Overview

If a man carelessly steps in front of a speeding garbage truck, that's usually the end of his story. For Jake Hallman that's just the beginning. He awakens on a metaphorical stretch of the Afterlife called the Golden Road, where the angel Brendan comes to escort him to Heaven. But Jake isn't having any:


"Look, this is all kind of sudden. ...
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Hereafter, and After

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Overview

If a man carelessly steps in front of a speeding garbage truck, that's usually the end of his story. For Jake Hallman that's just the beginning. He awakens on a metaphorical stretch of the Afterlife called the Golden Road, where the angel Brendan comes to escort him to Heaven. But Jake isn't having any:


"Look, this is all kind of sudden. Heaven sounds like a good thing in theory, but what is it really? What will I do there? Can I leave if I don't like it? Under what circumstances? Can you force me to go?"

Brendan scratched his head. "I don't think this has come up before."

With that simple exchange Jake becomes one of the rarest and most valuable commodities in the Afterlife -- a free soul. What's a free soul to do? That is, if he wants to remain that way?

If you're Jake Hallman you team up with a disgruntled ex-valkyrie named Freya and hit the Golden Road, the mystic path that links the Heavens and Hells of every mythos, plus a few places even the gods forgot. The unlikely pair join forces on a quest to discover if there really is any place in the cosmos where a spirit can be truly free.

Novella - 21000 words
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Editorial Reviews

Bewildering Stories #258 - Holly Schmidt
"Its length also is ideal, Parks has shown a true understanding of the novella length. The idea suits 90 pages perfectly, and the author didn’t get tempted to make this into a novel. Trust me, I’ve read novel-length books with less plot than this novella.

PS Publishing has another winner here."
F&SF - Charles de Lint
"Hereafter, and After is a story that would have made Robert Nathan or James Branch Cabell proud—and probably would James Morrow, too, who's still alive and could read it. And it certainly shows that Parks has the chops to work at a longer length"
LiveJournal - Rich Horton
"Richard Parks's HEREAFTER, AND AFTER, is an afterlife fantasy that spirals to a familiar but still freshly-viewed ending, as if follows an accountant who dies and begins to ask probing questions in the afterlife, leading him to a meeting with a Norsewoman who has begun to question Valhalla. Their destiny, and those of the various denizens of the afterlife they encounter is treated with Parks's trademark good sense."
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013287501
  • Publisher: Canemill Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/17/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 91
  • Sales rank: 1,212,980
  • File size: 769 KB

Meet the Author

Richard Parks was born and raised in the southern United States and has lived there most of his life. His stories have appeared in Asimov's SF, Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and numerous anthologies, including David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's YEAR'S BEST FANTASY. His first collection, THE OGRE'S WIFE (Obscura, 2002) was a World Fantasy Award finalist.
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