Temporally Out Of Order is an Anthology of short fiction edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, where all stories share a theme or idea of temporal dislocation – ordinary objects behaving temporally out of order and how they might change everyday lives.
It’s a wonderful idea that has spawned quite a few excellent stories. The Anthology was originally funded through Kickstarter (which is how I got my copy) and is now available via Amazon.
“It’s frustrating when a gadget stops working. But what if the gadget is working fine, it’s just “temporally” out of order? What would you do if you discovered your cell phone linked you to a different time? Or that your camera took pictures of the past?
In this collection, seventeen leading science fiction authors share their take on what happens when gadgets run temporally amok. From past to future, humor to horror, there’s something for everyone.
Join Seanan McGuire, Elektra Hammond, David B. Coe, Chuck Rothman, Faith Hunter, Edmund R. Schubert, Steve Ruskin, Sofie Bird, Laura Resnick, Amy Griswold, Laura Anne Gilman, Susan Jett, Gini Koch, Christopher Barili, Stephen Leigh, Juliet E. McKenna, and Jeremy Sim as they investigate how ordinary objects behaving temporally out of order can change our everyday lives. ”
~ Goodreads Description
This kickstarted anthology is like most anthologies, a mixed bag. There are no bad stories here, but I enjoyed some stories much more than others. Here are the stories I thought were the best – and enjoyed the most;
Reading Lists by Seanan McGuire.
This short story is EVERYTHING. Every visit I made to a library and the feelings of betrayal that I hadn’t discovered “this” or “that” book years before… or the wishing that lost opportunities had in fact been taken. It’s all expressed through this one, short, sweet story. I am sort of jealous of the character Meg! 😀
Salamander Bites by Elektra Hammond.
A French restaurant kitchen and temporal causality combine to ruin the life of multiple people. A story about the fragility of the relationships and businesses we build.
Black And White by David B. Coe.
Wow this is a powerful story. Expressing powerful feelings in me as the story progressed and One family’s dark racist past is revealed thanks to a temporally misbehaving camera.
Dinosaur Stew by Chuck Rothman.
Kids, they’re always working to push the boundaries we set for them. Bedtimes, Dinner Table Rules, Pet Dinosaurs… wait, what! This is a fun story featuring a slow-cooker and an egg!
Temporally Full by Stephen Leigh.
A tale of non-reconciliation and grief after the loss of a father. Also a car park that may ease the grief and suffering – or make it much more painful!
Notes And Queries by Juliet E. McKenna.
The joy in this story isn’t so much the plot (which is simple), but the sheer emotive expression of the characters the author conveys in such a short span of words. You can’t but help relate with the hopes and dreams of the two main characters. A joy to read.
I gave this Anthology 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads – but Goodreads has a weird scoring system. So If I had to give it a score out of 10, I’d give this Anthology a solid 7 out of 10. Like I said previously, all of the stories in this Anthology are good. But the stories listed above are the ones I found particularly enjoyable.