Ordinary People. Extraordinary Adventures. Science Fiction with Heart.
Newly retired workaholic Roy Washburn is not ready for a life of leisure. On a trip to the mall with his wife, he finds a small metal cylinder with odd markings. One nudge of the cylinder's triangle-shaped pointer and Roy finds himself embarking on an exciting new adventure in the Time Stream.
There he meets The Traveler, a tall, gangly being who shows Roy how to use the cylinder to visit other civilizations that co-exist on "his" Earth, each occupying a different, thin Time Slice. The Traveler solicits Roy's help in recovering an object invented by his murdered father and beyond his own reach. Roy is his last hope.
At first it seems that the Traveler's wish might be easily granted. But after Roy's wife Emily becomes ill and his daughter's long-held resentments rise to the surface, he can no longer "travel" at a moment's notice. He also discovers the very real physical and mental risks involved in roaming the Time Stream.
Despite the dangers, Roy is determined to help the Traveler. But he can't do it alone. Fortunately he has a loving wife and a core group of loyal friends. But first he must convince them--and his daughter--that he isn't crazy ...
Kerry Downing's Bio:
Kerry Downing set out to become a meteorologist, but was hooked by the world of computers instead, becoming a systems analyst and programmer. Astronomy and science fiction are his passions. He’s been gazing at the stars at all hours of the night since the age of 10, when he received his first telescope. As for science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke and his brand of “it really seems as if it could happen” has always been his favorite. In the 90s, Kerry found the third love of his life: his wife, Lucy. They live in St. Louis, Missouri, with their five children. Time Slice is Kerry’s second science-fiction novel. His self-published, debut work is The Collective.
This book was certainly different. It’s hard to categorize it, even, since it has a bit of science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and even humor.
There are some good things to the book, mainly the relationships between the characters. There are some nice scenes with Roy, who is a character the reader likes from the very beginning, and with his wife. I do wish there had been a bit more about her, about her struggles. It seems like she finds out she’s sick one day and then disappears. A bit of dragging out could have helped the plot. The Traveler, however, was my favorite character. He has such a sense of humor that it made the scenes he was in fresh and different from any other “alien” story I’ve ever read.
The main difficulty I had really enjoying this book was that not much happens. There are no real obstacles for Roy to deal with, at least none that are interesting to the reader. Yes, he wants to help The Traveler retrieve another of the devices his father created, but that means little to the reader. It doesn’t mean too much to Roy either. It’s anti-climactic, really.
The writing is all right, a bit stiff at times, but it is at least fast-paced. This is an interesting book, and some of the more eclectic readers out there will probably enjoy it.