Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rikki Ducornet's "The One Marvelous Thing"

I just reviewed Rikki Ducornet's new collection of short stories, "The One Marvelous Thing" for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here's a couple of brief quotes from that review:

“Anomalous—deviating from the normal; deviant.”--American Heritage Dictionary

“The anomalous deserves our attention.”--Rikki Ducornet

And why does the deviant deserve our attention?

Rikki Ducornet would probably say that what we call “normal” is just the routine habits that shield us from the many more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. In this, her fourth collection of short fantastic prose poems, Ducornet rips away that shield to show us that there is not just “one marvelous thing” in the world but many.....

If you go to and type in Rikki Ducornet’s name, you can watch the names of Barthelme, Borges, Barth, Coover, Lovecraft, Calvino, and Angela Carter fan out around her. We should be glad that although those who know only the “normal” may frown in disapproval, there are still writers like Ducornet who have their number. For which we cannot resist singing a chorus of the Steely Dan song inspired by her, “Rikki, Don’t Lose that Number.”

I wonder why fantasy writers are always linked with other fantasy writers in a sort of sales device, e.g. "If you like Jorge Louis Borges, you will like Rikki Ducornet" or "We have noticed that people who purchased Rikki Ducornet also purchased Angela Carter."

This may be unfortunate, for it tends to pigeonhole fantasy books as "genre fiction" in a narrow sort of way.

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