Catherynne M. Valente, “Palimpsest,” Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urbany Fantasy, edited by Ekaterina Sedia (Senses Five Press, 2008)

(Note: “Palimpsest” was originally posted online at the Senses Five Press website; the short story inspired a novel that will be forthcoming sometime in 2008 or 2009.)

Today, Catherynne finished Palimpsest.

I had the pleasure of reading this story when it was first posted to Senses Five Press: I read it in the middle of my Summer of Stories, on the day that I got my tattoo in observation and celebration of Tanabata and my fascination with stars.

Here’s what I said then:
Viral tattooing, indeed. It takes a gifted writer to do creative cartography well and Cat succeeds here. I love the depictions of the city, Palimpsest, the many-layered readings one can derive from her descriptions. I’m exceedingly delighted that she is writing more set in this city, for I very much want hundreds of pages more of Palimpsest in which to get lost. Intoxicating.

I recently re-read it in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Literature and was once more swept away by the intoxicating mystery of Palimpsest. I want to walk those streets, purchase a map from my beloved Lucia and Paola. I want to let the jeweled vermin of Casimira run over the backs of my hands and clad myself in dream-spun dresses of indigo and feathers. I want to submerge my mind in Palimpsest and grow up there between the cracks, letting my soul wander the map that grows in flesh and eye.

I apologize for going on, especially since the story is no longer on-line and Paper Cities is still technically forthcoming. But I hope I’ve whet your appetite, because I’ll want company along the alleys and avenues of Palimpsest.

You can read what I said about “Palimpsest” in my review of Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy by clicking on this link.

This review was originally published at my blog on February 1st, 2008, with part of it coming from an earlier review posted on July 9th, 2007.