar Zoltec empire, to near disaster in the rivers of a lifeless project world, the author's invention has, indeed, unlocked the gates of time.


Write-up from the rear flap of "Moon of Three Rings" ~

"An ingenious development of time-travel. Characters move in shuttles from one coded point to another, level-hopping through successor worlds or crash-landing in dangerous uncoded levels. Particularly imaginative are the pictures of worlds . . . in which crucial alterations of events change the future altogether, so that the United States never comes into being, pre-empted by a part-Mayan, part English civilization." ~ Horn Book
"Cross-time travel provides high adventure as Blake Walker, a young time-shuttle pilot, helps Marfy Rogan search for her missing identical twin. The quest takes them through unfamiliar time levels and pits them against a powerful enemy who is seeking to control and destroy their civilization . . . This science-fiction thriller offers fast-paced action and sustained suspense." ~ ALA Booklist


Write-up from the back of the early ACE paperback editions ~

On an Earth exactly similar to ours geographically, but in which events of history and society took strangely different turns, in a Quest Crosstime.
Born in the Earth we know, Blake had become a citizen of that alternate world and thought himself trusted until the mysterious disappearance of his patron’s daughters, the rebellion of the time-travel engineers, and the outburst of a plot to use the secret of time to loot a hundred unsuspecting worlds.
Blake’s search through alternate Earths, his daring adventures with alien empires and hostile beings, all combine to make this one of Andre Norton’s most unusual and exciting novels.


Write-up from the 1980s ACE paperback edition ~

The universe had opened up to Blake Walker when he discovered that his world - our own Earth - was just one of hundreds ranked side by side on alternate timelines, each more strange and wondrous than the last. All coexisting at once, and all available to Blake Walker and the few natives of those other-earths who could break the barriers between timelines.
But Blake’s new existence is threatened now – his time traveling patron’s daughter has been kidnapped. The engineers who could control the time travel process are in open rebellion. And Blake himself has stumbled across a plot by a powerful and dangerous band of conspirators to ravage all of the Earths in their reach.
Blake must stop them. He knows that somewhere in the infinity of time there lies the key to solving this crisis. If he only knew to look….

Write-ups from fans ~

Vroom, the "alternate world" that has discovered crosstime travel, now has politcal troubles in the person of Saur To'Kekrops and his "Limiter" party, which wishes to restrict and control all crosstime travel.   Blake Walker (hero of CROSSROADS OF TIME) is sent on a supply run to the barren lifeless world where a scientific project to attempt to seed life is being undertaken.  There he finds that one of a pair of female twins of one of the "Hundred Families"--the rulers of Vroom, has disappeared.  The girls had been allowed to join the Project team as a sort of holiday, but now one of them is missing and her disappearance will have grave repercussions back on Vroom.  The Project Head had objected to having the girls there, and now orders Blake to go find her and bring her back.  The remaining twin insists on going with him on the search because she knows (through the "twins' link) that her sister is no longer on that world.  But their shuttle is sabotaged and they wind up on a jungle planet where reptilian wildlife is intelligent, and determined to destroy the shuttle Blake and Marfy arrived in.  Eventually help arrives and Blake and Marfy are returned to Vroom.  But the sister is still missing, and Marfy believes she was enticed into a crosstime adventure on World E625, where the followers of the Feathered Serpent religion still ruled.  And one of their practices was the sacrifice of a virgin. ~ SL


This is an odd one. This is an Alternate worlds set-up, where every decision anyone makes leads to another reality. These range form Barren worlds where no life has developed to those devastated by nuclear wars to those with thriving cultures. On an analog called Vroom, many people have developed telepathy. With Vroom having been ravaged by nuclear wars, their population has survived by trading with other "levels" using time-hoppers. Blake Walker, a master "Wardsman" (cop?) is investigating a station where Marfy and Marva Rogan, twin telepathic daughters of a Vroomian bigwig have been visiting. Marva has disappeared Blake and Marfy have many hair-raising adventures caused by a dissident group, the Limiters who want to take over and loot all the levels for their own gain. A page-turner that I had forgotten all the details for. ~ PG


Andre Norton’s 1965 novel Quest Crosstime returns to Blake Walker, last seen being adopted by the people of Vroom, a timeline-spanning civilization. Although Vroom’s central timeline depends on contact and trade with alternate Earths, recently a faction calling itself the Limiters, led by demagogue To’Kekrops, have been calling for more stringent restrictions on cross-time travel. To’Kekrops and his followers may claim they are motivated by safety concerns … but of course the truth is darker than that.
What Walker doesn’t know is how far the Limiters will go to get their way.
Twin sisters Marva and Marfy chafe at…. ~ JN
Read More ...


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

1966 by P. Schuyler Miller in Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact, May
2015 by James Nicoll, June, 19   Θ
2018 by Judith Tarr at, Aug. 20


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

For Richard Benyo,
who first visualized the "sterile" world.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1965) Published by Viking, HC, LCCN 65018159, $3.75, 253pg ~ cover by Yukio Tashiro {Red Cloth Boards} Library Edition, Pictorial Boards $3.56
  • (1965) Published by MacMillan, HC, $4.75, 253pg ~ Canadian printing ~ cover by Yukio Tashiro ~ Library Edition $3.84
  • (1966) Published by ACE, PB, # G-595, $0.50, 220pg ~ #69681 1969 $0.60 220pg ~ covers by Jack Gaughan ~ #69682 1972 $0.75 190pg ~ #69683 1975 $1.25 190pg ~ covers by Victor Kaylin ~ 5th printing #69684-8 1981 $2.50 250pg ~ 6th printing  #69685-6 1985 $2.50 250pg ~ covers by Davis Meltzer
  • Crosstime (2008) Published by BAEN, HC, 1-416-55529-3, $23.00 ~ cover by Stephen Hickman ~ Omnibus containing Crossroads of Time, The (1962) & Quest Crosstime (1965)


Non-English Editions ~

  • Pt. 1 (1967) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73892272, Terra SF526, 65pg ~ German title Hetzjagd der Zeitgardisten [Hunt of the Time Guards]
  • Pt. 2 (1967) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73892274, Terra SF527, 64pg ~ German title Hetzjagd der Zeitgardisten [Hunt of the Time Guards]
  • (2000) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-724-5421-3, 175pg ~ translation by Konrad Brzozowski ~ cover by Tony Roberts ~ Polish title Zagubieni w czasie [Lost in Time]
  • (1992) Combined with "Star Man's Son" ~ Published in Moscow, 5-855-41003-X, HC 318pg ~ Russian title Сын Звёздного человека. Поиск на перекрёстке времени.
  • (1993) Combined with "Merlin's Mirror", "Yurth Burden", "The Crossroads of Time" and "Operation Time Search" ~ Published in Chisinau, by EYA, 5-868-92068-6, HC, 608pg ~ cover by V. Kirchev ~ Russian title Зеркало Мерлина [Merlin's Mirror]
  • (1993) Combined with "Operation Time Search" and "Long Live Lord Kor!" ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-870-12025-2, HC, 366pg ~ translation by T. Romanova ~ Russian title Поиск во времени [Time Search]
  • (1995) Combined with "The Crossraods of Time" ~ Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14044-5, HC, 384pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Поиск на перекрестке времен [Quest Crosstime]
  • (2014) Combined with “The Crossroads of Time” & “Operation of Time Search”, Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699743988, HC, 672pgs ~ translation by D. Arseniev ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ series: All Norton ~ Russian title Перекрестки времени [Crossroads of Time]


View the Original contract

View the 2004 Russian contract