Frequently Asked Questions
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"Powers writes action and adventure that Indiana Jones could only dream of. And, just when it threatens to get out of hand, there's a dash of humor and irony that keeps you reading for the joy of it."
-The Washington Post
"Powers has already proved that he is a master of what he terms 'doing card tricks in the dark', referring to the incredible amount of historical, biographical, and practical research that goes into his works."
"The fantasy novels of Tim Powers are nothing if not ambitious. Whether writing about zombie pirates of the Caribbean (On Stranger Tides), female vampires preying on Romantic poets (The Stress of Her Regard), or the escapades of a time traveler in 19th-century England (The Anubis Gates), Powers always goes the distance, never taking easy shortcuts that tempt authors with lesser imaginations. Meticulously researched and intellectually adventurous, his novels rarely fail to be strange and wholly original."
-San Francisco Chronicle
Tim Powers was born in Buffalo, New York, on February 29th (leap year day) 1952, but has lived in southern California since the age of seven. He graduated from California State University at Fullerton with a B.A. in English in 1976. The bio text from his books will tell you that Powers and his wife, Serena, live in southern California: in Orange County, in Santa Ana, over a barber shop, or possibly all three.
More recently, however, Powers says in an interview:
"My wife and I moved to an outlying region of San Bernardino called Muscoy, and we love it."
None at all, except as a reader and a fan. I noticed that although
there was some information available on the web, there was not a site
which brought it all together. This site attempts to do that.
Sir Ashbless deserves a page of his own. So please proceed to the William Ashbless page.
In the acknowledgement section of his books, Powers thanks a variety of people
for friendship, support, and inspiration, several of whom are also sci-fi/fantasy/horror
Powers, Blaylock, and Jeter (pictured here at a book signing November 21st, 1998, at Dangerous Visions bookstore. Photo is courtesy of Dangerous Visions.)
While it may be the case that Powers has gotten some of his inspiration from Blaylock's ideas and works, the opposite is almost certainly true. Blaylock himself notes in the dedication section of The Paper Grail :
"And Tim Powers, from whose tin shed full of plots, images and ideas I've always stolen ruthlessly."
I haven't read all of Blaylock's books yet, but the ones I have, I do recommend to fans of Tim Powers:
While I found The Paper Grail and The Last Coin in particular to be quite Powers-like, more well-read Blaylock devotees are quick to point out the differences, especially in Blaylock's earlier works. "...Blaylock is far more whimsical and absurdist..." is one comment, and I'm glad to defer to more knowledgeable opinions.
Here's a very nice James Blaylock site (the only one I know of) created by Blaylock readers who know much more about him than I do!
Powers has written introductions/afterwords to several of Blaylock's works.
"To hedge against the loneliness of eternity, you'd hang out with others of your kind - odd and distinctive personalities such as James Blaylock, Dean R. Koontz, and K. W. Jeter."
I've read the following by Jeter:
By Dick, I've read only VALIS and Ubik. Here's a comprehensive PKD site.
A couple of Powers references at the PKD site:
"Around this period (1972), he met K. W. Jeter and Tim Powers at Cal- State in Fullerton; they attended a lecture by a writing professor named John Schwarz."
"In PKD's book Valis, the characters David and Kevin were partially based on his friends Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter."
Powers has written several articles about Dick in The Philip K. Dick Society Newsletter, as well as the intros/forewords to several of Dick's works.
It's surprisingly easy these days to contact many authors, and Powers is one of these. Just go join the Yahoo discussion group "timpowers", where he is a regular participant, using the name TTPMuscoy. You can write to him privately from there or post a question or comment to the group if you think it would be of general interest to Powers fans.
Last Call has been optioned by Freakshow Films,
but there have been no updates since the completion of the screenplay in September '00.