On the Banks of the River of Heaven

On the Banks of the River of Heaven presents fourteen stories by Richard Parks, an “unrepentant storyteller,” according to Locus Magazine. In his third collection, you’ll find stories about a ghoul with an identity crisis; a girl who can be anyone she wants except herself; a woman from heaven and a man very much from earth; gardening tips from hell; ten aspects of a goddess all searching for one wayward husband, and many other thrilling wonders. 

With his light touch and imaginative storytelling, Parks takes readers into the past as well as the future, to lands foreign as well as nearby, and from matters sublime to ones familiar (but never trivial or predictable).

One of the most versatile fantasists of his generation, for Parks it is never style over the substance (or the other way around)—it is always a seamless melding of both.

“Gods, mortals, and entities somewhere in between provide provocative reflections on human nature in this breezy collection of 14 fantasy stories. In “The Finer Points of Destruction,” a divorced man caught in the crossfire between the Hindu goddess Kali Ma and her estranged husband, Shiva, draws on his marriage counseling skills to heal their wounds and his own. In “The Twa Corbies, Revisited,” a flesh-eating ghoul ponders the nature of his ghoulishness and comes to a better understanding of the human being he once was. 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.”
Publishers Weekly

Richard Parks lives in Mississippi with his wife and a varying number of cats. He collects Japanese woodblock prints but otherwise has no hobbies since he discovered that they all require time. His fiction has appeared in Asimov’s SF, Realms of Fantasy, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Fantasy Magazine, Weird Tales, and numerous anthologies, including Year’s Best Fantasy and Fantasy: The Best of the Year. He’s been a finalist for both the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature.

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