Strange tidings, stranger tides

14 Dec

I’ve enjoyed the work of Tim Powers for about a decade now; he’s among my favorite authors, and I especially enjoy his work within the “Secret Occult History with High Weirdness” genre*. He has a knack for slipping moments of strange wonder and alien horror in amongst the established history of famous people in ways which are disturbingly plausible, while telling engaging stories about well-drawn characters. If you’re a fan of such things, stop reading this and go track down copies of Last Call and Declare; I’ll still be here when you get back, which will facilitate the receipt of your copious gratitude.

In any case, you can imagine my surprise during the following Twitter exchange:

wickedlibrarian: I liked a YouTube video — Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Official Trailer

niwandajones: @wickedlibrarian Should I be excited or worried that it shares a title with Tim Powers’ excellent pirate novel?

wickedlibrarian: @niwandajones excited! :)

And sure enough, the new PotC is based on Power’s On Stranger Tides. I am freaking out a little.***

Now, as a fan of something relatively obscure, I know it’s my job to claim that I’d like to see more people enjoy what I enjoy, but to complain bitterly when such exposure to the masses actually occurs. And I know that, while I loved the first PotC movie, the second one bored me so thoroughly that I never saw the third, and a fourth film that jettisons a decent chunk of the original cast shouldn’t be the thing to bring me back to the series. But honestly, the chances of me seeing this film just went way, way up. Sure, they’ll change just about everything from the original story, but it’s a helluva lot better starting point then an amusement park ride, and look at what was done with that.

Also, they added Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. Damn.

So, to sum up: thanks to Liza for the heads-up, and to Judd for pointing out the trailer again so that I remembered to go check out if there was a connection between the film and the book. Thanks to Disney for giving Tim Powers money. And thanks to all of you for going out and reading Tim Powers, which you will all do right now.

(And as a note to anyone who’d hoped I speak again towards the issues discussed in previous posts, right now I feel like there was only one area that I’d left inadequately addressed, and others have said what I would’ve said, only better.)


* Why Amazon lacks such a category, I will never know. And let’s not even get started on the LoC**.
** Oh wait, I already got started on the LoC. Well, let’s not continue… for now.
*** Jim is freaking out a lot.


One Response to “Strange tidings, stranger tides”


  1. Strange tidings, stranger tides (gaming edition) « Struggle, Fast Talk, and Bluff - December 14, 2010

    […] Over at Nascent Librarian, I posted my thoughts about the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie being based on the excellent Tim Powers novel On Stranger Tides. As I learned about Powers from the truly amazing RPG Unknown Armies, I’m quasi-cross-posting it here, too. Check it out. […]

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