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The Bible Repairman and Other Stories
Tim Powers
Tachyon Publications, 192 pages

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories
Tim Powers
Tim Powers was born in 1952. He attended and graduated from California State University, Fullerton, in 1976. In 1980 he was married to Serena Batsford. In 1984, he received the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award for The Anubis Gates. His novels Last Call and Declare have won the World Fantasy Award.

Tim Powers Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: On Stranger Tides
SF Site Review:The Drawing of the Dark
SF Site Review: Declare
SF Site Review: The Drawing of the Dark
SF Site Interview: Tim Powers
SF Site Review: Earthquake Weather

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

Although mainly a prolific, very brilliant novelist, Tim Powers occasionally tries his hand at the short story. The Bible Repairman and Other Stories -- Powers' first new collection since 2005 -- assembles five stories and a novella, where he exhibits his extraordinary talent as a fantasist and his uncommon imaginative power.

The title story is an enticing, offbeat tale featuring a jack-of-all-trades whose most peculiar talent is saving ghosts and lost souls in return for his tainted, murderer's blood. The story is endowed with the magical atmosphere of a dark fairy tale apt to take the reader in a fantastic, spellbinding world.

In "The Hour of Babel," a weird piece with a distinct SF taste, the lethal appearance (and fall) of an angel in a pizza parlour area is reenacted thirty-one years later with devastating effects.

The brilliant, superbly told "Parallel Lines" depicts a twin sister's desperate attempts to come back from beyond the grave, while the outstanding "A Soul in a Bottle" is a beautiful, tender ghost story describing the odd encounter between a dead female writer and a lonely book collector.

To me, the weakest story is "A Journey of Only Two Paces," a rather improbable piece where the executor of a friend's will gets caught in a strange, unfathomable situation full of literary quotations and Kabbalistic rites. For those who enjoyed Powers' novel The Stress of Her Regard, in which the romantic poets Byron and Shelley have to face evil Greek vampires, the present volume includes an unexpected, quite enjoyable sequel, the novella "A Time to Cast Away Stones," set in Greece between 1824 and 1825, whose main character is the poets' associate Edward John Trelawny who becomes an ally of the Greek rebels and forced to fight against the power of supernatural evil.

Both fans of historical fantasy and dark fiction enthusiasts are bound to greatly appreciate this fascinating collection.

Copyright © 2011 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.

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