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Powers, Tim

century set return king

(US, 1952– )

Tim Powers is one of the most original of modern fantasy authors. His early work, The Drawing of the Dark (1979), is one of many stories of King Arthur's return, but unlike all the others it is set in sixteenth-century Austria, while the ‘dark’ of its title is dark beer, brewed once a century to bring life back to the Fisher King. The Anubis Gates (1983) is also in part a historical novel, set in nineteenth-century London; it is one of the defining works of ‘steampunk’ (science fiction crossed with Victorian Gothic). Powers uses his knowledge of romantic poets also in The Stress of Her Regard (1989), in which Byron, Shelley, and Keats appear as characters haunted by vampiric beings who provide them with their inspiration. Powers's later works, Last Call (1992) and Expiration Date (1995), are set in modern America, but continue the themes of demonic possession, identity exchange, and quasi-Arthurian return to heal the waste lands of Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

George R. R. Martin, Michael Swanwick. See FANTASY  TS

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