FROM THE FILES OF THE TIME RANGERS by Richard Bowes. Urbana, Il; Golden Gryphon Press; 2005. 1st edition hardcover.
From the Files of the Time Rangers is a mosaic novel about time travel, alternate worlds, gods, cops, and the making of a president. The story spans the Twentieth Century, from the gritty waterfronts of Manhattan to the exclusive New England resorts of the rich and famous, culminating in a U.S. presidential election a bit like, yet absolutely different from, the one we experienced in 2004.
Mercury, the messenger of the gods, works his wiles in the world of Public Relations. The hunter-goddess Diana serves as a New York City detective with questionable ethics; and Cupid, a minor demimonde celebrity, arrows his way into the hearts of the unsuspecting, doing the gods' work. Dionysus takes as his mistress a madcap eighteenth-century noblewoman, and together they traverse time bringing their bacchanalian escapades to the masses. Pluto, the god of Death, grooms a bright, though resentful, African-American boy to be his successor. The Maine estate of the immensely powerful Macauley family houses a sacred shrine presided over by a succession of priests, each of whom has murdered his or her predecessor.
Against this backdrop, the Time Rangers — God Apollo's chosen servants — try to maintain peace and order along the Time Stream. As the novel opens, three young Ranger Cadets, runaways and abandoned children touched by the gods, begin their training. But they quickly become hardened Rangers, passionately performing their duties, and encountering fates both sad and grand.
In this timeline, the Rangers must protect naval aviator Timothy Macauley, Apollo's chosen one, during his rise to the presidency. In From the Files of the Time Rangers, author Richard Bowes deftly paints a story rich in the hues and symbols and complexities of the Twentieth Century.
Two stories incorporated into the novel — "The Ferryman's Wife" and "The Mask of the Rex" — were each a finalist for the prestigious Nebula Award for Best Novelette of the Year, in 2002 and 2003 respectively. With a Foreword by Kage Baker, noted author of "The Company" novels, and an Afterword by Richard Bowes, in which the author shares his insights into, and the history of, the mosaic novel.
Cover art by John Picacio.
"Rick's work is gold, woven out of the straw, blood, sweat, fire, and ice of his observations. I know of no writer quite like him in this respect."
— Kage Baker, from the Foreword to From the Files of the Time Rangers
"For the elegance of prose, the depth of characterization, the sheer bravado and poignant grace of the story itself, Bowes stands as the best authors do, in a class of his own."
— Charles de Lint, author of Moonheart, and winner of the World Fantasy Award
"Richard Bowes — along with Charles de Lint and Emma Bull and Francesca Lia Block — has been one of the pioneers in the field of 'urban fantasy' exploring mythic stories set in contemporary urban settings."
— Terry Windling, co-editor of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology series
Fine in fine dj.