From some of the most creative fiction authors comes a collection of marvelous stories about time,
Meet a furry time machine. Discover what the snooze button on the alarm clock really does. Take a look at Dallas through the Looking Glass. Travel 2 seconds ahead, watch out for the Neverstone, and uncover the plot to kill Clause.
I thought the subject could make for an interesting collection of stories, and recognizing a few authors in this one, I decided to pick it up and see what Time in a Bottle (volume one) was made of.
It’s an interesting mix. Multiple genres are represented here with the central theme of time travel, applied sometimes literally and other times, as in the literary tale “The Time Machine” by Courtney Burback, in a figurative fashion.
About halfway through is the inclusion of the poem “On the Edge” by Bonnie Rockwell, which might initially strike one as out-of-place here, but in time travel, everything is out of place, so it actually makes sense. After reading it, you’ll (probably) see why it fits.
Many of the other stories in this volume were more speculative in nature. The opening tale of the book, “Goblin Lullaby” by Jim C. Hines, is a comedic look at the other end of a fantasy tale that we don’t usually see; “Two Second Ahead” by Rob Rosen provides an interesting concept seasoned by quirky characters; “After Nightfall” by Jonathan Shipley is an intelligently-layered story on the science fiction end; “The Time Traveler’s Happily Ever After” by Jordan Lapp, which has perhaps less of a speculative feel than the previously-mentioned entry, is an equally engrossing tale, and gives us characters who are vulnerable, human, and thrust into situations which, outside of fiction, aren’t.
Time in a Bottle, Volume 1 is an enjoyable read for the open-minded reader. As before, it’s a mix, so when you open the pages, be prepared to hurtle genres and boundaries across time. – Tommy B. Smith