Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Palimpsest cover Palimpsest (2009)
2010 Hugo Award nominee

Bantam trade paperback
cover art by Carlos Beltran
367 pages (left)

From the trade paperback back cover:
       Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest.  To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse -- a voyage permitted only to those who've always believed there's another world than the one that meets the eye.  Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night.
       To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei.  They've each lost something important -- a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life -- and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.

Read for group discussion on March 25, 2009

How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 6 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri - Barb -
Aaron 9 Cynthia -
Jackie - Ron 7
Jennifer 8    

Catherynne M. Valente (1979-    ) is a US fantasy writer and poet.

2006 James Tiptree, Jr. Award for The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden
2008 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature for The Orphan's Tales series

Orphan's Tales series books, original fairy tales
-- In the Night Garden (2006)
-- In the Cities of Coin and Spice (2007)

Other novels
-- The Labyrinth (2004)
-- Yume no Hon: The Book of Dreams (2005)
-- The Grass-Cutting Sword (2006)
-- Palimpsest (2009)

Poetry books
-- Music of a Proto-Suicide (2004), chapbook -- Apocrypha (2005)
-- Oracles: A Pilgrimage (2006)
-- The Descent of Inanna (2006)
-- A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects (2008), poetry and tales

Catherynne M. Valente - Home Page
Catherynne M. Valente - Wikipedia
The Orphan's Tales website
Clarkesworld Magazine - An Interview with Catherynne M. Valente

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This page was last updated April 29, 2010