Tim Powers takes on LA's freeways in 'Altered Routes'

Originally published at: Tim Powers takes on LA's freeways in 'Altered Routes' | Boing Boing

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I love Tim Powers. No one does the same kind of “Tie together real historical coincidences into a fantastical tapestry”.

They can be complicated though. I felt the need to read “Declare” twice to better understand the passing references and back-alley implications!

For the french speakers, there is a series of comic books based on the same concept (and in some cases, directly inspired):
L’Histoire Secrete
Arcane Majeur


Declare ties with Roadside Picnic for my favorite story of all time.


Another “Declare” fan here, and his Last Call > Expiration Date > Earthquake Weather sequence is awesome too.
But these books felt a bit like he was phoning things in – it sort of felt like Rudy Rucker (another PK Dick protege) lite. The first one is pretty good, the second less so – in my opinion the POV should have been the kid.


LOVE Tim Powers! He had me convinced that William Ashbless was a real person!

And then, I got the William Ashbless cookbook! :wink:


I’ll show my age a bit, I first read Tim Power’s “Drawing of the Dark” back in the mid 80s. Even then he was starting to weave the mystical with history then he just dropped the history to bring it modern. The Fault Lines was awesome series mixing grail myth, mental illness, and twisted mathmatics.


Dinner at Deviant’s Palace, also a favorite.


I enjoy his romantic history stuff more, but these were really good too. I actually enjoyed Forced Perspectives even more than the first book.


Looking forward to getting to these, I’ve loved most of his other stuff.

I was delighted and surprised to find that this series dovetails into his splendid series about cards, Las Vegas and the Fisher King! Like Scott Westerfeld, he does a great job of providing just enough rationale for how things like ghosts could function to let you really suspend your disbelief, especially with the help of lots of historical trivia and conspiracy theories.

The only problem comes when you try to read a Sandman Slim book after these, and the two authors’ visions of paranormal Los Angeles grind against each other…


I couldn’t do RP because the protagonist is such an asshole,
particularly toward those older than himself.

The secret ingredient is cigarette ash!

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Declare is great because it is probably the best at doing a “secret history” – providing a fictional explanation for real events that actually makes more sense than the real one.

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