Time Adjusters on Sein und Werden: The Joy of Encountering a Great Editor

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Having been in the self-publishing business for a number of years, it’s been a joy to work with a professional editor,  in the person of Rachel Kendall of Sein und Werden, who actually showed a personal interest in my work. I’m happy to announce that my novella, Time Adjusters, has been selected by Sein und Werden to be featured as a free download. Before submitting the story to Sein und Werden, I had rewritten parts of it and added additional material, including the introduction that includes references to William S. Burroughs. With the keen editing advice of Ms. Kendall, I believe Time Adjusters is better than ever.

Check it out here

Phil Clement reviews Time Adjusters

Here is a review written by Phil Clement of my novella, Time Adjusters:

The 1980s were a strange time for me. As much as I wanted to accept the amenities and corporate trappings, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.

Having not spent any time at all in the 1980s, it’s hard for me to entirely appreciate the sentiment in these opening lines from Bill Ectric’s Time Adjusters. That being said, even I can tell that Ectric’s novella captures the zeitgeist of the time, incorporating themes of social and economic change alongside a wider sci-fi narrative that imagines the lengths taken by large-scale corporations to stay ahead of the game. Unusually for long-form prose, Time Adjusters achieves this by inserting elements of the cut-up technique inspired by Tristan Tzara and the Dadaists.

It’s highly likely that more people have discussed or read about the cut-up technique than have attempted to read (let alone write) a full length cut-up novel. Generally speaking, because of the mechanical nature of its creation, long-form literature created in this way suffers from a staccato structure that badly affects readability. William S. Burroughs (who popularized the technique) recognized, in 1968, that cut-ups were best used exclusively to highlight inconsistencies in an otherwise linear narrative, writing that he would henceforth employ them “as an integral part of narrative in delirium and flashback scenes”.
It is in this vein that Ectric’s cut-up novella, Time Adjusters, adopts the technique immortalized by the likes of the Dadaists,Burroughs and Gysin. Brief interstitials composed of randomized text break up the narrator’s, otherwise linear, stream-of consciousness to create an approximation the fragmentation of time and space in a world torn ragged by fly-by-night insurance corporations. The story imagines a world in which these priests of litigation have stumbled across a new laser technology that uses orbiting satellites to intercept light waves that bounced off the Earth’s surface, bend these waves forward through a series of prism & mirror relays, and back to Earth, thereby capturing reflections of the Earth’s future topography, to analyse potential sites of floods, earthquakes, and other disasters.

“Nobody who needs insurance ever has it. ‘Epidemic of bad timing’ is what they call it in the news. They think their home is covered, but as soon as they have a damage claim, and the claims adjuster goes out to examine the damage, it turns out the policy has lapsed. We suspect the adjusters are pirating Time-Light technology and triggering retro-non-renewals when they detect a future loss.”

There’s no doubt that, owing to the hodge-podge nature of Ectric’s cut-up interruptions, Time Adjusters is a little structurally haphazard, but on the whole I enjoyed it. This pleasant and adventurous novella that offers a welcome departure from some of the more mainstream offerings that you’ll find on the shelves. Expect to be confounded and entertained.

When my eyes adjusted to the bar’s dark interior, I saw two bikers playing pool under one of those Budweiser carousels in which a team of Clydesdale horses pulled a beer wagon around in circles through the snow. There must have been an electrical problem with the carousel, because the light sometimes flickered inside it and the horses lurched forward, but when the light went dim, those horses stopped in their tracks. That’s just like me, I thought. I can sit here and go nowhere, or I can walk and walk, or drive for miles, but some kind of loop keeps bringing me back to nowhere.

Check out Phil’s blog here.

World-Wide Weird

Horia Ursu, also known as the Big Bad Bear, was guest blogger at Ecstatic Days (what a great name for a blog) this past week. The Bear is one of Jeff Vandermeer’s Romanian editors. He is active in the Romanian literary community and runs the Millennium Press. I hope he doesn’t mind that I used a portion of one of his photographs in my latest collage (above). He took the group shot of (left to right) Bogdan Hrib, Ann VanderMeer, Mike Haulica, Jeff VanderMeer, and Marius Dimitriu in Romania. For more good pictures and interesting information, check out Ecstatic Days.

I think it’s very cool that Jeff’s work is published internationally. This is especially exciting to me because I hope one day to travel to Hamburg, Germany to visit Erni Bar, who translated my book, Time Adjusters, into German.