Home > roleplaying > I’ve been limping toward a post on Tim Powers’s monsters for a while, but I always have one more book to read before I can do the topic justice.

I’ve been limping toward a post on Tim Powers’s monsters for a while, but I always have one more book to read before I can do the topic justice.

September 27, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve been limping toward a post on Tim Powers’s monsters for a while, but I always have one more book to read before I can do the topic justice.

Is anyone else on this trek with me? Does anyone even know what I’m talking about? Kenneth Hite?

So now I’m finishing up Medusa’s Web and it turns out… it’s not quite the same monster as in Declare and/or Stress of Her Regard but it’s right in the same constellation of ideas. So close, in fact, that these all might be the same monster refracted through different observers.

And of course much of the time it doesn’t really behave like a monster at all, more like just a set of routines that people can’t leave well enough alone.

Features:
1. looks like a mundane thing – rocks, squiggles, whirlwinds/cloudy gusts
2. behaves like a wave form – can be destructively interfered-with, subjected to double slit experiments, reflected/refracted into prisons etc.
3. kind of intelligent and motivated but mostly on the level of “I eat you now” or “we remove threat.”
4. impossibly ancient/eternal.
5. possessed of or manifested through “spin” – more literally than quarks, less literally than actual whirlwinds.
6. capable of bestowing great gifts on humans but only to their destruction, because the kinds of people who want the gifts and are willing to pay the price are uniformly assholes.
7. kinda vampiric, or psychic-vampiric, or full-on blatantly vampiric.

So far the only books I’ve found that don’t participate at all in this pattern are the first Powers books I ever read: Anubis Gates and Drawing of the Dark.

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