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View Diary: Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Which Ugly SF/Fantasy Ducklings became Literary Swans? (140 comments)

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  •  Tim Powers. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunacat, Brecht, Ender, Ahianne, RiveroftheWest

    I would have thought someone here would have mentioned him by now; certainly when I was commenting above about Neil Gaiman, I was also thinking about the strangeness of Powers' work.

    I can't prove it b/c they may have been influenced by the same meta-something at approx. the same time, but in at least some of his work, I think Powers was mining the same field as Gaiman was in American Gods.

    Especially in Powers' Last Call.

    I just got through re-reading Tim Power's World Fantasy Award-winning 1996 novel Last Call, which is truly one of the triumphs of modern fantasy literature. Powers, one of Philip K Dick's three proteges (the others are James Blaylock and KW Jeter), is a tremendous writer, and his whole catalog deserves your attention, but even against the field of standout Powers novels, Last Call stands out further.

    Last Call's premise, at its core, is that Bugsy Siegel built Las Vegas in order to become a living avatar of the Fisher King, but that he was prevented by doing this when a French mystic named Georges Leon assassinated him, stole his head from the morgue, tossed it into Lake Mead, and set about turning his sons into mindless soldiers in his mystic army by conducting dark rituals involving a handpainted Tarot deck that could drive you mad.


    This is a book that swirls with mysticism and resonances: everyday superstition, Sumerian and Egyptian religious doctrine, the Tarot and Carl Jung's archetypes, and the Arthurian mythos.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 10:44:56 PM PDT

    •  Never heard of Powers, but 'Last Call' sounds like (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender, Youffraita, lunacat, RiveroftheWest

      a book I'll adore. I'll have to check it out - thanks, Youffraita.

      Gaiman's pretty sensitive, and in tune with culture. I expect American Gods tapped into a lot of ripe ghosts, floating in the currents of the zeitgeist.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:45:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You want ripe ghosts? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, Ender, lunacat, RiveroftheWest

        Last Call is definitely the book for you.

        The Anubis Gates wasn't bad either, although it's been too many years for me to remember much except I really, really enjoyed it. That was the first novel by Tim Powers I ever read.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 12:34:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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