It is hard to believe—as he has written so many great books—but Paradise Tales is Geoff’s first short story collection. The sixteen stories include three set in Cambodia and a couple on Mars, some are contemporary and some are set in the far future. The wide-ranging nature of the collection reflects Ryman’s diverse interests in the world of today and tomorrow and how we humans will (or won’t deal with it). One of the things I wish more reviewers would point out is how funny some of Geoff’s stories are. His story “V.A.O.” (in which a retiree has to work who in his nursing home might be carrying out a string of robberies) is dark and satirical but it’s also hilarious in parts.
The most recent review I’ve seen of the book was by J. J. S. Boyce on AESciFi—the CanadianScience Fiction Review—which ended with a line I fully agree with: “Short-form speculative fiction doesn’t get much better than this.”