The Anubis Gates

From Academic Kids

The Anubis Gates (1983) is a time travel fantasy novel by Tim Powers. It won the 1983 Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and is regarded as one of Powers's best works.

In 1801 the British have risen to power in Egypt following the defeat of Napoleon by Horatio Nelson in the Battle of the Nile. They suppress the worship of the old Egyptian gods. A cabal of magicians plan to drive the British out of Egypt by bringing the gods forward in time from an age when they were still powerful and unleashing them on London, thereby destroying the British Empire. In 1802, in a field outside London, an attempt to summon Anubis and open the gate fails disastrously however something happens.

The story moves to the present day, where a millionaire is organising an expedition into the past: his researchers have discovered 'gates' opening in predictable times and places, making time travel possible — the result of the failed magical ceremony in 1802. The protagonist, Brendan Doyle, is hired as an expert on Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the first expedition is made to attend a lecture made by Coleridge in 1810. Doyle is waylaid before he can return and becomes trapped in the past.

As in Powers's later novel, The Stress of Her Regard, The Anubis Gates features a number of the Romantic Poets as characters. In addition to Coleridge, there is Byron and the fictional 19th century poet William Ashbless (created by Powers and James Blaylock).

The novel intertwines a number of real events into the story such as the massacre of the Mamluk beys by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1811 and the failed rebellion by James, Duke of Monmouth against Charles II in the 1680s.

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