Rating: 5 out of 5
T. Kingfisher’s Jackalope Wives And Other Stories is an absolutely magical collection of stories and poetry. I remember reading one of the stories online some time ago, and I loved it enough I read it twice… then read it all the way through again when I picked up this book. In this case there’s also a little bit of extra context to the story due to a preceding story in the book that’s connected. (Both involve the Jackalope wives of the title.)
There are a couple of poems in here, particularly regarding gardening, and they’re lovely. My favorite, though, is called “This Vote Is Legally Binding” on the topic of men who seem to think that women’s wearing headphones in public is somehow a plot to keep them from talking to women.
There’s also a story involving a man named Bob who decides to summon himself a unicorn, having “re-virginized” himself. The main character tries to explain that virginity is a cultural concept, but he just doesn’t get it. This is one of the best examples I’ve seen of how to introduce a ‘cool concept’ to an audience while making it also a really great story rather than an infodump. I wish I could force writing teachers to use this story to teach that concept to their students.
This collection definitely feels like folklore, and I love that magical touch that so few writers seem to have. There’s even a Cinderella variation that has the feel of folklore rather than a typical fairy tale and involves a wonderfully none-too-cooperative Cinderella.
After I finished reading this book I went through on my Kindle and bought every other T. Kingfisher book it offered to sell me.