Dust jacket and interior illustrations by J. K. Potter.
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. As his once simple existence expands and replicates over vast stretches of time, Pierce uncovers a new and unexpected destiny, one that will embroil him in the larger purposes of the Stasis and in the ultimate, unresolved fate of humanity itself.
Skillfully merging the threads of an individual life with the grandest, most overarching concerns, Palimpsest offers both visionary brilliance and narrative excitement in equal measure. Powerfully imagined, beautifully constructed, and written throughout with great economy of means, it is the kind of mind-expanding mini-epic that only science fiction — and only a master practitioner like Charles Stross — could produce.
Charles David George "Charlie" Stross (born 1964) is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy. Stross was born in Leeds.
Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams, Neal Asher and Richard Morgan.
Photo: Photograph by Simon Bradshaw, 1 May 2009, Book signing at Forbidden Planet, London. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.