Salvage and Demolition (ebook)
Salvage and Demolition, the astonishing new 21,000 word novella by Tim Powers, begins when Richard Blanzac, a San Francisco-based rare book dealer, opens a box of consignment items and encounters the unexpected. There, among an assortment of literary rarities, he discovers a manuscript in verse, an Ace Double Novel, and a scattering of very old cigarette butts. These commonplace objects serve as catalysts for an extraordinary—and unpredictable—adventure.
Without warning, Blanzac finds himself traversing a “circle of discontinuity” that leads from the present day to the San Francisco of 1957. Caught up in that circle are an ancient Sumerian deity, a forgotten Beat-era poet named Sophie Greenwald, and an apocalyptic cult in search of the key to absolute non-existence. With unobtrusive artistry, Powers weaves these elements into something strange and utterly compelling. The resulting story is at once a romance, a thriller, and the kind of intricately constructed time travel story that only the author of The Anubis Gates—that quintessential time travel classic—could have written. Ingenious, affecting, and endlessly inventive, Salvage and Demoliton is a compact gem from the pen of a modern master, a man whose singular creations never fail to dazzle and delight.
From Booklist (Starred Review):
“Evoking such genre notables as Richard Matheson’s Bid Time Return, Jack Finney’s Time and Again, and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife (along with such films as Source Code and The Terminator), the book is a sort of literary Mobius strip, looping around on itself, finding its ending in its beginning. Powers is an acclaimed SF and fantasy author—The Anubis Gates (1983) is considered a time-travel classic—and this new title has the feel of a cult favorite, the kind of small-press jewel that will develop a devoted following.”
From Publishers Weekly:
“Like much of Powers' work, this time-hopping novella is a 'secret history,' deftly set into the spaces between real historical events. Powers skillfully weaves intrigue, romance, and the possible end of the world into this twisty tale of the strangeness hidden behind the mundane.”
From Chasing Ray:
“[Salvage and Demolition] has a delightful noirish mystery/time travel mash-up vibe… The adventure is a little wild and the cult (aside from the real guns) just this side of silly/crazy but the book is so much fun that any questions about how the whole thing is happening are easily cast aside. Richard & Sophie have a very Nick & Nora banter style which is even sillier as the first time he meets her is the second time she has met him (time travel never works easily, does it?). There's style here—serious style—and the 1950s comes alive in fabulous fashion. The mystery is great, the bookishness of it all is pure candy for me and the romance is sweet. As to whether or not any of it could happen—who cares? Purely joyful reading from start to finish. (Oh—and includes JK Potter's excellent moody illustrations!)”
From Green Man Review:
“The pleasures of this slender volume—21000 words—are manifold. The banter between Sophie and Richard is snappy as hell. The plotting of the various time travel loops is airlessly tight and effortlessly elegant. And the style is elegant and clean, sweeping the reader along to where it becomes impossible to put the book down. This is a read-in-one-sitting gem, in part because of its length and in part because it’s so damn addictive… Salvage and Demolition is quintessential Powers, pure evidence of a master working in his wheelhouse again.”