Our current Masterworks Spotlight is World Fantasy Award-winner Tim Powers’ second volume in the Fault Lines trilogy, Expiration Date.
A word of warning, though: if you can’t conceive of fantasy that doesn’t involve magic swords, rings of power, perilous quests and farm-boys-with-a-destiny, then look away now; Tim Powers doesn’t do elves or dwarves that read like they’ve just stepped out of a D&D players’ manual. However, if you want myths and legends updated for the modern age and woven seamlessly into a contemporary setting, if you want to lift the curtain and peek behind the scenes into the secret history of the world, if you want to read fantasy written with power and insight and a complete command of the written word, then step right up, good people – have we got a book for you!
Twelve-year-old Koot Hoomie Parganas’s parents prepared him for a career as a metaphysical holy man – but after they’re brutally murdered one night he finds himself a fugitive in the darkest corners of Los Angeles, pursued by denizens of a dark underworld who want what Kootie’s parents have been hiding for 40 years – the ghost of Thomas Edison contained in a bust of Dante.
But Kootie has broken the bust and inhaled the ghost, and now has in his head the lively personality of Edison himself – and together Kootie and Edison must learn the harsh rules of the occult world existing behind the glitter of modern Los Angeles, and find a way to save Kootie’s life and free Edison’s ghost from its earthly Purgatory.
Expiration Date is available as a Fantasy Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook. You can find more of Tim Powers’ eBooks at his author page on the SF Gateway website, and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.