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Books: Tim Powers

Last Call 

Expiration Date

Earthquake Weather

 
Tim Powers
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; the trio have half-seriously referred to themselves as "steampunks"[2] in contrast to the prevailing cyberpunk genre of the 1980s.

Another friend Powers first met during this period was noted science fiction writer Philip K. Dick; the character named "David" in Dick's novel VALIS is based on Powers and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner) is dedicated to him.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Powers
Last Call
 
From Kirkus Reviews
Rich, top-flight mythic fantasy based on Jungian archetypes, Tarot symbolism, T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, and the Parsifal legend; by the smartly acclaimed author of On Stranger Tides, 1987, etc. Luck could not flow with more Jungian synchronicity for Powers than his having cast Bugsy Siegel as The Fisher King in this long novel just as Warren Beatty's Bugsy has fixed the nation's eye on the Oscar race, along with Robin Williams's turn as The Fisher King. The scene is Las Vegas, the subject supernatural poker using Tarot cards. Bugsy Siegel is the reigning Fisher King whose new Flamingo Hotel gambling casino is modeled on the Tarot's tower card, with the Flamingo as an inverted tower. Overthrowing Bugsy is Georges Leon, who assassinates Bugsy in his mistress's home in L.A. and prepares to become Fisher King. Leon has two sons, Robert and Scott. He has already spiritually gutted Robert and now can see through Robert's eyes, and is setting up five-year-old Scott for the same treatment while inducting him into playing-card magic. But Leon's wife shoots him in the groin, giving Leon the Fisher King's unhealing wound, and throws Scott onto a yacht that's passing by on a trailer. Scott, who has been blinded in one eye by Leon and become a one-eyed jack, is adopted and raised by the yacht's wizardly owner, Ozzie (who is much smarter than the Wizard of Oz). Scott faces his father in a weird poker game called Assumption, which uses Tarot cards and allows Leon to assume the bodies of losers for his future use, thus assuring him of immortality as long as he has a stable of bodies. When Scott loses to Leon, his objective becomes someday to beat Leon at Assumption and save his own soul by depriving his beastly father of bodies. Scott is aided by the ghost of Bugsy Siegel, which he meets at the bottom of Lake Mead. Knockout poker sequences give the symbolism real sizzle, while the genre is enlivened throughout with great lines from Eliot. -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Call-Tim-Powers/dp/038072846X/ref=pd_sim_b_1
 
Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards winner, 1993 [8]
a professional poker player finds out that he lost far more than he won in a poker game played with Tarot cards two decades ago.
Expiration Date 
 
From Publishers Weekly
The playful spirit of Lewis Carroll's Alice books-"the Old and New Testament for ghosts," as one character in this screwball supernatural comedy puts it-live on in World Fantasy Award-winning Powers's latest dazzler (after Last Call). The ghosts here aren't malevolent specters but lingering essences of the dead that are snorted and ingested by spirit junkies for the rush of memories they yield. When 11-year-old Koot Hoomie Parganas becomes possessed by the ghost of Thomas Alva Edison, a feeding frenzy begins among West Coast ghost eaters eager to absorb the great inventor's genius. Kootie's efforts to elude his pursuers eventually dovetail with electrical engineer Pete Sullivan's quest to prevent his evil stepmother from eating the ghost of his father and thus covering up her complicity in his death. Powers builds this world on a wacky foundation of physics and metaphysics, and he peoples it with eccentrics like Sherman Oaks, a one-armed ghost hunter who detects his quarry with his phantom limb, and Nicky Bradfield, a deceased teen celebrity who subsists entirely on cinnamon candy. Although filled with routine chase sequences, the novel is a minefield of exploding surprises that will have readers convinced that the author has tapped into a more magical reality behind everyday life.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
http://www.amazon.com/Expiration-Date-Tim-Powers/dp/0765317524/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b
 
World Fantasy Award nominee, 1996 [9]; 1996 Nebula Award nominee [9]
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
 
From Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to both of Powers's previous novels, Last Call (1992) with its gambling, serial immortality, and Fisher King, and Expiration Date(1996), with its ghosts, magic, and psychiatry. The current Fisher King of the American West, Scott Crane, has been murdered by Janis Cordelia Plumtree. Either Janis is possessed by several powerful and malevolent ghosts, or--as analyst and pervert Dr. Richard Paul Armentrout of Rosencrans Medical Center would have it--she's a victim of multiple personality disorder that can be treated with electroshock therapy and a magical Tarot deck. But an earthquake allows Janis to escape Armentrout's clutches, and she heads for the ghostproof and magicproof Solville apartment complex, where teenager Kootie Sullivan bears the Fisher King's unhealing wound while he and his adoptive parents guard the lifeless but uncorrupted body of Crane. If Kootie becomes the next Fisher King, his reign will be brief, troubled, and inconsequential. But how might Crane himself be restored to life? Either way, only the true Fisher King can save the land from destruction. What with the clangorous, hypercomplicated backdrop (the foregoing is but a brief outline), even readers of the two prior books will find this one difficult, if not impenetrable, with plenty of labyrinthine twiddling but very little plot. Coagulated and unengaging. -- Copyright 1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
http://www.amazon.com/Earthquake-Weather-Tim-Powers/dp/0765318229/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c
 
BSFA Award nominee, 1997 [10]; Locus Fantasy Award nominee, 1998 [11]
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.
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