Synopses & Reviews
“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
Of Gods and Men . . . and Time
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, but 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 and place to bring their bacchanalian escapades to the masses. While Pluto, the god of death, grooms a bright, though resentful, African-American boy to be his successor. And 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.
"Reminiscent of the Company stories of Kage Baker (who provides a glowing foreword), the individual tales that make up Bowes's 'mosaic' novel add up to a relatively coherent alternate history of Greek gods, men, heroes and cyborgs. Apollo, Bacchus and Pluto have been having their fun for millennia, but just up the Time Stream disaster looms, so they have recruited lost children to become 'Time Rangers,' humans able to surf the Time Stream at will and perhaps change history to the gods' advantage. Various stories loosely follow the lives of three rangers as they fall in love with gods and each other, produce offspring important to the future and return to life from the Gate of Sighs. Also featured are Pluto's two godsons, who can sense death, a useful skill when avoiding gay serial killers and uncovering murderers. While the gods themselves are mostly seen from afar, by novel's end oracles, Furies and fate have all come together in a grand Telling for humanity's future. The interwoven plot lines are sometimes hard to follow, but the diligent reader will uncover a worthwhile, fantastic world. Agent, Virginia Kidd. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Greek gods are posing as humans and pulling humanity's strings in this mosaic novel about time travel, alternate worlds, and the making of a president. The Time Rangers, Apollo's chosen servants, are in charge of preserving the peace and harmony along the Time Stream, the pathway between various worlds and times, but Apollo has given them a new task—to protect Timothy Macauley, the chosen one who must become the president of the United States or else witness the destruction of humankind. Standing in the Rangers's way are other gods: Mercury, who's working his wiles in the world of public relations; Diana, cruising New York City in the guise of an NYPD detective; Pluto, who is in the process of grooming his successor; and Dionysus, who has caused the annihilation of an alternate world. Nonstop action keeps the story rolling from the 1950s to the present day, through this world and others. The author shares his insights into, and the history of, the mosaic novel in the afterworld.
About the Author
Richard Bowes was born in Boston in 1944 and attended school there, and on Long Island, New York. In his third year as a freshman, he took writing courses with Mark Eisenstein at Hofstra College. After graduation, Bowes moved to Manhattan where he has lived for most of the last thirty-eight years and has done the usual jumble of things that writers do in order to earn a living. He launched his Speculative Fiction writing career in the early 1980s and published novels Warchild, Feral Cell, and Goblin Market.
In 1992 Bowes began writing a series of semi-autobiographical stories narrated by Kevin Grierson, a person with a doppelgänger. These stories were published primarily in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and later became the novel Minions of the Moon. One story, “Streetcar Dreams,” won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella of the Year. The novel itself won the Lambda Award.
A short fiction collection, Transfigured Night and Other Stories, was published by Time Warner in 2001. It included the original novella, “My Life in Speculative Fiction.” These stories plus recent material will appear in Streetcar Dreams and Other Midnight Fancies forthcoming in late 2005 from PS Publishing in England.
Over the last few years, Bowes has written a new series of stories about Time Rangers and the Gods, which have formed the mosaic novel From the Files of the Time Rangers. Time Ranger novelettes “The Ferryman’s Wife” and “The Mask of the Rex,” both originally published in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, were finalists for the prestigious Nebula Award.