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Forsake the Sky

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  233 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 9th 1986 by Tor Books (first published 1976)
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Michael Gardner
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I read Powers's first novel after two or three others and wasn't that thrilled with it. But, The Anubis Gates is a hard act to follow when you don't read Powers's books in the chronological order he wrote them.

It is a somewhat naive story, a kinda three musketeers adventure, except without the other two musketeers (or three if you count d'Artagnan) on a science fiction world with a body count Sly or Arnie would envy. But looking back on it, I can see the emergence of Powers's tremendous gift for
Jason Pettus
Now that I'm no longer reviewing 200 contemporary novels a year for the CCLaP website, 2018 is giving me the opportunity to become a "completist" of certain authors whose entire ouevres I've always wanted to tear through; and along with other writers like Christopher Buckley, Daphne du Maurier and Shirley Jackson, this has also included Tim Powers, who is revered within science-fiction and urban-fantasy circles for his complex, clever novels that mash up several different genres in order to pres ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was Tim Powers' first book, and it shows: both that it's a very early work but also that it's by Powers. The writing's good, and the plot's ok, but everything is rougher than one would normally expect from him. It's a fairly generic sci-fi on a world with low technology as intra-stellar space travel breaks down across the galaxy.

Good for the Powers completeist, but probably not worth it for anyone else.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
There is a very short afterword by Tim Powers where he tells us that this was his first published book, and that it was inspired by Dumas, by Heinlein’s Red Planet, and by Raphael Sabatini. It’s definitely a nice combination of The Three Musketeers and sword & planet. Powers takes what would have been—honestly, is—a collection of sci-fi adventure clichés and gives them an interesting and sometimes humorous spin. On the one hand, you’ll probably be able to predict most of the developments, an ...more
Phil Zimmerman
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
I realized about 50 pages into this book that I had read it before. I think I read the "Skies Discrowned" version though. This is a fun read that shows off the first published novel of Tim Powers. It shares little in common with his later work, but it is entertaining enough.

Absent are the fantastical historical fiction one would expect from powers. This is a standard low-tech sci-fi adventure.
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Tim Powers first book, before he finished ironing a lot of adolescent hooey out of himself: Girls scary! Hit things with swords! Girls inexplicable! More swords! Many dead! Oh well so what I saved the planet. So, yeah, only for people who, like me, really love Tim Powers. Or who are teenage boys.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is an odd piece of SF history, being the first novel written by the now-better-known Tim Powers, writing here as "Timothy."
The story is a swashbuckler of sorts, with an artist and fencer changing the world on which he lives, in a setting which was very interesting. The writing seemed rushed, though, as Powers crammed a bigger story into less than 200 pages, possibly to fit within the Laser Books format.
The version of future humanity in which the story takes place is an interesting one. I ha
Joshua Hair
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pardon me; I'm going to brag for a brief moment about recently finding an original signed copy of this. It was exciting because, though I've been a fan of Mister Powers for quite some time, I had never read his first novel. To find it signed with a joking little note about how silly and young he was back then made it a star of my signed books collection.

But enough patting myself on the back. This is about the contents of the book, not the physical book itself. As other reviewers have made clear,
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This was Tim Powers' first book. Published in 1975 and republished in 1985 after a little editing. The writing is very good but is definitely not a mature work. Frank Rovzar sees his portrait painter father killed during the assassination of the old duke. The new duke has Frank condemned to be taken off planet to the uranium mines. Frank escapes and hides out in the undercity with the criminals. Mixes science-fiction with good, old fashioned, Rafael Sabatini swordplay. You can definitely see the ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I know this is the first book piblished by Tim Powers, and many say it shows the weaknesses of a first book. But I found it to be a marvelous, if rather bloody, adventure story with an engaging hero. Yes, Frank adjusts to the changes in his circumstances a bit too easily, yet he does so in ways that are always plausible. The science fiction aspects of this story are almost irrelevant except as framework for the setting and circumstances of the planet Octavio.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was the author’s first published work and it is very different from his later books.
It is very simple and verges on the simplistic. It could easily be a Young Adult’s or even Children’s book.

It is quite short and it is readable. However it is nothing special and because it is occasionally amusing I will give it a generous three stars.

Patty Blaney
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a HUGE fan of Tim Powers. This was his very first book published and has now moved to my most favorite Tim Powers book. His characters are so well developed and you sympathize with them. I love the underworld political themes in this one.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, but ultimately not much to write home about.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Simpler and pulpier than later, "real" Tim Powers books, this was still a lot of well-written fun. I'll be adding a line from it to my quotations page, so that's something.
Simon Nicol
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Ryan Patrick
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brian dean
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Jan 29, 2009
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Mar 13, 2010
Zachary Johnson
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Oct 17, 2012
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Brett Bydairk
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Feb 10, 2013
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Jun 11, 2017
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Tim Newton
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Mar 23, 2014
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Nov 15, 2008
Chris Stutts
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Apr 21, 2014
David Grenfell
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Apr 01, 2014
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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
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