The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In The Anubis Gates, Professor Brendan Doyle is hired to give a lecture on Samuel Taylor Coleridge and then attend an 1810 lecture by Coleridge. The book’s title refers to a set of holes in spacetime, created by worshipers of Anubis. Doyle and his party, led by millionaire J. Cochran Darrow, use one of these gates to travel to 1810. As they are leaving, Doyle is kidnapped by Dr. Romany, one of two sorcerers who created the gates. Romany takes Doyle to his camp to be tortured, but Doyle escapes.

Penniless and hungry, Doyle discovers that begging is the only employment for which he is fit. Romany has enlisted the beggar and thief guilds, led by Horrabin the Clown, to look for Doyle, but the beggars with whom Doyle falls in hate Horrabin and hide Doyle. Romany nevertheless finds him, and Doyle is forced to flee, escaping with the assistance of a young beggar named Jacky Snapp (actually a woman, Jacqueline Elizabeth Tichy, in disguise).

Doyle hopes to meet William Ashbless, a nineteenth century poet Doyle studied back in the twentieth century, and get some assistance. Ashbless never shows up where his biography claimed he wrote his first published poem, so Doyle angrily writes the poem himself from memory.

Doyle meets Dog-Face Joe, Romany’s former partner, who is possessed by Anubis and cursed with ever-growing fur. Joe uses magic to trade bodies when the fur gets ahead of the razor, and he poisons his old bodies so they...

(The entire section is 552 words.)