This Week's Book Review - Time Troopers

Time Troopers
Looking for a good read? Here is a recommendation. I have an unusual approach to reviewing books. I review books I feel merit a review. Each review is an opportunity to recommend a book. If I do not think a book is worth reading, I find another book to review. You do not have to agree with everything every author has written (I do not), but the fiction I review is entertaining (and often thought-provoking) and the non-fiction contain ideas worth reading.

Book Review

Combat Throughout Time Travel

Reviewed by Mark Lardas
April 2, 2022

“Time Troopers,” edited by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio, Baen Books, 2022, 464 pages, $16.00 (Trade Paperback) $10.00 (Ebook)

Time travel stories are almost as old as science fiction. One of H. G. Well’s earliest involved time travel. So is combat SF.

“Time Troopers,” edited by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio is a science fiction anthology combining the two themes, time travel and combat. Davis and Ruocchio assembled a stellar collection of tales ranging from short-short stories to novellas.

It is filled with stories by an all-star cast of authors. Contributors include twentieth-century science fiction giants Robert Heinlein, Keith Laumer, Poul Anderson, Fritz Leiber, A. E. Van Vogt, Robert Silverberg, and H. Beam Piper. Twenty-first century contributors include Davis and Ruocchio, Sara and Robert Hoyt, John C. Wright and Jacob Holo. Historian T. R. Fehrenbach and author Edmund Hamilton also provide stories.

The stories within it are gems. It opens with Heinlein’s classic “All You Zombies” and closes with Piper’s outstanding “Time Crime.” The stories between these are equally excellent, covering virtually every aspect of the time travel genre. In some, time travel is a combat weapon. In others, protagonists attempt to change history, restore history, observe history without changing it (only sometimes successfully) and travel sideways in time to alternate realities. A few combine tropes. Fehrenbach’s fascinating “Remember the Alamo” takes readers to that battle in a world where it is remembered for entirely different reasons than in this one.

The collection covers the spectrum of time two ways. The stories are set throughout time, from Paleothilic Earth to the unimaginably far future. It also spans nearly a century of science fiction history. One of the stories was written in the 1930s, others in the 2020s, and the rest spread in a spectrum between those years.

This creates a different type of time travel. The stories are products of the time period in which they were written. Hamilton’s “Comrades of Time” captures the spirit of the 1930s. Van Vogt’s “Recruiting Station” reflects the war years of the 1940s. The characters of “Time Crime” are at home in the 1950s, just as those in “Long Remembered Thunder” (Laumer, 1960s) , “Against the Lafayette Escadrille” (Gene Wolf, 1970s), “House of Bones” (Silverberg, 1980s) and “Delanda Est” (Anderson, 1990s) reflect the decades in which those tales were written.

“Time Troopers” offers readers a first-rate collection of science fiction tales centered on time travel. It reacquaints them with classic authors, and may introduce them to new authors which may become new favorites.

Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is .
Time Troopers