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The indefatigable John Berlyne remains chained to his wormy desk in the sub sub basement of the crumbling rat-ridden manse of PS Towers as he puts still more and more material into his massive Tim Powers project. Now more resembling a heavily-bearded pale-skinned troglodyte than the dapper toe-tapping silver-tonsilled thespian he once was, Berlyne is given only to incoherent and fairly tuneless mutterings when we present him with the occasional tin plate of scraps from the kitchens: we translate these mumblings simply to 'watch this space '. Nevertheless, Designer Robert Wexler, never one to shrink from a challenge, has now pencilled in a start to the design of this monumental work (currently comprising one enormous volume of out-takes, re-writes, forgotten essays and vignettes, drawings, illustrations and out-and-out doodles, guest articles, Introductions, Forewords and, Afterwords, plus a separate unpublished novel) in fact, he tells me he's packing his bags right now and heading over to join John. How nice. This clearly means we'll have to buy an extra tin plate and give fewer scraps to the dogs.

An evening with Tim...

Hey, all!

A bunch of fans met at Rob's house in Alta Loma, (Southern) California last night for a potluck holiday gathering and to hang out with Tim and Serena Powers.

One of his fans, Alisa, had flown down from the Vancouver, B.C. area to meet Tim! That's dedication! She's staying a our house while she's here, and has been a pleasant houseguest. I'd recommend her to anyone!

On the drive home from the party, Alisa was in "contact high" mode, having just spent several hours chatting with one of her favorite authors. She said "That was AMAZING!" a couple of times, and I had to agree with her. I'd told her that meeting Tim would be like meeting an old friend that you'd never seen before, and that's pretty much how it went. She also found Tim's wife Serena to be quite amazing and charming. When Tim and Serena first arrived, I said "Look! It's the Guest of Honor, and she brought Tim!" Serena is a scream. They make such a funny couple...

It was kind of Rob and Jodi to invite us all into their home. The pool table and gaming stuff kept my kid occupied, when she wasn't blasting people with the Airzooka. Several areas of the house became rotating conversation pits as people drifted from room to room, until we finally all ended up in one room as the guests departed.

A nice evening out with a charming crowd of people!
The first part of pegkerr's interview with Powers is up at TV Bookshelf. Very interesting and funny stuff about ghosts and Lester del Ray. (You'll need QuickTime.)

Phone call with Powers

I had a nice phone call with Powers a couple of days ago. I'd had a great conversation with him after I'd interviewed him at Arcana. As a followup to that, I'd sent him a copy of Edward Gorey's The Unstrung Harp (a little gem of a book about "the unspeakable horrors of the literary life") which he'd never read before, and so he was calling to thank me, and we got to talking about our respective books in progress. I told him that mine was finally moving, albeit slowly, and I was trying to keep my spirits up, even though my daily word count seemed so pitiful. "Although when I've done my daily session and I have only 100 words to show for it," I said ruefully, "if feels like I'm trying to bail the ocean out with a thimble."

"Nah," he said. "It's not that bad. It's just like trying to bail out a swimming pool with a thimble."

Wow, I guess that makes it seem better. Sorta.

I'm giong to be interviewing Tim

I'm going to be interviewing Tim Powers, the guest of honor at the Arcana Convention the first weekend of October in St. Paul.

Is there any question you'd like me to ask him? Let me know. Thanks!

non-mainstream fantasy community

I hope no-one will object if I mention my new Live Journal Community here. It's fantasywithbite
. We specialise in fantasy that's a bit out of the mainstream, rather than the Tolkienesque commercial fantasy authors. We discuss authors like Mary Gentle, China Miéville, Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, Clive Barker, Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Michael Swanwick, Mervyn Peake, etc. And of course Tim Powers!

If you liked Declare...

Charlie Stross has come out with a very entertaining book, The Atrocity Archives, which contains a pair of novellas set in a world where one of the important points of history is that Alan Turing was killed by secret government agencies because he proved p = np, which makes it altogether too easy to calculate the geometric curves that are useful in summoning Cthulhoid entities. Stross does a magnificent job of mixing Cold War espionage, Lovecraftian horror, and modern geekery. I heartily recommend it.

The book makes a superb double bill with Declare; Stross even recommends Declare in the afterword of the book and explains that a friend had made sure he didn't read any of it while he was writing the novellas in The Atrocity Archives. The book is currently available in hardcover from Golden Gryphon Press.

Dances With Cats...

Tim and Serena came over for dinner on Saturday... (We're lucky, lucky fans!)

Picture your favorite author trying to entice your daughter's cat to come over and be sociable. When that doesn't work, picture your favorite author hiding behind the corner of the house, getting down on his hands and knees, peeking around the corner at the cat and tempting it to come over with the old "chase the skittering fingers" trick.

In your front yard.

Tim is a funny, funny man, and he really likes cats.

He gave me a paperback copy of Hope Mirrlees' Lud-In-The-Mist, too! He always buys copies when he finds them, and I got to benefit from his latest purchase! I gave him a pair of vintage postcards from the thirties. One is a photograph of "The Oldest and Largest Grape Vine of San Gabriel, California" which was a just-for-fun thing 'cause it reminded me of Earthquake Weather, but the other one really made him happy. It was a painting of Aimee Semple McPherson's temple in or around Hollywood (or Santa Monica? Can't recall...) complete with the radio tower in the background, along with a small portrait of Ms. McPherson herself. (Meaningful to those who've read Expiration Date) Tim seemed pleased with the card, and told us that Aimee was buried with a live telephone circuit in her coffin. I told him that it'd be relatively easy to figure out the phone number from old phone company records and ring her up, but he said "What if something ANSWERED?!"

The Stress of Her Regard

I just put an auction up on Ebay for a used paperback copy of "The Stress of Her Regard" by Tim Powers. This is a rare, out of print book that is highly sought after. Low starting bid price too! :-)

Powers reprints.

Babbage Press will be reprinting The Stress of Her Regard and On Stranger Tides. No word on when, but Tim says he has signed the contracts. From the looks of other Babbage Press titles, which include James P. Blaylock's The Digging Leviathan and Homunculus, they'll probably be nice-looking, if slightly expensive, trade paperbacks.