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September 23, 2005


des von bladet

Gift is verbed now? Has anyone sloganed "The gift that keeps on gifting" yet?

Kip Manley

Paul Park is tremendous, those Starbridge books are essential additions to any decent SF library (make sure to pick up The Cult of Loving Kindness), and I'm halfway through Princess and already I want to grab the lapels of random passersby and thrust it under their noses and cry, "See? This is how it's done, by God!"

Timothy Burke

Park is so fucking good. Though the Cult of Loving Kindness, contra Kip, I think starts to strip away the druggy, amazing-shit brilliance of the first two and become, well, just another goddamn allegory. Good, but not divine.

Very similar vein: K.J. Bishop's Etched City. I promise to send you a copy if you will resupply address so I can send you my forgotten eBay booty.

Princess is on my kitchen table now, beckoning to me. This weekend, perhaps, not in Bali, just plain old Pennsylvania.


I'm fond of the Avon cover of Sugar Rain, even though I don't think the artist was very familiar with mehndi. (Shoot, these books are over fifteen years old. What American artist was, back in 1989?)

Anyway, I still remember that the hardcover of Soldiers of Paradise had Lucius Shepard comparing it to Yashar Kemal's Memed, My Hawk. That was a fruitful linkage.

I was not blown away by A Princess of Roumania, although I recognize its quality. Sometimes, in Park's fiction, while his sources are transmogrified, the transitions between them aren't. I am pretty sure Park knows this -- hell, I once heard him comment about this tendency in his fiction at Dixon Place -- and he often makes a virtue of these discontinuities. Other times, it doesn't work as well.

The plot of Princess is pre-adapted to discontinuities (I'm not giving anything away here) but there are places where the joins between background story elements don't seem smoothed over enough. I'm thinking of the Philip Pullman bits especially.

The evocations of his alternate Roumania, though, are very good.

Gary Farber

Murpfle. Working a few floors downstairs from David at Arbor House buying Paul Park while I was at Avon. Happyhappy.

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