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Tim Powers biography and books reviewed

Tim Powers was born in 1952 in Buffalo, New York; the son of an attorney. He graduated from California State University in 1976 and since then has written more than a dozen highly acclaimed and award-winning novels, including the Fantasy Masterwork The Drawing Of The Dark.

Powers's first major novel was The Drawing of the Dark, but the novel that earned him wide praise was The Anubis Gates, which won the Philip K. Dick Award, and has since been published in many other languages. Powers also teaches part-time in his role as Writer in Residence for the Orange County High School of the Arts. Powers and his wife, Serena, currently live in Muscoy, California. He has frequently served as a mentor author as part of the Clarion science fiction/fantasy writer's workshop.

Tim Powers reviews

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Brendan Doyle is a twentieth-century English professor who travels back to 1810 London to attend a lecture given by English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This is a London filled with deformed clowns, organised beggar societies, insane homunculi and magic. When he is kidnapped by gypsies and consequently misses his return trip to 1983, the mild-mannered Doyle is forced to become a street-smart con man, escape artist, and swordsman in order to survive in the dark and treacherous London underworld. He defies bullets, black magic, murderous beggars, freezing waters, imprisonment in mutant-infested dungeons, poisoning, and even a plunge back to 1684. Coleridge himself and poet Lord Byron make appearances in the novel, which also features a poor tinkerer who creates genetic monsters and a werewolf that inhabits others' bodies when his latest becomes too hairy.

"After I was introduced to Tim Powers through his Cold War fantasy, Declare, I attempted to track down his earlier works at libraries and used bookstores. Several proved impossible to find. Among these was the novel that first made him famous: The Anubis Gates, so eventually I gave in and bought a new copy. Now, having read it, I understand the reason for its rarity: no one in their right mind would relinquish a copy of such a marvelous book!" Fantasy Book Review

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Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers

London, 1862. A city of over three million souls, of stinking fog and dark, winding streets. Through these streets walks the poet Christina Rossetti, haunted and tormented by the ghost of her uncle, John Polidori. Without him, she cannot write, but her relationship with him threatens to shake London itself to the ground. Victorian London is a city of dreadful delight. But it is the history of a hidden city, where nursery rhymes lead the adventurer through haunted tunnels and inverted spires. And where the price of poetic inspiration is blood.

"My overall impression is this is a strong ghost-come-vampire novel, which should appease existing Powers fans, but might confuse newcomers. Perhaps when I read the prequel ‘The Stress of Her Regard’ (released in September) I will have a greater appreciation and understanding of this one." Daniel Cann, Fantasy Book Review

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The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence, but to avoid the deadly embrace of a vampire who has claimed him as her true bridegroom. Joining forces with Byron, Keats, and Shelley in a desperate journey that criss-crosses Europe, Crawford desperately seeks his freedom from this vengeful lover who haunts his dreams and will not rest until she destroys all that he cherishes. Told in the guise of a secret history, this long-awaited tale of passion and terror is finally back in print after over 20 years.

"This is an excellent novel and fully deserves the plaudits it already has, and it should enjoy new fans and a wider readership this second time around." Fantasy Book Review

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Three Days to Never by Tim Powers

Once finished I thought that I had read another highly creative and inventive story which suffered slightly from the padding I mentioned earlier. A slick Tim Powers thriller would really be something to behold. But I am sure this will please his fans and add many new ones.

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On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

All that being said, this was a fantastic novel, a rollicking pirate adventure which was at the same time routed in enough history and detail to make it believable. Magic and truth were very much fused together, and the overall theme of the book was one of hope and freedom, even while giving ample acknowledgement to the costs that freedom may have. John's conscious remembering of all his dead friends towards the end of the book was quite poignant, even as he himself noted that dangerous and violent though it was, he preferred the life of a buccaneer over the duller and more ordered one of civilization. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Despite some flaws, the style, energy, pacing and colour of the book is an absolute experience and one not to be missed, especially by lovers of all things piratical, indeed Jack Sparrow better move over since Jack Shandy would get my vote for captain any day of the week!

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Medusa's Web by Tim Powers

In the wake of their Aunt Amity’s suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and his sister, Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline’s return to the childhood home they once shared… Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film stars… As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat’s spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must unravel the mystery of the Madden family’s past and finally free them...

"The story concerns itself more with mystery and intrigue than out and out horror, but I really enjoyed reading as Scott and Madeline unravel more layers of Caveat's history. Fans of Powers will be thrilled. He is definitely on top of his game for this one. My only criticism is it could have been trimmed down a little here and there, but this is once again proof that Powers deserves his place at the top of fantasy authors today."

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