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1. The Stress of Her Regard
2. Last Call
3. Declare
4. Three Days to Never
5. On Stranger Tides
6. Earthquake Weather
7. The Anubis Gates
8. The Drawing of the Dark (Del Rey
9. A Soul in a Bottle
10. Expiration Date
11. Social Power and the Turkish State
12. The Ship of Ishtar (Planet Stories)
13. Strange Itineraries
14. The Power of the Cross
15. Dinner at Deviant's Palace
16. Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
17. Powers of Two
18. Hannah Brock's Mysterious Power
19. Kylix Power Solutions with Don
20. Night Moves and Other Stories

1. The Stress of Her Regard
by Tim Powers
Paperback: 432 Pages (2008-08-22)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892391791
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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 crisscrosses 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 more than 20 years.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ambitious premise and blasé writing style is a questionable combination which didn't work for me. No recommendation
The night before his wedding, Michael Crawford loses his wedding ring--and finds himself married to a jealous, powerful, ancient vampire. His journey to understand and break this connection leads him to follow suffers Keats, Byron, and Shelley and on a torturous path across Europe. The Stress of Her Regard is ambitious historical and literary fantasy of mixed success. Pulling from mythology, history, and Romantic literature, it's dense and wide-ranging, a challenging book for both reader and writer. But there's something in the writing style--which is skillful, but also deceptively straightforward almost to the point of being blasé--which makes the premise unconvincing: the narrative takes revised history and reinterpreted literature at face value, with inadequate justification and without addressing any of the reader's (and, presumably, protagonist's) reasonable doubts. The premise is unique, the plotting is smart (although the ending is at once too big and too simple), but nothing is real enough that the book hits home.

At least, that's how it went for me. I suspect that this may simply have not been the right book for me, at least not right now. I applaud Regard's ambition, and found it interesting and ultimately satisfying, but I never quite enjoyed the book, was never compelled to read it, and never accepted Shelley as vampire-haunted victim, Romantic poetry as remnants of a vampire legacy. I floated through the book vaguely dumbfounded, and I feel my opinion is too weak for me to recommend for or against the book either way. Regard was, for me, unsuccessful--may other readers have better luck!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite work by Powers.
f this book had been written by anyone except Tim Powers, I never would have picked it up. As has been well-established in my reviews, I generally don't like historical fiction or alt.history books very much. I absolutely dislike alt.history when it deals with either World War II or the Romantic poets. And I could see right from the cover that this is an alt.history ghost story in which the hero "aided by his fellow victims, the greatest poets of his day -- Byron, Keats, and Shelley." Oh dear.

But still, this is Tim Powers. I love Tim Powers. It would not be an exaggeration to say I have adored almost everything I have read by Tim Powers. So reader, I bought it anyhow.

And, well, it wasn't awful. I'm not sorry I read it. I'd even recommend it to a reader more forgiving of historical fiction than I. It may even be a good book for people who might not normally appreciate Tim Powers.

But I didn't adore it. & here's why:

First, the novel bogs down in its own complications. This is most evident somewhere about 2/3 of the way through the book and in the Venice scenes. I enjoyed the Venice setting, don't get me wrong, but the whole thing became overly complicated right around there-- the biggest effect was I mostly stopped caring about the history of the nephelim and how anyone would try to get rid of them and the columns and the eye. Mostly stopped-- there were some interesting elements there, but much too much of a muchness. At least for me.

Second, I found the book suffered from how much it focused on the big well-known historical figures of the poets. In other Powers' books, I seem to recall that while there were famous people included, they rarely played more than a bit part. Since I have my own very vivid notion of these people from my biographical readings, I found his portraits distracted me just a little from the wonderful imaginary toad/real garden thing his books always have to their credit. I also got tired of everyone being a poet. But there you go.

I would guess that it mostly suffered, for me, by comparison to his other works. Which is kind of a compliment, in a way.

Still enjoyed it. And I'd still recommend it. So there you go.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Vampire novels ever written
This is one of the greatest Vampire novels ever written.
I am so glad that this book is back in print. I have seen used paperbacks for upwards of $50 while it was out of print.
The story is based on the real lives of several Romance era poets and writers yet is woven into a story of vampires, as demi-god like monsters often called "muses" because of their hunger for art.
Tim Powers is the master of magic-punk.

2-0 out of 5 stars NOT HIS BEST
Tim Powers can be a great writer ("Declare" is top-notch) but this novel feels like journeyman work. Powers tries to tie together the lives of the great Romantic poets with Biblical and classical myths, vampire lore and a smattering of quantum physics. Sounds intriguing but the story fails on all levels. There's not much build, despite a few thrilling set-piece scenes; the main character is passive and boring, and Keats, Shelley and Byron never are fully fleshed (a shame since we're talking about some of the most flamboyant men in history). The plot seems more of a travelogue as we follow our characters around Europe, periodically watching them climb mountains, swim, eat stuff and drink lots of wine. Even at that, we get no real feel for the period. The mopey prose doesn't do justice to the output of the real poets, nor does it satisfyingly ape their Gothic atmosphere. Powers also does an unconvincing job of crafting his inhuman characters, forcing them to be all things to all people and finally resorting to long expository scenes to sort things out. Sorry I can't recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Tim Powers
This book is classic Tim powers at his best. Never accidently marry a Lamia. It will bring your life crashing down on you with the crushing weight of a statue. Powers always weaves a tapestry of local legends, myths, occult practices, wives tales and many other phenomina with history, fact and speculation. His books are always a wild ride. ... Read more

2. Last Call
by Tim Powers
Hardcover: 500 Pages (2008-09-30)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$50.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596061871
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Twenty years ago Scott Crane abandoned his career as a professional poker player and went into hiding, after a weird high-stakes game played with Tarot cards--but now the cards, and the supernatural powers behind them, have found him again.

Crane's father killed gangster Bugsy Siegel in 1948 to become King of the West, and to keep that power he is now determined to kill his son--and Scott Crane must cross the Mojave Desert to his father's Perilous Chapel in Las Vegas, and take up the cards again for one last poker duel in a deadly game to save his soul. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Genius
This book is genius, fascinating, exciting, deep, mind-blowing, epic-feeling, and wonderful. Probably a few other great things as well. Tim Powers is my new favorite author. I'd decided he was just based on and interview and descriptions of his books, but having read him, I am not disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars The world behind the neon you never hear about
The tarot is the predecessor of the modern playing-card deck, stripped of the twenty-two major arcana and suitable only for games. But for gamblers, especially the professionals, the cards are still a way into the world of very ancient magic, and where are more One-Eyed Jacks being turned over every minute than in Las Vegas? The Nevada desert has become the realm of the Fisher King, monarch over the archetypal deities, and every twenty-one years a secretively violent struggle takes place for the throne. Scott Crane, one-eyed son of the old King, finds himself a leading contender -- a "jack" -- and Ozzie, his foster father (who is also the Three of Swords), and Diana/Isis, daughter of the previous Queen of Hearts, get caught up in things, too. If this all sounds a bit strange and otherworldly, don't worry about it. Powers is the reigning king of the "secret history" novel and, as always, he makes it all work. The trick is to include judicious amounts of real history -- in this case, Bugsy Siegel's founding of the Flamingo Hotel Casino in the late 1940s and, with it, modern Las Vegas -- and then to warp it a bit -- as with the revelation that Siegel's murder was carried out by an upstart wanting to become the new King. The author also includes enormous amounts of poker lore, most of which also (apparently) has ties to the supernatural and to the Arthurian quest legends. His drawing of the characters, both human and not so human, is extremely vivid -- though the principal character is the city itself and the desert surrounding it. And I've always liked Tim's occasionally impish humor. For instance, of a character who hasn't smoked in twenty-five years: "Ozzie took a deep drag on the cigarette, and he didn't cough. His lungs remembered smoke, had evidently wondered what had become of it." Tim Powers remains of those few authors whose new books I buy automatically as soon as I hear about them, without bothering to read the reviews.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Let Down
I loved Anubis Gates and several other Tim Powers novels.This book seemed to be a perfect combination for me: Powers + mystique of cards + seedy underbelly of Las Vegas... but unfortunately it failed to impress.

I bought this book when it first came out.The first time I read it I felt it dragged on and didn't deliver to my expectations.Because I wanted to dive into the other 2 books of the loosely connected trilogy (Expiration date & Earthquake weather), I thought I'd give it another chance. I'm sorry to say, that it still left me wanting more.Not much really happens, especially compared to the brilliant plots of other Powers novels.

Some reviewers commented about needing a sense of humor to read this.The truth is you just need to have the patience to endure really corny humor (lots of puns!). Disappointed to say the least.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insert winning poker hand pun here
What a change of pace! Tim Powers reenvisions the great western epic with tbis book. It's interesting to me that one thing that never seems to come up in the reviews for this book is the overt link to truly great western cinema. Powers has a knack for drawing characters as intrisically flawed but strangely charming, much like the central characters of Leone's masterpieces or Clint Eastwood's "new" classic, Unforgiven. Much like the William Munny character of the latter, our hero Scott Crane is a retired "card"slinger with a weakness for booze that really sets him apart from the Mary Sues of the genre.
Aside from that, most of these reviews are spot on. Powers finds a way to tie together poker, Eliot's The Wasteland, the tarot, Jung, and mathematics. The only thing I would reccomend to any reader starting this out is if possible become acquainted with the basic symbolism of Tarot cards and the ranks of poker hands. Being a tarot enthusiast and amateur poker player myself, I know it certainly helped enrich and enliven the story for me, and helped me from getting lost in some of the intense poker scenes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Call
The Last Call is the most recent Tim Powers book that I read, and the oldest one chronologically (it was written in 1992, The Anubis Gates in 1997 and Three Days to Never in 2006).Power's trademark blend of fantasy, the occult, magic, conspiracy and suspense are very much in evidence here, in this tale of Scotty Crane.Abandoned as a young child and raised by Ozzie a professional poker player and master of so much more, Scott, now a 46 year old ex-professional Poker player and recent widower, finds himself caught up in a web of magic, murder and mayhem surrounding a very special game of Poker, played with a Tarot deck, that he took part in 20 years earlier against Ozzie's desperate pleading.Now Scott finds himself literally playing for his life against his true biological father who tried to co-opt him as a 5 year old and then won the rights to his body in the poker game 20 years ago in which neither was aware of the other's identity.

There are many references, both clear and obscure, to T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland", Arthurian legend, The Fisher King and more, but it is not necessary to be familiar with any of these works to fully appreciate or enjoy the novel.Nor is it necessary to be a poker player, although poker players and/or gamblers will get a kick out of the well-written poker scenes even though they are little more than background scenery for the main story.

The characters are well-developed, believable, and except for the baddies, likeable.The writing is excellent and the Las Vegas scenes and descriptions are great.If you like at least one of poker, Powers or magical fantasy, you will like this book.If you like more than one, you will like this book a lot. ... Read more

3. Declare
by Tim Powers
Mass Market Paperback: 608 Pages (2002-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$94.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380798360
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
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 nightmarethat 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.

Amazon.com Review
This supernatural suspense thriller crosses several genres--espionage, geopolitics, religion, fantasy. But like the chicken crossing the road, it takes quite a while to get to the other side. En route, Tim Powers covers a lot of territory: Turkey, Armenia, the Saudi Arabian desert, Beirut, London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow. Andrew Hale, an Oxford lecturer who first entered Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service as an 18-year-old schoolboy, is called back to finish a job that culminated in a deadly mission on Mount Ararat after the end of World War II. Now it's 1963, and cold war politics are behind the decision to activate Hale for another attempt to complete Operation Declare and bring down the Communist government before Moscow can harness the powerful, other-worldly forces concentrated on the summit of the mountain, supposed site of the landing of Noah's ark. James Theodora is the über-spymaster whose internecine rivalry with other branches of the Secret Intelligence Service traps Hale between a rock and a hard place, literally and figuratively. There's plenty of mountain and desert survival stuff here, a plethora of geopolitical and theological history, and a big serving of A Thousand and One Nights, which is Hale's guide to the meteorites, drogue stones, and amonon plant, which figure in this complicated tale. There's a love story, too, and a bizarre twist on the Kim Philby legend that posits both Philby and Hale as the only humans who can tame the powers of the djinns who populate Mount Ararat.

This is an easy book to get lost in, and Powers's many fans will have a field day with it. The rest of us may have a harder time. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read!
A terrific, scary, mind-bending, totally accomplished novel, richly imagined and packed with scenes that stay in the mind -- something hovering over Nazi-occupied Paris like a storm cloud, a monster of the great desert who's stuck on a ledge and being polished away by the winds, the great face-down on Mt Ararat. Love this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars an unashamed fan.
I've yet to meet a Tim Powers book that I don't love. So take that as a fair declaration of bias.

I've talked in reviews before about how alt.history often irritates me. The reason that I don't say that alt.history always irritates me is largely because of Powers. He does things that would make me nuts in the hands of a lesser author, and I'm still left deeply impressed.

Declare is a swirled mixture of speculative fiction, spy thriller, historical novel and occult history. What if djinn are real, and a major player in the course of human history? What if there is a different kind of secret history behind the screen? The novel made me care about those questions. Powers combines verisimilitude with a plotting skill that kept me reading without boredom or confusion.

Actually, the only negative thing that I can say about the book is to compare it to some of his other works. I really really enjoyed Declare, but it still doesn't come up (for me) to the standard of Last Call. There was something slightly messier about Last Call that also somehow made it bigger. There was more risk-taking involved. But these are not large objections.

It may be that Powers' work has a special appeal for the history buff. Part of the pleasure is certainly seeing historical detail rewoven into a different context. Still, I was far from an expert on Philby and the post WWII cold war era and I still got a lot out of the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but suffers from too many side notes
Over all this was a very enjoyable book. Powers slowly builds the suspense, weaving characters and plots together to create a pretty engaging book. His descriptions of post war Berlin and England and the deserts of the middle east were stunning. At times I could close my eyes and see those locals, really impressive. Haunting descriptions of the desert at night.

However, more than a few times Powers would mire the book in the minutia and back story of the various secret services. I can appreciate his deep research but often times Powers would go off for pages talking about this person or that person who had nothing to do with anything as ifto say "hey look at all this research I did on the cold war." To be honest his writing is so strong and the characters act so perfectly in their roles I don't need 10 pages of cold war back story that isn't relevant to the story.

Another point was the main character, Andrew, seemed pretty hollow & thin. A lot happens to him and he is a pretty capable agent, but only at the very end do we like him, do we understand him and even root for him. Maybe thats what Powers wanted, for Andrew to not really start to become his own "person" until the very end.

I wish there had been more descriptions as to the Djinn's. They were pretty well written and we understood who & what they were but we really don't dwell on them much. What did Operation Declare mean really? Did we every understand? How was Declare running for over 100 years? How did Thedora come to be the sole "boss" of Declare when it was clearly such a world affecting program. I could have used some loose string tying up I think.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept but misses its mark.
Pros: This books is extremely well researched and is built around a clever concept, seamlessly blending different genres together. It also has believable characters.

Cons: OVERWRITTEN (IMO, at least 100+ pages could have easily been cut out thereby improving the continuity of the story and maintaining the tension). Too many verbose descriptions without any memorable dialogue make the environment come to life but not so much the characters (whom although believable, are hard to admire).


2-0 out of 5 stars Much too Long
This is an exceptionally promising and challenging idea, but the book runs a good 200 pages longer than it needs to. Many of the scenes fail to move the plot forward or develop the characters, which is a real shame -- Powers is a master of atmospheric detail, and he has a talent for making the bizarre seem routine. Powers appears to have done so much research that he felt he had to include every detail he'd unearthed -- I am reluctant to say he's showing off, but there's simply too much here that doesn't advance the story or the ideas. ... Read more

4. Three Days to Never
by Tim Powers
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2007-12-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380798379
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, exciting, and fun.
This book is a solid entry in the espionage science fiction supernatural mystery thriller category. I don't know if there are any other books in that genre, so I'm going to say that this is actually the best one out there. And if it's not, I'd like to read the one that is.

Since it's a book by Tim Powers, there are some really fascinating historical tidbits and other trivia as well as some intriguing ideas and theories, plus a story that twists off in surprising directions and is populated by interesting characters, some of whom were real (and really interesting) people.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lost it's way
Interesting book with a fascinating concept of the impact of time, throw in Einsteinium physics along with Einstein, Kabbalah with the Mossad, Charlie Chaplin, and conflicted family relationships and you have a very cool mix... but just as your getting interested the book kind of loses it's way... it was a push to finish it, I stopped caring about the charactersor the outcome. Should you read this book? Yes but get it used.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
My first Kindle book.Loved it.

A few months back I read Declare.I expected to love Declare from the description and when I read the description of this book, thought I would like it much less.I found the exact opposite to be true.Declare had a lot of potential but did not come through.I found it fair to good.This book, I found to far exceed what I expected.It had the good characters, sense of magic and a good spy story that I thought I would find in the other book.

I would recommend both, but this one I highly recommend.Best time travel book I've read since Gene Wolfe's Free Live Free.

4-0 out of 5 stars I Never Put It Down
This is my first exposure to Tim Powers, and I'm impressed. It's a fast, interesting, complex read--a very ambitious undertaking, and he's able to pull it off.

I have to confess, even though I've read a lot of novels involving time-travel, they ALWAYS confuse me. So do movies.Even movies that AREN'T about time-travel can give me a time-travel headache! Years ago, we rented the Alien series, and the video store clerk had accidentally put the third movie in the case for the second movie. We watched it anyway, since we hadn't checked out the last movie yet. This was a big mistake, because the sequencing was all wrong and I kept thinking there was a time travel element! Which there wasn't. So not only was I terrified, I was completely lost. But anyway....

With this book, the time-travel aspect is really complicated (for me) but I just gave up trying to understand it and instead went with the story. I have no idea if all the time-travel details add up, but it doesn't matter, because I was highly entertained anyway.

The characters are well-developed. The 12-year-old daughter of hero Frank Marrity is not some cloying, irritating, bratty pre-teen, but an intelligent, normal, sensitive little girl. Daphne is smart without being precocious, sweet without being perfect. She and her dad, a widower, share a cozy, slightly off-center life: he's an English prof, they live in a slanting house with a lot of cats, and he slips booze into her oatmeal in the morning. (With a dollop of whipped cream, which actually sounds kind of good.) They have a somewhat loony, yet mystical, grandma/great-grandma, who dies at the beginning of the story. Her death sets all kinds of things in motion: she had been the caretaker of a time machine which, in the wrong hands, could destroy humanity.

So then you have the Bad Guys trying to get the machine, Frank and Daphne in danger and on the run, Einstein, the Mossad, a cantankerous brother-in-law, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Marrity's long-gone father (OR IS HE?), a blind woman who can see, lots of smoke and mirrors and bells and whistles, ghosts, evil spirits, guns, people who seem nice but really aren't and vice versa....all in all, it's a fun book.

If you want to read something different and exciting, this is a good choice. Don't worry about being confused! Unless you read the last chapter first and...oh, never mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review originally in Chizine
Forget The Da Vinci Code! If you want to plumb the depths of "secret history," then Tim Powers is your man. The World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Anubis Gates, The Stress of Her Regard, Declare, On Stranger Tides, and the Last Call trilogy (all of them classics in their own right) takes you to the mid-Eighties in this wild fantasy thriller.

Secret history (as opposed to alternate history) is the use of historical facts linked by "secret" or unknown connections and motivations. In Stress, we learned the true inspiration for the work of the Romantic poets, Byron Shelley and Keats. In Declare, the Philby spy case blended well with the John Le Carre-style Cold War shenanigans, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Arabian Nights. There is no Tim Powers novel that will not enthrall with its blend of fact and fantastic fiction, and there seems to be no end of intriguing real-life connections between demonstrably actual world events.

In Three Days to Never, Powers blends Albert Einstein and his estranged daughter, a missing Charlie Chaplin movie, Kaballah-trained Mossad agents, a mysterious deadly group known as the Vespers, astral projection, pyrokinesis, time travel, dybbuks, and a magical Baphomet head, into a potent concoction. When widower Frank Marrity and his precocious daughter Daphne learn about the death of Frank's grandmother, they are catapulted into a madcap search for a device Einstein invented and his daughter later perfected, a device the quirky scientist chose to suppress. But now opposing groups will stop at nothing (including human sacrifice) and use any weapon at their disposal (including a beautiful and blind psychic assassin) to locate the device. Strange magic is in the air as various planes of existence intersect around Frank and Daphne, who also share an unusual psychic bond.

The tone and pace here are noticeably zippier than in Declare, which reached an unusual level of depth and included painstakingly detailed research on every one of its main subjects, making the novel almost as convincing as a biography while still retaining the wild fantastic elements. The book was hefty, carrying enormous weight not only of paper, but of obscure facts and detailed chronology. Three Days to Never, while still engaging the senses and the imagination, moves at a faster clip and plays almost cinematically with its material. In fact, it's not difficult to imagine the novel as a screenplay, though who would be best suited to direct it is still a Powers fan's most stimulating debate (many think Terry Gilliam).

None of this is criticism, for after a singularly long and layered work like Declare, Three Days to Never tends to intoxicate with its head-spinning speed and its mind-blowing events. Here you have temporal paradoxes, ghostly intervention in everyday life, religious connotations, intelligence agents well-versed in the black arts and various forms of magic, and the occasional humorous invention, such as song snippets used to signal radio frequency jumps.

The 1987 Harmonic Convergence forms an appropriate backdrop for this winning, fast-moving fantasy that once again proves Tim Powers is the master of "steampunk," secret history, and his own form of Euro-based magic realism. A novel like this lingers long after the last page is turned simply because it makes such a convincing case for "more on heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy." Any Tim Powers novel will forevermore change your perception of fantasy, immensely for the better. And Three Days to Never is the perfect place to start if you're behind. ... Read more

5. On Stranger Tides
by Tim Powers
Paperback: 388 Pages (2006-03-31)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$13.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930235321
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good, would buy it again
It was a very good read but I don't think it was GREAT. It will make a great Pirates of the Carribean 4 movie (altered greatly I'm sure).I will try to read more of this authors books and I would not hesitate recommending this book but it's not going into my top 10 list of my favorite books.It was worth the money! Story moves fast and fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining
Checked this book out from the library, and it's one of the rare books that, upon finishing reading, I'm tempted to actually buy. It's fast, fun, and incredibly well-plotted.
Alliances between characters are forged and broken according to what each person wants and needs at any given time-- this may sound like a given for any story worth telling, but it reads like a Leone western, set against a magical Carribbean setting.
This is the first book of Tim Powers' that I've read; I look forward to reading more by him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic tale of fantastic piracy
After finding out that Disney had purchased the rights to 'On Stranger Tides' for use as the framework for the 4th 'Pirates of the Caribbean' film I became intrigued enough to finally track down a copy of the book, and I have to kick myself for not finding and reading this sooner - the book was fantastic.

From the beginning where the protagonist is pressed into the romanticized version of piracy to the twists and turns that the story takes - weaving actual historical events into possibilities that never happened - I was thoroughly mesmerized by Powers' storytelling capabilities.Having some knowledge of both the historical era of piracy in the Caribbean as well as the basics of what is now known as voodoo certainly didn't hurt in grasping some of the concepts that Powers floated at the reader, but I don't know whether not knowing these things would have been a hindrance in the telling of the tale.

I will say that I wasn't especially keen on the pacing of the very end of the book; as a grand rescue plan is put into effect the protagonist basically exhaustedly fumbles his way to a victory of sorts, and I'm not sure that this was quite keeping with the rest of the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Great book! A real page turner. The author writes seamlessly and keeps you waiting for more. Historical facts are accurate. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a spirited, lively read. I give it an A+++

2-0 out of 5 stars Decent Story, Awkward Writing
The basic idea behind the story is decent: Pirates! Voodoo! Damsels in distress! Adventure on the high seas!

But the writing was seriously lacking. Most of the characters aren't believable because they simply don't have personalities. Descriptions of exotic places are somehow bland, and the pacing is slow. There is careful attention to detail, but usually in places where it's unnecessary or only serves to slow down the action (in a fight scene on a ship, we're given more information about where on the ship the characters are located than what they're doing). The author seems to have spent more time carefully setting up the reveals of plot points that will be obvious to most readers than he did creating believable characters or settings.

Also, for some reason Powers repeatedly uses the characters' last names or full names, as if the reader runs a risk of forgetting who they are, which gives parts of the book the feel of a poorly-written newspaper article.

I really, really wanted to like this book, but it turned out to be tiresome and awkward. The most disappointing thing is that it had the potential to be a really good story but the strange writing style ruined it. ... Read more

6. Earthquake Weather
by Tim Powers
Hardcover: 500 Pages (2008-09-30)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$50.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596061898
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Janis Cordelia Plumtree has killed the King of the West--or at least one of the personalities in her head has killed him, and the other personalities are resolved to restore the king to life. But first Plumtree must escape from a mental hospital with ally Sid Cochran, a winemaker who believes that his wife was killed by Dionysus, the Greek god of madness and wine.

Their quest for redemption and vengeance leads them to San Francisco, where they find themselves in the midst of a supernatural battle among several magicians-who-would-be-king, and finally to a tumultuous face-to-face confrontation with the god on the cliffs below the Golden Gate Bridge.Amazon.com Review
The Fisher King of the American West, Scott Crane, has been killed,and 14-year-old Koot Hoomie Parganas's perpetually bleeding wound makes himthe most likely candidate for a supernatural successor. But the king'sbody has not yet begun to decay, and as long as there is a chance that hecan be restored to the throne, his right-hand man, Archimedes Mavranos, iswilling to risk all to revive Crane. But to do that he'll need the help ofthe woman who killed Crane, plus that of a recently widowed winemaker whohas been touched by the god Dionysus, and the cooperation of Parganas'sreluctant foster parents. Chances are they'll all die in the process, butunless Crane can be revived they'll probably all die anyway. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't forget to pack your .45 and your palindromes
Ordinarily, when I write a review -- and I write a great many of them -- I try to summarize at least the salient points of the story and the plot, both to identify the book and to try to rope in potential readers. But I'm having a hard time doing that with this book; there's just so much story here. It's the third volume of a trilogy: Expiration Date was not a sequel to the award-winning Last Call but a work parallel to it; Earthquake Weather is very much a sequel to both the earlier works at once. Scott Crane, who won the poker game of a lifetime to become the Dionysian King of the West, is dead, murdered by Janis Plumtree -- or by one or all of the entities with whom she shares her head. Nature abhors a vacuum and the Earth needs a King, and it had better happen fast or all of the West Coast will be paying the price with, droughts and earthquakes and phylloxera. Will the new King be Kootie Parganas? He's now living with Pete Sullivan and Angelica Elizalde and he's matured considerably in the past couple of years, mystically preparing himself for the job. Or can Scott Crane, somehow, be summoned back to this world? Sid "Scant" Cochran, whose wife died in extremely strange circumstances the same night the King was stabbed in the throat with a trident, meets Plumtree in a psychiatric ward run by the sanctimonious Dr. Armentrout (an unlikable villain who is new to the story but who has much in common with the ghost-eaters of the previous book), and the two escape to join -- or be drafted into -- Scott Crane's tiny army of loyal retainers. And that's only the tiniest tip of this literary iceberg. The myths come thick and fast, the landscape of San Francisco has never been stranger, the Zinfandel is ready to be decanted, the old truck changes from blue to red, and the Old Gods are waiting in the cellars of the Winchester House. You'll have to pay attention to get every last drop of enjoyment out of all this, but it's definitely worth the effort. But I warn you: Don't even think of picking up this book until you've consumed the previous two.

Every heavy reader -- even those who depend on published book review sources to pick and choose among all the newly released titles -- nevertheless will admit to having several authors whose newest works they pick up automatically, without recourse to reviews, or even public relations jacket copy. I'm no different and up near the top of my own short list of "automatic" authors is Tim Powers, the master of the "secret history." Whatever bizarre take on our theoretically real world he's about to embark on next, I wanna be there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
I definitely didn't know when I read this that there were other related books, I just picked it up as the title looked interesting. It didn't leave me too hopelessly lost or anything, as the main plot thrust was having to replace a dead guy as the Fisher King.

The new one is a kid everyone is looking for, complete with supernatural type weirdness around.

1-0 out of 5 stars An unworthy sequel to Last Call
This novel sucks. That's all I'm going to write about it.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is NOT for the beginner
I'll say this now, if you're sitting here shopping for new books and you've heard a little bit about this Tim Powers guy and you want to give him a shot because everyone says he's really good (and he is) and this is the book that you want to use as an introduction to him . . . you're doomed.There's just no good way to put it.For the newcomer, unless they're really good at reading between the lines, this book is going to come across as impenetrable.Not that it isn't good, but new readers are going to feel like they've missed something.Powers doesn't do many sequels to his books, most of his stuff is standalone, but this time he decided to merge some threads from other novels.In the novel prior to this Expiration Date, he introduced some urban fantasy stuff about ghost swallowing and the general rules about haunts and so on, as well as introducing Koot Hoomie and his adopted parents, Pete Sullivan and Angelica.Meanwhile in the now classic (and written some time ago) Last Call, Powers told the story of Scott Crane and how he became the Fisher King, the ruler of the West Coast (and so on and so forth).So this novel is basically a sequel to both those novels as Powers rams the two plotlines together.What happens is that Scott Crane is murdered by a woman apparently possessed by ghosts and Kootie is tapped to be the next king.However he's too young and not really prepared for it and so one of the Crane's loyalists, Arky, comes up with a plan to restore him to life.Confused yet?What follows then is a narrative that seems both ponderous and breakneck as new characters start to mingle with old, with two new catalysts for the plot, Janis Plumtree (the murderer) and Sid Cochran, who just lost his wife and has some history with the god Dionysus.Plumtree is supposed to be possessed but is mostly just someone with Multiple Personality Disorder, constantly switching from one to the other (in a way that reminded me of Crazy Jane from Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol run, except that Plumtree's don't have superpowers).The two of them meet in a mental hospital, but escape due to a convenient earthquake and from there hook up with the rest of the cast.It's hard to review this book without describing most of the setup of the plot because if I don't I feel like I'm losing context but at the same time there just seems to be no way around it.Powers' streamlining of the two earlier books is neat and fairly seamless but all the fancy stuff just seems to come at the expense of his normally complex plotting and we're left with something turgid, with the characters lurching from one scene to another.As long as you keep a handle on the main plot, you're all right but once sideplots start getting dragged in things start getting confusing since it's hard to say how relevant they are.Plus, a lot of the plot seems to consist of "plot coupons" where the characters have to gather special objects that will help them for no other reason than the plot requires it.Some of this confusion might be because I haven't read Last Call in years (or Expiration Date, though that was sooner), so that the stuff with the god Dionysus isn't too clear and I really wasn't clear what significance Armentrout had to the plot, except he was somebody to chase the other characters around (and that mannequin thing was weird), and I really don't know who half the other nameless people who were chasing the cast around were, either.Basically this is a book where you just have to "go with it" and hope that it will all make sense by the end and Powers is enough of a professional to keep things moving adequately so that you don't spend too much time worrying about the stuff that just doesn't seem to work.But while his other books felt tighly constructed and taut, this one has a more rambling feel to it and suffers a little bit for it.Not that there aren't bright spots, the relationship between Cochran and Plumtree (and her several personalities) is cute, the constant barrage of nifty ideas about ghosts is always fun, and I like how Powers does urban fantasy effortlessly, so that you could believe all this magic stuff is going on right alongside the "real world".The down side to all of this is that instead of getting a dazzling book (which is what we're used to) we get something that's merely "good".And as an introduction to the world of Tim Powers, it's terrible, but as a nice continuation of the lives of characters we've already met, it does that well and for longtime readers it might be worth it just for that.

3-0 out of 5 stars good - but I expected more....
I loved his previous two books -- Last Call and Expiration Date -- but found Earthquake Weather, where the ghost gobbling and Fisher King storylines have been merged, heavy going at times. Set in the American West, this book still manages some classic Powers moments and should still be read if you're a fan.

Ensure you read Last Call and Expiration Date first - both are highly recommended. If you don't really enjoy them, you'll probably want to give this one a skip. ... Read more

7. The Anubis Gates
by Tim Powers
Paperback: 400 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441004016
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A best-selling novel of time travel by a two-time winner of the Philip K. Dick Award combines action and adventure with the surreal and bizarre. By the author of Dinner at Deviant's Palace. Reprint.Amazon.com Review
Author Tim Powers evokes 17th-century England with acombination of meticulously researched historic detail and imaginativeflights in this sci-fi tale of time travel. Winner of the 1984 PhilipK. Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback, this 1989edition of the book that took the fantasy world by storm is the first hardcover version to be published in the UnitedStates. In his brief introduction, RamseyCampbell sets The Anubis Gates in an adventure context, citingPowers's achievement of "extraordinary scenes of underground horror,of comedy both high and grotesque, of bizarre menace, of poeticfantasy."

The colonization of Egypt by western Europeanpowers is the launch point for power plays and machinations. Steepingtogether in this time-warp stew are such characters as an unassumingColeridge scholar, ancient gods, wizards, the Knights Templar,werewolves, and other quasi-mortals, all wrapped in the organizingfabric of Egyptian mythology. In the best of fantasy traditions, thereluctant heroes fight for survival against an evil that lurks beneaththe surface of their everyday lives. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (106)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mostly excellent
Held my interest almost all the way through, but started meandering a bit toward the end. A unique book, though, written by someone with real talent. I'm looking forward to reading more of his work.

1-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could jump back in time to stop Tim Powers from writing this book.
I...HATED....THIS....BOOK.First off, I cannot for the life of me understand how this book got so many great reviews.The one word that kept flashing in my mind is BORING.I stopped every few pages, completely bored with the long, detailed, dragged-out sentences that Powers wrote, unable to continue.I kept going online to reread the reviews, thinking that it must be me alone who doesn't like this book.Then people kept talking about the "amazing end"!!What?????This book is random.The paragraphs within the chapters jump from one subject to another.One minute, you think you're reading about the one character...but you're not.It's awful.There are so many characters, you can't keep them straight!Powers goes off on some weird adventure, but he leaves the reader behind.You can't keep up with his insane thought process and how could you and why would you want to because this book was SO BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought the end would really give me something to like about the book.BUT IT MADE NO SENSE!!!The whole book is nonsense and stupid.I'm sorry to give this book such a harsh review, I wanted to like it.I've wasted hours of my life away reading this garbage.I thought there would be a connection to Egypt and that's what interested me in the begining...the title.But believe me, there is nothing interesting about this book.I almost felt like I got the wrong version of the book....it's gotten so many good reviews.Oh well, don't waste your time, unless you like reading some weird story that goes into the most ridiculous details you could ever imagine.Awful, just awful.

2-0 out of 5 stars Really uneven and not as good as the reviews make it out to be
I was excited for about half of the book--interesting characters, unique plot twists, fun action sequences, original premise.Then it just went on and on as if the author was trying to make it as complicated as possible or didn't know how to end the thing (or both).The book is overwritten and should have been wrapped up about 100 pages earlier.This is nowhere near as good as the the reviews here lead you on to believe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rollicking Time Travel Adventure!
The Anubis Gates is one of those books that is just downright fun and entertaining. Without giving too much away, it's a story about a character from 1983 (Brenden Doyle) who travels back to early 1800's England with a group of colleagues to hear a lecture by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This may not sound exciting at first, but this event is just the starting point to a wonderfully grand adventure for the main character. To say any more about the plot would just spoil the surprises in store for any prospective reader.

There is much to like about this novel. The author does a great job depicting an interesting and often humorous underbelly to London society, while at the same time framing events within a real historical perspective. Add to that a cleverly interwoven Egyptian mythology scheme, gypsies, body-switching werewolves, and some weird magic and science for a result that is highly entertaining. Also worth noting is that in this novel, the whole time travel paradox issue is deftly (in fact, masterfully) handled.

Only briefly toward the end of the novel does the story get maybe a little too funny in the way it tries to wrap things up. Nevertheless, the ending is entirely pleasing. Be prepared for fun and surprises. I definitely recommend this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars THE ANUBIS GATES

Tim Powers has crafted a unique time-travel story which proves to be multifaceted. Alternate history, magic, a werewolf, poets, beggars, body swapping., and a multitude of strange events fill every page of this colorful novel.

Having never read Tim Powers I wasn't sure what to expect, I hoped for the best and my wish was answered. The story is bright, witty, and very well written. Mr. Powers prose flow effortlessly, he has complete command of the English language and a cool sense of timing, and not to mention the vivid imagery his distinctive voice creates.

Elegant and effective.

A time-traveling masterpiece.
... Read more

8. The Drawing of the Dark (Del Rey Impact)
by Tim Powers
Paperback: 323 Pages (1999-11-16)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345430816
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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 . . .Amazon.com Review
Del Rey's Impact line introduces a list of titles that have "slipped through the cracks and become buried treasure." The re-release of Tim Powers's The Drawing of the Dark (first published in 1979) is indeed worthy of the imprint. It was his third novel and first foray into the fantasy genre.

It is the year 1529 and Brian Duffy, a soldier of fortune, finds himself in Venice. A late-night confrontation with three brothers over a matter of honor convinces Brian to find greener pastures. After a chance meeting with an old monk named Aurelainus, Brian finds himself hired on to be the bouncer at the famous Herzwesten brewery and inn (formerly a monastery) located in Vienna. During Brian's voyage from Venice to Vienna, he crosses the Dolomite Mountains, only to meet assassins who attack him. Dwarves and creatures Brian knew only from mythology assist him in vanquishing his attackers.

The mythical Fisher King is a central character in The Drawing of the Dark, and cameos by the Roman god Bacchus, the Lady of the Lake, reincarnations of King Arthur and Sigmund from Norse mythology, Merlin, and hosts of soldiers, including Vikings and Swiss mercenaries, add to the otherworldly feel. The legendary heroes are allied against legions of soldiers from the Turkish Ottoman Empire under Suleiman and his wizard Ibrahim, who try to repeat the successes of their 1521 and 1526 invasions of eastern Europe by laying siege to Vienna. But just what is their objective? The city or the beer?

Tim Powers does a great job of tying the historical invasion of eastern Europe by the Turks to a rollicking, fun-filled fantasy, which offers its own reasons for the invasion and a wonderful cast of heroes that ultimately repel the invaders. This is a must-read for Tim Powers fans and for readers who have yet to delve into his rich, wonderful worlds. --Robert Gately ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
My brother gave me this book because I brew beer...inspite of that I read and really enjoyed this book. Great mixture of history and fiction.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fast fun fantasy
If you like your fantasy to be fun and fast moving then this is the book for you.

Powers has always had an almost frantic imagination. In some books he reigns it in tight and focuses it on single ideas, but in others he lets it all out and throws everything in the melting pot.

So here we get the seige of Vienna, The Fisher King, Merlin, King Arthur, Sigurd, drunken Vikings, and, best of all, it is all tied together through an ancient brewery, where the beer is quite literally "The Food of the Goods."

It moves quickly, but is let down slightly by a rushed ending.

Not Power's best written book, but still great fun.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK... Worth a Read... But Powers Has Much Better to Offer
The above says it all. The characters were quite intriguing, and you do get a good sense of the historical picture. The story was good, but not first-rate. Way too much graphic violence (for my taste), and a lot of it just didn't seem necessary except that it held to the story line and history of that time period. I am a huge Tim Powers fan and so far this is my least favorite. Read "The Anubis Gates" and "The Stress of Her Regard" instead.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
After seeing the positive reviews on Amazon, combined with what appeared to be a very intriguing premise, I was very excited to read Powers' "The Drawing of the Dark."I finished reading it earlier today, and as the 2-star review indicates, was not much impressed with the book and am surprised at the praise this novel has garnered.It has a few significant flaws.

First, the dialogue is very generic and flat.It does nothing to make the reader feel like he (or she) is in 16th century Vienna--where the main action takes place--to say nothing of evoking Sigmund, King Arthur or any of the various other mythical figures and far-away peoples who are involved in the story.It could really be from any fantasy novel, in any setting and does nothing to distinguish the novel, the characters, or the setting from any other fantasy novel.

Second, the characters do not show much depth and appear to have been taken directly from a vault of fantasy novel cliches.There's a wise old wizard who makes a grand show of not revealing what he knows, an evil wizard from the East, and a reluctant hero.None show any significant character depth and all appear to be pretty much typecast.I didn't find anything that connected me emotionally to any character.

Third, the plot does not make much sense.As the Amazon and other reviews state, the story is based around the Ottoman Empire's siege of Vienna in 1529, which is portrayed as the decisive battle between the East and West (the West, predictably, are the good guys).However, by overlaying a fantasy story involving long-ago and frequently pagan heroes and myths on this historical battle, the real political, military and religious factors that led to the Siege of Vienna are mooted.For example, the reader can hardly believe that Odin shows up to defend Christendom or cares about the Holy Roman Empire.So why are the East and West fighting?This is never explained.In fact, this whole dynamic is made even more confusing by the fact that a group of Vikings show up to defend Vienna against Surter and the armies of Muspelheim, which in Norse mythology is located in the South not the East!

The book does has some good points.It moves at a good pace, has some nice moments of humor, and I have to admit that the premise is a pretty neat idea.Had I read it as a teen--before I really new what good fantasy writing was like--I probably would have liked it.But the novel's overall execution is not very good, and it pales in comparison to the better fantasy novels that are available.I would recommend spending your hard earned money on other, better books: Earthsea, Neverwhere, Lud-in-the-Mist, and so on.Perhaps Powers' other books are better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beer, Vikings, and Vienna.
Although a fan of Powers for many years, this was the first chance that I have had to read one of the pre-The Anubis Gates novels.

Setting the stage for his long career writing secret histories, The Drawing of the Dark tells the real story behind the siege of Vienna. It does so through the eyes of Brian Duffy-- mercenary, drunk, and one-time lover of Epiphany. When he accepts the job of bouncer at the Zimmermann Inn, home of Herzwesten beer, he has no idea that in doing so he is peeling back the face of the universe that he thought he understood.

Powers keeps ideas that could be seen as cliche fresh through his use of humor, character, and historical detail. There is never a retread feel in one of his books. Last Call is still my favorite of his work, but The Drawing of the Dark is a worthy addition to the rest.

Recommended for people who enjoy steampunk, alternative history, and who are generally fans of Tim Powers. ... Read more

9. A Soul in a Bottle
by Tim Powers
Hardcover: 83 Pages (2006-11-15)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$16.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596060751
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A first edition of a 1968 book of poems, with a sonnet that appears in no other copy -- a mysterious girl with a special fountain-pen, who needs a special favor -- and an old woman who warns used-book dealer George Sydney that helping the girl he's fallen in love with will mean that he will never have fallen in love.Hollywood Boulevard, with its bars and used-book stores and the legendary Chinese Theater, is the psychic killing ground where Sydney must learn the rules of an old supernatural rivalry -- and choose to save either the woman he loves, or his soul. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bottled Powers
`A Soul in a Bottle' is a Tim Powers ghost story. That sentence should send shivers of delight through any Powers' fan, for he is the absolute master of the ghost tale. The ghosts that inhabit his various works of speculative fiction are practically his signature, giving his stories a disturbing, "through the looking glass" quality that set them apart from anything else out there. His ghosts sometimes seem to be the connecting link forming the cosmic glue of the Powers' universe, tying together his widely varied works - they are the brushstrokes of a master. All of which makes me ponder why this Powers' ghost story is so - how shall I say, spiritless?

`A Soul in a Bottle' is more an idea than a story. It is a mere sketch. The editorial review calls it a novella, but that is inaccurate - it is a short story, and not a very long one at that. Why it was sold as a stand alone book (with a mere 82 pages of extra large print) is a mystery, as this story wouldn't even feel finished as part of a collection. Had it been given room to grow, to mature, to stretch out a bit, it may have become another eerie Powers' masterpiece. The elements are there - I can see the ghost of a brilliant idea in it, but it never grows into its potential. Powers shows us the relationship between the protagonist and the ghost, but he never really makes us feel it, and what is the point of a ghost story that you cannot feel?

If you are a Tim Powers fan as I am, you may still want to read this one to glimpse what might have been in this stillborn attempt of a fine idea. Check it out of a library, though, and save your money for Powers next effort.

Theo Logos

1-0 out of 5 stars Powers must be joking
While I like Tim Powers and have read most of his books he must be joking to release an 83! page novella and try to charge $15 for it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short and Complete
More a short story than anything else.It's a good distillation of Powers' style, but leaves out too much character and background.Good twist, but more for the Powers devotee than a casual reader.Go with his full-length novels to get the best sense of Powers' capability with fantasy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just a short story
This is literally just a single short story attractively presented in a hard cover book -- you're paying for some drawings that don't add much to the experience.I was slightly annoyed that there was one or two typos, since it can't be that hard to proofread something with as few words as this.If you like Tim Powers, you'll like this, too, but it's not his best short story.If you haven't read his short stories, you're better off with "Strange Itineraries," which more and better stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars In homage to the past
Bookseller George Sydney has always, when going down Hollywood Boulevard, liked to stop at Graumann's Chinese Theater. Once there, he places three pennies on the tile of actress Jean Harlow. The day comes when a mysterious girl notices his ritual, and George is immediately smitten. For days he seeks her out; all Sidney knows of the girl is 'I'm shy.'
In the meantime, shopping for books, George discvers a volume of poetry written in 1968, whose author later committed suicide. Adding to its value is the poet's rarely seen signature.
Finally, we meet a third character, a woman in her seventies, who seems to be watching George and the girl.
Powers is a terrific storyteller, with an evocative style that quickly enfolds the reader. This story held a gothic feel for me. At its end, you are left wondering to whose soul the title is referring. Each day brings choices; we can only pray the ones we make do not cost more than the value of what is gained.
JK Potter's illustrations are a perfect match for the novella. Potter is always superb.
'He crouched beside Jean Harlow's square and carefuly laid one penny in each of the three round indentations below her incised signature,then wiped his wet fingers on his jacket. The coins wouldn't stay there long, but Sidney always put three fresh ones down whenever he walked past this block of Hollywood Boulevard.'

... Read more

10. Expiration Date
by Tim Powers
Paperback: 384 Pages (2007-03-20)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$4.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765317524
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Los Angeles is filled with ghosts -- and half-ghosts, and ghost hunters, and ghost junkies -- chasing each other in a mad quest for immortality. As a series of disasters strikes Los Angeles, a young boy inhales the last breath of Thomas Edison, and becomes a precious prize in a deadly hunt for the elusive vital spark. Brimming with the wild imagination and heart-stopping escapades that won Tim Powers the World Fantasy Award, Expiration Date is an exuberant and inventive tale from one of fantasy's most original talents.
Amazon.com Review
Koot Parganas has stolen the ghost of Thomas Edison,preserved in a hidden glass vial.Now he's on the run through the darkunderside of Los Angeles, among characters who extend their lives andenhance their power by catching and absorbing the ghosts of the recentlydead.Like The Anubis Gates and On Stranger Tides, this fantasy has an astonishing power that remains long after thelast page is turned. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars L.A. CIGAR -- TOO TRAGICAL
There are two cities in the world where it's easy to believe that almost anything might happen. One is London, and Neil Gaiman and China Mieville can tell you all about what happens there. The other is Los Angeles (with Las Vegas, perhaps, as a distant psychic suburb), and Tim Powers (who lives in Orange County) is its resident expert. To anyone who knows the City of Angels, it doesn't seem that farfetched to be told that most of its wandering street people are actually solidified ghosts, too crazed to know they're dead. And there are ghost-sensitives, like Pete Sullivan, twin of the late Sukie, son of A.P. (now a ghost himself, in the ocean off Venice Beach), and itinerant electrician who is finally returning to L.A. after having fled the place six Halloweens before. And like Dr. Elizabeth Elizalde, whose therapeutic séances got out of hand and caused one of her patients to explode, but who has access to the vast ghost-related folklore of the Hispanic community. And like a number of local connoisseurs who capture and "eat" ghosts by inhaling them, including Loretta deLarava, for whom the Sullivan twins used to work as stage hands and ghost-bait. Harry Houdini, it turns out, was a prominent sensitive who knew how to protect himself and managed not to be captured when he died -- unlike Thomas Edison, whose last breath was bottled by his friend, Henry Ford, and who therefore never dissipated. Edison is key to the story, in fact, when he becomes, . . . let us say, closely associated with eleven-year-old Kootie Parganas, who witnesses the torture-murder of his parents after he steals the old inventor's ghost and subsequently goes on the run. Edison is the great prize of the season, and Kootie's got him, and everyone wants him -- and they don't care how they get him. Powers likes start his stories in media res and drop the reader right in the middle of things -- in this case, with Kootie trying to stay alive while he figures things out -- which means you'll be a little confused at first. Not unlike the story's protagonists, usually. The players lifelines will crisscross as they move about the city, which serves as the canvas for Powers's sprawling work. There's a lot of history in Los Angeles and the author makes the most of it. And you can believe most of it, because even when he makes things up it's difficult to see where the line between fact and fiction is. All the stories Edison tells Kootie are (mostly) true, too; Powers, in fact, makes a point of never actually rewriting history -- only adding to it. It's also common to come away from a Tim Powers novel feeling a bit paranoid, checking over your shoulder for unusual persons who might be showing an interest, and being aware of odd sounds in the night. Especially burping pigs.

5-0 out of 5 stars an odissey of ghosts
the usual huge imagination and talent of the author with intelligent humour,perfect
and complex plot,interesting characters and a rich well researched erudition on the issues dealt with in the novel.Anti Dan Brown good literature.buy it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Save Yourself The Time and Read A CalifornianAlmanac
I enjoyed the Anubis Gates and saw another Tim Powers novel and decided to give it a try. I read a lot. Everything from Milton and Dante to Douglas Adams and Robert L. Forward.

This book is full of cruft. There's no better way to describe it. It tries to be a character piece on mid 90's California as seen through the eyes of Tim Powers and... Wow, it sucks. Holy cow, does it ever suck. Filled with billions of details about the places the characters are in, and almost as many details about the characters themselves, it overwhelms you with a tide of minutiae. Unfortunately, all of these details serve no higher purpose.

I don't mind a book being a chore to read, if it's worth it. The level of entertainment should outweigh the level of effort needed to finish the book. It doesn't even come close on this one.

I've stopped reading pulp sci-fi by forgettable authors halfway through before, but this is the first time I've ever done the same to a book by a skilled author. It's that bad. I tried, I really did. But it sucks.

When I want a billion tiresome details about a particular era in Californian history, I'll grab an almanac. When I want a good book, I certainly won't grab this one.

If there were high-minded intellectual themes behind it, that'd be one thing. If there were a solid story behind it, that'd be another. But it's simply dreck and apparently only got published on name power alone.

For shame.

4-0 out of 5 stars exciting paranormal thriller
Los Angeles is a city filled with beings not pumping gas or parking cars.Instead L.A. is a ghost town loaded with otherworldly spirits, some souls with a foot in the grave and the other on the freeway, and humans seeking to extend their LAST CALL on earth.Life and after life are competitors to obtain immortality.

In this weird 1990s Los Angeles, eleven years old Koot Parganas is raised by parents who worship dead Mahatmas and has been warned not to touch certain artifacts.However, the preadolescent ignores his parental warning to stay away from sacred items and breaks the bust of Dante.Inside is a glass vial that contains the preserved ghost of Thomas Alva Edison; Koot steals the container and the spirit inside.However, ghosthunters and ghost addicts can "see" the bright lit spirit of the late inventor.They want it and are inspired because for no perspiration on their part they can gain incredible power.Sensing dangerous Hurricane Weather in which he is the eye of the storm, Koot flees with mortals, semi paranormals, and a canine chasing after him.

This is an exciting paranormal thriller that grips the audience once Koot disobeys his parents and never slows down as he finds many of the residents (not all living) want what he holds.The story line is fast-paced with many eccentric characters but Koot owns the plot.Readers will appreciate his L.A. "joy ride".

Harriet Klausner

4-0 out of 5 stars Ride Metro
I have to say this is the first Tim Powers book I have ever read. I bought it because the plot outline made so little sense that I figured the author must have done a hell of a job to get his story straight. He did. I especially enjoyed the mixture of the fantastic and surreal ghost-ridden society smoothly blended with present day Los Angeles. I have to say, I rode the LA public buses for a year, so that may explain part of my fascination for the novel. Using an accurate description of LA as a sober backdrop of this fantasy story works wonders in my opinion. It made me believe and go along with all of the novel's twists and turns. Young boy swallows the ghost of Edison which used to be kept on the mantlepiece? Sure! ... Read more

11. Social Power and the Turkish State
by Tim Jacoby
Paperback: 240 Pages (2004-07-15)
list price: US$52.95 -- used & new: US$10.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 071468466X
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This book focuses on the historical sociology of the Turkish state, seeking to compare the development of the Ottoman/Turkish state with similar processes of large scale historical change in Europe identified by Michael Mann in The Sources of Social Power. Jacoby traces the contours of Turkey's 'modernisation' with the intention of formulating a fresh way to approach state development in countries on the global economic periphery, particularly those attempting to effect closer ties with northern markets. It also highlights matters of social change pertinent to states grappling with issues relating to political Islam, minority identity and irredentist dissent.

... Read more

12. The Ship of Ishtar (Planet Stories)
by A. Merritt, Tim Powers
Paperback: 330 Pages (2009-10-28)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1601251777
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Explorer John Kenton returns from a lifetime of wanderings and the wreckage of World War I to discover a mysterious block of Babylonian basalt containing a crystal model of an ancient ship - the Ship of Ishtar! The sultry magic of the fabled ship draws Kenton into its dreamworld, where a strange crew plucked from the ages sails in a lushly imagined mystical seascape. At the fore of the ship is Sharane, beautiful, proud, luxurious priestess instilled with the power of Ishtar, goddess of Love, Wrath, and Vengeance. On the prow broods inhuman Klaneth, infused with the essence of Negal, god of the Underworld. Kenton finds himself in a cosmic struggle of wills between them - sixty centuries in the making! Will he claim Sharane and take command of the Ship of Ishtar, or will its mysterious power take command of him? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Creepy, intelligent, and fun
After The Moon Pool, this is probably Merritt's most famous work. Fortunately for us, Paizo has seen to reprint Merritt's definitive edition here for us. All of Merritt's trademarks are here--the achingly beautiful woman, the lush prose, the dreamlike atmosphere, the diabolical villain, the darkness somewhat uncharacteristic of a pulp writer--and all are used to great effect. Strikingly for a pulp novel, Kenton and Sharane come across as somewhat more than just types. Although adhering somewhat to pulp archetypes, their romance is fairly fresh and well developed (predating as it does any number of imitations). In addition, Merritt provides us with a wealth of wonders in the alternate, sea-bound world the Ship exists in. In short, this is a fine book to spend an afternoon reading and savoring and an even better introduction to Merritt's work as a whole.

4-0 out of 5 stars A gripping, if dated, pulp fantasy adventure
I really enjoyed this book, and loved the myriad details that obviously spawned now classical elements of the fantasy genre.

It took about a third of the book before I couldn't put it down, the shifting of the protagonist from the real world to that of the ship far too frequent for the adventure to grip me. But when it did, I was hooked, and finished the book in a single sitting from that point on.

My only real criticism of The Ship of Ishtar is that it is built around an antiquated misogyny that was unrelentingly distracting from what would otherwise be an exciting adventure. I recognize that the book was written over eighty years ago, but I was nevertheless pulled repeatedly out of the story by the overwhelming portrayal of the few female characters as vengeful, but ultimately submissive objects to be possessed by the dominant men. Merritt may have been a master at weaving descriptive prose and an intricate world of eclectic real-world myths and his own imaginings, but he was far from enlightened when it comes to gender. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the Virgil Finaly illustrations this edition includes, bare breasts and all, so take the above for what it is.

In all, I recommend The Ship of Ishtar and had a great time reading it, despite the problematic elements it contains, which are less the fault of Merritt than they are the time in which he wrote.

3-0 out of 5 stars A new presentation of a classic tale
This review is of the Paizo "Planet Stories" reprint of The Ship of Ishtar, first published in the 1920's.The format is of a classic pulp magazine, with a two-column layout and 10 full-page pieces of Virgil Finlay artwork.

The Finlay work is beautiful and atmospheric, and a fitting complement to the text.

The story itself is well enough described in earlier reviews: a modern (1924) man, with more than a touch of Indiana Jones about him, is cast into an alternate world where gods do battle, only to be locked in stalemate.Our Hero, John Kenton, breaks the age-old impasse with the help of doughty companions, finds love (and sex!), only to have it all snatched away and require a quest to recover.

The characters are well-rounded and developed, and the tale for the most part moves at a cracking pace.The language however may be a little difficult to overcome.For the modern reader, there seems to be an incredible surfeit of both dashes and exclamation marks.There is no doubt but that this is deliberate, and part of building a rhythm in the narrative, but it was jarring after several pages and did not cease to jar hundreds of pages later.Unfornately, I can't divorce the gripping tale from the telling, and while I enjoyed the book - and hope in a future re-reading it to enjoy it more - it was good but not great.It would make a wonderful movie, I think, without having to struggle under punctuation on the written page.

4-0 out of 5 stars Adventure!
This book reminded me much of the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs.It borrows heavily from the tradition set forth by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and follows the tradition of Verne and especially Burroughs in conceiving a plot that moves inexorably forward.The primary characters feature some depth, some motive for their actions, and even the secondary characters are more than just flat extras.The dialogue is realistic, and the details paint a vivid picture of the characters and the action.It's a real page turner.

4-0 out of 5 stars A pulp classic
One of the books that turned me on to heroic fantasy fiction back in the early Seventies.

I've been a fan of Merritt's for a long time. He's little known outside a narrow field these days, but he knew how to drive a plot.

Our protagonist is "sucked" into a sculpure of a boat, finding himself part of the crew and forced to man the oars in a fantasy "Arabian Nights" setting.

That's just the start of a swashbuckling adventure worthy of a Douglas Fairbanks movie. There are sultry maidens, heroic rescues, and black magic, all you'd expect in a fantasy novel of the period.

The writing style seems pulpy and dated these days, but it's a great fast read, and should be on every fantasy reader's bookshelf, just so they can understand the history of the genre.
... Read more

13. Strange Itineraries
by Tim Powers
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-07-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892391236
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Ghosts, accidental time travel, a secret clan of immortals, and Maxwell's Demon are all subjects in this complete collection of short stories by Tim Powers. Elusive and evocative, these stories are excursions into strange and dangerous worlds and are as colorful and inventive as Powers's novels. A pioneer of the popular "Steampunk" genre of speculative fiction, his complex and tightly researched "secret histories" blend with compelling fantastical elements to create some of today's most memorable modern science fiction.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid if not entirely twisty fantasy
I had heard bits and pieces about Tim Powers' works; that they were packed with alt-history weirdness and general mind-bending entertainment.As I tend to try to get a handle on a given writer's work by reading what short stories they might have to offer first, I was quite pleased to see that he had such a collection available before deciding to take the plunge and start with 'On Stranger Tides.'

The first story kicks off with some a shade of time travel and then things get more entertaining from there.With the exception of the first story, the rest were all quite easily to follow; I'm still not 100% certain that was a good thing.Being forced to try to puzzle out the events of that first story was challenging, and the rest of the stories seemed somewhat of a letdown after it.

4-0 out of 5 stars mostly hits, but a few misses
This is a collection of nine short stories that Mr Powers has written over the years. Most, if not all, have already appeared in print. Overall most of the stories work really well; mixing Mr Powers' skills of inserting magic into reality and playing with senses is quite lovely ways.

The stories are:
The Way Down the Hill
Pat Moore
Fifty Cents
Through and Through
We Traverse Afar
Where They Are Hid
The Better Boy
Night Moves

As with all of Power's books (save "On Stranger Tides") he has trouble with female characters - thankfully for these stories he really doesn't try to create any. Instead we get a freaky, heart pumping thrill of a story like "Pat Moore" which starts with a chain letter and goes into familiar, almost magical realism realms. Truly one of his best.

The book kicks into high gear in the second story, "The Way Down the Hill". A story that reminded me a little of the Norse gods, or how'd they be in the modern world if they were more of a parasite than a god. Really good.

"Where they Hid" is a joy of a time jumping tale. Mr Powers finally starts playing a little in his alternative history narratives that have served him so well.

His final story, "Night Moves" starts slow but quickly pulls you into the story of a man, his desires, his parents and a strange "imaginary friend".

Of the rest, most of the stories are at least ok/good, save "the Better Boy" which I thought was simply included to add a few more printed pages.

If you haven't read these stories before, this book provides a good collection of stories. Its not Mr Powers best work, but even on an ok day, Mr Powers is a better writer than most.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection, BUT a reprint.
If you are smart, you would read everything by Tim Powers. He is that good. But this is a reprint of an earlier collection,"Night Moves" from Subterranean Press(2001). The contents are a little differant,
Introduction by James P. Blaylock
"Night Moves"
"The Way Down the Hill"
"Where They Are Hid"
"The Better Boy"
"We Traverse Afar"
Story notes by Tim Powers

5-0 out of 5 stars Ghost Stories for Adults
I loved ghost stories as a kid then as I grew up and old my tastes changed, as they should.Tim Powers is one of my favorite writers of both novels and short stories.Broadly, I describe his work as Harry Potter written by Hunter S. Thompson but it is more deeply etched than both."Strange Itineraries" is a collection of ghost stories for me as a forty-something adult.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine blend of supernatural and science fiction
Tim Powers' STRANGE ITINERARIESis for any who love a touch of the supernatural in their science fiction and fantasy: here in his world ghosts are volatile powers, Ether Bunnies abound, and priests face the powers of the dead they are seeking to sanctify.
... Read more

14. The Power of the Cross
by Tim LaHaye
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1998-01-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$2.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1576732126
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Many people think of the cross as an image that represents what Christ did for us in the past. Yet best-selling author Dr. Tim LaHaye says the cross is vitally significant not just to history, but to our lives today. In this not-to-be-missed study, readers will discover the amazing method God has used to prove His existence-the very method He is using to reach the world today. First God used creation, then revelation, and then Jesus Christ to reveal Himself. Today He reveals Himself by transforming lives-the lives we live and the lives of those around us. Every story of transformation is unique, yet all have one thing in common: the transformation begins at the foot of the cross. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars great stories, weak book
This book does not really live up to its title; it's not about the crucifixion. But let me start with the smaller problems.

The author wastes a chapter talking about the ACLU and others' efforts to remove the cross as an emblem in America. I would rather have seen that space devoted to talking about Jesus' life, the significance of the crucifixion, or something else. The cross is inadvertently reduced to a symbol, not an event. (He has chapters on why people wear crosses, chapters on the wisdom of God and the foolishness of secular humanism, and stuff like that, but none on the crucifixion itself.)

Women readers will have a hard time identifying with the book. For the most part, women in this book are somebody's "beautiful wife" rather than people. The worst example is the chapter dealing with homosexuality. It gives half a dozen stories and alludes to dozens more, but except for one use of the word "lesbian," all references are to men. (It even says many former homosexuals later become husbands and fathers.) That's a minor point, but it's a definite blind spot that will limit the audience.

Compelling as many of the personal stories are--the book's one true strength--the way they are used reduces Christianity to a means. I'm reminded of the facetious question, "If Jesus is the answer, what's the question?" because one chapter shows that prisoners who accept Christ stay out of prison, and other chapters similarly show Christ (or, rather, "the cross") as the only reliable cure for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and homosexuality. Each person "bows at the cross" and finds his life changed--but since the book has not dealt adequately with the crucifixion, its meaning has been trivialized into a quick cure for whatever I can't solve any other way. Probably God will use this book to bring people to salvation, but I wouldn't feel comfortable giving it to an unbeliever because of the way it turns "the cross" into a magic cure-all for deep-rooted problems rather than the method for reconciliation with a holy God.

The stories are powerful. But the book itself could have been strong if handled differently, and it's not. ... Read more

15. Dinner at Deviant's Palace
by Tim Powers
 Hardcover: 256 Pages (2001-02)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892284847
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Character development is not a weak spot.
I have to disagree with the previous reviewer regarding Gregorio Rivas as a weak spot in the book. While on this "quest" for his long lost love, Rivas actually changes and grows as a character.Here we havesomeone who is affected by his enounters instead of just a fellow meetingexternal obstacles. Rivas doesn't have mood swings. He confronts himself ashe revisits people and places from his past. He gradually goes from being arather arrogant egotistical jerk to an empathatic decent human being tryingto do the right thing instead of a one dimensional idiot bent on justearning his "brandy."Here Powers has created a man capable oflearning some things as the story progresses. How many contemporary authorsof any genre can pull that off without making readers snicker and say,"Yeah, right."

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantasy set against a post-apocalyptic landscape
This is the first Tim Powers book I've read, and though I can't compare it to the rest of his work, it seems that he is more inclined to writing fantasy than science fiction. Yes, the setting is L.A. after some(unmentioned) armaggedon, and, without revealing too much, there are alienbeings here, but the treatment is closer to a sword-and-sorcery tale...with swords exchanged for slingshots and guns, and religious mysticism forsorcery. And then, there are Powers' grotesques, like the hemogoblins andthose weird trash men within the Holy City, that don't seem scifi atall.

So: the tale IS about a man, Greg Rivas, bent on rescuing an oldflame from the clutches of a religious cult, and the subsequentconfrontation with the entity behind it. It IS NOT about thispost-apocalyptic world the action is set in.

In my opinion, the one weakpoint of the novel is character development: Greg goes through several moodswings that don't mesh together well. But the plotting is strong, giving anenvolving tale.

To those willing to taste this fanciful dinner, enjoy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Cleverness and little else...
I like Tim Powers' books.I don't like this one too much though.Powers love of the grotesque is in full force here, but what you've really got here is two stories that don't need each other.Post holocaust LA and themysterious evil thing don't need to be in the same story, and one basicallydistracts from the other.Also, what's Powers' deal with mutilation?Whyask here?Might as well here as anywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's not "Mad Max", but Max could relate to it.
Post nuclear holocaust LA? - Heard it before! Lost love refound? - Been done. So why read this one? Because it's so different.

Aspects of this book have become quite common place in the SF movie world, that I can't help wondering just how many people read Powers. I can't give any examples here, 'cos I don't want to spoil the astounding revelations exposed throughout the book but if you read it, you'll know what I mean. And you should read it.

Amusing word plays - like the blood lusting Hemogoblin - show Powers humour to be unsubtle, unlike the plot, which is so full of sub-plots and different levels, that you can't help sharing the calm desperation of the main character as he sinks lower and lower into a reality he could not have suspected existed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and unlike Powers' other works
Most of Tim Powers' later works share such strong common threads that they could almost be called formulaic.This book, however, breaks the mold.Although the writing style is not as polished as "Anubis Gates" it's definitely a must-read. ... Read more

16. Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
by Shelley Powers, Tim O'Reilly
Paperback: 1200 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$74.99 -- used & new: US$29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596003307
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Very occasionally a book is written about or for Unix System Administration, or Unix in general. If the author or publishers get the mix right it receives acclaim. Very, very occasionally one of those books achieves legendary status, by finding its way onto 98% of all Unix Sysadmins book shelves.This book is one of those legendary tomes. Just about every Unix Sysadmin I know has a copy of this sitting alongside books like Evi Nemeth's "Unix Sys Admin Handbook". OK so it has a lot of information that isn't new to most sysadmins, but that's not where the beauty of the book lies. The real treasure is found in the countless nuggets of Unix info that have been long since forgotten, or yet to be learned.In my humble opinion, a true Unix Classic! If like me, you earn a living from Unix, then think of this book as a carpenter would his set of chisels. You don't use them for every job, but when needed, can prove invaluable.Amazon.com Review
The mark of a craftsman is his familiarity with his tools, the speed with which he can use them to solve simple problems, and his cleverness in using them to solve more complicated challenges. The latest edition of Unix Power Tools explores the standard Unix tools in greater depth than ever, and with better coverage of Linux, FreeBSD, and even the Darwin environment of Mac OS X. It's also been improved by the addition of sections on Perl and Python, programming languages that can often solve Unix problems more adeptly than any specific utility. This detail-filled book distinguishes itself from other guides for Unix gurus with its organizational structure (it's a series of articles that can be absorbed sequentially or individually) and carefully designed and executed index. Like its esteemed predecessors, this book is one you will keep handy.

The authors have achieved a nearly ideal balance in the pages of this book. It's not just a collection of recipes (such collections tend to leave you hanging if you want to do something a little differently), it's not just a book of documentation (books like that have application mainly as references for people who know a lot already), and it's not just a conceptual how-to guide. Unix Power Tools is all of those things, and the overall effect is impressive indeed. If you work with any flavor of Unix, whatever your level of experience, you will benefit by having this book. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to work efficiently, elegantly, and creatively with the Unix tool suite, as well as (to a lesser extent) with Perl and Python scripts. Tips and strategies on customization, document generation, process management, and networking abound in this wisdom-rich volume. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars My all time favorite Unix book
This is my all time favorite Unix book. If my house burnt down, this book would be high on the list for replacement. It's an older book, but then it's a true sign of quality when a computer book is still in frequent use, 8 years after it was first bought. I used to own the previous edition, and quickly bought this edition when it was published. There is so much extremely useful information packed into this book, you simply cannot go wrong buying it. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is getting serious about any Unix - Linux, AIX, HP-UX etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Unix n00bs and as a reference guide
When I first bought this book I only knew how to do basic things like moving around directories, opening files with VI, and restarting servers. There were lots of other things I knew I wanted to do but didn't know the commands for. This book helped me learn the commands I needed.

Alternatively, I could have Googled for answers but I would have spent more time sifting through Experts Exchange than I would have finding what I needed. Unix Power Tools is well organized and has the answer to pretty much any basic question while also having intermediate and advanced content. Plus, when I did find an answer, it was usually concise yet informative with a few concrete examples.

One downside is that the sections are written by different people so some are better than others. Also, although I prefer concise answers, some may be a little too concise. Either way, I don't have experience with a lot of Unix reference books, but I can see why this one was so highly recommended. I can say for sure it has everything a Unix n00b needs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe not for everyone
While some might argue that this book is nothing more than some exerpts from man pages, I must say I really love it.
I always prefer a dead tree version over a digital one and this book is quickly becoming a cornerstone of my IT-related library.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ultimate toilet book for the intermediate linux user
There's really nothing I can say in this review that isn't blatantly obvious from skimming the table of contents/sample pages from the product page here. It's a good book for understanding the low-level aspects of the common linux variants and how to do mundane, useful tasks from the command line, and I leave it in the john so I can skim through it and learn something while making my communion with nature.

However, what I find incredibly annoying and distracting is the authors' need to mindlessly put their initials after each paragraph that they write. The cover of the book says it all - there are four authors, and they wrote the book. Great. Good for them. They wrote a book. There's no need to remind the reader of every little inch of text that each of the four authors has individually contributed. It seems unprofessional, childish, and I've never seen anything like it anywhere before. The subject is not rocket science (most of the topics documented have been living in *nix systems for ages) and they didn't create any of it; they're simply telling us about it.

I mean, did these people say to themselves, "Wow! look at me! I wrote the section called 'The Superuser (Root)' and there are my initials to tell the world (and my grandma) about it; signed, '-ML.'" It's not like 'ML' actually had anything at all to do with creation of the concept of the superuser, so why does he/she feel the need to point out specifically to us that they wrote 3 little paragraphs describing it? I mean, if 'ML' was doing such great things, he/she probably would be doing far better things in life than writing books that folks like me read in the toilet.

If I bought a car, and everyone who'd designed every little piece of it felt the compulsion to put their initials on each little piece, people would laugh at me in such a car...but luckily this book lives in my bathroom where few people see it.

The consequent addition of maybe 50 pages that all of this superfluous initialing has created (ah ha! now I understand why they did it!) costs a star. Otherwise it would be a solid 4 star effort.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
This book is a pleasure to flip through.

Unix Masters share tips that they use to save time and be more effective.

These precious jewels of information are not easily found on forums or in man pages.

This is an excellent book for the intermediate unix admin on the path to becoming a unix master. ... Read more

17. Powers of Two
by Tim Powers
Hardcover: 292 Pages (2004-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$22.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1886778515
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Roots of Powers
This is a great opportunity for Tim Powers readers to catch his earliest published works.While they have not attained the uniquely way-out-of-whack surreal realism of his later work, the seeds are all here; twisting their way out of the dirt into an uncanny sky.

5-0 out of 5 stars A treat for fans, a fantastic intro for neophytes.
Tim Powers is an outstanding author. I envy anyone who has yet to read 'The Drawing of the Dark', 'The Anubis Gates', or 'On Stranger Tides', because there is nothing quite like them.

'Powers of Two' combines two of Powers' earliest works with an introduction by the author. 'Skies Discrowned' is a story about a young man who witnesses his father's murder and goes on an odyssey of vengeance, traveling to a fantastic underground city and working his way from an art forger to king of the city's thieves.

The setting in this short book is enjoyable--a far future colony world where space travel still exists, but gun powder is quickly becoming a commodity more valuable than money.

Power's plotting does not suffer for his youth; the tale moves quickly and with relative smoothness. If there is a flaw to this book, it is that the interactions between characters, particularly those between the protagonist and his love interest, are somewhat stilted.

The second book, "An Epitaph in Rust" is the tale of an indentured Monk who escapes from a monastery and blunders into the hands of a revolutionary and play director in a future Los Angeles. Like 'skies' 'Rust' is set in a far future where society is sliding backwards but some technology remains. Though I will not spoil plot details, androids play a fun role in this book.

'Rust' will be more recognizable to fans of Powers. His penchant for having characters blunder into situations to which they unwittingly hold the key is developed here.

I didn't find Thomas (the protagonist) to be a wholly likable character, perhaps because he does not assert himself in this book. I suppose you could argue that someone who has previously known only the monastic discipline of a closed society would respond by falling in quickly with whomever he meets, however.

Both of these books are must haves for fans of Powers, and you're not likely to find them anywhere else. The cover is beautifully rendered, and will look striking on a bookshelf. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Portraying an escapee from a monastery
This reprint embraces two of Powers' early novels under one cover: Skies Discrowned, his first novel set on a planet where space travel is ordinary and a man seeks to avenge his father; and An Epitaph In Rust, portraying an escapee from a monastery who is set loose in a changed Los Angeles. Both are excellent stories of changed worlds and different viewpoints. ... Read more

18. Hannah Brock's Mysterious Power (Hannah Brock ESP series) (The Young Adult ESP SF series)
by Tim Myers
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-29)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B003XVYH16
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Though both of Hannah Brock’s parents are Gifted with extrasensory powers, it appears that at twelve years old, she is not.Sent to Tweener camp for those children who lack a Gift, Hannah soon stands out as a girl with some kind of Talent, though it’s not an easy task finding it.Hannah is transferred to the Gifted camp, but she begins to doubt why until one day, her Gift suddenly appears, just in time to fight an evil that is quickly approaching! ... Read more

19. Kylix Power Solutions with Don Taylor, Jim Mischel, and Tim Gentry
by Don Taylor, Tim Gentry, Jim Mischel
Paperback: 352 Pages (2002-07-01)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$1.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932111298
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Written by Kylix experts and respected software developers, this book provides readers with accurate, understandable, easy to use, and dependable programming approaches and solutions. It also helps readers understand the whys of Kylix and Linux as well as the hows, using carefully documented commentary on why each approach is used. This book is ideal for experienced Delphi programmers expanding to the Linux operating system through Kylix and existing Linux developers wishing to develop GUI-based programs under Linux. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Title Says it all
This book stands out from the rest. It is not a book for beginners, but a solid discussion of real world solutions.

Any experienced Delphi developer needs to add this to his/her collection.

Covers topics such as Inter-process communications, semaphores, threading etc. Well written with not so bad example code.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Kylix reference
This one contains so many useful Linux tidbits and "How to get things done" sections, it is always the Kylix reference I pick up first.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Linux system programming
300 pages - not encyclopedic - but a rich, thorogh introduction to Linux system programming and how to go about it using Kylix. Well worth the money.

5-0 out of 5 stars All the missing bits - manna from Heaven
I'm a long-time Delphi programmer and relatively recent migrant to Linux.This book absolutely fills the gaps for me in the numerous places where I'm asking "Now, how the heck do I go about doing THIS on Linux?".

It's not about Kylix (although the samples and solutions are in ObjectPascal, of course) so much as about accessing the nuts and bolts of Linux through HLL calls to the OS, MMS and filesystem. Although it is primarily relevant to ObjectPascal it will be a great resource for developers using other HLLs on Linux too.It really fills in the bits that are missing from Linux books, programming books, FAQ forums and so on if your history has been with DOS and Windows and, especially, if you want to cross-plat your Delphi components.

I needed this book a year ago and I'm overjoyed to have it, now that I'm using Kylix 2.

4-0 out of 5 stars Operating systems programming discussed thoroughly
This book mostly provides linux-specific low level operating system solutions (forking, process control, shared libraries, semaphores, pipes, signal hangling, message passing, etc). I bought it because i wanted to know how to do in Kylix things I used to do in C, and I am very satisfied with the information provided. The book is rich in code examples, logically structured, and well explained. It is written in the hands-on style, where an explanation as to how things work is followed by a specific code example. The explanations are straightforward and easy to follow, but in order to benefit from reading the book you should be familiar with operating systems programming concepts like interprocess communication, and have some knowledge of unix (target level is listed as intermediate/advanced)....

In this context, the chapter on Help does not seem to belong in this book, and the book could better benefit from being called "Linux System Programming with Kylix". Also, most of the code examples could be cut by 30-50%. For example, there's no need to list visual object declarations, since even novice can deduce these from the photograph (and they're not essential to the subject matter anyway). Since the book was published, Kylix 2 has been released, and I think the book could benefit from a 2nd edition updated with the changes Borland made in Kylix2. I don't think any essential changes would be neccessary, since operating system concepts do not change overnight. However, there are many times when authors state: "this and that is broken, and therefore you should use the code below," and such portions should be updated.

Overall, this book gets 4 stars from me:
+ 5 because it's the only position on the market with this information, and the information is adequate and presented in an organized manner;
-1 because of the criticism listed above. ... Read more

20. Night Moves and Other Stories
by Tim Powers
Hardcover: 165 Pages (2001-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$65.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892284901
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Some of the best from one of the best
Powers is best known for his "secret history" novels and, unlike most sf authors who started in the `70s, he actually hasn't written all that many short stories -- maybe a dozen, total. He says he takes him as long to outline a short story as it does a novel. But the seven he's published are (naturally) far above average. This small limited-edition volume includes all of them, two in collaboration with his close friend, James Blaylock (who also contributes an Introduction). Not all of them really work for me, but I like "Night Moves," "The Better Boy," and "Where They Are Hid" very much indeed. (The first two were finalists for the World Fantasy Award.) And there's a very welcome Bibliography at the end of the book, listing all of Powers's publications, in all languages.

4-0 out of 5 stars A significant collection
Tim Powers is most well-known for his fantastic novels ranging from subjects as diverse as Blackbeard the pirate to ghosts haunting Los Angeles.Here, the marvelous and indispensable Subterranean Press collects all six of Powers' short works of fiction.

All of the pieces in this collection are exceptional.Powers is an accomplished fantasist.Two of the stories are collaborations with fellow purveyor of weird fiction, James Blaylock.....

My favorite stories in this collection are 'Where They Are Hid' and 'The Way Down the Hill'.'The Way Down the Hill' is a fascinating look at an enclave of immortal beings.This is a story we've seen before in science fiction.It concerns the ethics of being an immortal being and their relationship with humanity.What really interests me in the story is Powers' unique take on the manner of the enclave's immortality.I won't say more for fear of giving the story away.

'Where They are Hid' is a fabulous story.Powers tells us that Philip K. Dick enjoyed reading it before he passed away, which is particularly noteworthy since the story deals with all the normal Dickian tropes; reality, identity and hallucinations.I'm afraid the story is too complex to give a concise description of it here.Suffice it say that it blew my mind.

I recommend this slim collection to all Powers' fans.It's worth buying for the excellent stories and the extras.The introduction by James Blaylock relates a hilarious story about an encounter between Powers and 50 or 60 dwarfs.The collection also contains informative notes on each story (including a humorous Phil Dick anecdote) and a definitive Powers bibliography.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The other side of Tim Powers
Fantastist Tim Powers writes very few short stories. He has published over 10 novels, yet only a half-dozen short stories, all now collected in this handsome edition by Subterranean Press. Anyone familiar with Powers knows his penchant for densely plotted, magical stories with a unique bent on history. He has written about poker and the Fisher King, vampires stalking Keats and Shelley, pirates and voodoo, and much more. In Night Moves and Others, Powers gives us a different side of his writing style, yet equally intense as his longer works. The title story is an excellent ghost tale, about a man who dreamed of an imaginary friend called Evelyn, and his parents who fled this ghost from town to town. Two stories are collaborations with another great writer, James Blaylock. Both are urban fantasies; one, a ghost story concerning a man and his dead wife is solemn. The other, entitled "The Better Boy" after a tomato variety, is amusing in the protagonist's desperate battle to save a tomato from garden worms. "The Way down the Hill" is the oldest story in this collection, but perhaps one of the best, about a clan of soul parasite who jump from body to body across many lifetimes. "Where they are Hid" is a marvelous tale, one that can be read several times, each time shedding new light on the events in the story. Although slim in size, this collection is must for any fan of Powers. It includes an introduction by Blaylock, as well as story notes by the author. ... Read more

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