Medusa's Web

Medusa's Web

By Tim Powers

William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780062262455, 368pp.

Publication Date: January 19, 2016


A phantasmagoric, thrilling, mind-bending tale of speculative fiction in which one man must uncover occult secrets of 1920s Hollywood to save his family

In the wake of their Aunt Amity's suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and beautiful, bitter Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline's return to the childhood home they all once shared. While Scott desperately wants to go back to their south-of-Sunset lives, he cannot pry his sister away from this haunted House of Usher in the Hollywood Hills that is a conduit for the supernatural.

Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film era. A collection of hypnotic eight-limbed abstract images inked on paper allows the Maddens to briefly fragment and flatten time to transport themselves into the past and future in visions that are puzzling, terrifying, and mesmerizing. Though their cousins know little about these ancient spiders that provoke unpredictable temporal dislocations, Ariel and Claimayne have been using them for years an addiction that has brought Claimayne to the brink of solipsistic destruction.

As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat's spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must use the dangerous spiders himself. But will he unravel the mystery of the Madden family's history and finally free them from the past . . . or be pulled deeper, perhaps permanently, into the deadly web?

Blending real-life historical and fictional characters with the otherworldly, Medusa's Web is a vivid, chilling, fast-paced read that once again demonstrates multiple-award-winning novelist Tim Powers's imaginative brilliance.

Critics Hail Tim Powers

A writer of extraordinary imaginative powers. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A] fine example of the work of a much-beloved author, and a spooky ride through Victorian London to boot. . . . Powers's work engages with something prerational that is buried deep, deep in our brains, and that won t be bullied into submission by mere reason. on Hide Me Among the Graves

A fascinating exploration of the fine line between inspiration and insanity, this horror/historical fiction/adrenaline blend will make your flesh creep and your heart pound. Library Journal on Hide Me Among the Graves

A genre-bending thriller . . . endlessly inventive . . . with] imaginative leaps and relentless pacing. New York Times Book Review on Three Days to Never

Brio, bravado and a salutary measure of lunacy. . . . A postmodern work par excellence. Washington Post Book World on Three Days to Never

Dazzling . . . a tour de force, a brilliant blend of John le Carre spy fiction with the otherworldly. Dean Koontz on Declare

Powers orchestrates reality and fantasy so artfully that the reader is not allowed a moment's doubt throughout this tall tale. The New Yorker on Declare.

About the Author
Tim Powers is the author of numerous novels including Hide Me Among the Graves, Three Days to Never, Declare, Last Call, and On Stranger Tides, which inspired the feature film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award twice, and the World Fantasy Award three times. He lives in San Bernardino, California.