Alternate Routes (Vickery and Castine #1) (Mass Market)
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER. A New Novel From Award-Winning Master of Fantasy and Science Fiction Tim Powers. A modern ghost story as only Tim Powers can write it.
Something weird is happening to the Los Angeles freeways—phantom cars, lanes from nowhere, and sometimes unmarked offramps that give glimpses of a desolate desert highway. Sebastian Vickery, disgraced ex-Secret Service agent, is a driver for a covert supernatural-evasion car service. But another government agency is using and perhaps causing the freeway anomalies, and their chief is determined to have Vickery killed because of something he learned years ago at a halted Presidential motorcade.
Reluctantly aided by Ingrid Castine, a member of that agency, a homeless Mexican boy, and a woman who makes her living costumed as Supergirl on the sidewalk in front of the Chinese Theater, Vickery learns what legendary hell it is that the desert highway leads to. When Castine deliberately drives into it to save him from capture, he must enter it himself to get her out.
Alternate Routes is a fast-paced supernatural adventure story that sweeps from the sun-blinded streets and labyrinthine freeways of Los Angeles to a horrifying other world out of Greek mythology. Vickery and Castine must learn to abandon old loyalties and learn loyalty to each other in order to survive as the world goes mad around them.
About Alternate Routes: “Powers continues his run of smashing expectations and then playing with the pieces in this entertaining urban fantasy. . . . this calculated, frenetic novel ends with hope for redemption born from chaos. Powers’ work is recommended for urban fantasy fans who enjoy more than a dash of the bizarre.”—Publishers Weekly
“Alternate Routes is both a thrilling mash-up of science fiction, fantasy, and horror and a work of startling moral sophistication. The horror packs a wallop, and there’s as much in the way of suspense and tension as the reader can bear. Powers takes us on one hell of a ride.”—The Federalist
About Tim Powers: "Powers writes in a clean, elegant style that illuminates without slowing down the tale. . . . [He] promises marvels and horrors, and delivers them all."—Orson Scott Card
"Other writers tell tales of magic in the twentieth century, but no one does it like Powers."—The Orlando Sentinel
". . . immensely clever stuff.... Powers' prose is often vivid and arresting . . . All in all, Powers' unique voice in science fiction continues to grow stronger.”—Washington Post Book World
“Powers is at heart a storyteller, and ruthlessly shapes his material into narrative form.”—The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
“On Stranger Tides . . . immediately hooks you and drags you along in sympathy with one central character's appalling misfortunes on the Spanish Main, [and] escalates from there to closing mega-thrills so determinedly spiced that your palate is left almost jaded."—David Langford
"On Stranger Tides . . . was the inspiration for Monkey Island. If you read this book you can really see where Guybrush and LeChuck were -plagiarized- derived from, plus the heavy influence of voodoo in the game. . . . [the book] had a lot of what made fantasy interesting . . .”—legendary game designer Ron Gilbert
“Powers's strengths [are] his originality, his action-crammed plots, and his ventures into the mysterious, dark, and supernatural.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[Powers’ work delivers] an intense and intimate sense of period or realization of milieu; taut plotting, with human development and destiny . . . and, looming above all, an awareness of history itself as a merciless turning of supernatural wheels. . . . Powers' descriptions . . . are breathtaking, sublimely precise . . . his status as one of fantasy's major stylists can no longer be in doubt.”—SF Site
"Powers creates a mystical, magical otherworld superimposed on our own and takes us on a marvelous, guided tour of his vision."—Science Fiction Chronicle
"The fantasy novels of Tim Powers are nothing if not ambitious . . . Meticulously researched and intellectually adventurous, his novels rarely fail to be strange and wholly original."—San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Tim Powers won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare. Declare also received the International Horror Guild Award. His novel On Stranger Tides inspired the Monkey Island video game series and was sold to Disney for the movie franchiseinstallment Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. His book The Anubis Gates won the Philip K. Dick award and is considered a modern science fiction classic and a progenitor of the Steampunk genre. Powers won the Dick award again for straight science fiction post-apocalypse novel Dinner at Deviant’s Palace. Many of his novels, such as Last Call, and Alternate Routes, are so-called “secret histories,” which use real historical events in which supernatural and metaphysical elements influence the story in weird and compelling manners. Powers grew up in Southern California and studied English at Cal State Fullerton, where he met frequent collaborators James Blaylock and K. W. Jeter, as well as renowned science fiction author Philip K. Dick, who became a close friend and mentor. Powers is a practicing Catholic who claims “stories are more effective, and more truly represent the writer’s actual convictions, when they manifest themselves without the writer’s conscious assistance. I concern myself with my plots, but I let my subconscious worry about my themes.” Powers still resides in Southern California with his wife, Serena.