If Lions Could Speak is the first collection from Paul Park, acclaimed author of The Starbridge Chronicles, Coelestis, and The Gospel of Corax. Subtle, stylish, at once forthrightly simple and ingeniously complex, the pieces gathered here are compelling and penetrating explorations of cultural difference and psychological crisis, regret and reconciliation. It is a marvelous literary labyrinth, a realm of memory palaces, eerie doppelgangers, terrifying theocracies, implosive revelations. Here time travel, sordid and ludicrous, becomes emblematic of how all lives are led; here, disease is an index to how the past is rewritten; here, the Other, extravagantly alien or simply alienated, can collapse into the Self with the suddenness of a lethal gunshot. Sometimes sardonically hilarious, sometimes gravely humane, always fiercely shocking, these stories constitute one of the finest bodies of short fiction by any contemporary SF writer.
"Paul Park's short stories are subtle, blunt, funny, distressing, strange, true--all these qualities, often all at once--they are like those dreams or nightmares that seem to plumb right to the meaning of things. In other words, beautiful fiction."
--Kim Stanley Robinson.
"Genre writing is both a liberation and a confinement. If those who don't read science fiction could discover Paul Park, they would find a writer as complex, as skillful, as ambitious and as many-faceted as any they will find under any rubric. I hope this collection will help them discover him. The rest of us can simply open and enjoy."
"Paul Park does not remind us of James Sallis or Marcel Proust; the mark of genius is that it never makes us recall anyone else, not even earlier selves."