The stories in this book first appeared in two other books, which are no longer in print, called Time
Adjusters and Other Stories (2005, iUniverse) and Space Savers and Other Stories (2007, iUniverse). While a few
copies of the old books may still be available online, I cannot recommend either of them, except maybe for
comparing and contrasting the early efforts to the newer, better versions.
It really goes back even further, to a chapbook I printed in helter-skelter fashion sometime around the
year 2000, inspired by brilliant flashes of do-it-yourself fruitfulness by a community of bloggers on Literary
Kicks. I discovered LitKicks soon after buying my first, second-hand personal computer, while searching the
internet for Jack Kerouac, but it was William S. Burroughs, with his fractured juxtaposition of shamanism and
time travel who really captured my imagination.
The assortment of message boards on LitKicks were like rooms in a free-form interactive dormitory, with
the windows open to fresh crosscurrents of culture and creativity. Visitors to these rooms were invited to
share prose and poetry, commenting on each other’s work and sometimes collaborating. As time went on,
trolling and spamming necessitated a change in the site's format.
Citing another reason for the format change, LitKicks creator Levi Asher said, “The boards were moving
too fast,” and, “it became obvious that some people were simply posting everything they wrote, unfiltered,
with no thought to revision or editing.”
Which seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ve since learned that even Kerouac revised the long,
typewritten scrolls of spontaneous prose that became On the Road and The Dharma Bums.
The stories in my homemade chapbook, Time fAdes inTo nexT (2002) were copied and pasted directly from
LitKicks, typos and all. My father-in-law’s printing business was not equipped for bookbinding, but he could
print the pages for me to fold and staple at home. The cover went through a couple of alterations. The font
varied, not only from one pressing to another, but sometimes even from story to story in a single book when
I went into “crazy quilt” mode on the word processor. “Just get it out there,” was my motto, “Even if it’s
At some point, I changed the name from Time fAdes into nexT to Time Adjusters, a play on words that is
key to the plot.
The much improved perfect-bound paperback edition of Time Adjusters (2005, iUniverse), contains fewer
typos and a more conventional format. It also contains what many people have said is my best and weirdest
tale, “The House and the Baboon.” On the other hand, upon rereading the title story, “Time Adjusters,” I
realized that the characters were not as developed as I imagined them. For example, while I had established
the motivation for the "phony priest" in my own mind, I had not conveyed it clearly to the reader.
The next book, Space Savers (2007, iUniverse) had the distinction of including a fine story by a guest author:
“Monkey On A Stick” by Bradley Mason Hamlin (collaborations were big at the time). You can still read
“Monkey On A Stick” at Brad’s web site, Mystery Island.
As in the first book, the title story of Space Savers had its problems. Mainly, it needed an ending that was
a strong as the story leading up to it. I believe I have accomplished that goal in the new edition. The second
book also contained stories that should not have been included at all. These were knock-offs used to give the
book more heft, a problem solved by combining both volumes under one cover and tossing out the extra
At first, I told myself it was too late do anything about those books, that I should forget about them and
move on to a new project. Fortuitously, in my routine daily perusal of blogs and E-zines, I was constantly
stumbling upon articles about authors who did revise their works from one edition to the next. I think most
writers recognize that their skills improve over time.
Edgar Allan Poe continually fine-tuned his poems and short stories over the years for subsequent printings in
magazines and anthologies.
Henry James revised a great many of his stories and novels for the New York Edition of his Complete Works
(1907 – 1909). James wrote a preface for each of the twenty-four volumes that comprise this omnibus.
Brian W. Aldiss chose to rewrite approximately one-fourth of his 1958 science fiction novel, Starship, before
releasing it in 2000 under a new title, Non-Stop.
In listing these examples, I am not attempting to place my literary status alongside these more venerated
authors. It is more a case of following their example.
I finally understood that I simply could not concentrate on a new project until I published the book you
are holding in your hands, the New, Definitive Edition of Time Adjusters and Other Stories.
|Time Adjusters and Other Strories
Preface from the book
by Bill Ectric