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Earthquake Weather
Tim Powers
Tor Books, 416 pages

A review by Neil Walsh

Powers has a knack for establishing in his novels rules of weirdness that make enough occult-logical sense that you just come to accept them. Earthquake Weather assumes that you're already familiar with the body-swapping and ghost-sniffing established in Last Call and Expiration Date. If you're not, you're likely to find yourself struggling to keep up.

But, of course, Powers couldn't simply recycle the old rules without spicing them up a little. One fun new twist is that ghosts are no longer the only drug of choice for those in the know; in Earthquake Weather we meet a psychiatrist who gets his kicks by severing off and consuming personalities from patients with Multiple Personality Disorder. (Kids, don't try this at home.)

When Earthquake Weather opens, Scott Crane, the Fisher King of the American West, is already dead. He's been murdered, leaving the land without a King, which if you're at all familiar with the Fisher King myth you'll know is a bad thing. Now the bad guys, the good guys, more bad guys, and a whole whack of others all with their own agendas, are all looking for "a boy whose name sounds like . . . well, like Boogie-Woogie Bananas" (actually Koot Hoomie Parganas, the young host of the ghost of Edison from Expiration Date) because he's either going to be the next king, or he's going to be instrumental in raising Crane from the dead.

Earthquake Weather is being marketed as a sequel to Expiration Date. It is. But it's also a sequel to Last Call. If you don't mind missing out on a few things, you might be able to get away with not having read Last Call. But why would you want to; it's a great book. If you haven't already read Expiration Date, do yourself a big favour and definitely read that before you tackle Powers' latest. It's also a great book.

So is it worth reading two books just to get to this one? You bet! When is it not worthwhile reading Tim Powers? Earthquake Weather is full of the action, suspense, twists, supernatural and home-baked magic Powers fans crave. And it's got a climax that'll make your head spin.

Copyright © 1997 by Neil Walsh

Neil Walsh is the Reviews Editor for the SF Site. He lives in contentment, surrounded by books, in Ottawa, Canada.

Earthquake Weather
Tim Powers
After two less-memorable books, Tim Powers' The Drawing of the Dark was a delight. He went on to produce some of the finest SF there is. These include the alternate history/time travel of The Anubis Gates, the slightly bizarre Dinner at Deviant's Palace and, later the World fanasy Award winning The Last Call.

Tim Powers Website
PUG: Tim Powers Interview
PUG: Excerpt from Earthquake Weather
SF Site: Another Review of Expiration Date
Tim Powers Interview
Earthquake Weather 1 - Cover Rough
Earthquake Weather 2 - Cover Rough
Earthquake Weather 3 - Cover Rough
Another Review of Earthquake Weather

Past Feature Reviews

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