Tim Powers

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Tim Powers at the Israeli ICon 2005 SF&F Convention
Tim Powers at the Israeli ICon 2005 SF&F Convention

Timothy Thomas Powers (born February 29, 1952) is an American science fiction and fantasy author.

His works are mostly notable for being 'secret histories' - he uses actual, documented historical events, but shows another view of them, in which magic is a major moving force in the motivations and actions of the characters.

Powers was born in Buffalo, New York, and grew up in California, where his family moved in 1959. 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. Another friend he first met during this period (but not, unlike Blaylock and Jeter, a fellow student) was Philip K. Dick; the character named "David" in Dick's novel VALIS is based on Powers.

Powers and James Blaylock invented the poet William Ashbless while they were at Cal State Fullerton.

His first major novel was The Drawing of the Dark (1979), but the novel that put him on the map was his next, The Anubis Gates, which (appropriately) won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award. The Anubis Gates has been translated and published in many other languages since.

Powers also teaches part time in his role as Writer in Residence for the Orange County High School of the Arts where his friend, Blaylock, is Director of the Creative Writing Department.

Powers is currently living in Muscoy, California and has several cats as well as a pet rabbit named Brendan Mac Sidhe, pronouced "Mac Shee."



  • The Skies Discrowned, also published as Forsake The Sky A science fiction adventure novel.
  • An Epitaph in Rust also published as Epitaph in Rust
  • The Drawing of the Dark - The siege of Vienna was actually a struggle between Muslim and Christian magicians over the spiritual heart of the West, which happens to be a small inn and brewery in Vienna. The 'dark' of the title is a beer that has been brewing for centuries, which the Fisher King will eventually drink.
  • The Anubis Gates - A time travel story set in 1810 featuring magic, Egyptian gods and a werewolf.
  • Dinner at Deviant's Palace - unusually for Powers, this is set in the future, in a postatomic America in which an alien psychic vampire is slowly taking over.
  • On Stranger Tides moves to the 17th century Caribbean; with pirates (many of them real historical characters), Voodoo, zombies, Juan Ponce de Leon, and a strangely quantum-mechanical Fountain of Youth.
  • The Stress of Her Regard - concerning the dealings of the Romantic poets - Byron and Shelley are major characters - with vampire-like creatures from Greek mythology.
  • Fault Lines series
    • Last Call - a professional poker player finds out that he lost far more than he won in a game played with Tarot cards twenty years ago.
    • Expiration Date - 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 - 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 - a Cold War espionage thriller which evokes Lovecraftian horror and the Epic of Gilgamesh, involving Kim Philby, djinn and the Ark on Mount Ararat.

Short Story Collections

Other Published Items

  • The Complete Twelve Hours of the Night (1986) Joke pamphlet cowritten by James Blaylock and published by Cheap Street Press
  • 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.

External links

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