The Anubis Gates
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Author Tim Powers evokes 17th-century England with a combination of meticulously researched historic detail and imaginative flights in this sci-fi tale of time travel. Winner of the 1984 Philip K. Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback, this 1989 edition of the book that took the fantasy world by storm is the first hardcover version to be published in the United States. In his brief introduction, Ramsey Campbell sets The Anubis Gates in an adventure context, citing Powers's achievement of "extraordinary scenes of underground horror, of comedy both high and grotesque, of bizarre menace, of poetic fantasy."
The colonization of Egypt by western European powers is the launch point for power plays and machinations. Steeping together in this time-warp stew are such characters as an unassuming Coleridge scholar, ancient gods, wizards, the Knights Templar, werewolves, and other quasi-mortals, all wrapped in the organizing fabric of Egyptian mythology. In the best of fantasy traditions, the reluctant heroes fight for survival against an evil that lurks beneath the surface of their everyday lives. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Tim Powers was born in 1952; the son of an attorney. He graduated from California State University in 1976 and since then has written more than a dozen highly acclaimed and award-winning novels, including the Fantasy Masterwork THE DRAWING OF THE DARK. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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FROM BETWEEN TWO trees at the crest of the hill a very old man watched, with a nostalgic longing he thought he'd lost all capacity for, as the last group of picnickers packed up their baskets, mounted their horses, and rode away south-they moved a little hastily, for it was a good six miles back to London, and the red sun was already silhouetting the branches of the trees along the River Brent, two miles to the west. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Brendan Doyle is the Coleridge specialist that's invited to a time travel experience that will change his life. And I mean really change. Trapped in the early XIX century, Doyle will have to overcome a band of gipsies connected with egyptian magicians, street mugglers and beggars governed by a clown that makes experiences with human bodies, and a dog-faced murderer with the hability to... well I don't want to spoil the eventual reader's fun, because a large part of this fun is to disclose the many implications between the unusual characters in the story. At times, it is confusing, and this book clearly requires a commiment from the reader; otherwise the story is filled with such crazyness that the unnatentive reader may loose interest in the book. But, believe me, there's order and method in this crazyness.
Tim Powers seems to me an author blessed with an immense immagination to create different and fantastic stories, and this book is one good example. I was amazed by the size of this adventure. And I'm not talking about physical size, but mental and enjoyment size.
But all that said - it is a good read. The pace is blistering and you have to keep up to remember who is in which body today. The story rips around the globe like an Indiana Jones movie, with the added attraction of leaping through time.
I don't want to give too much away, but I really felt it was a bit rich to have the main character give away all his good clothes upon his entry to old London, and accept rags - thereby sealing his fate at the bottom of the food chain. Had he been robbed it would have been more plausible.
As for Horrobins "Mistakes" - a bit of explanation would have been useful. What exactly was he trying to make? Beats me!
I think Powers would have done better to put a bit more logical motive into his story, to hold it together. I liked Horrobins character, and Dog-Face Joe. The description of the "Master" could have been filled in a bit more.
As I say, a fun book - but a bit uneven in places.
'Anubis Gates' takes you back to the early nineteenth century in London, with a quick jaunt to the mid-1600s in the middle of the book. The main character, Brendan Doyle, is a scholar who is researching the biography of the poet William Ashbless, hired to accompany a group of paying passengers back in time from 1983 to see a lecture by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I was very curious to see how Powers handled the paradox of changing a history that had already happened - and, to be honest, a bit skeptical that he would be able to satisfy me. I was pleasantly surprised. The paradoxes resolve themselves so neatly that it made me pause and think, "maybe this *is* what happened". The thread of Egyptian mythology that ties the story together makes the suspension of disbelief easy, since Powers isn't trying to convince you that the technology for time-travel actually existed in 1983, rather he is relying on a mysticism that has been around for millenia. And the ending was just perfect.
I cannot recommend this book enough. I can't wait to read more of what Powers has written.
I stress the difficulty of this task, because it's all the more remarkable that Powers pulls it all off. The time travel, the mysticism, the historical figures -- it all works. When Powers finally pulls the veil away, what's underneath is just as intricate and rich as the reader has imagined -- and it makes perfect sense. That's an impressive trick indeed. This is the kind of book I really enjoy: it's complex enough to rise above the level of fluff, but still possesses the pace, wit, and joie de libre that make fluff so attractive.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great mash up of Fantasy and Science Fiction genres.
To set the stage, imagine time is a fast flowing river under a sheet of ice. Read more
Few novels combine popular storytelling technique with artistry as well as The Anubis Gates. I enjoyed this novel because it is intelligent without becoming pretentious. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Megan Lambert
Excellent!! This book and George R.R. Martin saga of "The Song of Ice and Fire" I think are the best science fiction novels I have ever read. Read morePublished on May 7 2003
This is one book where (my) words aren't adequate to describe how wonderful it is to read. Although the story the complex, reading it is effortless - it's a great adventure... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002
Tim Powers is one of the most original writers around. I had been meaning to read The Anubis Gates for some time, and was not disappointed when I finally did. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2002
If Charles Dickens had ever taken it into his head to write a science fiction novel about time travel he might have come up with something along the lines of Tim Powers THE ANUBIS... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002 by NNNNN
If you start reading this book you will probably end up wanting to buy and read everything else Tim Powers has ever written. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2002 by California Dreamin
As a regular reader of sci-fi and fantasy, I have come across numerous variations on the time travel concept, Tim Powers, does it with originality and creativity that few others... Read morePublished on July 24 2002 by Jexii
What a great pleasure it is to stumble onto a wonderful author whose work you were previously unfamiliar with. Read morePublished on May 30 2002 by Bookman
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