Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Three Days to Never hardcover

Three Days to Never (2006)

William Morrow hardback (left)
420 pages

Harper paperback (right)
405 pages

cover art by Bradford Foltz

Three Days to Never paperback

From the inside cover of the hardback:
       When Albert Einstein told Franklin Roosevelt in 1939 that the atomic bomb was possible, he did not tell the president about another discovery he had made, something so extreme and horrific it remained a secret...until now.
        When twelve-year-old Daphne Marrity takes a videotape labeled Pee-wee's Big Adventure from her grandmother's house, neither she nor her college-professor father, Frank Marrity, has any idea that the theft has drawn the attention of both the Israeli Secret Service and an ancient European cabal of occultists -- or that within hours they'll be visited by her long-lost grandfather, who is also desperate to get that tape.
        And when Daphne's teddy bear is stolen, a blind assassin nearly kills Frank, and a phantom begins to speak to her from a switched-off television set, Daphne and her father find themselves caught in the middle of a murderous power struggle that originated long ago in Israel and Germany but now crashes through Los Angeles and out to the Mojave Desert.  To survive, they must quickly learn the rules of a dangerous magical chess game and use all their cleverness and courage -- as well as their love and loyalty to each other -- to escape a fate more profound than death.

From the back cover of the paperback:
       Albert Einstein's groundbreaking scientific discoveries made possible the creation of the most terrible weapon the world had ever known.  But he made another discovery that he chose to reveal to no one -- to keep from human hands a power that dwarfed the atomic bomb.
        When twelve-year-old Daphne Marrity takes a videotape labeled Pee-wee's Big Adventure from her recently deceased grandmother's house, neither she nor her college-professor father, Frank, realize what they now have in their possession.  In an instant they are thrust into the center of a world-altering conspiracy, drawing the dangerous attentions of both the Israeli Secret Service and an ancient European cabal of occultists.  Now father and daughter have three days to learn the rules of a terrifying magical chess game in order to escape a fate more profound than death -- because the Marritys hold the key to the ultimate destruction of not only what's to come...but what already has been.

Read for group discussion on April 23, 2008

How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 8.5 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 8 Barb -
Aaron - Cynthia -
Jackie - Ron 6
Jessica - Jenn 7.5

Our book group has read the following books by Tim Powers
-- The Anubis Gates  in April 1995
-- Last Call  in May 1997
-- Expiration Date  in July 1999

Tim Powers (1952-      ) is a US writer of fantasy and science fiction.

1984 Philip K. Dick Award for The Anubis Gates
1986 Philip K. Dick Award for Dinner at Deviant's Palace
1993 World Fantasy Award for novel Last Call
2001 World Fantasy Award for novel Declare

His first novels were The Skies Discrowned (1976, rev as Forsake the Sky 1986), and Epitaph in Rust (1976).  Both could probably classified as fantasy tinged SF adventures.

Powers first gained serious attention with his third novel, The Drawing of the Dark (1979).  It deals with an aging hero who is the avatar of legendary champions, The Fisher King, and dark beer.

His next book The Anubis Gates (1983) won the 1984 Philip K. Dick Award.  It's a wild tale of time travel to London in the 1800s and the 1600s, poets both historical and fictional, and weird vindictive Egyptian sorcerers.

--Dinner at Deviant's Palace (1985) is a post holocaust SF novel set in California.

--On Stranger Tides (1987) is a fantasy pirate
and voodoo novel.

--The Stress of Her Regard (1989) is a dark fantasy novel with romantic poets being inspired by a sort of vampire.  Features poets
Byron and Shelley.

Fault Lines, a loose series:
--Last Call (1992), first published as mainstream fiction, is set in Las Vegas.  In it magic touches our world.  There is a high stakes card game played with Tarot Cards.  Legends of the Fisher King come into play.
--Expiration Date (1995, 1996) shows a dark side to Los Angeles. It includes possession, and the eating of ghosts.  A British edition came out long before an American edition because Powers changed his American publisher.
--Earthquake Weather (1997) is a sequel to both Last Call and Expiration Date, which previously seemed unconnected.  It's set in present day California and involves restoring the western king.  There are some new characters introduced.

--Declare (2001) is a Cold War thriller, spy novel.

--Three Days to Never (2006) involves secret societies, traveling in time and space, Charlie Chaplin, and Albert Einstein.

Short fiction collections and shorter works published as books:
--Night Moves (1986), a fantasy novelette
--Strange Itineraries (2005), nine stories, includes three collaborations with James P. Blaylock
--The Bible Repairman (2006), a short story including kidnapped spirits
--A Soul in a Bottle (2006), a novelette ghost story featuring a poetess

Our book club's page for Expiration Date by Tim Powers
The Works of Tim Powers
Stranger Tides - A Tim Powers site
Locus Online Tim Powers interview excerpts (Feb. 2002)
Locus Online Tim Powers interview (Mar. 1998)
Tim Powers - Wikipedia
SF Signal: REVIEW: Three Days To Never by Tim Powers
SciFiDimensions | Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
SF REVIEWS.NET: Three Days to Never / Tim Powers

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This page was last updated October 12, 2008