Tim Powers Q&A #4

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Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 08, 2011 12:24 pm

ONBC: I noticed that you use many real pirates--Blackbeard, Anne Bonney, Stede Bonnett, Charles Vane, Calico Jack—and real people like Woodes Rogers, and Ponce de Leon. I was also impressed with the real places and names of ships in the story. Were any of the other characters based on real characters that I missed?

Tim: You've found all the ones that I recall! I do like to put actual historical characters into a story if they were present where and when the action is taking place -- for the reader who's never heard of them they're just random names, but I like to think a reader familiar with them will think, "Hey, that guy was real! I bet all this really happened!"

Heh heh.




It was really nice seeing Tim interviewed on Ustream last night at the premiere. :ok:
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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby Buster » Sun May 08, 2011 6:45 pm

but I like to think a reader familiar with them will think, "Hey, that guy was real! I bet all this really happened!"

Heh heh.


It is fun when we can believe it could have happened, whether it actually did or not. Early on, when you answered my question about why you moved the young Blackbeard out of England, you got me started looking for those "loopholes" in history - the unknown areas where anything might have happened, the odd events that aren't quite what they seem.
Thanks very much for adding that twist to my perspective. It makes reading history a totally different proposition!

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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby gemini » Sun May 08, 2011 10:36 pm

Buster wrote:
but I like to think a reader familiar with them will think, "Hey, that guy was real! I bet all this really happened!"

Heh heh.


It is fun when we can believe it could have happened, whether it actually did or not. Early on, when you answered my question about why you moved the young Blackbeard out of England, you got me started looking for those "loopholes" in history - the unknown areas where anything might have happened, the odd events that aren't quite what they seem.
Thanks very much for adding that twist to my perspective. It makes reading history a totally different proposition!


Yes Buster I agree, I love stumbling across true life characters so I can see if the story fits what I’ve read. Then it’s fun to check on the ones I am not sure about to see how much is fact or fiction or how the facts fit into the storyline.
"Hey, that guy was real! I bet all this really happened!" Heh heh. Exactly!
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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby Theresa » Mon May 09, 2011 1:37 am

I like that answer--it could have happened!

I think there's also a comforting sense in seeing names that you already know. Kind of like running into an old friend when you're in an unfamiliar situation. You're reading along, traveling through the book's world and all of a sudden you run across a character from history and get that quick flash of "Hey, I know that guy!" And all of a sudden it's not such an unfamiliar world.

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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby nebraska » Mon May 09, 2011 1:40 pm

I am the odd one out here. I really prefer to leave history alone and not tamper with the "truth." On the other hand, so much of our history has been written by people who have had an agenda -- I am thinking here of American history involving the Native people and slavery, for instance -- that much of what we perceive as true history is just really somebody's opinion of what happened anyway. Not much different from fiction.

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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby shadowydog » Mon May 09, 2011 1:51 pm

nebraska wrote:I am the odd one out here. I really prefer to leave history alone and not tamper with the "truth." On the other hand, so much of our history has been written by people who have had an agenda -- I am thinking here of American history involving the Native people and slavery, for instance -- that much of what we perceive as true history is just really somebody's opinion of what happened anyway. Not much different from fiction.



So true. History is written by the winners who often distort the character of the losers to justify their own actions. History is full of distortions.
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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby gemini » Mon May 09, 2011 2:07 pm

shadowydog wrote:
nebraska wrote:I am the odd one out here. I really prefer to leave history alone and not tamper with the "truth." On the other hand, so much of our history has been written by people who have had an agenda -- I am thinking here of American history involving the Native people and slavery, for instance -- that much of what we perceive as true history is just really somebody's opinion of what happened anyway. Not much different from fiction.



So true. History is written by the winners who often distort the character of the losers to justify their own actions. History is full of distortions.

I am in agreement with you that history is told by who is still around to tell it which many times means the victor gets to shape the tale. Hopefully some facts are noticed by enough people that some of it is accurate. What I like about Tims writing is he uses what is there and ties it into his fiction without changing places and dates. There is a little history in there if you look through the supernatural.
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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon May 09, 2011 3:35 pm

Sorry to have missed this one earlier. I looked in at the beginning and wasn't sure what I had to contribute. Now that we are on about historical facts versus historical fiction, yes I agree: it is actually very difficult to present 'one history' that incapsulates all that happened. When we are in the midst of "history" -- those big turning point events -- it's often impossible to deliniate the 'truth' of the event, we are each holding onto one small piece of the truth, unable to see the whole deal. When we are looking back, our perspective is filtered by our present: we take what matters now and reflect this onto old events. The further we are from an event the more likely we are to be able to 'see truth' but, unfortunately, time erodes the details that we need to read the past clearly.

We are doing our very best I think when we are capable of hearing someone else's take on history and adding their perspective to the catalogue of what happened.
Last edited by fireflydances on Mon May 09, 2011 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tim Powers Q&A #4

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon May 09, 2011 8:58 pm

I agree, firefly. I love history and reading personal accounts is such an interesting way to study it. One person's truth is not always the same as another. By reading several accounts you are able to gleam a bit of the real events but also how people were affected by them.
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