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The Anubis Gates

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  9,245 ratings  ·  786 reviews
The Anubis Gates is the classic time travel novel that took the fantasy world by storm a decade ago. Only the dazzling imagination of Tim Powers could have created such as adventure.
Paperback, 387 pages
Published November 15th 1984 by Ace (first published 1983)
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More time travel than steampunk, although it has been categorized as the latter, Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates is fun, but it leaves one feeling a little short changed.

The problem is that Powers' story has the narrative scope of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, but it is packed into a mere 380-ish pages. Beggar's guilds, Egyptian wizards, Romantic poets, business magnates, and prize fighters mix with cross dressing vengeance seekers, mad clowns, body snatchers, fire elementals and gypsies. Time s
J.G. Keely
A fairly common mistake made by authors is failing to be familiar with their genre. They end up retreading old ground and relying on long-dead cliches because they aren't aware of what's already been done. So, it behooves an author to get some familiarity with the genre he intends to work in, to ensure that he isn't just writing the same old story over again.

In that spirit, I thought I'd check out this award-winning early piece of Steampunk. It was a rough start. One of the first red flags in an
My main feeling during the book was that it was weird. Not bad weird, not necessarily good weird, just a bit odd. I found it took a while to get into, I was never bored, but I also wasn't really all that interested for a large portion of the beginning of this one. Then it started to pick up and I found I really started to enjoy things once we met Jacky and that lot.

There were a lot of interesting ideas, strange characters and weird happenings in this novel. I enjoyed it, but I'm sure I don't un
A time travel novel featuring sorcery, evil clowns, Ancient Egyptian Gods, body switching, a condensed version of Dante, literary scholars, cross dressing, fencing champions, dog-faced men and Romantic poets.

That opening sentence lost it's short, pithy, catchphrase-like nature somewhere along the way. Mirroring the novel in that way infact.

An American Coleridge expert gets invited on a time travel adventure to hear said poet speak only to find himself trapped in the early 19th century London, a
Ever wonder what it would be like to travel in time and be able to rewrite parts of history? In The Anubis Gates, Brendan Doyle, a professor of nineteenth-century English literature living in 1983 California, accidentally gets to try his hand at it when he is invited by a mad scientist to attend a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810 London. Needless to say, an accident prevents Doyle from returning to his own time (it always does in these books, doesn't it?), so he is stuck in early ...more
Two and a half stars for me by the GR system; 'okay' verging on 'I liked it.' My appreciation could probably benefit from a second read. Ultimately, I can see where others liked it, but it's not executed in way I enjoyed.

In some ways, it reminds me of Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog in that while there is some time traveling, there is very little of technological surprise, and most of it takes place within Victorian England. In similar fashion to TSNotD, a historian accidentally gets le
Dan Schwent
Brendan Doyle is an expert on Samuel Coleridge and a contemporary of his, William Ashbless, hired by a crazy millionaire to take part in a trip through a hole in the river of time. Rich clients have paid Darrow, the millionaire, a million dollars each to travel back to a Coleridge lecture in 1805. Only something goes wrong, as it does in most time travel stories...

Powers's writing is good without having needless descriptions. His depiction of the early 1800's is really vivid. I found a few of th
"The Anubis Gates" is a terrific time travel fantasy. I never quite knew where the story was going or what was going to happen next. Tim Powers is one of those writers who packs meaning and significance into every scene. I found myself having to backtrack several times to see if I had missed something. In the last third of the book, there's so much body switching and name changing that I had trouble telling who was who. I really liked the challenge though, it kept me on my toes and it was unlike ...more
The Good:
Where do I begin? This is such a clever, epic story. Time travel, body swapping, Dickensian London, Egyptian mythology, Romantic poets, evil wizards and an exploration of fatalism - props to Tim Powers for managing to combine all this into something that wasn't absolute crap. Good story, good characters, great settings and ideas, and the ending was excellent.

The Bad:
It's a complicated mess at times which might diminish one's enjoyment. Plus the book starts in 1983, so I suppose the prot
I gave it 100 pages & really didn't care about what was going on, so I quit. It could have been interesting, I think. The problem for me was I just didn't get any feeling for any of the characters or the situation. I wanted to, felt I should, but every time I picked up the book it was a chore & I found my mind wandering.
Lisa Vegan
This book was exhausting to read.

It has an extremely convoluted plot and I had to concentrate carefully to avoid feeling confused. I couldn’t decide if I was loving it or irritated by it; I ended up feeling frustrated but found it fascinating too.

I suppose it earns 4 stars or even 5 for the author managing to put it all together at the end, and that was quite a feat, but my experience of reading it was just that I liked it, nothing more.

I think that too much happened and that there was too much
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
It’s been over thirty years since Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates was published, and the story of treachery, time travel, and long dead gods has aged well.

But then, what should I have expected? It’s Tim Powers. As I think I saw someone else mention about the author, who else could combine Egyptian mythology, Lord Byron, quantum mechanics, sorcererous clowns, and time travel? It is at times dark, other times indulgent, and occasionally syrupy with fantasy. It is, at all times, a complex mystery unfo
Tim Powers' fourth novel, 1983's "The Anubis Gates," is a book that I had been meaning to read for years. Chosen for inclusion in both David Pringle's "Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels" and Jones & Newman's "Horror: 100 Best Books," as well as the recipient of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 1984, the book came with plenty of good word of mouth, to say the least. And, as it turns out, all the ballyhoo back when was fully justified, as this really IS some kind of superb work. As J ...more
This was a tough one for me. I’d pick it up, read half a chapter, put it down for a few days, pick it back up --- rinse and repeat.

Obviously, this isn’t my usual reading style.

This took me about 170 pages to really sit back and go ‘whoa’ (Joey Lawrence Style). Once I hit that mark, I was fine. I felt the story was entertaining. Clever, even. I particularly enjoyed the Coleridge and Byron characters. Eventually, I warmed up to the main protagonist, Brendan Doyle, even though I had a hard time t
Aug 30, 2007 thefourthvine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves time travel stories the way fetishists love their kink porn.
Shelves: sff
Tim Powers is at his best with wacked-out time travel stories, and that's precisely what this is. He basically took the entire collection of English-language literary devices and tossed them into one book. And then added some poetry. And some genderfuckery. And Ancient Egyptian myths and legends. And, also, did I mention the time travel?

So. A mild-mannered literature professor (this is, um, something of a theme character in Powers' work) goes back to the time of Lord Byron, and - look. Things h
A friend loaned me this book long ago. It was his absolute most favorite book at the time. So I cracked the spine and moved right in. When I'm really into a book it becomes an extension of my left arm and tends to get in the way of meals. When I finally returned it, full of crumbs and tea stains, the cover had somehow gone missing. My friend was unhappy with me but I had thoroughly enjoyed his book. Thanks, Nathan.
Nutshell: time machine, invented for the very practical purpose of attending a 19th century poetry reading, coincidentally dicks up several unrelated conspiracies to take over the world.

Egyptian deity types conscript a pack of gypsies in order to “purge Egypt of the Moslem and Christian taints” (9). Apparently Egyptian sorcery is the engine of history, insofar as Trafalgar was caused by it (id.). Egyptians make copies of each other, “the animated duplicate, or ka” (13). Narrative revolves around
Paul 'Pezski' Perry

Definitely one of the best time travel stories I have ever read, The Anubis Gates mixes SF, magic, literary history, Egyptian mythology and hermetic magic into a tale that is superbly plotted and rollickingly told.

Brendan Doyle, a literature professor and expert on the obscure 19th century poet William Ashbless is recruited by reclusive millionaire J. Cochran Darrow for a secret project, which turns out to be a jaunt back to 1810 to see Samuel Taylor Coleridge give a lecture, where Doyle fi
3.5 - I can see why this book made a splash in the 80s – it’s a fun, original time-travel story that was probably new and different at the time. However, the Fantasy /SciFi genres have developed quite a bit since then and currently there are works out there of a higher caliber.

Further, this book is billed as Steam Punk which didn’t seem to fit, if anything it’s very light steam punk – however while it really doesn’t fit into the contemporary definition, it may have been one of the earliest work
Dec 29, 2008 Kristjan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristjan by: GR Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club
This book was billed as a classic 'Steam Punk' story that helped define the genre ... the only problem here was that there was NO steam [tech:] and there was little or no punk either. In fact, the only way it fits here would be to credit the time period as Victorian (IMHO a useless expansion of the term), before mixing in a tremendous amount of magic in what should be more honestly billed as a time-travel fantasy. That said … it WAS a pretty decent time-travel story :)

The story opens with a magi
Tim Powers wrote this historical time-travel fantasy in 1983 when it won the PKD award. If this sounds a bit strange, you've got to know that Philip K. Dick and Tim Powers were neighbors and good friends. But the novel is strange, anyways. It also appears in Gollancz' "Fantasy masterworks" as number 47.

It involves 3 time planes: 1983 (the year of writing) where the travel starts; the main part plays in London's 1810 where some Egyptian mages try to bring back magic and the worship of Egyptian go
Y antes de seguir... porque esto no para, mi pequeño homenaje, en voz queda, y para oídos selectos, a Tim Powers. A mi primera novela de este autor, mi contacto con el steampunk, de la mano de su precursor. Sólo tengo alabanzas de mi viaje al Londres victoriano, a la magia del antiguo Egipto en las calles de El Cairo del siglo XIX (sí, sí, el XIX). Powers teje una telaraña simétrica, cuidada y hermosa, como un copo de nieve a vista de microscopio, y juega contigo, presa de los poemas de Ashbless ...more
Otis Chandler
Dec 18, 2008 Otis Chandler rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Otis by: Sci-fi Fantasy bookclub
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
I enjoyed every second of this book. I haven't read a time travel book in a long time, but loved this one, as the descriptions of London in 1812 were very rich. I loved how Lord Byron and other famous poets were running around, and the descriptions of all the beggars were fascinating. Add in some ancient Egyptian magic and you've got a great book!

Random sidenote: It's interesting to think that back then poets were the rockstars of the age, as the only form of mass-media was newspapers, so those
A weird, action-packed time travel story. I did enjoy it but I could never really become absorbed by the writing, and the ending isn't terribly satisfying.

The action scenes were well done - I was particularly impressed by an early chase scene. I liked Doyle, and some of his inner dialog was great. But none of the other characters were well fleshed-out, and whenever the author veered away from action or dialog I found myself beginning to skim paragraphs.

I can't decide if this novel should have be
When millionaire J. Cochran Darrow finds The Anubis Gates that will make time travel possible, he quickly assembles a team to go back to 1801. He hires Professor Brendan Doyle to give advice about the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Soon a band of misfits are assembled and they are off on an early 19th century London adventure and throughout time.

If you think the plot sounds a little weird, then you are not the only one. I spent a lot of time wondering about the logic behind the locations and peop
4.5 stars. Masterful story-telling. Highly Recommended.

Nominee: British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel (1986)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1984)
Winner: Philip K. Dick Award for Best Novel (1984)
Voted onto Locus "All Time" Fantasy List (14th place) (1998)
I sought this out for two reasons. First, I gathered that it had to do with time travel, a story device I have a reluctant fascination with. Second, I'm curious to find out about this Steampunk thing I keep hearing about, and this book consistently showed up on the "Top Steampunk Novels" lists the Google gave me.

If that second is the reason you're interested in this book, I should warn you: there were no dirigibles, or ladies in leather corsets, or sky-pirates with clockwork limbs, or any of th
A decent idea, loved the Horrobin character, but the story was all over the place. This would have been much better if it spanned several books instead of trying to cram so much into so few pages. And while the beginning of the book dragged along, the ending was so hurried and abrupt that I lost my connection with the characters.

I loved loved loved all the time travel, the back and forth, and following the different characters across the ages to figure out how they all fit together.

My biggest h
⊱ Irena ⊰
The first thing to be aware is that the main character is not really special. He is not a capable romantic hero, nor is he an anti-hero type. Considering some of the things that happen in this book, I wouldn’t be surprised that this was a plan all along. He isn't supposed to be special at all. Now, if I haven't turned you back from reading this, great.

Although Brendan Doyle is just moving from one situation to the next, from one person to the next, hardly ever doing anything on his own, the rest
This is a high octane story of a historian who travels back in time and becomes intimately aquainted with the very people and times that he was studying, and in ways which he did not quite expect.

I was gripped by this story from the beginning; you don't have to wait around for much preamble. The action begins almost straight away and the story develops at a break neck pace. At times it even felt rushed. So many events occur, so many characters are introduced that the author barely has time to do
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Timothy Thomas Powers is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare.

Most of Powers's novels are "secret histories": he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations a
More about Tim Powers...
Last Call (Fault Lines, #1) On Stranger Tides Declare The Drawing of the Dark The Stress of Her Regard

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“Thus Milton refines the question down to a matter of faith," said Coleridge, bringing the lecture to a close, "and a kind of faith more independent, autonomous - more truly strong, as a matter of fact - than the Puritans really sought. Faith, he tells us, is not an exotic bloom to be laboriously maintained by the exclusion of most aspects of the day to day world, nor a useful delusion to be supported by sophistries and half-truths like a child's belief in Father Christmas - not, in short, a prudently unregarded adherence to a constructed creed; but rather must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God. This is why religion can only be advice and clarification, and cannot carry any spurs of enforcement - for only belief and behavior that is independently arrived at, and then chosen, can be praised or blamed. This being the case, it can be seen as a criminal abridgement of a person's rights willfully to keep him in ignorance of any facts - no piece can be judged inadmissible, for the more stones, both bright and dark, that are added to the mosaic, the clearer is our picture of God.” 11 likes
“The Spoonsize Boys steal the dollhouse toys while the cat by the fire is curled. Then away they floats in their eggshell boats, down the drains to their underground world.” 10 likes
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