The Defiant Agents is a continuation of the story begun in The Time Traders. In that novel, agents Ross Murdoch and Gordon Ashe travel into the past to discover the source of technology being developed by the Russians. What they discover is alien spaceship that had crashed on Earth some ten thousand years ago. In The Galactic Derelict the two agents, along with an Apache named Travis Fox, return to the past to recover an intact ship only to find themselves on an unintentional journey across the galaxy amid the ruins of a collapsed civilization. In The Defiant Agents Travis Fox is part of a expedition intended to colonize a world with an environment resembling that of the American Southwest, a world to which the Apache are well suited.
A number of themes show up in The Defiant Agents which Norton was to visit repeatedly over her career. The first is that of the hero as outsider trying to find a place for himself, in this case Fox, who though an Apache like the rest of the colonists is set apart both by his past and his education. Many of Norton’s works featured an outlawed hero dropped into a strange environment where they must prove themselves to regain membership in a group.
The second theme, is the idea of racial memory, the existence of some sort of link to the past lives of one’s ancestors or native country. This, too, was a recurring concept that Norton employed time after time, with her characters torn between the past and the modern world. This is not surprising, given Norton’s fascination with an idealized past.
The third theme, is that of a psychic link between animals and characters. This was explored most thoroughly in The Beast Master, but figures in a number of her works.
With these themes, the Time Traders series takes a more mystical turn in The Defiant Agents, but Norton does not abandon her usual taste for fast paced action, and Resurrected Press is happy to offer this installment of the series to our readers.
About the Author
Andre Norton was the pen name of Alice Mary Norton (February 17, 1912-March 17, 2005) author of hundreds of fantasy and science fiction novels and stories. Though she had intended to become a teacher, the depression forced her to change plans and become a librarian, a career she followed until she could become a full time author. Her first novel was published in 1934. She began writing science fiction in the fifties, continuing until her death. She received both the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America.