Synopses & Reviews
The three basic human needs are food, water...and shelter. But in the late 21st century, compassion is a crime. You can get your memories wiped just for trying to help.
Papa Preston Walford's world doesn't allow for coincidences. Accidents. Secrets in the backs of closets. Or the needs of his own daughter.
Meredith Preston has reason to seek shelter. She needs protection from the monsters in her mind, in her history, in her family. And the great storms of a changing climate have made literal shelter imperative.
When a cutting-edge, high-tech house, designed by a genius with a unique connection to Meredith, overcomes its programming to give shelter to a homeless man in a storm, from its closets emerge the revelations of a past too painful to remember.
In the world of Susan Palwick's Shelter, perception is about to meet reality, and reality has mud all over it. The truth won't make you happy, but it may just make you whole.
"Near-future San Francisco, lashed by climate-change storms, shelters a strange variety of stereotypical beings in Palwick's inflated third exploration (after Flying in Place and The Necessary Beggar) of social, technological, religious and ecological themes. Palwick's central conflict, anti-AI Luddites versus big business AI producer MacroCorp, sputters and fizzles somewhere behind two lengthy narratives of the same story the fate of Nicholas, a brain-damaged child survivor of an African pandemic virus and adopted son of Meredith Walford, the daughter of MacroCorp's leader, Preston Walford, who dies of the virus and is soon 'translated' into virtually immortal cyberlife, where he tries to remake society. Meredith and Roberta Danton, who suffers from state-prohibited 'excessive altruism,' try to save Nicholas from brainwiping with the help of 'Fred,' a soothing AI neo-Mr. Rogers, who turns into a verbose high-tech house. Younger readers may best appreciate this sprawling book. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Triumphant...Succeeds as a heart-wrenching romance, a sharp meditation on refugees and displaced persons, and a tragicomedy of cultural differences. Outstanding."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Necessary Beggar
"Palwick's beautifully crafted tale of exiles struggling to come to terms with a deeply troubled Earth is exquisite."
--Booklist (starred review) on The Necessary Beggar
"One of the best and most moving novels by a new author I have read in years."
--Alison Lurie on Flying in Place
An ambitious near-future SF novel of climate change, artificial intelligence, and human feeling
In the late 21st century, compassion is a crime. Memories can get wiped out just for trying to help. But Meredith Preston needs protection from the monsters in her mind, in her history, and in her family. And the great storms of a changing climate have made literal shelter imperative.
About the Author
Susan Palwick's debut novel, Flying in Place, won the Crawford Award for best fantasy debut. Her second novel, The Necessary Beggar, won the American Library Association's Alex Award. She lives with her husband in Reno, Nevada.