September 09, 2004

The Visitor from Porlock

Please, God! No More Time Travel Paradoxes!
(Image credit: Steve Jackson Games)

I'm keeping track of all the latest political developments, of course, but sometimes, there's just so much juicy stuff out there, it's overwhelming. Go see Atrios and watch the fun as some elements of our "liberal media" finally FINALLY start asking some hard questions about Bush. Ok, so it is only about his national guard service, but it's a start. Pretty soon, they might ask about something important like, why the hell did we go to war with Iraq, you know, since all of the original reasons given have evaporated like a fart in the wind?

Meanwhile, I'll do the usual thing when reality is too much and escape into book reviews. Today, a time-travel novel: Tim Powers' "The Anubis Gates". This one came highly recommended (which usually just means I'll be disappointed). In this novel, Powers mixes some historical fiction (England in the 1600's and 1800's) in with a plot about an ancient Egyptian sorcerer (think Imhotep in "The Mummy").

Basically, a modern day English scholar goes back in time to England so that he can meet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. And, yes, Coleridge's famous unfinished poem and mysterious visitor from Porlock make their appearance, which is a requirement in any speculative fiction novel in which Coleridge plays a part. Chaos and confusion ensue. Without saying any more about the plot, I will say that this is probably a more carefully crafted and better-written novel than Simon Hawke's pulpish "Time Wars" series, but I was bored silly. On the other hand, I was consistently entertained by the dozen or so "Time Wars" books that I read.

Maybe if I read Powers again (it has been maybe 10 years), I would have the patience to give him more of a chance, but my memory of this book is "eh".

Posted by Observer at September 9, 2004 04:18 PM

Comments on entries can only be made in pop-up windows while those entries are still on the main index page. Sorry for the inconvenience this causes, but this blocks about 99.99% of the spam the blog receives.

"On Stranger Tides" is great.

"There's some unlikely beasts in the world, and it's best to stay near the ones that you've bought drinks for"

Posted by: Humbaba on September 9, 2004 04:39 PM