First Tim Powers book I read was The Anubis Gates or The Stress of Her Regard. I can’t remember which, but it was around 1989, after I moved to Texas. Austin then seemed the center of both cyberpunk and steampunk, with Bruce Sterling in Austin, and Armadillocon highlighting guests like James P. Blaylock, Tim Powers and K. W. Jeter, the triumvirate of early steampunk. In 1988 through 1992 I picked up several of their books in the dealers room at Armadillocon, or at one of the many local book stores that then existed in Austin; Book Stop, Austin Books, Half Price Books, a variety of used bookstores every few miles. Tim Powers’ stories featured hidden secret type of tales made me wish they were real history.
Since then I’ve bought every Powers book I can find, in paperback or hardcover, novels and short fiction. Subterranean Press has been a great source for the latter. I’ve found old and rare paperbacks, back when that still was possible, and many of my books now are signed or inscribed; Powers is left handed so he signs them slightly differently from most writers: upside down.
Of his more recent books, Declare might be the best, but his imagination ranges all over the place. He researches the hell out of his books, so quite some time passes between each novel.
Subterranean Press issues both new and reprint books, often limited and with fantastic covers. Short story collections rarely get mass publication from big publishers, so if you want short stories the small press is usually the place to find them. Night Moves and Other Stories collects many Powers stories. Subterranean also has issued novellas like The Bible Repairman, A Soul in a Bottle, Salvage and Demolition, and On Pirates (as WIlliam Ashbless, a collaborative pseudonym with Blaylock). Tachyon, another small press publisher, issued The Bible Repairman and Other Stories, which collects six stories, including two of the previously Subterranean novellas.