An older, dying woman leads the reader to a well-hidden painting in San Francisco's Chinatown, thus breaking the seal of stories from another lifetime. Back in 1940, San Francisco is the happening scene for fringe personalities and artists, including 6 women who charmingly and cleverly push the boundaries of their illicit lives. Art, science, and magic are playfully debated among these friends, but it is magic which propels them into action. Quirky and entertaining, this tale romanticizes a great city at a time when individual freedoms often lie upon the chopping block!— From Jane
Inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy, Passing Strange is a story as unusual and complex as San Francisco itself from World Fantasy Award winning author Ellen Klages, and a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella
San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World's Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer "authentic" experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.
Six women find their lives as tangled with each other's as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.