"A book of mad inventive wonder: there are more ideas on one page of this than on a hundred of anything else, told in stunning, jewelled language."
--Warren Ellis, author of Crooked Little Vein, Transmetropolitan and many others.
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. (February 2009)
"Gorgeously written and deliriously imaginative, PALIMPSEST is the book for those who love old maps and grow wistful at the sound of a night train. A modern masterpiece in Valente's unique voice and singular sensibility."
--Ekaterina Sedia, author of The Alchemy of Stone
"Palimpsest is an elegant and evocative story set in a gorgeous alien wonderland."
--Elizabeth Bear, author of Hammered and the Promethean Age Trilogy.
"Catherynne Valente has once again proved her mastery of the fantastic. Full to the brim with beautiful images and gorgeous prose, Palimpsest belongs on the same shelf with Calvino's Invisible Cities and Winterson's The Passion. Valente is writing the smartest, gentlest, deepest work in the field, and she's good enough to do it. I remain in awe."
--Daniel Abraham, author of the Long Price Quartet