Dexter Palmer

Dexter Palmer, photo by Bill Wadman
Dexter Palmer, photo by Bill Wadman

Dexter Palmer is the author of two highly acclaimed novels that blur the line between literary fiction and science fiction.

His first book, The Dream of Perpetual Motion, was listed among the Best Debut Fiction of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews. Partly inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and set in an alternate version of the mid-twentieth century, the tragicomic, retrofuturistic novel was described as “gorgeously surreal” by Matthew Shaer in Bookforum and as “sophisticated, subversive entertainment that never settles for escapism” by Jeff VanderMeer in the New York Times Book Review.

Palmer’s second novel, Version Control, was selected as one of the best books of 2016 by GQ, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, BuzzFeed, and Vox; NPR’s reviewer Jason Heller praised it as “a vertigo-inducing peek behind the veil of existence [and] a quiet, intimate tale of a couple and the trauma that binds them.”

Palmer graduated from Stetson University and holds a doctorate degree in English literature from Princeton University, where he completed his dissertation on the novels of James Joyce, William Gaddis, and Thomas Pynchon. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is completing his third novel, Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen, a work of historical fiction set in Georgian England.


selected bibliography

Version Control by Dexter Palmer
Version Control (2016)
The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
The Dream of Perpetual Motion (2010)

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online resources

Dexter Palmer’s website
“Imagining the Near Future,” Interview with Palmer in Public Books, July 15, 2016
Version Control is a dizzying elevation of the time-travel tale,” NPR Book Review, February 26, 2016
“Malevolent Design,” The New York Times Sunday Book Review of The Dream of Perpetual Motion, May 14, 2010

Video: Palmer and Felix Gilman in conversation at the Center for Fiction