I had a discussion with Gordon Van Gelder about Paul Park's short fiction this past weekend. I felt that Paul's short fiction was scandalously undervalued. Gordon pointed out that he's had stories nominated for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. That's true, I admitted. But even so, his short work has a particular brilliance that makes him one of the very best practitioners of the short form.
If anybody doubts me, I refer you to his Wildside collection If Lions Could Speak, the title story in particular.
Paul has a new story up on Tor.com. This one takes the form of an Icelandic saga, and it's called "Ragnarok." Here's how it begins:
There was a man, Magnus’s son,
Ragni his name. In Reykjavik
Stands his office, six stories,
Far from the harbor in the fat past.
Birds nest there, now abandoned.
The sea washes along Vesturgata,
As they called it.
And once again, it's a fabulous story. I recommend it highly. In the "comments" section, Paul mentions that he has ideas for expanding the story, though he thinks (probably rightly) that the form would be a disadvantage at book length, adding, "I could see it as a graphic novel, though." So if you happen to know anyone in the comix industry, let 'em know it's online to be read and enjoyed.
You can find "Ragnarok" here.
The url for Ragnarok is missing an 'h' at the front - starts with "ttp://...".
I read this when it was posted on tor.com and it impressed the hell out of me. I've never sought out his short stories, but his 'Starbridge' books were fine - some of the feel of Book of the New Sun.
Shame on me, I've never heard of Mr Park, but coming from you that's a heck of a recommendation. Thanks for bringing him to my attention.
His story "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" is online here:
It will only be up for a few more weeks.
In the very best sense of the word, Paul is the Competition. If your stories aren't as good as his, well...
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