January 19, 2021

Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers

Trying to build better habits writing about the books I read, games I play, etc. I'm fighting the constant feeling that I don't have anything new or worthwhile to say, so I'm telling myself doing this is more about building good writing habits than putting anything of value out into the world.

So, the book. It's Tim Powers, so it's still better than 90% of other books, but for a Tim Powers book it's probably a 6 or 7 out of 10. Maybe I'm just disappointed we got more Vickery and Castine instead of something new, but then again, I wasn't a huge fan of their first appearance in Alternate Routes.

It feels too similar. The players, setting, and main concepts are mostly still the same. We're still in L.A., we're still following Vickery and Castine with appearances from Santiago, Galvan, and others as the supporting cast. Ghosts are still around.

I do think the concept of the egregore is fascinating. The players who seek to lose their identity in a hive mind, a higher form of existence. People haunted by things they've done, looking for a kind of erasure that can be disguised as a pursuit of something greater, unlike suicide. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more in a fresh setting.

I hope we see something new from Powers with his next book. Mostly, Forced Perspectives just made me want to go back and read Last Call or Declare again.