Gollancz Editors’ Favourite Masterworks: Emily
And so, into the home stretch, our final piece by the Gollancz editors comes from Emily and features Philip K. Dick Award-winner, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers . . .
The Anubis Gates appeared on my radar when I was a poor, sunlight-deprived student, desperately searching for a way to avoid my Essay of the Day. My preferred magical way of escaping reality at the time was to read Steampunk novels. Along with Morlock Night by K. W. Jeter (who coined the term “steampunk” in 1987) and Homonculus by James Blaylock, The Anubis Gates was one of the defining novels of the genre, although to hear all three discuss it as I had the privilege at the 2013 World Fantasy Convention, the whole shebang apparently started as a bit of a joke.
Upon discovering the wonder that is The Anubis Gates on recommended reading lists, my thought process followed as such:
“What’s this? A novel (mostly) set in the nineteenth century, containing actual literary figures from actual history, but with time-travel and magic and evil clowns and ancient Egyptian gods and poetry and cross dressing? Reading it would basically the same as researching this essay on nineteenth century poets, right? Only better. Definitely better.”
As an English Literature student and long-time fantasy fan, it ticked just about every box I had and I was in love before I’d even started reading – the fact that The Anubis Gates also happened to be an award-winning Fantasy Masterworks novel merely confirmed that I had good taste in non-study-related literature. It’s a fantastically thrilling ride from start to finish and for a time-travel novel, the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff actually makes a startling amount of sense.