Allyson Longueira, the wonderful publisher of WMG Publishing, asked me to do a guest blog about Fiction River: Time Streams. The volume appears this next week and is full of great stories that I had the pleasure to select. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of the volume. But that makes me a normal editor, proud of his work like a parent is proud of a child.

FR Timestreams ebook coverSo instead of going on about that, and the great stories, as you might expect me to do, I’m going to leave the discovery of the wonderful stories in Fiction River: Time Streams up to you. What I’d like to yammer on about here is time in general.

None of us ever have enough time. That’s just assumed as a way of life. And it seems to work double around publishing houses where everything takes twice as long as planned and time deadlines don’t allow that extra time to happen. How’s that for a Catch 22? Trust me, it’s standard in publishing (and many other industries I’m sure).

I love time travel stories because it allows me to escape a lot of aspects about time that I don’t much like. A great time travel story allows me to leave the ticking clock of aging for a short trip to my youth. A great story can allow me to go back and change something that happened in my past that I wish I could change. And a great story can take me out of this time and deposit me safely in another world, another place, and yes, another time.

Time in real life seems like a constant to all of us, even though it often feels like a variable. But in great time travel stories, time is the real flexible element, the part that you can play with as a writer in ways that are not possible in real life. I love that about all time travel stories.

I suppose that’s why I write so many of them.

Almost a year ago we started the idea of Fiction River, a series of varied anthologies that people could buy or subscribe to. The publishing date of Fiction River: Time Streams seemed a long ways away. None of the stories were even written yet, and many, many things had to happen at different times during the last year to get us to this point.

But now, as time sweeps us all forward, Fiction River: Time Streams is now appearing. It will be available for years to come for new readers to find and enjoy the great stories in it.

But I would suggest you grab it now, as it goes past in the flow of time. Trust me, the time spent to read the stories will be very much worth it.

And, of course, that’s another entire subject: The value of time. Hmmm, maybe that should be a subject for another Fiction River anthology. I wonder what would happen if we let a group of professional writers loose on that topic.

A future idea. Maybe.

Time is that way, full of possible events.

But one thing is very certain. There are some great stories in Fiction River: Time Streams of possible futures and different pasts.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

PS: If you would like to sample a free audio selection out of Fiction River: Time Streams for a few short days, Scott William Carter’s great story, The Elevator in the Cornfield, is now up here. But time is very fleeting on it. Go listen now.

Fiction River: Time Streams is available in ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords and trade paperback from your favorite booksellers. The audiobook will be available in September.

Dean Wesley Smith is series co-editor of the Fiction River series and the volume editor of Fiction River: Time Streams.