Genres are classifications for describing the scope of a story but not every story or every book fits so easily into such a literary box. In Bill Ectric’s collection of short stories Time Adjusters we are taken for a multi-genre ride through a series of unique tales that defy classification and opt instead to challenge the limits of the reader’s imagination.
Sometimes it takes a haunted house, a dreadful room and a little robot to capture our attention with the promise of mystery but it’s our child-like curiosity that begs us walk into those rooms unhindered by expectations. In the title track "Time Adjusters" and the story "House and the Baboon" we find ourselves bending the rules of relativity to witness events along the chronological spectrum. This visual bounce allows the reader to witness sequences out of order. It’s fun to be a part of even when it’s a little confusing to follow. These parts of the book as well as the science fiction-tinged stories "The Little Robot" and "Fear Flight" should appeal to lovers of pure storytelling.
My own interest was piqued with the author’s Beat Generation style of writing that conducted the speed of the action, and the ease with which you could get carried away by it. These facets appeared strongest in the tales of "Miss Glenly’s Dreadful Room" and "Bucket Head." Each was told from an adolescent perspective that was eager to be in the center of the action without caring how serious or unfortunate the outcome. The result was that I found myself close to tears in one and cringing with disbelief over the other.
The author told me ahead of time that people have had trouble writing reviews of this book and I can see why. The assortment of emotions and situations makes you want to focus on the one or two stories that touched you the deepest, but those one or two are probably different for every reader. One thing remains certain — there is something in Time Adjusters for everyone who loves to read, no matter the genre.
Time Adjusters and Other Stories, Author: Bill Ectric, Publisher: iUniverse (2005), ISBN-10: 0595358071,105pgs, $10.95