Galactic Derelict

~ 2nd Novel in the Time Traders Series by Andre Norton

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


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1959 dustjacket ~

What problems would modern man encounter if he could go back to the early times of primitive man? In a daring science experiment in time transfer Travis Fox, a modern Apache, joins Ross Murdock and Dr. Gordon Ash on a perilous journey to investigate an alien spaceship wrecked in the age of the Folsom man.
Travis' knowledge of the ways of his ancestors proves a tremendous asset as he and his partners’ battle against the elements, ferocious beasts, and primitive hunters to board the abandoned spaceship. Just when it seems their mission is nearly accomplished, the ship, whose automatic controls had been set by aliens and aimed at another world thousands of years ago in time, takes off. Thus begins a fantastic and dangerous adventure into outer space that, before it is over, challenges the courage and ingenuity of each man in turn.
Andre Norton's books have long, been favorites in the science-fiction field. Readers of this fantastic, but credible, adventure in new dimensions in time and space will find it as satisfying as its companion book, The Time Traders.


Write-up from the back of the 1960's ACE paperback edition ~

“All the classic elements are present in full measure in Galactic Derelict. It suffers not at all in being a sequel to Andre Norton’s excellent Time Traders.
“The U.S. Army’s race with the Russians through and against Time remains Norton’s background. Both search for abandoned wrecks of a race that had interstellar travel back in man’s infancy.
“Travis Fox, Apache, joins Ross Murdock and Dr. Gordon Ashe, time agents, in attempting the transfer, intact, of an alien ship through 20,000 years to present. Inadvertently, controls are activated and the group is launched on an involuntary galactic tour. Their efforts to return to Here and Now constitute a top-notch science-adventure yarn.” – Galaxy Magazine 


Write-up from the front flap of the 1978 Gregg Press edition ~

In GALACTIC DERELICT, the second novel in the Time Traders Series (first published in 1959), adventurer Ross Murdock and archeologist Dr. Gordon Ashe enlist another agent into their courageous time-travel corps: Travis Fox, a modern, fullblooded Apache with archeological training. His particular skills and knowledge of the ways of his ancestors are essential to the success of Operation Retrograde’s latest journey back in time and space. The bait this time is an alien spaceship from the prehistoric days of the Folsom Man wrecked on a desolate point in what is now the American southwest. But just when their mission is nearly accomplished an accident sets off the automatic controls of the galactic derelict and our heroes are snatched away for a wild, involuntary tour of the universe, an interstellar and possibly intergalactic jaunt to a series of strange ports among the stars where the ruins and relics of a mysterious star people are still in evidence, though the alien race has long since vanished. It is a fantastic and dangerous adventure into outer space and back into prehistory that challenges the courage and ingenuity of Travis Fox and the rest of the team to the utmost. GALACTIC DERELICT is a fast-paced deftly constructed adventure story that will completely absorb the reader and compel him or her on to the very last page.


Write-up fom the back of 1980's ACE paperback editions ~

Time-travel for archaeologists was a well-guarded secret: But when the remains of an interstellar spaceship are uncovered along with the usual fossils, the time agents must call on a modern Apache Indian, Travis Fox, to guide then in the ways of his ancestors in their trip to the past.

But the explorers become trapped in space as well as time, on a mad journey in an automatic starship; not even Travis Fox can tell whether any of them will ever see Earth again.


Write-ups from fans ~

Cold war era. Travis Fox, Apache ranch hand stumbles upon a top-secret base in the western deserts. The installation is run by Ross Murdock and Gordon Ashe the time agents we first met in The Time Traders. They are planning a jaunt to 20,000 years ago to salvage an alien spacecraft. When they get there,to their surprise, there is not only a wrecked ship, but also an intact ship. When a volcanic eruption threatens the ship they signaled the project people to move the ship 20,000 years back to their time. When the ship gets to the base, it takes off for parts unknown, carying Ross, Travis, Gordon and a technician on the wildest ride of their or anyone's lives. In addition to all the dangerous situations and creatures they encounter, they must face the possibility of not being able to return to Earth. Andre's world-building prowess is in full bloom in this one. ~ PG


The 1982 Ace edition of 1959’s Galactic Derelict is billed as “Book #2 in the Ross Murdoch series.” That bit is misleading. While Ross does appear in the book, he’s only a supporting character; its true protagonist is Travis Fox. If Ace had billed this as Time Traders #2, that would have dodged the whole ‘who is the protagonist?’ issue.
I could give this book another blurb: “first Andre Norton SF reviewer James Nicoll ever read.” That was way back in 1972, an earlier edition of the book, another time. It was the best of times, it was the…. ~ JN
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KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1959
Andre Norton has no peer in his chosen field of science fiction for teen agers. This time his story involves an expedition in both time and space, as some young scientists- and a chance involved "rider for the Double A", Travis, who had been a student in the field of archaeology, set forth on a journey to repossess a lost space ship. Where their journey takes them provides breathless adventures in other worlds, with other-world creatures. Ingenuity, basic knowledge flexibly applied, and dauntless courage provide the handholds for success and a safe- though somewhat shattered-return. There's a hint of racial antagonism- a chip on the shoulder attitude- at the start, for Travis is an Apache but it has a negligible part in the story, though Travis' background and training stand him in good stead. 


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

1959 Kirkus Reviews, October
1960 by P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding/Analog Science Fact & Fiction, May
1960 by Floyd C. Gale in Galaxy Science Fiction #80 [UK], reprinted in: Galaxy Magazine, June
2015 by James Nicoll, February, 20   Θ
2017 by Patrick T. Reardon, June 12
2018 by Judith Tarr at Oct. 15


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1959) Published by World, HC, LCCN 59011542, $3.00, 224pg ~ cover by Ed Emshwiller {Red Cloth Boards}
  • (1961) Published by ACE, PB, # D-498, $0.35, 192pg - #F-310 1964 $0.40, cover by Ed Emshwiller ~ 0-441-27226 1972 $0.75, #27227 1974 $0.95, #27228 1975 $1.25, covers by Davis Meltzer, illustrated by Jack Gaughan ~ 8th printing #27229 1978 $1.75, with different cover by Davis Meltzer (Note: signature is backwards), #27230 1980 $1.95, #27231-2 1982 $2.25, #27233-9 1984 $2.50 246pg, #27234-7 1987 $2.95, 1992 $3.99 - covers by Walter Valez
  • (1978) Published by Gregg Press, HC, 0-839-82422-X, 978-0-839-82422-0, LCCN 78026944, $8.95, 192pg ~ Time Traders Series 2 ~ Dust Jacket and Frontmatter by Wayne Barlowe ~ {Binding: 5.625 x 8.25 - Dark Blue Cloth Boards with Silver Lettering, Blue End Papers} - Photographic reprint of the 1962 Ace paperback edition.      Note: There are a couple of bibliographies that state this edition was released in the UK by George Prior Publishing – We have not been able to verify this fact.
  • Time Traders (2000) Published by BAEN, HC, 0-671-31952-3, 978-0-671-31952-6, LCCN 00058665, $24.00, 370pg ~ cover by Steve Hickman ~ Omnibus containing Time Traders, The (1958) & Galactic Derelict (1959)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1964) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73741842, Terra Sonderband 80, 97pg ~ German title Spähtrupp in die Vergangenheit
  • (1975) Published in Frankfurt, Germany; by Ullstein, 35-480-3160-9, Ullstein 2000, Ullstein Buch 3160, 125pg ~ translated by Heinz Nagel ~ German title Wrack im All
  • (1985) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Moewig, 38-118-3804-0, TB 4, 160pg ~ translated by Heinz Nagel ~ German title Spähtrupp in die Vergangenheit
  • (1985) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Moewig, Moewig SF 3859 ~ translated by Heinz Nagel ~ German title Spähtrupp in die Vergangenheit
  • (1993) Published in Debrecen, Hungary; by Phoenix, 963-7457-91-7, 187pg ~ translated by István Nemes and József Békési ~ cover by Tibor Szendrei ~ Hungarian title A gazdátlan űrhajó
  • (1978) Published in Japan; by Kubo Shoten Books, 47-659-1546-8, QT 30, 237pg ~ translated by Yoshikawa Sumiko ~ cover by Ichiro Takebe ~ Japanese title 未知なる銀河航路
  • (1994) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 83-861-3801-7, 214pg ~ translated by Marta Starczewska ~ Polish title Galaktyczne Pustkowie
  • (1999) Published in Poland; by Amber, 83-724-5171-0, 158pg ~ translated by Wiesława i Paweł (Helen and Paul) Czajczyńscy ~ cover by Jeff Sturgeon~ Polish title Galaktyczni rozbitkowie [Survivors galaktyczni] ~ (reprinted in 2002 with new cover by Fred Gambino)
  • (1993) Combined with "Time Traders" ~ Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14015-1, HC, 352pg ~ translation by Dimtry Arseniev ~ Russian title Война во времени [War Time]
  • (2004) Combined with "Time Traders" translation by Oleg Kolesnikov, "The Defiant Agents" translation by Oleg Kolesnikov and "Key Out of Time" translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-03581-8, HC, 512pg ~ "Galactic Derelict" translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Russian title Война во времени [War Time]
  • (2014) Combined with “The Time Traders”, “The Defiant Agents” & “Key Out of Time”, Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699705177, HC, 768pgs ~ “The Time Traders” & “The Defiant Agents” translation by O. Kolesnikova, “Galactic Derelict” & “Key Out of Time” translation by D. Arseniev ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ series: All Norton ~ Russian title Торговцы во времени [Time Traders]


View the Original contract

View the Gregg Press contract

View the 1987 Copyright renewal app.

View the 1993 Polish contract

View the 2004 Russian contract


ACE Frontspiece;