The Works of Tim Powers » Short Fiction 1982 – 1991

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Short Fiction 1982 – 1991

The Way Down the Hill

Powers first short story, The Way Down the Hill – the tale of a clandestine meeting of immortals – was first published in the December 1982 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, volume 63, no. 6. The cover price was $1.75 / £1.15. Copies can be located easily enough on the internet – try eBay.

In 1986, John Pelan's Axolotl Press produced a limited edition of The Way Down the Hill, following on from the success of their earlier edition of another Powers story, Night Moves (see below).

This Axolotl edition was bound back to back with the James P. Blaylock story The Pink of Fading Neon and featured an introduction by Ed Bryant. The Blaylock story was introduced by Charles De Lint and each copy was signed by all four contributors. This edition – three states of which are pictured – was actually issued in four separate states as follows…

  • 400 paper bound copies. Priced at $6.00, ISBN 0-939-8790-85.
  • 200 cloth bound hard cover copies. Priced at $35.00, ISBN 0-939-8790-79.
  • 50 hard cover copies bound in grey leather. Priced at $65.00, ISBN 0-939-8790-69.
  • 6 presentation copies, bound in red leather which were not offered for sale.

The first two states can be found fairly easily – try this link to ABE. The grey leather state comes up infrequently. Approximately fifteen sets of unbound pages were produced for review.

The Way Down the Hill was reprinted in both the Subterranean Night Moves and Strange Itineraries and a Hebrew translation was published in the Israeli genre magazine Halomot Be'Aspamia (Issue 5, May/June 2003). The translation, entitled Haderach BeMorad Hagiv'a was by Vered Tochterman.

Night Moves

Night Moves was the first book to be published by Axolotl press. It was released in 1986, preceding their edition of The Way Down the Hill detailed above. It was also the second Tim Powers short story to receive publication. This first edition contained an introduction by James P. Blaylock and all copies were signed by both Powers and Blaylock. Try this link to ABE to see if copies are currently available.

Four states of this edition we produced, none of which we issued with either a cover price or ISBN…

  • 300 paper bound, un-numbered copies.
  • 100 numbered hard cover copies, bound in blue cloth and issued in a dust jacket.
  • 28 lettered hard cover copies, bound in blue leather – two of these are marked "PC".
  • 6 presentation copies, bound in red leather which were not offered for sale.

Night Moves has been reprinted a number of times. It appears in the following publications…

  • The Year's Best Science Fiction : Fourth Annual Collection – St Martin's Press, 1987. Ed. Gardner Dozois. This book was issued in both hard cover and trade paperback.
  • The Mammoth Book of Best New Science Fiction – the British edition of the above. A trade paperback published by Robinson, 1987. Copies of this can be very hard to find.
  • In Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine – April 1988. Volume 8, No 1.
  • In L. Ron Hubbard Presents The Best of the Writers of the Future, an anthology of works by winners and judges of The Writers of the Future competition, which Powers is closely associated with. Published by Bridge Publications, 2001. You can easily get hold of a copy of this edition via this link to
  • Night Moves was reprinted as Wenn die Nacht in the con book for the 2002 Elstercon convention in Leipzig Germany at which Powers was a guest.
  • It was also translated as Tno'ot Laila and appeared in the Nov / Dec 2005 edition of the Israeli genre magazine Halomot Be'Aspamia The translation was by Vered Tochterman.

Night Moves appeared in both the Subterranean Night Moves collection and Strange Itineraries.

The Better Boy

The first of a number of short story collaborations between Powers and long-time friend and associate James P. Blaylock.

The Better Boy concerns a man obsessed with growing a prize tomato and appeared initially in the February 1991 edition of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. It was reprinted as Il primo della classe in the June 1995 Italian edition of Asimov's. The translation. was by Barbara Corradi.

The Better Boy appeared in a collection of Blaylock stories entitled Thirteen Phantasms. This was published by Edgewood Press in 2000, priced at $25.00, ISBN 0-97013060-0. An uncorrected proof copy was also produced. The collection was reprinted by Ace, first as a trade paperback in 2003 (priced $14.00, ISBN 0-441-01014-8) and again in 2005, this time as a mass market paperback )$6.99, ISBN 0-441-01257-4. Thirteen Phantasms and other Stories is available from

The Better Boy also appeared in the Subterranean Night Moves Collection and in Strange Itineraries. It received a nomination in the best short fiction category of the 1992 World Fantasy Award.