Alison Flood has a book blog entry in The Guardian today about Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates. I read this, and quite a lot of Tim Powers, quite a few years ago, but I haven't come across him in a long, long time. Reading Alison's review brought back to me just how good those books are.
Powers is a fantasy writer - not silly elves and the like, but gut-renching, terrifying stuff. His best book, On Stranger Tides, includes, I seem to recall, Byron and Shelley hamming it up in Venice, and a lamia and various man-eating monsters. It is so relentlessly inventive in its descriptions of terror the reader is just swept along by it. Terrific stuff. I don't recall seeing his books in the bookshops for a long time now, but if you want some escapist fun he's definitely worth a read.