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From the Files of the Time Rangers Hardcover – September 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press (September 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930846355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930846357
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
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Review

"Rick's work is gold, woven out of the straw, blood, sweat, fire, and ice of his observation."  —Kage Baker, from the foreword


"Richard Bowes has been one of  the pioneers in the field of 'urban fantasy.'"  —Terry Windling, coeditor, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology series


"Bowes' From the Files of the Time Rangers is on my personal list of the best novels of 2005."  —Green Man Review


"If you have enjoyed Kage Baker's tales of 'The Company'...you should also enjoy Richard Bowes' Time Rangers."  —Analog

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Paul Witcover on August 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Richard Bowes' From the Files of the Time Rangers is an ambitious and satisfying novel by a writer of dazzling talents. What makes it so great, apart from the story itself, which I'll get to in a minute, is how it's told. Bowes presents snapshots of his characters and his plot in different times, and in realities that diverge from "reality" to varying degrees, scattering them through his narrative like pieces in a jumbled-up puzzle. Only gradually, as you read, do the pieces come together, and it's one of the joys of the novel to see its patterns and structure take shape before your eyes. Overall, the novel is speculative fiction, with gods and alternate histories and time travel, but Bowes pulls from other genres--mysteries, thrillers, noir, literary mainstream-so that Time Rangers is also a masterful mosaic of styles. You keep asking yourself, Can he really pull it off? But he does. Like the urbane Roman poet Ovid, to whom he tips his hat in an afterword, Bowes imposes order on chaos, and the results are glorious.

He's telling a story about America as a land of promises kept and broken, America as ground zero in a war between gods (mainly in Greek and Roman incarnations), humans, and strange machine intelligences of the far future who seem destined to replace them both. The machines are relentlessly pressing back the advent of their future triumph, so that it occurs earlier and earlier, while the gods are struggling desperately to hold on to what they've got. The Time Rangers of the novel's title are humans who serve the God Apollo; but there are also humans aligned with other gods, notably Mercury, Pluto (Godfather Death), Dionysus, Diana, and Ares (Lord Storm).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to love this book. I expected to love this book. But I just never warmed up to it.

The premise is great. It is, after all, stories told by and about Time Rangers, individuals who travel the time stream on behalf of the gods (we're talking Apollo and Diana here) to ensure that humanity makes the right choices and to tweak history into place. I was initially recommended this book because I loved Kage Baker's time travel stories, and it seemed to have some resonance with Gaiman's excellent American Gods: A Novel, and... well, I'm a fool for any kind of alternate history. So how could this fail?

_From the Files of the Time Rangers_ is told as a "mosaic" of stories, as the author describes in an afterward. Several such books manage to pull this off, the most successful of which is Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Kage Baker has also collected several short stories of The Company into book collections. I'm sure you can think of other examples.

But the key is that each of the winners is truly standalone but interlinked stories, each with clear beginnings, middles, and ends. This book made me feel as though an acquaintance had handed me a huge stack of photographs of people I didn't know. In my imagination, as I'd flip through the snapshots, I'd gradually realize that the people were connected, but they're still just photos of strangers.

Richard Bowes writes wonderful anecdotes and there are some characters that I really became very fond of, and I wanted to learn more about. But the "mosaic" was too random for my comfort, and there were too many snapshots of people I didn't know. I pushed my way through to the end of this book, but I had mostly lost interest halfway through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barzak on July 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Richard Bowes' From the Files of the Time Rangers is one of those novels that fans of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles and J.G. Ballard's Vermillion Sands should check into. It's a novel in stories, each story able to stand on its own, but all becoming something different together. It's a mosaic structure that Bowes uses to take trips into the various corners of Western history, and it works beautifully. If you like your contemporary fiction to reflect the roots of where we came from, this book is for you. At once science fiction in its conceit of time travel, and fantasy in its methods. Time travel for Bowes seems to be an act of memory and remembrance. After reading this book, you'll have a hard time forgetting it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This 'mosaic' novel was apparently pieced together form a series of short stories. The integration is surprisingly good and the quality of writing superior. Bowes presents an imaginative world in which time travel is possible both up and down history and also between alternative worldlines. There seems to be a main sequence and Gods, particularly the Olympian Pantheon, attempt to direct history. The overall thrust of the plot is the effort of some Gods and their human agents to direct the course of history in an ultimately beneficial way. Bowes' clever admixture of time travel, alternative history, and mythology brings something new to the genre.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom L. on November 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A terrific book from this author, a dizzying spin along the Time Stream through history and alternate history reminiscent of River World and the Amber series. And a character that stands above all in recent Urban Fantasy and deserves her own novel - Lady Olivia Wexford. I plan to marry Lady Olivia.
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From the Files of the Time Rangers
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