Title: On the Slide
Author: Richard Bowes
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Time travel, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 11th July 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
5th sentence, 74th page: Grainy black-and-white detectives in suits and hats chased a gunman over the roofs of early 1960s New York.
He’s trying to slide through time to fix up the mistakes of the past. But is he going to be able to do this on the set of a movie?
It took me a little while to understand what was happening in this story. Mostly because it’s a short story in a collection of urban fantasy tales, and it didn’t quite seem like a fantasy until about three quarters of the way through. And then I started to really pick up on the nuances and quiet storylines that I’m beginning to recognise in Richard Bowes’ short stories. It was at this point that I decided I really wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again with more awareness.
The idea of sliding through time isn’t anything new, but the dreamy and twisty way in which Bowes tells the story made it feel a little newer. There was something that made you feel like you were sliding in and out of time as you read the story anyway, so when that final transition occurred, it wasn’t so shocking. Rather, it felt… inevitable.
In a collection of tales of urban fantasy, this was a nice, contemporary spin. There wasn’t the same level of supernatural and preternatural characters and stories which I’m used to. And I really enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new… especially when it takes you pleasantly by surprise.