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When Blake Walker foiled a murder attempt on one of his neighbors he somehow found himself drafted into a frantic chase for a dangerous criminal through the almost infinite levels of alternate EarthsIt was a chase that would take him through level upon level of unknown dangers in search of a ruthless genius who had found our Earth the perfect place to begin his series of conuestsIf Walker succeeded he would save Earth If he failed his homeworld could be enslaved and he could be trapped on an alien Earth


10 thoughts on “The Crossroads of Time

  1. says:

    It turns out this book was published in 1956 when I was a 1 year old but I don't think I have read it before However most likely I did read its one seuel when I was a teenagerThe cover blurbs led me to expect parallel world concepts and the setting is indeed in a universe with parallel worlds But with the exception of one post atomic war America there is very little exploration of alternate history The parallel Earths are vastly different and essentially just Andre Norton style alien planets Blake Walker is the main character and he haplessly stumbles upon a group of mysterious agents who operate throughout the multiverse recruited for their psi powers and resisting bad guys to the extent their non interference doctrine allows Of course Blake himself has some latent psi powers and he needs them to survive during his escape across a several worlds To be honest I'm not sure I really understood the moral distinction between the good guys and the bad guys here except that the ones Blake happens upon are the good onesThe ending is clearly a set up for a series to come perhaps akin to Andre Norton's Time Traders but there is only the one seuel uest Crosstime 1965


  2. says:

    This is a uick moving typical 1950's Norton sci fi novel It features an interesting view on time travel and some strong adventure scenes As usual the protagonist is capable and uick witted and the narrative moves along at a lightning pace Interestingly Norton shows how progressive she was by having several members of the cast be non caucasian putting her miles ahead of many of her contemporaries in terms of having a diverse cast although there aren't many women charactersGood escapist fun


  3. says:

    150917 continuing my reading of woman authored pulpgolden age sff this is another weird book at first it seems kind of a 'secret temporal agents' hardboiled adventure rather too easily slipped into then introduction of 'many worlds' as real then chasing temporal criminal but for most of the middle we are given exactly those other worlds particularly where hitler won the battle of britain and all hell broke loose then the time cops show up again short book easy read fast goofy fun


  4. says:

    Four stars because this book basically invented the concept alternate realities Unfortunately it reads as very straight forward young adult science fiction now


  5. says:

    Andre Norton's 1956 The Crossroads of Time is a decent though swift and not unduly thoughtful mid 1950s science fiction read of the 3 star variety If we latch onto the word time and then poke around some of its SF contemporaries we will find it noticeably inferior to say Poul Anderson's Time Patrol stories collected in the 1981 The Guardians of Time the first of whose five stories was published in 1955 a year earlier than NortonOf coursewell the comparison is just a hair non parallel because while Anderson works with time travel Norton does not Norton's novel hinges on travel to different bands levels whatever you wish to call them of worlds page 30 alternate worlds that is without any time travel per se You know the schtick the 'possible worlds' theory in which there would be myriad worlds all influenced by various decisions Not only by the obvious ones of battles and political changes but even by the appearance and use of certain inventions page 19 There are worlds where Hitler won the Battle of Britain and overran England in 1941 page 19 for example worlds springing from a Mongol conuest of all Europe occurring in the thirteenth century page 36 dead radio active worlds worlds foul with man made plagues worlds held in subjection under governments so vicious that their inhabitants are no longer strictly human page 31and of course the world of the Wardsmen whose people aside from developing psionic powers also by some chance developed an extremely mechanized civilization several thousand years ago page 30Because Earth's timetrack has been split reproduced innumerable times by historical events page 30 the reader thus has no need of time travel per se Rather than have to go to the future to visit some whiz bang techno utopia ironclad dystopia or crazy atomic power plus swords scene all we have to do is slide to a different 1956 where anything goes A Hitlerian world that split off only 15 years earlier will look very similar to Blake Walker the protagonist of our own 1956 track same New York City bombed though it is same streets etc etc whereas a world with an Industrial Revolution a millennium or two earlier than ours will have a very different 1956 It's a great premise a neat twist against the familiar notion of time travelNorton's handling is fine but somehow it just isn't great Blake Walker the former alley baby with no past whose combination of permanent sun tan skin tone with reddish hair page 7 hints at a mixture of races unusual in his own 1956 who get these infallible little mental alerts when danger threatens page 8 and whom even the Wardsmen find so peculiar See where this is going? Yes of course but Norton won't reveal it yet in this bookWell anyway Walker's psi talent leads him to jump out into his hotel hallway and help what seems to be an FBI man in trouble from an armed criminal Another baddie then comes with the house detective trick page 11 but Walker won't buy it and refuses to open the door so he flees with what soon he will discover is one of the Wardsmen charged with keeping a check on irresponsible travelers preventing criminals from looting on other timelines where their powers give them vast advantage pages 30 31 and stopping megalomaniacs from setting themselves up as super dictators on levels where civilization is ready to allow them scope page 32Walker helps the trans world agents in their mission They are ahead of us in technology and psionics but they are not infallible Walker gets captured and then he escapes He ends up flipping from one alternate world to another on a vehicle controlled not with dials or buttons but with a big clunky lever like a railroad switch a tad stagy but Wells's time machine used a lever sowell okay and stomping around getting into danger and straying from the machine to explore as if he's never heard of Morlocks and even though we're screaming at him never to leave his only way out There are plenty of weird but never completely inscrutable surroundings and creeping around and growing so exhausted that Walker sleeps at plot convenient times and at one point he learns way in a day than someone not speaking the language ever could page 84 85 and there's a kitten too The Crossroads of Time is worth the read for those interested in '50s SF There are no huge ideas that surprise us there is nothing that makes us uestion any aspect of the status uo and the writing sometimes feels very fast and action oriented It may not be great but it at least could be decent as a change of pace


  6. says:

    Eh I picked up this book from a local second hand shop and chose to read it after being utterly floored by Native Son I was hoping it was gonna be fluffy and so it was It really lacked defining characters though and sometimes the story felt like a wild goose chase until the final fourty pages Alot of things weren't explained or much less cared to have logical reasoning Still it was fun and I guess it was what I expected


  7. says:

    Next on my Norton reread are the two Blake Walker time travel novels In this the first Walker gets involved by accident with a team of agents from a parallel world tracing a renegade who plans to use advanced weapons from their world to establish an empire on a less developed one Great adventure story


  8. says:

    My first book by Norton Not a big fan of the way he phrases things I was very confused in the beginning of the story He seemed to leave a lot for the reader to figure out But the book did get better towards the middle and end The story was an interesting take on parallel realities though I will read some of Norton and see if I can get used to his style


  9. says:

    This is an early time traveler book Because he can tell when there are troubles coming he saves the life of a time agent and gets brought into his world He participates in helping bring the rogue traveler to justice and sees several levels of time Nice adventure story


  10. says:

    Norton once again explores the parallel universe concept This one involves bad guys who go from one universe to another and act as criminals It is a young adult adventure story and her excellent imagination is on full display Highly recommended to fans of 50's sci fi