"tim powers"

Boing Boing's 2016 Gift Guide: Books

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When we got to rounding up our favorite books for our annual Gift Guide, we found that there were simply too many this time to throw in the Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukah/Yule/Solstice/Nonspecific Winter Celebration/New Year/Chalica hopper along with the tech and toys.

It's almost as if 2016 made the traditional way of learning more about our world — and of sharing dreams of other worlds — somehow more enticing.

Here's 65 of the best, then, from fairy-tales to furious politics, from the comic to the catastrophic, all waiting for you to turn the page.

Most of the links here include Amazon Affiliate codes; this helps us make ends meet at Boing Boing, the world's greatest neurozine. Don't miss this year's guides to Gadgets and toys too! Read the rest

Down and Out in Purgatory by Tim Powers

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Tim Powers has mastered mingling our present with elements of the fantastic, creating stories so immersive and believable I'm always disappointed when they end. Down and Out in Purgatory is a new, incredible example.

Shasta DiMaio fell for the wrong guy, and it killed her. Her rejected lover Tom Holbrook still carries a torch, however. If Tom can't have Shasta he'll kill the man who took her heart, and her life, even if he's already dead.

Powers has focused on ghosts, and had them as major characters in other works, but this novella gives us a glimpse into their world! His purgatory is a spinning, wild place where we learn a bit more about what death really means. While the characters are fun, the real joy of this was the mechanics, and lore Powers shares about the afterlife. If you loved his Fault Lines trilogy, you won't be disappointed.

Down and Out In Purgatory by Tim Powers Read the rest

Beyond Brookledge is less than one week away

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I'm excitedly preparing to head down to Beyond Brookledge!

This from event organizer Bob Self:

Gaze upon this year’s Beyond Brookledge giclée poster (which will be gifted to event attendees along with a few other treasures May 20-21st at the Mission Inn in Riverside). The art is by Ragnar who also created the imagery for the Beyond Brookledge 2013 and 2014 posters.

As always, visual treats will be abound throughout the weekend-long whirlwind of magic, music and comedy. Connoisseurs of Walking Your Octopus creator Brian Kesinger’s art, board game aficionados, and devotees of the alternative histories of acclaimed author Tim Powers are sure to be pleased with the event’s mysterious and exhilarating goings-on.

A few tickets (very few) are still available at http://beyondbrookledge.com… but they are only recommended for those who are daring enough to plunge headlong into an art and entertainment wonderland.

Event co-producer Bob Self says, “You’ve never experienced anything like this… except maybe in your most spectacular dreams. Leave your expectations at home, because nothing can prepare you for what will happen when you join us.”

And corn dogs!

Read the rest

Philip K. Dick Conference 4/29-4/30 in So Cal

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On April 29-30 at Cal State Fullerton, fans, scholars, authors, and artists will celebrate surrealist science fiction author Philip K. Dick with an extravaganza of talks, panels, and exhibits! Special guests include Dr. Ursula Heise, Jonathan Lethem, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock.

Philip K. Dick Conference 2016 Read the rest

Medusa's Web: Tim Powers is the Philip K Dick of our age

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Tim Powers is a fantasy writer who spins out tales of wild, mystic conspiracy that are so believable and weird, we're lucky he didn't follow L Ron Hubbard's example and found a religion, or we'd all be worshipping in his cult. Along with James Blaylock and KW Jeter, Powers was one of three young, crazy genre writers who served as Philip K Dick's proteges, and Powers gives us a glimpse of where Dick may have ended up if he'd managed to beat his own worst self-destructive impulses.

Win all six books nominated for this year's Philip K Dick Award

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The Philip K Dick Award is given to the best paperback original each year (past winners include Tim Powers' Anubis Gates, Rudy Rucker's Wetware, William Gibson's Neuromancer and Meg Elison's The Book of the Unnamed Midwife). Read the rest

It Isn't Even Past: location scouting the secret history of Rudy Valentino with Tim Powers

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In Medusa's Web, fantasy grandmaster Tim Powers presents us with another of his amazing secret histories, this one of Rudolph Valentino. In this guest editorial, Powers -- author of many of Boing Boing's favorite novels, including the World Fantasy Award winning Last Call, Hide Me Among the Graves, and Dinner at Deviant's Palace -- explains the genesis of his latest book, and takes us with him for his field-research.

The Paradox: a secret history of magical London worthy of Tim Powers

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In The Oversight, Charlie Fletcher introduced us to a secret history of London and the ancient order that defended it from the creatures of the dark. Now, with The Paradox, a sequel, Fletcher plunges the bedraggled heroes of the Oversight into danger that they may not be able to best.

On writing steampunk

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My first steampunk story, “The Ape-box Affair,” was published in Unearth magazine in 1978. I was paid half a cent a word for it and was happy to get the 40 bucks—and doubly happy simply to see it in print.

Interview with fantasy writer Tim Powers about being a "secret historian"

Mitch writes, "I interviewed fantasy novelist Tim Powers about how he writes. We talked about working through story problems, using YouTube as a secret weapon, why he avoids social media, and his obsessively detailed outlines and research notes. 'In order to build a building, you put up so much scaffolding that the scaffolding outweighs the building.'" Read the rest

Knights of the Cornerstone, James P. Blaylock

James P. Blaylock's Knights of the Cornerstone is a light, nostalgic contemporary fantasy steeped in legend. Blaylock is a master of this genre.

Cartoonist Calvin Bryson receives an odd package that causes him to return to his family's home in New Cypress, on the borders of California, Arizona and Nevada. Secrets buried for generations come to the surface as Calvin joins the remnant of the Knights Templar to defeat an occultist, and defend what may be the real shroud of Turin.

This isn't the headiest or heaviest of work by Blaylock, but it is damn fine! I read it in an hour or so and was completely engrossed. Blaylock's work solo, and with Tim Powers, adds incredible fantasy to very familiar landscapes. If you haven't read any of his work, this is a good place to start. Then I suggest moving on to On Pirates, I wish I could find my copy.

The Knights of the Cornerstone by James P. Blaylock Read the rest

Salvage and Demolition by Tim Powers

Tim Powers' novella, Salvage and Demolition, is a film noir love story showing time travel may not be neat and orderly. I read it in one sitting.

Rare book dealer Richard Blanzac receives a several box from the estate of a failed beat poet, Sophie Greenwald. The contents of the books sends him back in time, several times, each trip landing a few hours before the last. Can he solve the mystery, running through time in reverse? Can two people fall in love in a matter of hours? Hours spent out of order?

As always, Powers gives you exactly the right information to make you feel at home in his San Francisco, 1950s or present day. His take on film noir is spot on, not parody. A short story like this leaves me wanting to re-read his other work.

Salvage and Demolition by Tim Powers Read the rest

Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths: and other tales of dark fantasy by Harry Connolly

I picked up Harry Connolly's Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths for his new Twenty Palaces story, and found myself thrilled with his collection of modern fairy tales.

I was looking for a new Twenty Palaces installment, and saw this collection of short stories. The titular story, Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths, is fantastic. Eli, a super-natural practitioner in late 1800s Washington, is kidnapped somewhere outside of Seattle. Forced to solve a magical mystery or die trying, three demonic farm girls give him one hell of a bad time.

Connolly writes tales of magic and mystery in more modern times incredibly well. His work reminds me a lot of Tim Powers or Neil Gaiman. I highly recommend this collection.

Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths: And Other Tales Of Dark Fantasy Read the rest

Gregory Benford on Philip K. Dick

SF author/physicist Gregory Benford reminisces about his friend Philip K. Dick: Read the rest

Stage adaptation of Tim Powers' Anubis Gates at this summer's Worldcon

Tim Powers' outstanding fantasy novel The Anubis Gates has been adapted for the stage and it will premiere at Loncon 3, this summer's World Science Fiction Convention. I've been excited as hell about having a Worldcon in town, but this is some awfully nice icing on the cake!

The Anubis Gates (via IO9) Read the rest

Fogcon: cozy, Wiscon-style San Francisco science fiction convention

Keyan sez, "FOGcon is a literary speculative fiction convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now in its 4th year, it's big enough to be fun, still small enough not to overwhelm. This year, the theme is Secrets, and the Guests of Honor are Seanan McGuire, Tim Powers, and the late James Tiptree, Jr. It's on March 7-9, 2014." Read the rest

'Dinner at Deviant's Palace' legendary scifi novel by Tim Powers

I recently re-read Tim Powers' absolutely fantastic, 1985, Dinner at Deviant's Palace, where troubled musician Gregorio Rivas struggles to extract his former love from the clutches of a mad cult in the ruins of post-apocalyptic 22nd century Los Angeles. It is purely fantastic!

True to his style, Powers takes a quasi-familiar Ellay, some few generations after the fall of our current society into feudalism, and builds just enough familiarity with the environment to get you filling in the blanks on your own. THATS when things get odd! Again and again, expect the unexpected. Hemogoblins, a booze based currency and Venice, California as you've never-seen-it-before but always suspected-it-must-be are just a few of the twists.

Truly a favorite!

Tim Powers' Dinner at Deviant's Palace Read the rest

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