Paul Park -- Photo by Leslie Howle

Paul Park

Clarion West Write-A-Thon and Tuckerization Auction


By Nick Gevers

After the publication of his first novel in the mid-1980s, Paul Park swiftly attracted notice as one of the finest authors on the "humanist" wing of American SF. His powerful, densely written narratives of religious and existential crisis on worlds at once exotic and familiar won him comparisons with Gene Wolfe and Brian Aldiss at their best.

His first major project was the Starbridge Chronicles, a triptych of novels consisting of Soldiers of Paradise (1987), Sugar Rain (1989) and The Cult of Loving Kindness (1991); elaborate and elegiac, full of keen historical echoes and penetrating spiritual understanding, the series remains one of the most splendid literary architectures SF has yet produced. Coelestis (1993) more sparely assesses the alienation wrought by colonialism on its practitioners and victims, to superb tragic effect, and The Gospel of Corax (1996) offers a sublimely heterodox account of how an oddly mute Christ may have learned to transfigure the world. Like Park's oblique short stories, all of these novels are strange, challenging, magnificently surreal.

Those exceptional short stories were collected in If Lions Could Speak in 2002, and a second major revisionist novel concerning the life of Jesus, Three Marys, was published in 2003. An impressive novella, "No Traveller Returns," followed in 2004. In 2005 Tor Books issued A Princess of Roumania, a brilliant alternate-history fantasy; succeeding volumes, The Tourmaline (2006), and The White Tyger (2007), have deepened this Ruritanian tapestry of otherworldly evil and splendid madness. The final installment, The Hidden World (2008), is eagerly awaited.

— Nick Gevers
Updated from SciFi Weekly

Recent Publications

Cover for A Princess of Roumania, by Paul Park
Cover for The Tourmaline, by Paul Park
Cover for The White Tyger, by Paul Park

The Roumanian Quartet

Michael Dirda reviews A Princess of Roumania .

"Paul Park knows fairy tales, contemporary and classic fantasy, and literary science fiction, and he borrows tropes from all these genres. So readers will find, as they enjoy this long novel (the first volume of two or more), that it provides the pleasures of the familiar — indeed, the archetypal — without neglecting some twists and enigmatic variations all its own."

— Michael Dirda
Washington Post
Sunday, September 4, 2005
[complete review]

Paul Di Filippo reviews The Tourmaline

"In this second book of his open-ended fantasy series, Paul Park succeeds in the impossible..."

— Paul Di Filippo
SciFi Weekly
July 17, 2006
[complete review]

Coming soon: Nick Gevers reviews The White Tyger for Locus

StarStarred Review for The White Tyger

"...fascinating, sharply written..."

— Publishers Weekly
[complete review]

Forthcoming: The Hidden World


Fantastic Places: Making the Unreal Real

Fantastic Fiction Workshop
Seattle, WA
28 January 2007

Fantastic Fiction Salon

Seattle, WA
29 January 2007


Nick Gevers interviews Paul Park at SciFi Weekly, June 06, 2005

Aaron Hughes interviews Paul Park at Fantastic Reviews, September 2006

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America SFF Net
First published January 2007