Sunday, August 27, 2006

Three Days to Never--Tim Powers

Speaking of writers who write best in certain landscapes. Tim Powers writes most strongly about LA and the outlying towns, which is not to say that he can't write about other locations, my favorite book by him, Declare, is set in Europe before the second world war, but LA is where his strongest stories are set. This however is not one of them. It's not a bad book, it's just a little simple for him. Tim is another writer who writes about a world alongside this one. His world is inhabited by ghosts and the people who manipulate them and those who would live forever whatever the cost. Famous people routinely wander in and out of his novels--Shelley (The Stress of Her Regard), Guy Burgess (Declare), Edison, Einstein, Bugsy Siegel. Unlike your Dan Brown he actually does a lot of research and makes his explanations fit the facts, not the other way around. In the afterward to Declare he states that the times and incidents he mentions all happened to Burgess--he just puts a supernatural spin on them.
To avoid death--be vague about who you are (have aliases, have a twin), be vague about when you were born (have a twin, fudge the birth certificate, have someone else baptized with your name and make sure key events in their lives match yours). Well, I've got some of that going for me! No definitive birthdate, no definitive birth name, born under the sign of the twins (as far as I can tell). Cool, hunh? And do important deals on water because ghosts can't cross water. It's why so many ghosts end up trapped on boats.
This one has Einstein and time travel, and psychic resonance and alternate time lines. And a blind woman who can see through other people's eyes. My husband is reading it now.

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