Palimpsest is a science fiction novella by Charles Stross , exploring the conjunction of time travel and deep time. Originally published in Stross's collection Wireless , it won the Hugo Award for best novella. Subterranean Press has announced that they will be reprinting the novella separately in Pierce is a police officer with the Stasis, a special institution dedicated to the preservation of humanity by its agents who are able to travel through time. Every time humanity dies, the Stasis reseeds Earth with a new generation of humans to develop a civilization.
|Published (Last):||1 April 2014|
|PDF File Size:||5.1 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||6.88 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Post a Comment. Palimpsest is the story of Pierce, an agent-to-be in the Stasis. Part of a botched mission in which mysterious assailants suddenly appear on the Medieval scene with weapons far more capable, Pierce, while convalescing, is introduced to Xiri, a student from real-time who has received permission to make his life the subject of her doctoral thesis.
His recovery scheduled to take some time, the young man falls in love. But it is when fully recovered that things with the Stasis begin to fall apart. And it all starts with the Library at the End of Time. His stories so often shooting off on wild tangents after building from engaging premises see Missile Gap or Glasshouse , in Palimpsest he wholly benefits by working within the framework of a structured idea, i. What makes Stross better? The first reason is the sensuality of the descriptions.
The End of the Eternity often feeling like a monochrome mouse in a labyrinth, Palimpsest never seems to occupy the same setting twice, the scenes through time all colored in unique terms. The mechanics behind it are described in relevant enough details, but by and large Stross focuses on tactility, not logic, as Asimov tried.
The best examples of this are the intermittent slide shows. The inclusion of fleshed out details and the lack of continual rationalizing makes Palimpsest more of a story and less of an A to J to E to P and eventually to Z exercise, as was often the case with The End of Eternity , and as a result, far more rich and textured. The second major reason Palimpsest is better is the denouement. Where Asimov closed the ending, sending Harlan toward a focused compass point, Palimpsest ends along more expansive lines.
To the benefit of the story, one line in particular provides the perfect counter-point to The End of Eternity , hinting beautifully yes, beautiful can describe Stross! This ambiguity leaves everything hanging, like the last drop of wine in a bottle. Sensual yet thoughtful, dynamic yet cohesive, I can only hope Stross displays more of his humanist side in such engaging fashion in the future. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home.
Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.
“Palimpsest” by Charles Stross
Palimpsest A Novella by Charles Stross. Welcome to the Stasis, the clandestine, near-omnipotent organization that stands at the heart of Charles Stross's Hugo Award-winning novella, Palimpsest. By mastering the mysteries of the Timegate, the Stasis has repeatedly steered mankind away from the brink of utter extinction. Through countless millennia, through the 'mayfly flickerings' of innumerable transient civilizations, its members have intervened at critical junctions, reseeding the galaxy with viable potential survivors. In the process, they have reconfigured the basic structure of the universe, all in the name of human continuity. Pierce is a newly recruited member of the Stasis, serving out a complex twenty-year apprenticeship while struggling to find his way through the paradoxical maze of history and unhistory that surrounds him.
Subscribe to RSS
Post a Comment. Palimpsest is the story of Pierce, an agent-to-be in the Stasis. Part of a botched mission in which mysterious assailants suddenly appear on the Medieval scene with weapons far more capable, Pierce, while convalescing, is introduced to Xiri, a student from real-time who has received permission to make his life the subject of her doctoral thesis. His recovery scheduled to take some time, the young man falls in love. But it is when fully recovered that things with the Stasis begin to fall apart.
This statement makes more sense in light of the fact that Palimpsest was written specifically to round out the story collection Wireless , published by Ace in But knowing this will do little to assuage frustrated readers clamoring for more, because Palimpsest is so packed with ideas and untapped potential that it does, indeed, deserve to be a novel. Happily, Subterranean Press has given us the next best thing, a handsome hardcover limited edition of Palimpsest , complete with beautiful jacket and interior illustrations by J. It's a fitting showcase for the Hugo Award-winning story, which is more complex and satisfying than many longer works.
Wireless , Ace. This has particular interest to archeologists because they of course are interested in what was there before, and go to great lengths to try lifting the original text off of the parchment or tablets or whatever they may be. The story concerns a young man named Pierce, who is going through a year long training program as an agent of the Stasis. The Statis is the powerful agency in charge of this task, and it actually outlives humanity many times over, it is expected that civilizations will rise and fall and occasionally have to be reseeded from scratch and allowed to develop all over again over billions of years. Pierce crosses paths multiple times with his former and future selves, as well as those of his fellow agents, and the complexity of the task to which Stasis has him assigned causes him to eventually seek out an insurgent group known as the Opposition. The plot makes just enough sense at a superficial level to hang together and keep the reader involved, forcing you to pay attention before everything shifts out from under you all over again. Never one to back away from audacious storytelling, Stross outdoes himself here with what has to be one of the best, and certainly most ambitious, stories of the year.