Just a quick heads-up: My mini-collection, The God of Small Troubles and Other Stories is on sale for the next two days for less than a buck. After that, it’s back to its usual exorbitant $2.99, otherwise how am I to maintain this insanely luxurious lifestyle? I knew you’d understand.
This is an excerpt from thePublisher’s Weekly review of ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER OF HEAVEN–“Gods, mortals, and entities somewhere in between provide provocative reflections on human nature in this breezy collection of 14 fantasy stories… The title story is a delightful folktale meditation on the mysteries of love and friendship. Parks (Hereafter, and After) relates these tales in a lyrical style that is sympathetic without being sentimental, straddling the boundary between the realistic and the romantic.”
Never mind all that. The unique thing about this particular collection, my most recent, is that it was my first regular hardcover. The trends and realities of current publishing also dictate that it will be my last. Any other books/stories appearing in hardcover, like the Yamada novel from PS Publishing in the UK, will be strictly limited editions and, to be blunt, a bit pricey. There were only so many of this regular hc printed, and when they’re gone, that is IT. No more. It’s trade paper and ebook from here on out. That’s not a sad thing, it’s just the way things are, but if you’re one of those readers who just like a book in hardcover, now wouldn’t be a bad time to pick it up. End of PSA. Or commercial. Whatever this is.
These are the afterwords/author’s notes I wrote for the stories in my second collection, Worshipping Small Gods. They didn’t appear in the actual book for two reasons. 1) There wasn’t room and 2) They hadn’t been written yet. I think the second reason is probably the one that matters. Some readers are interested in this kind of thing, some aren’t. If you fall in the “aren’t” category, you can bail now. Fair warning. Continue reading
BEAKER’S DOZEN by Nancy Kress, Tor Books, August 1998, Hc, 352 pp., ISBN: 0-312-86537-6
Nancy Kress is known as an Idea writer (Capital I with fanfare and flourishes) with a tendency toward polemic. I don’t think the reader can find better examples of both traditions often in the same story as are found in BEAKERS DOZEN. I also don’t think there’s a better capsule summary of both the potential rewards and pitfalls of either approach.
Kress starts the collection with her Hugo Award winning “Beggars in Spain.” This is arguably Kress’s most well known story, and it’s also a good introduction to her fascination with biotech. As the story opens, Roger and Elizabeth Camden are meeting with a geneticist to order the enhancements they wish for their planned child, rather like a young couple of an earlier time might meet the architect of the house they wished to build. The enhancement that Roger–but not Elizabeth—wants most is sleeplessness. He gets his way, with one glitch: instead of a single daughter, two are conceived. One with the enhancement, Leisha, and one, Alice, without. Continue reading