Tim Powers 2012
February 29, 1952 |
Buffalo, New York, United States
Timothy Thomas "Tim" Powers (born February 29, 1952, in Buffalo, New York) is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare. His 1988 novel On Stranger Tides served as inspiration for the Monkey Island franchise of video games and was optioned for adaptation into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film.
Most of Powers' novels are "secret histories": he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations and actions of the characters.
Typically, Powers strictly adheres to established historical facts. He reads extensively on a given subject, and the plot develops as Powers notes inconsistencies, gaps and curious data; regarding his award-winning 2000 novel Declare, Powers stated,
"I made it an ironclad rule that I could not change or disregard any of the recorded facts, nor rearrange any days of the calendar – and then I tried to figure out what momentous but unrecorded fact could explain them all."
Life and career
He studied English Literature at Cal State Fullerton, where he first met James Blaylock and K. W. Jeter, both of whom remained close friends and occasional collaborators; the trio have half-seriously referred to themselves as "steampunks" in contrast to the prevailing cyberpunk genre of the 1980s. Powers and Blaylock invented the poet William Ashbless while they were at Cal State Fullerton.
Another friend Powers first met during this period was noted science fiction writer Philip K. Dick; the character named "David" in Dick's novel VALIS is based on Powers. When Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was retitled Blade Runner to tie-in with the movie based on the novel, Dick dedicated it to Tim and Serena Powers.
Powers' first major novel was The Drawing of the Dark (1979), but the novel that earned him wide praise was The Anubis Gates, which won the Philip K. Dick Award, and has since been published in many other languages.
Powers also teaches part-time in his role as Writer in Residence for the Orange County High School of the Arts, where Blaylock directs the Creative Writing Conservatory, and Chapman University, where Blaylock teaches.
He also taught part-time at the University of Redlands.
- The Skies Discrowned (1976)
- Also published as Forsake The Sky: a science fiction adventure novel.
- An Epitaph in Rust (1976)
- Also published as Epitaph in Rust. The publisher's cover blurb describes a tale that "follows young Thomas from his escape from a rural monastery into the wilds of a future Los Angeles. There he joins a theater company where the play is definitely not the thing – revolution is – and he finds himself in the middle of it. The mayor has been blown up and his android guards are determined to end insurrection. But the theater company has other ideas..."
- The Drawing of the Dark (1979)
- The siege of Vienna was actually a struggle between Muslim and Christian magicians over the spiritual center of the West, which happens to be a small inn and brewery in Vienna. The "dark" is a beer that has been brewing for centuries, which the Fisher King will eventually drink.
- The Anubis Gates (1983)
- Philip K. Dick Award winner, 1983; Locus Fantasy Award nominee, 1984; BSFA nominee, 1985 
- A time travel story set mostly in 1810, featuring a brainwashed Lord Byron, magic, Egyptian gods and a werewolf.
- Dinner at Deviant's Palace (1985)
- Philip K. Dick Award winner, and Nebula Award nominee, 1985 
- Unusually for Powers, this is set in the future, in a postatomic America in which an extraterrestrial psychic vampire is slowly taking over.
- In 2001 the group Cradle of Filth released a song entitled "Dinner at Deviant's Palace" that was simply the Lord's Prayer backmasked.
- On Stranger Tides (1987)
- Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards nominee, 1988 
- Set in the 18th century Caribbean; with pirates (many of them real characters, primarily Blackbeard, as well as a fictional protagonist named Jack), voodoo, zombies, Juan Ponce de León, and a strangely quantum-mechanical Fountain of Youth. In September 2009, Tim Powers confirmed that Disney optioned the novel around April 2007, in order to incorporate elements of it into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, released on May 20, 2011.
- The Stress of Her Regard (1989)
- Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards nominee, 1990  and winner of the 1990 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.
- Concerning the dealings of the Romantic poets – Byron and Shelley are major characters – with vampire-like beings from Greek mythology. Reprinted in 2008 with Tachyon Publications.
- Fault Lines series
- Last Call (1992)
- Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards winner, 1993 
- A professional poker player finds out that he lost far more than he won in a poker game played with Tarot cards two decades ago.
- Expiration Date (1995)
- World Fantasy Award nominee, 1996; 1996 Nebula Award nominee 
- A boy possessed by the spirit of Thomas Edison is hunted through Los Angeles by people wanting to consume the ghost he carries.
- Earthquake Weather (1997)
- BSFA Award nominee, 1997; Locus Fantasy Award winner, 1998 
- Sequel to both Last Call and Expiration Date, involving the characters of both: two fugitives from a psychiatric hospital, the magical nature of multiple personality disorder, and the secret history of wine production in California.
- Declare (2001)
- World Fantasy Award winner and Locus Fantasy nominee, 2001; 2001 Nebula Award nominee,
- A Cold War espionage thriller which evokes Lovecraftian horror and the work of John le Carré, involving Kim Philby, djinn and the Ark on Mount Ararat.
- Powers of Two (2004)
- Re-release of Skies Discrowned and Epitaph in Rust.
- Hide Me Among the Graves (2012)
-  His newest novel, published on March 13, 2012. A sequel of sorts to The Stress of Her Regard, it involves the Rossetti family and John Crawford, the son of the protagonist from The Stress of Her Regard.
Short story collections
- Night Moves and Other Stories (2000)
- On Pirates (as William Ashbless; written with James Blaylock) (2001)
- The Devils in the Details (with James Blaylock) (2003)
- Strange Itineraries: 2005, published by Tachyon Publications of San Francisco, California
- The Bible Repairman and Other Stories: 2011, published by Tachyon Publications
Other published work
- The Complete Twelve Hours of the Night (1986): Joke pamphlet co-written with James Blaylock, as William Ashbless, and published by Cheap Street Press; features in The Anubis Gates
- A Short Poem by William Ashbless (1987): Another joke chapbook written by Phil Garland which Tim Powers and James Blaylock went along with. Published by The Folly Press.
- The William Ashbless Memorial Cookbook (2002): A cookbook co-written with James Blaylock. Published by Subterranean Press.
- The Bible Repairman (2005): A chapbook containing an original short story. Published by Subterranean Press.
- Nine Sonnets by Francis Thomas Marrity (2006): A chapbook containing nine sonnets "written" by one of the main characters in Three Days to Never. Published by Subterranean Press and given away with the collectors' edition of Three Days To Never.
- A Soul in a Bottle (2007): A ghost story about a poetess largely based on American poet Edna St Vincent Millay. This novella published by Subterranean Press.
- Three sonnets by Cheyenne Fleming (2007): Printed loose and inserted into the collectors' edition of A Soul in a Bottle.
- Salvage and Demolition (2013): Time-travel novella. Published by Subterranean Press.
- "WonderCon Special Guests," Comic-Con Magazine (Winter 2010), p. 20.
- Powells.com Interviews – Tim Powers
- Nova Express, Volume 6, Number 1, "An Interview with Tim Powers," Page 9.
- "1983 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1984 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1988 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1993 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1996 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1997 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "2007 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- Email from Tim Powers on timpowers Yahoo! Group, 3/31/2011
- "Tim Powers – Salvage and demolition novella to be published in December". Upcoming4.me. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- Powers, Tim (2013). Salvage and Demolition. Subterranean Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-59606-515-4.
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- Official website – includes a very long interview
- Tim Powers at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Tim Powers at the Internet Movie Database
- Stranger Tides – fan site with FAQ and book descriptions
- Die Tore zu Anubis Reich – German Website with Bio, Bibliography, Interviews, Artwork, Extracts
- Science Fiction Studies interviews Tim Powers by Fiona Kelleghan
- Audio interview with Tim Powers on Hide Me Among the Graves
- January 2001 interview at Powell's City of Books by Dave Weich
- February 2005 interview at Strange Horizons by Lyda Morehouse
- June 2006 interview at Emerald City by John Shirley
- September 2006 interview at JimmyAkin.Org by Jimmy Akin
- Tim Powers Yahoo! Group (Electronic mailing list)
- Interview with Tim Powers at Actusf by Nathalie Ruas
- Interview with Tim Powers at Actusf by Jérôme Vincent (includes a discussion of Three Days to Never)
- Interview by Michael A. Ventrella, October '09
- Tim Powers First Pages First page book excerpts
- Interview and Narration of the story "The Way Down the Hill" at the Protecting Project Pulp Podcast
- Tim Powers at Library of Congress Authorities, with 13 catalog records