Incredible flight of fantasy: Tim Powers and his books

Several years ago, through an employer, I issued myself a salary card in a savings bank. Years passed, the bank pleased both with an adequate level of service and with the phrases "Well, it doesn't work and doesn't work" in response to information that the NFC at an ATM in the service area broke down. the moment has come when the card has expired. The caring bank reissued the card and offered to pick it up at a branch located on the other side of the city, 20 km from the place where I received it. And it would seem, where is this laudatory "Where did you get the card, come there?" The guys from CC at number 900 and from Twitter turned out to be the most consistent with each other and gave out identical information, they say, my employer's account is probably served at this very address, respectively, the card is reissued there. And the fact that I received the card at a different address, it does not matter, the re-issue is another procedure, and they sent me where it should be.

The answer did not suit me very much and it was decided to write a claim through the same CC. At first, however, they tried to drain me and offered to apply for this at any convenient bank branch, but they could not answer the direct question "can I leave a verbal claim through you" with a refusal.

Interesting and sounds comfortable. Only in this part of the city I visit a maximum of once a year. Well, ready to offer to study my transactions over the past half a year, and find at least one perfect one in the Moskovskaya area, I head to the office to finally get this ill-fated card. The employee who issued the card told me the third version of the story. And the only one of all at least apologized for the inconvenience: It turns out that when the pandemic began, the reissue of all salary cards was sent to their office, fearing that some branches would be closed. And earlier, before these changes, it was as they wrote in SMS in response to the claim. As a result, either Sberbank does not have a single portal with instructions and descriptions of procedures, or none of the employees looks there. It is still not known which of the reasons is real, but the third story, in my opinion, is at least somehow similar to the truth, even if it does not shine with logic. The post does not carry a thought load, just another story in which the savings bank screwed up, which did not entail losses on the part of the cardholder (except for time and money for travel).

Never buy Card insurance from Sber Insurance! Here's why

A couple of years ago, my grandmother at Sberbank, I can't find another word, was forced to insure a bank card by SK Sber Insurance, frankly telling a lie that all risks were protected. Personally, I would never buy such insurance, it smells bad at once. But grandmothers are such grandmothers. I bought it, was abused by us, well, everyone forgot.

And then suddenly an insurance case (as we thought) happened.

This is a separate story, I will retell it briefly. They stole a bag in a store with plastic cards, a phone, a passport, etc. While my grandmother (81 years old) ran to the savings bank and blocked the cards, the thieves withdrew about 300 thousand (ATM, transfer, purchase of jewelry).

How? We asked for a password recovery on the phone using the card number, entered the Sberbank online and changed the PIN code of the card, there it is easy.

By the way, SMS with a password can be seen on the locked screen - you need to remove this function. Plus - you need to put a pin on the SIM card, because a thief can take it out of a locked phone and just insert it into his own.

“Here! - the grandmother was triumphant, - and you scolded me! "

In the leap year 1952, on February 29, Timothy Thomas Powers was born, who became one of the prominent authors of science fiction. His family - Irish immigrants - then lived in Buffalo, New York, and later moved to California. There Powers lives with his family even now: he did not like the colder climate, and California found a place on the pages of his books.

Timothy began dreaming of a career as a writer as a teenager, thinking that "a writer can do the coolest things." The boy himself then read books by Alexandre Dumas and Mark Twain. When the future science fiction writer was eleven, Robert Heinlein was added to the number of his favorite writers. Determined to pursue his dream, at the age of 13, Tim sent his first story to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and then received his first rejection. Surprisingly, the boy was inspired: “Look! Just like Hemingway! I'm one of these guys! " Deciding that he might well continue to receive rejections, Powers sent something new to the magazine about once a year. There were still many years left before the first publication.

Powers entered the University of California in 1970, where he studied English literature and received his BA in 1976. His studies sparked his interest in world classical literature, from Dante to Joyce. However, Timothy did not forget about his love of science fiction either. So, together with new friends James Blaylock and Kevin Jeter, who also became famous writers over time, Powers planned to introduce Victorian fantasy into fashion. As a result, the trinity contributed to the formation of steampunk. By the way, Victorian England really brought success to the writer, but this happened only in 1983, when the "Gate of Anubis" came out. However, the incredible cocktail of this novel had many other unexpected components: by that time, Powers had already found the key approach for his corporate style, which consisted in combining genres and the most incredible ideas.

In 1972, Powers and company met and became friends with Philip Dick. He was already a fairly eminent writer, while Timothy himself knew literally a few of his stories. But over time, he read all the books written by his friend, and admitted with trepidation that he was a genius. Powers was especially impressed with the speed with which Dick could write a full-length novel. Tim and Kevin Jeterom once served as prototypes for Philip Dick's characters (from the novel Valis). And, most symbolically, the first award Powers will receive for his literature will be the Philip Kindred Dick Award.

After graduating from university, Tim Powers has published several books, starting with a space opera in the spirit of Captain Blood's Odyssey. The novels turn out to be quite passable, not arousing much interest either among critics or among readers. Subsequently, the author will significantly revise them, but so far he is looking for by trial and error what only he can give to fantastic literature. Published in 1979, "Black on Black" was received more favorably, and the real success was "The Gate of Anubis".

What happens if you mix time travel, Victorian England, Egyptian myths, Templar and magic? It will turn out exactly the first hit of Tim Powers. With a good liberal arts education behind him, the writer has added to it the ability to dive deeply into areas that are potentially interesting to him. In one of the interviews, Powers talked about how much it means to him to study the details about the topic he is writing about at the moment, how he likes to explore and share his findings with the reader through the book. Adding to this exciting and dynamic plots, the author has achieved the recognition of science fiction lovers. This formula for success - to take several interesting topics, tie them together (sometimes, despite some paradoxicality) and create something on the verge of fantasy and magical realism - was subsequently tried by many writers.

Over the remaining 80s, Powers released several more novels, continuing to experiment with different directions of fiction and genres. Of these, it is worth noting "On Stranger Tides", which inspired the plot of the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean". The film, however, borrows only individual ideas from the book and has not so much in common with a much more extraordinary source. From him, the picture inherited, perhaps, only a combination of sea adventures and voodoo magic.

The Trilogy of Shifts took over the entire 90s, and each book in the cycle eventually won the Locus Prize. Here the writer returns to the niche of magical realism and urban fantasy. Each book of the trilogy features its own legends and archetypes that move the plot and saturate it with symbolism. So "The Last Bet", which opens the trilogy, plays at once on the themes of tarot cards and poker (by the end of the book you will know a little about both). The plot of the second book, where the ghost hunt will unfold, is independent of the first, and the third novel ties everything together, adding the Greek gods to the equation.

Quotes, allusions and references, which abound in his works, have become the hallmark of Powers' books, giving the attentive reader a chance to start guessing about the ending in advance. This is a multi-layered reading: perhaps, once deciding to reread Powers' novel, you will see it from an unusual, new side, opening a new facet of meaning. A writer without tediousness teaches something new and asks important questions.

That being said, Powers isn't shy about staying entertaining. The adventures of his heroes are often compared to those of Indiana Jones, they are dangerous and exciting. In addition, the writer works great with characters and characters, creating many memorable images. And the final touch of Powers' skill can be called the ability to create an atmosphere of the magical world, located at arm's length from the reader.

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