Time Slice (ISBN: 978-1-60381-852-0, $14.95, 256 pp.), by Kerry Downing, is a fantasy novel about a man who finds true meaning in his life after retirement, when he acquires the power to visit other, hidden worlds that co-exist on our planet.
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“With the oppression of retirement, Roy Washburn looks to keep himself busy in time. Time Slice follows Roy as he discovers how to slip through time. As a Traveler informs him on how to use it to the fullest, he must help the traveler in return through time. But bouncing around history and dimensions isn’t without risks, as Roy will quickly learn. Time Slice is a fine pick and very highly recommended for contemporary fantasy readers.”
“This is a fun lighthearted young-adult quest fantasy with serious family values underpinning. The story line is action-packed once the retired lead character picks up the gadget and never slows down as he confronts villains like Mr. Clean in his stream and nastier sorts on some of the others. Readers will enjoy taking time out for this entertaining frolic as three generations learn what matters in life’s short Time Slice.” Read More …
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 …
“I got the idea for Time Slice after reading an article about Gravitational Time Dilation,” says Downing. “The idea simmered for a few years and then I finally decided it was time to put it down on paper. Unlike my first novel, The Collective, I didn’t start with the plot already figured out … I just let the story go where it wanted to.”
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. This is Kerry’s second science-fiction novel. You can find him on the Web at www.KerryDowning.com.
Time Slice is available in Kindle ($4.95) and paperback editions on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon Japan, and at select Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores. Bookstores and libraries can order by contacting info@Camelpress.com or through Ingram. Other electronic versions are offered on Smashwords, BN.com, Google Ebooks or at any of the major online ebook stores.
Keep reading for an excerpt:
Roy was pretty good at guessing distances from his days as an engineer and he put the cliff’s height at about a thousand feet. While that wasn’t an unheard of height on Earth by any means, the sheerness of its face made it quite imposing. As he stepped back away from the cliff and towards the water trying to get a better view, he noticed that the top of the cliff actually jutted out further than its base, causing it to look like something from a Road Runner cartoon. Would the speedy little bird and Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, be along any time now? The top of the cliff looked like the perfect place for the long-suffering coyote to try and set a trap for his foe. When it failed, as it was doomed to do from the start, the overhanging part of the cliff would simply break away and the coyote would be in for yet another fall.
As strange as things were, Roy didn’t think that was going to happen, but you could never tell. Who would have guessed he would be here at all? Wherever here was.
As Roy examined the cliff, he noticed a small black dot in the sky, just off the cliff’s edge. Then he noticed another, and another, and yet another. Four black dots, definitely moving away from the cliff, in the sky.
As he continued to watch, the dots grew in size. Whatever the things were, they appeared to be falling. Roy squinted, trying to make out a shape he might recognize, but they were still too small.
Up until then the only sound Roy had been aware of was the waves coming on shore. Now, a new sound came to his ear. It was a high-pitched, squeaking sound like someone or something screaming, “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.” But it didn’t sound like that someone or something was scared. It was more like they were excited, maybe having so much fun they couldn’t help but squeal.
As the black dots continued to fall towards the ground and grow in size, Roy could finally make out a shape. The things looked like lizards! All four of their legs were sticking straight out away from their bodies. As they continued their descent, Roy could also see that there was a triangle-shaped flap of something, skin he guessed, attached to the creatures’ front legs. These flaps were billowing in the wind like little parachutes as the creatures glided slowly and skillfully towards the beach.