Reviews: Palwick, Susan

Meredith Means Well

Shelter — Susan Palwick

Susan Palwick’s 2007 novel Shelter takes us to a future America where:

  • excessive” altruism has been pathologized;
  • machine intelligences have joined humanity;
  • criminals and the mental ill (then as now overlapping sets) can be mindwiped;
  • immortality of a sort is available to those with the money to pay for it;

and where, as always, the people who pay for rich people’s mistakes are never the rich people themselves.


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Learn from my mistake

The Necessary Beggar — Susan Palwick

While she had been actively publishing at shorter lengths, Susan Palwick’s 2005 book The Necessary Beggar ended a thirteen year novel publication drought, a return to longer form her fans certainly appreciated. Inexplicably, despite counting myself among those fans, this is the first time I have ever read this novel [1]. Having finally read it, I regret having delayed gratification so long.

No one in Lémabantunk knows why Darroti murdered Mendicant Gallicina; Darroti won’t explain and of course Gallicina cannot. Darroti’s punishment is the harshest the city can exact: exile through a one-way gateway to another universe, to an alien nation calling itself America.


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