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The Anubis Gates

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  12,123 Ratings  ·  1,091 Reviews
Author Tim Powers evokes 17th-century England with a combination of meticulously researched historic detail and imaginative flights in this sci-fi tale of time travel. Winner of the 1984 Philip K. Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback, this 1989 edition of the book that took the fantasy world by storm is the first hardcover version to be published in the U ...more
ebook, 370 pages
Published December 14th 2011 by Ace Books (first published 1983)
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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
...more
Brad
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
...more
Bradley
Re-Read 8/17/16

Well, apparently, the universe doesn't want me to write a review, so let's try this a third time. :)

I wanted to like this re-read a lot more than the first, but unfortunately, the things I thought were uninteresting the first time around, like the Egypt expedition, were still uninteresting, but I stuck around because all the run-ins with the egyptian magicians was still pretty damn wonderful.

As for the first half of the novel, I'd easily give it 5 stars. I mean, where else can you
...more
Phrynne
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was just so much fun! It was really, really entertaining and I have no problem giving it five stars.
Basically it is a story about time travel. It reminded me a lot of the Doomsday Book by Connie Willis which is one of the best books I have ever read so I mean this as praise indeed. The method of travelling is very original and the purpose very devious.
Having travelled our hero spends a large part of the book living in the past and often suffering accordingly. We meet Coleridge and Lor
...more
Jokoloyo
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a real life experience that comparable with the critical moment of the main protagonist. (view spoiler)

This book is not only my first read of Tim Powers, but also one of my earliest read of fantasy novels. I was still innocent literally. So, I had many "Wow!" experience when I
...more
Penny
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
...more
Carol.
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
...more
Wanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tfitoby
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
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
...more
Dan Schwent
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
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
...more
Emma
2.5 stars. Complicated, chaotic time travelling riotous caper combined with sorcery from Egypt. There were some great ideas in here but the story as a whole was just too much. I was so relieved to get to the end.
Martine
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
Azumi
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buen libro de aventuras con toques de fantasía y ciencia ficción, pero que me ha resultado una lectura con altibajos, o bien todo era acción frenética y sin darte respiro o bien trozos que he encontrado pesados y lentos.
Lo que más me ha gustado ha sido la ambientación y toda la ciudad de los mendigos de Londres con el payaso Horrabin y sus errores.
Megan Baxter
What a strange book. I mean, really, really strange. It's just such a weird mishmash of science fiction and fantasy and the just plain odd. We read it in my online SF group, and there's a good question here as to whether it's even science fiction. There's time travel, which would put it under that rubric, but also ancient Egyptian magicians (ooh, a new tongue twister!). And the time travel itself, now that I think about it, may not be scientific in nature. There's the suggestion that it might be ...more
Ryan
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sandi
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
"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
Jason Pettus
[Also published at my website, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.]

Recently I was cleaning out some back folders on my hard drive and came across an old file named "Writers I Should Really Get Around to Reading the Complete Works of Before I Die;" and one of the people on that list was Tim Powers, whose genre-hybrid works span across the traditional lines of science-fiction, fantasy, horror and the occult to deliver truly unique stories that make a lasting impression, which is wha
...more
thefourthvine
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Maria Clara
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maravilloso!!!

Para mí Tim Powers es un escritor de voz oscura, añeja y dorada como el mejor de los whiskys. En esta novela crea un mundo singular de magia y de realismo como si fuera un claroscuro, donde la magia es el elemento a vencer y el futuro el elemento al que no se puede engañar. Me ha encantado pasear con Doyle por las calles de la Inglaterra de 1810 y sufrir con él, ver cómo su personaje iba avanzando al mismo ritmo que la novela hasta crecer y convertirse en otro hombre.
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
...more
Sandy
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Jim
Jun 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mamen B.
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
2,5/5

Que conste que las 2 estrellas en GR son "It was ok", y de mi cosecha, le pongo media más, porque me ha parecido un poco mejor que "ok". Realmente creo que es un buen libro, entretenido por momentos, y con una historia muy original, pero no es mi estilo de lectura, ni mi estilo de libro. Además, no es que llevara expectativas, pero llamándose Las puertas de Anubis, no sé, me esperaba mucho más toque egipcio del que tiene, lo cual ha contribuido a decepcionarme un poquito.

Resumiendo mucho, p
...more
Kim
May 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Otis Chandler
Oct 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
...more
J
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stephen
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)
Andrew
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always reading this books is a sheer joy and I will be honest the more I can convert to it the better.

The book is sheer fantasy set up to a back drop of historical events and framed with science fiction. Once you have negotiated that you are in for a roller coaster ride you really have no idea where it will take you.

One thing I will say is that even though the book takes time (and I will admit that finding the story suddenly being divided in to books surprised me) the story seems to shift ge
...more
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WHY CAN'T ALL BOOKS BE THIS GOOD?? 6 11 Oct 26, 2017 08:27AM  
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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
More about Tim Powers...
“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.” 13 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.” 11 likes
More quotes…