Thursday, April 03, 2003

After reflecting sadly that too few authors are interested in the genre of mythic fiction, I was delighted to stumble across an author new to me, who, while not in Charles de Lint's league, is wonderfully bizarre and fascinating. My favorite thing about Nina Kiriki Hoffman's A Red Heart of Memories is the nonchalant way in which fantasy elements enter the story. Some of the characters are, naturally, surprised by a brick who turns into a witch (he was helping the wall rebuild itself, of course) or the embodiment of magic artistic talent (a gold substance that can be formed into any shape desired), but Hoffman writes as if there is no reason for the reader to be surprised by these things. This stratagem might not work in other cases, but she does it beautifully, and I hope that this book is only the first in a long succession of her works that find their way to my nightstand. And I must give credit to Terri Windling's lovely site for directing me to Hoffman and several other new authors who I am also eager to read.

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