By kind permission of the publishers, I made the full text of my Hugo-shortlisted novella "Palimpsest" available for the duration of Hugo voting in 2010. As the 2010 Hugos are now over, this item must be withdrawn from the website for copyright reasons. If you want to read an electronic copy, it is available in my short story collection "Grim Meathook Futures are Grim and Feature Meathooks" "Wireless": and you can find a Kindle edition here for US $6.99.



Many thanks. I enjoyed it, although I thought it had quite a lot of things in common with the end of eternity, but there's nothing wrong with that as such given that TEOE is quite good, or at least I found it so.


Excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed it when I read through Wireless, very deserving of a Hugo nomination.


You have some malformed HTML in the beginning,

<meta name="LastAuthor" content="Charles Stross into position. &#8220;But <i>I</i> can&#8217;t.&#8221;</p>

instead of closing with [...]Stross"> some text that presumably got cut from the final version ended up there instead. So you meta tag is not closed.


Thanks for posting this but the font size is bizarrely small. I know I can resize it in my browser but that changes the font size on all browser tabs and it's just such a bad decision to make it so small that I am curious why you would set it like that.


The Starship Troopers of time travel.


krum: not true, but there's a rogue control character after [Charles Stross] but before the closing double-quote which is presumably borking your browser. I've zapped it.


Ross: the font is the size it is, because that's the size the HTML transcoder pumped it out at after I squirted it through. I don't expect you to read this in your browser, I expect you to download it, run it through Calibre or similar, and read it on your ebook reader.

I have no idea what OS or browser you're using, so I can't specify a hard font size for you to use.

that changes the font size on all browser tabs

What a silly browser :)

Neat story, I can see why you'd find Doctor Who bland in comparison.

And interesting take on the grandfather paradox. Just a bunch of information squirted out of a wormhole, why should the universe care indeed?


Enjoyed the story, but found parts of it a bit confusing. Not that I have a compulsive need to understand everything! Is mr. stross saying that different pasts can lead to the same future? Because that seems unlikely to me. What happened to chaos theory?? Still, a very intriguing story.


Wow, really good, I'd buy a novel sized follow-up. I haven't read all of your stuff yet, but that was easily the best of what I have read.


Thanks! I figured that out when I opened it on my own machine, on another browser (looked like a null-terminated string? I remember when you wrote about your work flow, with (IIRC) groff? and everything. Sounded impressive.) I should probably file a bug report, although I'm not sure if that's a bug per se.


Having read most of Charlie's non-Merchant novels and a couple of shorts, I have to say this is up in my top three.

Thank you for letting us freebase this one, Charlie!


Thank you for sharing that. Enjoyed it a lot and hope it does well for you in the Hugo voting.

I'll be picking up a copy of the Wireless paperback so I have a 'proper' copy to keep.


Just read it, and in my browser at that - but I have sufficiently good eyes not to be bothered by small fonts.

Good bleak stuff - I like how deep Charlie's deep time really is.

John @9: "Is mr. stross saying that different pasts can lead to the same future?"

Nope. There's only one timeline that leads to any one instance of The Library At The End Of The Universe. The Library has all the unhistories of the alternates because they are first sent uptime to the Cenozoic relay (which is at the common root for all the alternates) and only then are they sent downtime to the Library.

Of course many of the alternate timelines give rise to a version of the Library (each of which would regard all the others as unhistories).

Regards Luke


I'm not sure the Cryptozoic thing doesn't create a paradox. Anyway, have a review with assorted time-travel ramblings.



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