Thursday, December 13, 2007

Review of "Unique Chicken"

Los Angeles Times columnist Ed Park lists Eclipse One atop his short list of "Favorite SciFi Books of 2007," but discusses only one story in the book:
Is it science fiction? Is it even speculative fiction? Andy Duncan's odd, mesmerizing short story "Unique Chicken Walks in Reverse" belongs on this list of my favorite 2007 books in this genre mainly because it kicks off "Eclipse One," a new anthology series edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade). Five-year-old Mary O'Connor has a chicken that does just what Duncan's title says; it's a "frizzled" fowl (feathers growing on the inside) that she has named Jesus. Sacrilege or homage? Father Leggett comes to investigate. Mary later went by Flannery, and Duncan's brisk little fiction develops into a sly variant of O'Connor's intense modern morality tales.
I'm delighted by this, but I must not have explained well enough in the story that "frizzled" actually means its feathers grew in backward -- and it's "Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse." But if you praise one of my stories in the Los Angeles Times, I reckon you can call it what you want! Thanks, Mr. Park.

1 comment:

Michael Swanwick said...

Hi, Andy. I'm fresh back from Boskone where I unreservedly recommended "Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse" to Howard Waldrop, himself the author of a pretty good story titled "Ugly Chickens." Maybe there's the start of a Magichickens anthology there!

-- Michael