Sunday, April 3, 2011

I really enjoyed Tim Powers' DECLARE so much I went to library to grab a couple more. LAST CALL and THE ANUBIS GATES looked good.

I was a few pages into THE ANUBIS GATES when I realized I had read it a few years ago.

But it was so good, I read it again. Just finished. Yep, just as good as I remember.

I am beginning to get a handle on Tim Powers, I think. I have a feeling he does an awful lot of historical research, and then works his stories around the historical facts of the time. In DECLARE, he created a story that would wrap around the facts known about the famous traitor spy Kim Philby, yet leave room for the existence of djinns.

The Anubis Gates is a fantasy story about a scholar who gets sucked into a plot to restore the Egyptian gods, set in 1983, 1802 and 1685. It's got the massacre of the Mamelukes, and the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion, and Coleridge giving lectures on Milton, and the St. Giles rookery.

I don't start with historical research, myself. I started THE CIRCLE CAST with the traditional, medieval King Arthur. My first wife did her Ph. D. dissertation on the Morrígan, so I learned a lot about Cúchulainn and the Tuatha Dé Danaan. I ran across a book by Geoffrey Ashe that made a convincing case for the historical King Arthur living in 500 AD or so. I wound up doing a lot of research, but the research came later.

I sort of wonder if Tim Powers reads up on interesting times and places to write about, and then comes up with a novel plot that will allow him to justify the research.

Anyway, it's on to LAST CALL now. So far it's only about Las Vegas in 1948, but I'm sure that will change.



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