Cover illustration by Vincent Chong
Bringing together KJ Parker’s recent novellas and novelettes, totaling over 500 pages of wry, twisty fiction, Father of Lies delves into the arcane as never before. Set amid the world of Parker’s critically acclaimed novels and award winning stories, as well as our own, this volume reveals a side rarely glimpsed in his other works. Contained herein are the tales of creatures that pluck the strings of existence, exposing the seedy underbelly of ultimate power as only Parker can.
It begins with love, as it often does. In All the Things We Do for Love, Parker demonstrates the age old proverb ‘be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.’ It continues with a fall from grace, in Downfall of the Gods, where a daughter of heaven unwittingly pits herself against her divine family. Demonic pacts are everywhere, in The Devil You Know, where Parker returns to Saloninus, his iconic character who will finish what he started so many years ago. It ends with a beginning, in No Peace for the Wicked, as a New Pope is chosen to push back the darkness.
Filled with Parker’s hallmark wit and biting humor, Father of Lies is an essential collection, not just for the dedicated fantasist, but for anyone committed to a great story well told. Like all of KJ Parker's brilliant fiction, these stories whisper the truth.
Just ask yourself, can you trust the Father of Lies?
From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
“The centerpiece (literally and figuratively), ‘The Devil You Know,’ features the con artist and philosopher Saloninus (familiar from Parker’s novella ‘Blue and Gold’) negotiating with a devil for an extended life span. It’s an old concept—each knows the other’s trying to pull a fast one—but the two characters play so well off each other that the story works as an updated and entertaining Socratic dialogue.”
From Locus (Gardner Dozois):
“The first major short-story collection of 2018 has appeared: The Father of Liesby K.J. Parker. Parker's work is unlike anything else being done in the fantasy genre—razor-sharp, sardonic, bitingly intelligent, slyly funny. In fact, especially at short lengths, he may be the best writer working in fantasy today, and you're unlikely to see another fantasy collection as strong and quirky as this one in 2018. My favorites here are ‘The Dragonslayer of Merebarton’, ‘The Things We Do For Love’, ‘No Peace for the Wicked’, and ‘Told by an Idiot’, but there are eight other stories here almost equally satisfying. This will almost certainly turn out to be one of the best collections of the year.”
From Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online:
“The first thing to mention, a generality about these stories, is that Parker loves a looping narrative, one that doubles back on itself for historical recountings, then hopscotches forward. I find this elliptical style of tale-telling charming and rewarding, but those in favor of a straight linear narrative will have to adjust to receive the rewards.”
Table of Contents:
- The Things We Do for Love
- Downfall of the Gods
- The Last Witness
- The Devil You Know
- I Met a Man Who Wasn’t There
- Heaven Thunders the Truth
- Message in a Bottle
- Safe House
- The Dragonslayer of Merebarton
- Told by an Idiot
- No Peace for the Wicked
- Vincent Chong
- K. J. Parker
- 591 pages
- eBook Edition