The Anubis Gates
"No man can step into the same river twice,
for the second time it's not the same river,
and he's not the same man." –Heraclitus
This was the first Tim Powers novel I ever read and is still my favourite. I have read The Anubis Gates time and time again and it never palls. A permanent fixture in many recommended reading lists and now widely regarded as a modern classic as well as an archetypal time travel and Steampunk story, this is the best place to start if you want to get into Powers. A roller coaster of a story taking you back to a sorcerous London of the early nineteenth century. You'll meet the well known poets of the period, Coleridge, Byron and Ashbless and also some of the most wonderfully crafted villains you're ever likely to come across.
In the US The Anubis Gates was first published in 1983 by Ace Books, New York. This novel, of all of Tim Powers's published works, has the best print record to date, (hence all the cover images on this page!) and unlike some of his other excellent novels, is still available widely on the shelves of most major bookstores today.
The Ace first edition (above centre) was a paperback original. The ISBN was 0-441-02380-0 and it was priced at $2.95. Copies of this edition are regularly available on the collectors market. Above left is the scarce uncorrected proof copy which was issued to reviewers and booksellers prior to publication and is now much less common on the collector's market. Almost immediately (Jan 84) Ace issued a reprinted edition carrying the ISBN 0-441-02381-0. The Canadian cover price on this edition was raised to $3.25. In November 1984, a third edition was issued with the ISBN 0-441-02382-7 and this edition was in print until the mid-90's. Over the years, the cover price crept up, first to $3.95US and then to $4.95. Though the cover art remained the same for these reprints, over time the cover copy was changed. At one point it read "Winner Of The Philip K. Dick Award," and this was later changed to "Award Winning Author Of On Stranger Tides." The interior layout also changed slightly as Powers had more books published, this reflected in the 'Also by Tim Powers' list. Finally, slightly different stocks of paper were used over the course of the publication of this third edition, meaning that some copies are thicker and more aged than others.
The most recent US outing for this novel was as a trade paperback, again released by Ace, this time in January 1997. The cover art was by Jean Francois Podevin and the issue price was $12.00. ISBN 0-441-00401-6. There were a number of subsequent reprints and ten years later this edition is still in print. Copies are available on-line from Amazon.com. Various editions of The Anubis Gates frequently swap hands on eBay. For copies of the highly collectable proof state, try this link to ABE.
Ziesing Limited Edition
A hardcover of The Anubis Gates was published in two states the United States in September 1989. Issued by Mark V. Ziesing, the trade edition carried the ISBN 0-929480-10-4 and sold at a price of $25.00. Notably this edition contains some text that was not in the original Ace edition. Of this Powers says …
"When Ace Books bought The Anubis Gates, they asked for cuts — in fact, about an eighth of the book was excised. The Chatto and Windus editor knew this, and said, 'This scene in Horrabin's underground dining hall — the scene that starts with Horrabin looking up from the corpse of one of the rebellious beggar lords who has fallen from his high perch — clearly this has been cut, clearly [this] is missing the beginning of the scene. Please restore the cut text here.' Well, in fact that wasn't one of the places that had been cut — I had written the scene in that _in media res_ way from the start — but I didn't want to cross the editor, so I wrote a beginning for the scene and sent it to her. It's only a paragraph or two. When Ziesing was doing the limited edition, he said, 'Powers, if you want to restore cut bits, do it.' But I re-read the original manuscript and decided that all the cuts had been beneficial, so I left the cut scenes out — but I did give him the paragraph or two that I'd written for Roz Kaveney, the C&W editor. It's only two paragraphs at the most."
With an introduction by Ramsey Campbell, cover art by J.K. Potter and internal illustrations by Mark Bilokur, a numbered state limited to five hundred copies was also issued, this edition was signed by Powers, Potter and Bilokur, but NOT by Campbell as is often erroneously listed in dealer catalogues. This special edition carried its own ISBN 0-929480-11-2 and cost $65.00. (My own copy is signed by Campbell, but only because I met him at a con one time!)
Science Fiction Book Club Edition
The Science Fiction Book Club in the United States published a hardcover edition of The Anubis Gates in 2006 as part of a series of classic reprints celebrating their fiftieth anniversary. This edition was priced on their web site at $10.00, but was available to members for a mere $1.00. The edition carries the ISBN 0-7394-6593-7 and also the SFBC identifying number 1206505 on the rear cover of the dust jacket. The cover art was by the celebrated genre artist Jim Burns.
In the UK The Anubis Gates appeared in hardcover in April 1985. Published by Chatto & Windus, London it carried the ISBN 0-7011-2929-8 and cost £9.95. This hard cover edition had a very small print run (only about 800 copies) and consequently has become much sought after on the collectors market. Additionally, this UK first edition marks the author's first appearance in hard cover, consequently copies are scarce and can be pricey. Chatto also released a trade paperback simultaneously which featured the same cover art and carried the ISBN 0-7011-2930-1, priced £3.95. This edition is also now quite hard to find in a collectable condition. Jacket design was by Don Macpherson. The image above left is the very scarce uncorrected proof. This link to ABE will show you the current market for the Chatto & Windus edition. You might also be able to find copies offered on eBay.
Four paperback editions have been issued in the UK. The May 1986 edition released by Grafton featured cover art by Richard Clifton-Dey. This, along with the cover that this wonderful artist did for the Grafton edition of On Stranger Tides are among my favourite Powers covers of all – so much so that I am now the proud owner of the original paintings! The ISBN for this Grafton paperback was 0-586-06550-4, and the issue price £2.95. The next edition was issued by Harpercollins (who were by now the owners of Grafton) in October 1993. This edition carries the same ISBN as the Grafton edition, and was released with a cover price of £4.99.
In July 1997, The Anubis Gates was released by Legend in mass market paperback, with the ISBN 0-09-963421-X and priced at £6.99. This edition remained in print for quite a few years and was reprinted when Legend were taken over by Orbit Books – the Orbit printing being classed as a variant due to the book and ISBN being identical to the Legend printing, but the spine displaying a different publisher logo.
In 2005, Gollancz published an editon of The Anubis Gates as part of their Fantasy Masterworks Series (Powers's novel The Drawing of the Dark had already appeared). This trade paperback edition was priced at £7.99 and had the ISBN 0-575-07725-5. The cover art was by Richard Carr. This edition is still available online from Amazon.co.uk.