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While it is true that there are basically only about 4 characters in this story, it doesn t make it less valuable or interesting Quite opposite, I would say The skills it must take to compile all the actions in a logical row when you only get to use endless copies of just one man in different times and realities or palimpsests being created and overwritten I would recommend to enjoy the good sides of this story the games with reality and history, the possibilities of our planet s future and what might become of humanity And lets not misjudge the government agencies that always seem to know better what is good for us Now isn t that something history has seen repeatedly So, even being somewhat predictable, it is still a mind triggering story to enjoy. Charles Stross ha preso il soggetto di La fine dell eternitdi Asimov e lo ha riscritto, in modo completamente diverso Il risultato una novella ariosa e variopinta, che parla di viaggi nel tempo Stross dribbla beffardo i paradossi, e punteggia la sua storia con visioni del tempo e dello spazio sovrumane Lo stile di Stross vivace, alterna punti di vista, voci narranti, tempi verbali, adattando il ritmo della scrittura a quello lisergico delle realt che si accavallano tra loro a mano a mano che la Storia si riscrive, si avvolge su se stessa, salta avanti e indietro.SEMI SPOILERIl punto, come in Asimov, l esistenza di una polizia del tempo la Stasi, LOL , nata per preservare la razza umana nel corso dell eternit , che finisce per fare troppo i propri interessi Di nuovo come in Asimov, la Stasi Eternit viaggia nel tempo ma vuole impedire all umanit di viaggiare nello spazio. @Free Kindle õ Palimpsest ⚧ Welcome To The Stasis, The Clandestine, Near Omnipotent Organization That Stands At The Heart Of Charles Stross S Hugo Award Winning Novella, PalimpsestBy 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 ContinuityPierce 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 ItselfSkillfully 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 ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Agent Pierce murdered his own grandfather to join Stasis, the covert organization which works outside of time to reseed the Earth with humans every time they re about to make themselves extinct Pierce considers himself a loyal agent, and he didn t even realize that there is a group that works in Opposition to Stasis he s only in training So, why is someone trying to assassinate him Palimpsest follows Agent Pierce from initiation, through his twenty years of training, to his gruesome graduation ceremony, and onto his assignments as a new agent The segments involving Pierce s progress are written in both second and third person and are occasionally interrupted by chapters of Powerpoint style lectures which show glimpses of alternate histories of our universe and describe the way the galaxy was restructured so that it could last for trillions of years.It s easy to see why Palimpsest won the Hugo Award for best novella in 2010 First of all, it s beautifully written This comes from Slide 6 Six hundred and fifty million years later, the outlines of Earth s new continents glow by night like a neon diadem against the darkness, shouting consciousness at the sky in a blare of radio wavelength emissions as loud as a star.And how can you not admire this The day after he murdered himself in cold blood, Agent Pierce received an urgent summons to attend a meeting in the late nineteenth century.You d be tempted to think that time travel, with its accompanying paradoxes, is a well worn theme, and Palimpsest does re visit some of the age old questions, but it s got some fresh and fascinating questions to ask, too If a historical event is written over, which history is the correct one This is where the title Palimpsest comes from Is it ethical to decide who you want to be and then go back in time to remake yourself What happens when a powerful organization evolves so that it has abandoned its original purpose and made itself its reason for being What is the best way to make sure that the human species survives Pierce s predicaments, and the issues he deals with, are exciting, but the story was so quick, sketchy, and subtle, and it jumps around so much, that I rarely had than a tentative grasp on what was going on at any moment I had to do a lot of rereading to make sure I knew what was happening, though I admit that I have rarely enjoyed being lost as much as I did here, and Stross was likely going for that effect The characters, including Pierce himself, are also sketchily drawn, making it hard to connect with them Pierce, who was just as bewildered as me, was mostly a passive character pushed along by his strange circumstances Only at the end did he seem to seriously consider what he might do to affect his world again, this was probably intentional.In his afterword, Charles Stross says Palimpsest wanted to be a novel It really, really wanted to be a novel Maybe it will be, someday I agree Palimpsest wants to be a novel It needs to be a novel I want it to be a novel This superb story deserves much space and time so to speak. Found and read online following a Twitter discussion about time travel stories.This is an odd work, atypical of Stross work IMHO I am not sure I fully understood it As soon as I finished it, I restarted it, but I lack time to reread the whole thing immediately.As a piece of large scale SF, it puts me in mind of Liu Cixin As a story which involves jump cuts into the far far cosmic future, of Robert Charles Wilson s Spin As a story which involves multiple time journeys, characters meeting and interacting with themselves over time and so on, of Robert Heinlein s All you Zombies Knowing Charlie, he might well have been aware of that.I enjoyed it but I m not at all sure that I understood it I will re read when I can and maybe revisit this. Un breve racconto forse troppo breve , scritto con maestria, che all evidentissimo omaggio all Eternitdi Asimov lega una visione estrema del lontanissimo futuro dell umanit , con i caratteristici excursus che rivelano la portata della grande immaginazione dell autore.Eppure poco, troppo poco, da Stross mi aspetto molto di pi. Dans ce tr s court roman 160 pages , on suit l ascencion de Pierce, jeune agent de la Stase charg e de prot ger une lign e historique privil gi e nous menant des milliards d ann es dans le futur cette ascencion nous fera d abord passer par son initiation moment difficile entre tous, puisqu il doit devenir un tre paradoxal , avant d ele voir plong dans ses premi res missions, sa r alisation de ce qu il a perdu, avant qu enfin n arrive la compr hension de ce qu est la Stase.Bon, c est difficile de parler d un roman qui manie ce point le concept du palimpseste temporel, mais je vais quand m me essayer D abord, le palimpseste, vous savez ce que c est un aprchemin sur lequel un deuxi me auteur a gratt le texte pr c dent pour y r crire le sien Gr ce une th orie historique assez simple, Charles Stross choisit de faire de l histoire un palimpseste dans lequel les agents de la Stase seuls se promener dans le Temps sont libres de r crire leur convenance enfin, la convenance de la Stase, mais c est assez proche des parties de l Histoire, qu elles soient courtes ou longues Et ils ne s en privent pas C est ainsi que le personnage principal sera d ja mort plusieurs fois toutes r crites avant la fin de sa formation C est galement ainsi que les membres de la Stase peuvent sembler se d mulitiplier, dans un troublant jeu de miroirs temporels formidablement expos par le personnage de Kafka que j imagine sans peine tre une r f rence l oeuvre du vrai Kafka en particuler la sc ne o Pierce visite les bureaux de Kafka C est comme toujours chez cet auteur magistralement pens et plut t bien crit.Qui plus est, je trouve le choix de l instance de Pierce utilis comme personnage principal particuli rement bien pens Stross aurait pu sans probl me utiliser le Pierce h ro que Au lieu de a, il prend celui qui sera indubitablement un t moin passif de la r ussite de son alter ego.D ailleurs, en parlant de cet alter ego, j ai bien cru voir dans les sc nes finales des citations, voire des redites, de l Oecum ne d or et de son personnage de Pha ton efnin, c est l impression que j en ai eu.C est en tout cas une lecture singuli re, plut t sombre par ce qu elle dit d un univers en perp tuelle expansion et perp tuel refroidissement , mais n anmoins terriblement subtile dans sa r flexion sur ce que peut tre la nature d un Temps dans lequel certains seraient libres de se balader dans la direction de leur choix. This is how I love my sci fi short and to the point We still get the Charlie Stross signature nice techie guy who falls for girls in sci fi settings, but since this is a novella, Palimpsest focuses almost entirely on the catch, the what if kernel of the story And that is another exploration of what time travel would lead to, in this case an out of time organization called the Stasis that exists solely to protect Earth from inevitable extinction by reseeding it with humanity whenever it happens, thus creating a sort of stagnating but stable civilizational time flow that last for trillions of years until the heat death of the universe.But I liked the little details a lot As the title suggests, once you can time travel, the timelines can be infinitely rewritten, leading to all kinds of maybe literally all possibilities In order to join Stasis you first need to kill your grandfather and in order to graduate you need to kill yourself in another timeline Mad and fun ideas are in abundance in the book and I particularly enjoyed that it presented them one after another and then the story ended No need to take it further to some sort of personal conclusion for the main character It is pure fantasy and then it ends Love that Hugo Award for Best Novella 2010 What a ride I daresay this is the best, most imaginative time travel story I ve read, far beyond usual time travel fare The scope here is staggering, nothing less than the origin and fate of humanity, Earth and the universe Reminds me quite a lot of Poul Anderson s classic Tau Zero, with elements of Asimov s The End of Eternity There is a lot of hard science and brain busting time paradoxes, which may make this unapproachable for some Yet Stross masterfully weaves this grand scope and hard science together with a personal tale of intrigue and conspiracy, making for one hell of a compelling story Highly recommended So after finishing The Time Traveler s Wife I realized that the next book on my shelf was Family Matters The last Rohinton Mistry book I read cut me up, so I decided that before I attempted this next one, I would need something I was guaranteed to enjoy Fortunately, my awesome limited edition of Palimpsest had just arrived from Subterranean Press I first read Palimpsest when it was a nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Novella It subsequently won, deservedly, the award, and so when I heard that Subterranean Press was coming out with a hardcover edition, I jumped to pre order it.Time travel is weird, confusing, and inconsistent There is no way to avoid that and embracing this fact is the key to good time travel fiction Whether it s Doctor Who or Primer, the method and mood of this mad embrace can be quite varied, but the end result is the same a time travel story, when done properly, should blow your mind.Where most authors go wrong in their time travel plots is a desire to make sense So they go to the trouble of establishing various rules that attempt to compel their non linear story into a linear box, forgetting all the while that once you break causality, there is no going back Palimpsest is a refreshing change, because Charles Stross doesn t try to make sense He acknowledges and works with the utter insanity that would be a universe where time travel is possible This allows him to accomplish wonderful things, but it also demands a great deal of tolerance from the reader I can understand why some would reject this book as too confusing and too brief.The novella opens with Pierce describing, in the second person narration that Stross uses as an interstitial technique, how he has to kill his own grandfather TVTropes as the beginning of his training for the Stasis The Stasis is a group of time travellers, pledged to manipulate history and reseed humanity each time it goes extinct on Earth Humanity, Stross explains, always goes extinct They go to incredible lengths to achieve this goal Stross lyrically describes how they tinker with the ultimate fate of the Earth and solar system on a cosmic scale and literally manipulate the rise and fall of civilization to serve their own ends Though Stasis stated goal is the ultimate good survival of the human species they sure do seem authoritarian about it.As he undergoes his two decade long training period, Pierce develops a fascination with palimpsests These are periods of history that have been rewritten so many times that it becomes very difficult to access any given version of history The Stasis has a Library that exists at the end of the Earth, which is protected from all changes to the timeline and therefore records various versions of history This frustrates new agents who haven t yet learned that the Library lies After Pierce survives an assassination attempt, presumably from someone out to prevent something he will do in his own future, he convalesces in a science empire of the far future, marries a native, and has a family When he makes a quick trip to the Library to sort out an academic dispute, he discovers that period of history has been turned into a palimpsest, and he might never see his family again.Pierce eventually becomes drawn into a much larger plot threatening the existence of Stasis itself We, along with Pierce, are kept in the dark about the nature of this plot until close to the end of the book But without going into spoilers, I can fairly succinctly describe the nature of the resistance the name Stasis should be a clue Though Stasis has humanity s preservation at heart, it enforces this survival in a draconian and single minded way There is no room in Stasis agenda for extraterrestrial intelligence, space exploration, or indeed any type of development or growth that does not ultimately support Stasis This meta social construct has turned into a kind of symbiotic organism relying on the entirety of human history to exist.Palimpsest isn t perfect, and if I could wish for one improvement, it would be an extension to novel length There is just so much going on here, an entire vocabulary and way of life that Stross can only barely explore The events that take place evoke so many classics of science fiction and of time travel stories for example, Pierce dies multiple times, even causing his own death at times What does this mean for the nature of self, for our identity or even, if you believe in such a thing, our souls These questions all linger in the back of one s mind, but so because I am already aware of them and know to apply them to these circumstances They remain frustratingly unexplored, even somewhat unasked, because there just isn t enough space.Similarly, Pierce himself is kind of a lacklustre protagonist Oh, don t get me wrong He s an OK kind of guy, though I would have liked to learn about him But for most of the novella he gets dragged along with the plot rather than actually showing much initiative and when he does show initiative, it tends to backfire So readers who are waiting for Pierce to step up and own the story might be disappointed or pleasantly surprised I can t say And to be fair, Stross acknowledges the powerlessness Pierce feels when Pierce comes face to face with the person running the plot against Stasis, he confesses that he feels just as manipulated as when he was collaborating with the Stasis Internal Affairs department Both sides are manipulating Pierce, and this becomes key to the novella s final, profound pages.I won t deny that this book pushes my buttons in all the right ways, and for that reason, I am than ready to overlook any flaws I love Palimpsest so much because I feel like Stross has created a realistic portrayal of time travel, and in so doing demonstrated why time travel shouldn t be possible If it were, our universe would be an even crazier place than it already is Because if it were possible to rewrite history, then everyone would be running around, killing their past selves and grandfathers and Hitler that, or some form of the Novikov self consistency principle would result in time travel erasing the timeline where time travel is invented Confused yet Good This is your brain on time travel Don t do it But if time travel were possible, then it would also present us with staggering choice The very mutability of the continuum would mean that history would never be constant Foiled plots one moment could be successful coups the next, and vice versa if you work for the other side You can join the time agency and then, if you tire of the work, go back in time and prevent yourself from joining or just erase yourself from history altogether In short, time travel as Stross portrays it in Palimpsest is the ultimate chaotic vector This is the final message of Palimpsest, and it is simultaneously invigorating and terrifying.