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Anubis Gates (Fantasy Masterworks 47) by Tim Powers

By Tim Powers

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Though Doyle had never seen the volume, he’d read descriptions of it and knew what it was. Lord Robb had been an amateur criminologist, and his journal was the only source of some of the most colorful, and in many cases implausible, crime stories of the 1810s and 20s; among its tales of kill-trained rats, revenges from beyond the grave, and secret thief and beggar brotherhoods, it contained the only detailed account of the capture and execution of the semi-legendary London murderer known as Dog-Face Joe, popularly believed to have been a werewolf, who reputedly could exchange bodies with anyone he chose but was unable to leave behind the curse of lycanthropy.

Right. We’re in a roomful of people, let’s say, and several of ‘em probably know more about literature than you do, but you’re being billed as the resident expert, so you’ve got to at least look like you know everything. So somebody asks you, uh, ‘Mr. ” Doyle cocked an eyebrow. “Well, it’s a mistake, I think, to try to simplify Malarkey’s work that way; several philosophies emerge as one traces the maturing of his thought. Only his very late efforts could possibly have appealed to Wordsworth, and as Fletcher and Cunningham point out in their Concordium there is no concrete evidence that Wordsworth ever actually read Malarkey.

Yes. The equations indicate that the earliest one occurred in 1504, so the curve reaches about three hundred years in each direction, call it six hundred years all told. So anyway, when I began to notice this pattern, I nearly forgot about my original purpose, I was so fascinated by this thing. I tried to get my research boys to work on the puzzle. Hah! They knew senility when they saw it, and there were a couple of attempts to have me committed. But I ducked out of the net and forced them to continue, to program their computers with principles from Bessonus and Midorgius and Ernestus Burgravius; and in the end I did learn what the gaps were.

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