The Works of Tim Powers » Short Fiction

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Short Fiction

"It takes almost as much hassle to write, to plot and research and outline a short story as for a novel, not quite but maybe half as much time. And, of course, a short story isn't half as long as a novel and it doesn't make half the money a novel makes. Also, most of my short stories tend to be either pointless vignettes in which I don't bother to do the plotting. Or they are telescoped novels where people come to conclusions with way too little evidence, and the action happens too conveniently rapidly."

This self-deprecating observation made by Powers during a 1998 interview in the now defunct British genre magazine, Odyssey is contradicted slightly by solid the body of work he has produced in the shorter form. Indeed, since that interview was conducted nearly ten years ago, Powers has more than doubled his short story and novella output, producing enough work to merit not one but two collections – albeit that the second (see below) reprints those contained in the first! Nevertheless, the following pages detail all of the short fiction Powers has published to date.


A collection of Tim Powers's short fiction was published by Subterranean Press in early 2001. Issued as a signed limited edition entitled Night Moves and Other Stories this edition released in two states.

1500 numbered hard cover copies were bound in fine grey cloth and housed in an illustrated dust wrapper. Black lettering on the spine. 165pp. ISBN 1-892284-90-1. Each of these was signed by Powers on a beautifully illustrated limitation page. The cover art was by Phil Parks. Priced at $40.00 copies of this edition are now sold out at the publisher, but can be found fairly easily online. This link to ABE will show who is currently offering copies. Alternatively try this link to An uncorrected proof was produced, but these are very scarce – the same link will tell you if any are currently available via the dealer market.

Twenty six lettered copies was also produced. Priced at $500.00 this edition reportedly sold out within twenty-four hours of being announced. Bound in premium cloth, this lettered state was issued in a tray case and came with an additional correspondingly lettered hard cover copy of Ten Poems.

This slim bonus item of Powers poetry was also produced in green cloth boards in a run of around one hundred copies. Described as the "Author's State" this was only intended for private distribution, but copies are occasionally offered by dealers on ABE – check the link to see if any are currently available. Also shown above is a pre-binding state of Ten Poems – these stapled sheets are scarce.

As well as containing all Powers's published short fiction(up to 2001), the collection featured an introduction by James P. Blaylock (with whom Powers co-authored two of the stories that appeared in the book) and a set of notes by Powers in which he describes the origins of the various stories therein. It also contained a rudimentary bibliography. Thanks to Bill Schafer and all at Subterranean for the uncorrected proof copy pictured above.

Another collection of Powers's short fiction work was published by Tachyon Publications in 2005.

In a far-sighted move Tachyon realised that not everyone who wanted to read a collection of Tim's short fiction also wanted to pay for a premium limited edition. Additionally in the five years since the Subterranean Night Moves, Powers had written two further solo shorts and one further collaboration with Blaylock. So, as well as those stories contained in the Subterranean Night Moves, readers who bought this new collection, entitled Strange Itineraries, also got to read these new stories too.

Strange Itineraries was a trade paperback release priced at $15.95. It carried the ISBN 1-892391-23-6 and in addition to the Powers stories, it also contained an introduction entitled In Which Corner of the Compass is Ago? by Paul Di Filippo.

Prior to the release of the main edition, Tachyon issued an uncorrected proof copy to booksellers and reviewers. In addition they also released what they called a "Special Preview Edition", which was limited to one hundred copies, signed and numbered by Powers. This was originally only available directly from the publisher who sold it at $25.00. Both the proof and this preview edition closely resemble the main release. At the time of writing, it is not too hard to find copies of all three states of Strange Itineraries. You're more likely to find the proof and limited states offered on ABE – click the link to see what is currently on offer. Alternatively, if you're just after a reading copy try this link to