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Three Days to Never: A Novel

Three Days to Never: A Novel

by Tim Powers
Three Days to Never: A Novel

Three Days to Never: A Novel

by Tim Powers


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Three Days to Never by Tim Powers is a whip-smart scientific thriller cum fantasy novel that posits: what happened to Albert Enistein’s scientific discoveries that haven’t been unveiled? The answer lies in a old Charlie Chaplin movie, the Mossad, and an ancient European faction that will go to any lengths to keep past sins secret.

A young tween and her college professor father must quickly unveil the mystery of a potential weapon more deadly than an atomic bomb or our world—past, present, and future will be destroyed.

In this edition that includes additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading. and more, Tim Powers offers readers a suspenseful, intricate plot with an captivating narrative that includes not only lessons in history and science, but on human nature, too.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062221391
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/19/2013
Pages: 405
Sales rank: 675,250
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 7.82(h) x 1.06(d)

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.

Read an Excerpt

Three Days to Never

A Novel
By Tim Powers

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Tim Powers
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0380976536

Chapter One

"It doesn't look burned."

"No," said her father, squinting and shading his eyes with his hand. They had paused halfway across the weedy backyard.

"Are you sure she said 'shed'?"

"Yes--'I've burned down the Kaleidoscope Shed,' she told me."

Daphne Marrity sat down on a patch of grass and straightened her skirt, peering at the crooked old gray structure that was visible now under the shadow of the shaggy avocado tree. It would probably burn up pretty fast, if anybody was to try to burn it.

The shingled roof was patchy, sagging in the middle, and the two dusty wood-framed windows on either side of the closed door seemed to be falling out of the clapboard wall; it probably leaked badly in the rain.

Daphne had heard that her father and aunt had sometimes sneaked out here to play in the shed when they were children, though they weren't allowed to. The door was so low that Daphne herself might have to stoop to get through, and she was not a particularly tall twelve-year-old.

It was probably when they were too young to go to school, she thought. Or else it's because I was born in 1975, and kids are taller now than they were back then.

"The tree would have burned up too," she noted.

"You're going to get red ants all overyou. She might have dreamed it. I don't think it was a, a joke." Her father glanced around, frowning, clearly irritated. He was sweating, even with his jacket folded over his arm.

"Gold under the bricks," Daphne reminded him.

"And she dreamed that too. I wonder where she is." There had been no answer to his knock on the front door of the house, but when they had walked around the corner and pushed open the backyard gate they had seen that the old green Rambler station wagon was in the carport, in the yellow shade of the corrugated fiberglass roof.

Daphne crossed her legs on the grass and squinted up at him against the sun's glare. "Why did she call it the Kaleidosope Shed?"

"It--" He laughed. "We all called it that. I don't know."

He had stepped on what he'd been about to say. She sighed and looked toward the shed again. "Let's go in it and pull up some bricks. I can watch out for spiders," she added.

Her father shook his head. "I can see from here that it's padlocked. We shouldn't even be hanging around back here when Grammar's not home." Grammar was the family name for the old lady, and it had not made Daphne like her any better.

"We had to, to see if she really did burn it down like she said. Now we should see if"--she thought quickly--"if she passed out in there from gasoline fumes. Maybe she meant, 'I'm about to burn it down.' "

"How could she have padlocked it from the outside?"

"Maybe she's passed out behind the shed. She did call you about the shed, and she doesn't answer the door, and her car is here."

"Oh . . ." He squinted and began to shake his head, so she went on quickly.

" 'Screw your courage to the sticking place,' " she said. "Maybe there really is gold under the bricks. Didn't she have a lot of money?"

He smiled distractedly. " 'And we'll not fail.' She did get some money in '55, I've heard."

"How old was she then?" Daphne got to her feet, brushing down the back of her skirt.

"About fifty-five, I guess. She's probably about eighty-seven now. Any money she's got is in the bank."

"Not in the bank--she's a hippie, isn't she?" Even now, at twelve, Daphne was still somewhat afraid of her chain-smoking great-grandmother, with her white hair, her grinding German accent, and her wrinkly old cheeks always wet with the artificial tears she bought in little bottles at Thrifty. Daphne had never been allowed in the old woman's backyard, and this was the first time she'd ever been farther out than the back porch. "Or a witch," she added.

Daphne took her father's hand as a tentative prelude to starting toward the shed.

"She isn't a witch," he said, laughing. "And she isn't a hippie either. She's too old to have been a hippie."

"She went to Woodstock. You never went to Woodstock."

"She probably just went to sell her necklaces."

"As weapons, I bet," Daphne said, recalling the clunky talismans. The old woman had given Daphne one on her seventh birthday, a stone thing on a necklace chain, and before the day was out, Daphne had nearly given herself a concussion with it, swinging it around; when her favorite cat had died six months later, she had buried the object with the cat.

She tried to project the thought to him: Let's check out the shed.

"Hippies didn't have weapons. Okay, I'll look around in back of the shed."

He began walking forward, leading the way and holding her hand, stepping carefully through the dry grass and high green weeds. His brown leather Top-Siders ground creosote smells out of the bristly green stalks.

"Watch where you put your feet," he said over his shoulder, "she's got all kinds of old crap out here."

"Old crap," Daphne echoed.

"Car-engine parts, broken air conditioners, suits of medieval armor I wouldn't be surprised. I should carry you, your legs are going to get all scratched."

"Even skinny I'm too heavy now. You'd get apoplexy."

"I could carry two girls your size, one under each arm."

They had stepped in under the shade of the tree limbs, and her father handed her his brown corduroy jacket.

He shook his head as if at the silliness of all this, then waded through the rank greenery to the corner of the shed and disappeared around it. She could hear him brushing against the shed's far wall, and cussing, and knocking boards over.


Excerpted from Three Days to Never by Tim Powers Copyright © 2006 by Tim Powers. Excerpted by permission.
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