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Tim Powers

Tim Powers(1952- )
Declare and Last Call both won the World Fantasy Award. Several other of Tim Powers’ novels have been nominated for that award and other prestigious awards. Tim Powers’ website.

The Anubis Gates: A very generous book

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Tim Powers' fourth novel, 1983's The Anubis Gates, is a book that I had been meaning to read for years. Chosen for inclusion in both David Pringle's Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels and Jones & Newman's Horror: 100 Best Books, as well as the recipient of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 1984, the book came with plenty of good word of mouth, to say the least. And, as it turns out, all the ballyhoo back when was fully justified, as this really IS ... Read More

Nobody’s Home: A prequel to The Anubis Gates

Nobody’s Home by Tim Powers

Tim Powers’ fourth novel, The Anubis Gates, was such a perfectly crafted, fully self-contained work that I doubt very much if any of his legion of fans could have reasonably expected a sequel. Released originally in 1983, the book has gone on to become a classic of sorts in both the “steampunk” and “secret histories” fantasy subgenres, deservedly earning itself both the Philip K. Dick Award and a pride of place in Jones & Newman’s Horror: 100 Best Books. Showcasing Powers’ gift of seemingly limitless imagination combined with a staggering amount of historical research, the novel was a true dazzler; as I enthused after my initial read, its “way-out plot manages to conflate the brainwashed ‘ka’ of Lord Byron, a body-hopping werewolf, an underground criminal society headed by... Read More

Dinner at Deviant’s Palace: Orpheus and Eurydice with a post-apocalyptic spin

Dinner at Deviant's Palace by Tim Powers

Tim Powers is an author who seems to forever fly under the radar of popular readership. And there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason. His stories are well crafted, his prose lean and brisk, and his sense of the fantastic always vivid and invigorating. His fifth novel, Dinner at Deviant’s Palace, has all of these qualities on display. Recently brought back to life by Open Road Media after two decades out of print, the novel has everything a genre fan could love.

With echoes of Stephen King’s The Stand, Dinner at Deviant’s Palace is a post-apocalyptic novel in an American setting. The story occurs in the crumbling remains of L.A. long after a nuclear catastrophe, humanity having reverted to pre-industrial times. Cults roam the land, ban... Read More

The Stress of Her Regard: Haunting, creepy, and addictive

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

I thought I was sick unto death of vampire novels until I read this one. The Stress of Her Regard reminds me of Anne Rice at her best, some years ago, except with more action and less description of the carpeting.

The story centers around the nephelim, Lilith's brood. Seductive, serpentine, and deadly, they are succubi and vampires, draining blood and vitality from their hosts even as they inspire them to creativity. One of these beings attaches itself to Byron and Shelley's circle of expatriate poets, and the drama begins.

We see this through the eyes of gynecologist Michael Crawford, who gets drunk and puts his wedding ring on a statue's hand at the bachelor party — and finds his wife murdered the morning after the wedding, in a scene reminiscent, probably intentionally, of Dr. Fr... Read More

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories: Six doozies

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers

Tim Powers does not often write short fiction, but when he does, he comes up with doozies. The Bible Repairman and Other Stories contains a mere six stories, but each one is so well-crafted that it will stick in your brain, giving you odd jabs now and then, twisting a thought or causing goosebumps.

“The Bible Repairman” is about Torrez, a man who makes his living “fixing” Bibles: carefully “scorch[ing] out the verses the customers found intolerable, with a wood-burning stylus.” Particularly popular passages for excision include Jesus’s condemnation of remarriage after divorce and Jesus’s promise of Hell to stingy people. He also does custom repairs to cars, such as installing a “pain button” that the owner can push when the car refuses to start — foolishness, but it indulges his customers’ anthropomorphization of ... Read More

The Urban Fantasy Anthology: Not what I expected it to be

The Urban Fantasy Anthology edited by Peter S. Beagle & Joe R. Lansdale

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of most urban fantasy. I tend to find problems with almost every urban fantasy book I’ve tried to read. When I got this book in the mail, I kind of rolled my eyes and shot it to the top of my “to be read” pile so I could get it over with fast. I didn’t expect to actually enjoy this book. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d open this anthology and think, “hot damn, this is good stuff…” but I did. I cracked open this book, started reading, and shocked myself by enjoying it.

As with every anthology, not every story will be a hit. Where The Urban Fantasy Anthology seems to differ from many other anthologies was the fact that the stories all appealed to me differently due to their plots, not due to their quality, which is the case with many other anthologies. This book is fil... Read More

Hide Me Among the Graves: Clever “secret history” fantasy

Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers

Tim Powers’s The Stress of Her Regard was one of my favorite random used-bookstore discoveries. After reading it ten years ago, I talked it up to all my friends. It was out of print at the time, so I constantly lent out my own copy until the time I didn’t get it back. When I got wind of Hide Me Among the Graves, a sequel of sorts, I was thrilled and hoped it would be one of my favorite books of the year. So how does it stack up? Well, to be honest, I didn’t like Hide Me Among the Graves quite as much as I did The Stress of Her Regard. I’m not sure if it’s Powers’s style that’s changed or if it’s me, but more on that later.

In The Stress of Her Regard, a group of characters (including several prominent poets and some invented charact... Read More

Salvage and Demolition: A lot of weirdness to pack into 160 pages

Salvage and Demolition by Tim Powers

Richard Blanzac is a 40-year-old rare books dealer in San Francisco. While examining the contents of a few old boxes someone brought in, he discovers a manuscript with some poetry written by a little known San Francisco Beat poet named Sophie Greenwald who died in 1969. Shortly after, he is summoned to the bedside of an old lady in a nursing home. She’s the executor of the poet’s estate and insists that Richard burn the manuscript. After he leaves the nursing home, Richard discovers that there are others who want that manuscript, too. It gets really weird later when Richard is at home reading the poetry and is suddenly magically transported to a bar in 1957 San Francisco!

When Richard stumbles into the bar, he’s immediately met by Sophie Greenwald who insists that this is actually his second trip to 1957 today — he’d first arrived a few hours before and had just left before he arrived agai... Read More

More books by Tim Powers

Last Call — (1992-1997) Publisher: Enchantingly dark and compellingly real, the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Last Call is a masterpiece of magic realism from critically acclaimed author Tim Powers. Set in the gritty, dazzling underworld known as Las Vegas, Last Call tells the story of a one-eyed professional gambler who discovers that he was not the big winner in a long-ago poker game… and now must play for the highest stakes ever as he searches for a way to win back his soul.

Tim Powers book review 1. Last Call 2. Expiration Date 3. Earthquake WeatherTim Powers book review 1. Last Call 2. Expiration Date 3. Earthquake WeatherTim Powers book review 1. Last Call 2. Expiration Date 3. Earthquake Weather

Stand-alone novels:

book review Tim Powers The Drawing of the DarkThe Drawing of the Dark — (1979) Publisher: What does the famous Herzwesten beer have to do with saving the entire western world from the invading Turkish armies? Brian Duffy, aging soldier of fortune, is the only man who can rescue the world from evil — if only he can figure out why the beer was so important to a mysterious old man called the Fisher King, and why his dreams are plagued with images of a sword and an arm rising from a lake…

book review Tim Powers On Stranger TidesOn Stranger Tides — (1987) Publisher: The basis for the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides film starring Johnny Depp, On Stranger Tides is Tim Powers’s great Disneyland ride through pirates, puppeteers, treasure, and thrill-a-minute action that carries on from the start as it follows the exploits of John ‘Jack Shandy’ Chandagnac, who travels to the new world after the death of his puppeteer father to confront his uncle, who has apparently made off with the family fortune. During the voyage, he befriends Beth Hurwood and her father Benjamin Hurwood, an Oxford professor. Before they arrive at their destination, their ship is waylaid by Blackbeard and his band of pirates. With the help of the professor and his assistant, the captain is killed and Chandagnac is pressed into piracy and sorcery as Blackbeard searches for the Fountain of Lost Youth. Chandagnac, newly dubbed ‘Jack Shandy,’ must stop the evil plot and save Beth Hurwood.

book review Tim Powers DeclareDeclare — (2000) Publisher: As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, in 1963, he will be forced to confront again the nightmare that has haunted his adult life: a lethal unfinished operation code-named Declare. From the corridors of Whitehall to the Arabian desert, from post-war Berlin to the streets of Cold War Moscow, Hale’s desperate quest draws him into international politics and gritty espionage tradecraft — and inexorably drives Hale, the fiery and beautiful Communist agent Elena Teresa Ceniza-Bendiga, and Kim Philby, mysterious traitor to the British cause, to a deadly confrontation on the high glaciers of Mount Ararat, in the very shadow of the fabulous and perilous Ark.

book review Tim Powers Three Days to NeverThree Days to Never — (2006) Publisher: Albert Einstein’s groundbreaking scientific discoveries made possible the creation of the most terrible weapon the world had ever known. But he made another discovery that he chose to reveal to no one — to keep from human hands a power that dwarfed the atomic bomb.When twelve-year-old Daphne Marrity takes a videotape labeled Pee-wee’s Big Adventure from her recently deceased grandmother’s house, neither she nor her college-professor father, Frank, realize what they now have in their possession. In an instant they are thrust into the center of a world-altering conspiracy, drawing the dangerous attentions of both the Israeli Secret Service and an ancient European cabal of occultists. Now father and daughter have three days to learn the rules of a terrifying magical chess game in order to escape a fate more profound than death — because the Marritys hold the key to the ultimate destruction of not only what’s to come… but what already has been.

Other Collections and Novellas:

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By James P. Blaylock & Tim Powers

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Devils in the Details — (2003) Short stories. Publisher: Collects three original short stories, ”Through And Through” by Powers, ”The Devil In The Details” by Blaylock, and ”Fifty Cents” a collaboration by both authors together. Plus a foreword by Powers and an afterword ”Mexican Food” by Blaylock (this afterword comes in the form of a separate chapbook laid into the book).