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More Walls Broken

More Walls Broken

by Tim Powers

Availability: In stock

Product Name Price Qty
More Walls Broken Signed Limited Edition
More Walls Broken Trade Hardcover Edition

Intricate, intelligent, and always thoroughly absorbing, More Walls Broken mixes fantasy and quantum physics in utterly unique fashion. The result is a brilliantly imagined account of multiple realities and unintended consequences that is pure dazzle, pure storytelling, pure—and unmistakable—Tim Powers. In book after book, story after story, Powers has set the standard for literate imaginative fiction. With this essential, beautifully realized novella, he has done it once again.


Dust jacket illustration and Interior Illustrations (Limited Edition Only) by Jon Foster.

As this ingenious new novella, More Walls Broken, begins, a trio of academics have just entered a deserted California cemetery late at night, bringing with them a number of arcane devices aimed at achieving an equally arcane purpose. What follows is the sort of dizzying, mind-expanding entertainment that only the always reliable, always astonishing Tim Powers could have written.

These three men, professors in the “Consciousness Research” department at Cal Tech University, have come together to perform a seemingly impossible task. Their goal: to open a door between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and to capture the ghost of the recently deceased scientist Armand Vitrielli. For their own desperate reasons, they hope to avail themselves of the secrets Vitrielli left behind at the time of his death. Their experiment, naturally, fails to come off exactly as planned. A door between the worlds does, in fact, open, letting in something—someone—completely unexpected, and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate throughout the narrative.

Intricate, intelligent, and always thoroughly absorbing, More Walls Broken mixes fantasy and quantum physics in utterly unique fashion. The result is a brilliantly imagined account of multiple realities and unintended consequences that is pure dazzle, pure storytelling, pure—and unmistakable—Tim Powers. In book after book, story after story, Powers has set the standard for literate imaginative fiction. With this essential, beautifully realized novella, he has done it once again.

The signed limited edition will be bound in leather and include two full-color interior illustrations not in the trade hardcover.

Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies, bound in leather, with exclusive full-color plates

Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover copy

From Publishers Weekly:

“Three professors fumble their way through opening gates to increasing disaster in Powers’s enjoyable novella… He likewise weaves in dark humor amid the professors’ nerve-racking attempts to fix the ‘walls’ between realities. If the tropes inherent in crossing parallel dimensions are overly familiar, Powers (Alternate Routes) puts his own small twists on them, keeping readers guessing about how he’s going to clean up the mess—though some messes may not be cleanable.”

From Booklist Online:

“Powers (Down and Out in Purgatory, 2017) wastes no time with his new novella, packing a powerful story into such a brief and exciting read. Fans of fantasy, the paranormal, and science fiction alike will enjoy transporting themselves into his strange world of ghosts and alternate dimensions.”

From Locus:

“The plot of More Walls Broken may pay an unlikely homage both to classic ghost-summoning tales and to multiple-worlds quantum physics, but it reads like a fast-moving one-act play. The main characters are faculty members of the Consciousness Research department at Cal Tech, which sounds about as ambitiously trendy as UC Santa Cruz’s actual History of Consciousness program, but which turns out to be a lot more old-fashioned—almost alchemical, in fact… the tale not only takes advantage of the comic possibilities of parallel time streams converging, but also develops a rather haunting ‘road not taken’ quality that gives it a surprising depth of feeling.”


More Wall Broken (a bit of scene setting excerpt)

When the night security guard had closed the gates, the white Ford van moved slowly up the driveway, past the dark windows of the Spanish-style information center on the left, and halted a few yards short of the open-sided electric cart. The cart’s headlights shone toward the gates and Newport Boulevard beyond, while the van’s were pointed the other way, but it was the diffuse white radiance of the full moon that lit the wall and the asphalt lane and the trees over on the eastern edge of the cemetery.

Having re-locked the gate, the guard walked up to the driver’s side window of the van, first noting the California State University logo painted on the side.

The window was down. “About an hour,” said the guard, “according to the permit. Right?”

The elderly driver cleared his throat. “That should be ample,” he agreed. A man seated beside him leaned across and said, “Just taking core soil samples from six locations. Well away from any graves!”

The guard squinted into the van’s dim interior. “It said ground water contamination.”

“The possibility thereof,” said the man in the passenger seat. “Breakdown of coffin-making materials—metal, varnish, sealers. We’ll be testing specifically for evidence of ammonium copper quaternary or copper boron azole. There, uh, may be some pathogenic fumes.”

“Huh. Better you than me. My job to keep azoles out.” The security guard was chuckling to himself as he got into the electric cart and steered it out of the way.

A cold breeze smelling of clay swept across the moonlit lawns, and the van’s driver pressed the armrest button to raise the window as he drove forward. “You cover…copper boron azoles in Advanced Anomalies?”

The man in the passenger seat sighed. “I had the foresight to read up on our ostensible purpose.”

From behind them a third man spoke up. “That was good, Dr. Blaine, what he said. Copper quaternary! Boron!”

Blaine kept his eyes on the lane and didn’t reply, and the man sitting in the back leaned against the van wall and pressed his lips together. He was an assistant professor, two years along on the tenure track, and if his publication portfolio and student evaluations and “service to the university” met with the approval of the Provost three years from now, he would have tenure; if not, he would have a year to find another position somewhere. This undertaking tonight should, he hoped, count as “service to the university”—to Blaine’s Consciousness Research Department, in any case—though he wished his Sociology degree had proven acceptable to a more orthodox department at the university, and he had little confidence that the three of them would actually accomplish anything here tonight. He queasily hoped not, in fact. Still, he was demonstrating cooperation and team spirit, and meant to give it his best.

Blaine glanced at the white-haired man beside him. “Where is it, Peter?”

“That lane coming up on your left. I bestirred myself to come out here this afternoon and stick a flag on his grave.” Peter Ainsworth shifted around in his seat and peered into the back of the van. “Cobb,” he said, “you’ve got what, his gate, is it?”

“Yes,” Cobb said, “It had to be something metal, with loosely held valence electrons, and when I went to his—”

“It’s a section of chain-link fence about ten feet long,” Blaine interrupted. The little flag on the grass was visible in the headlights, and he drove a few yards past it, then braked to a halt and turned off the lights and the engine. “You should have seen us loading it in,” he added as he levered his door open and stepped down to the asphalt. “My back is still killing me.” He carefully lifted a briefcase from the van floor and held it in both hands.

A cold breeze broke up the warm air inside the van. Cobb didn’t want to climb over the gate that lay behind him, so as Ainsworth got out of the van on the right side, he crawled forward between the front seats; by the time he had got his legs under himself and climbed out of the van, the other two men had shuffled around and opened the back. Cobb followed, wishing he’d worn a sweater.

Ainsworth was impatient, and had already taken hold of one of the gate’s four-foot aluminum end-poles, and even as Cobb started forward to help, the old man rocked back, tugging at it.

The chain-link gate slid halfway out of the van and then stopped, and Ainsworth let go of it and hopped awkwardly away across the moonlit asphalt.

“Christ!” he whispered, rubbing his shoulder. Cobb recalled that his health was reputedly not good. The old man glared at Cobb. “You were just supposed to get something from his house, remember? I wanted something like a doorknob.”

Now that Armand Vitrielli was dead, Peter Ainsworth was Cobb’s immediate supervisor in the Consciousness Research Department, and he was staring at Cobb now as if the younger man must be making fun of the evening’s activity. Blaine simply stood silent on the grass a couple of yards away, clutching his briefcase.

Additional Information

Authors Powers, Tim
Artists Foster, Jon
Binding Hardcover
Type Novella
Edition Deluxe Limited
ISBN 978-1-59606-886-5
Year 2019
Month February
Print Status In Print
Shippable Yes
Shipping Class Ship at Once
Length 138 pages



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