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Ducornet, Rikki

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US illustrator and author Erica Ducornet (1943-    ), resident in various countries, including for a considerable time Canada, now in US; she began to publish work of genre interest with "Aunt Rose & Uncle Freidle" in Other Times for November 1975/January 1976. As a writer whose work seems to drop in on various genres (without, as it were, knocking), she has composed some of her surrealist Fabulations (see also Postmodernism and SF) in a fashion which allows some sf readings to be extracted from the mix, especially in the Alchemy Quartet – comprising The Stain (1984), emblematizing the alchemical element of Earth, Entering Fire (1986), emblematizing Fire, The Fountains of Neptune (1989), emblematizing Water, and The Jade Cabinet (1993), emblematizing Air – which engages in Alternate History and Dystopia tropes to explore four exorbitant family romances, in which Clones and other devices appear and disappear; Lewis Carroll features largely in the tale. Phosphor in Dreamland (1995) fabulates in Magic Realist fashion a parable of Evolution set on a Caribbean Island, where at least one otherwise unknown species has survived the depredations of colonialism. Her stories – most interestingly assembled as The Butcher's Tales (coll 1980; exp 1991; exp vt The Complete Butcher's Tales 1994) – are notable for translating the influence of, among others, Jorge Luis Borges, some of whose work in English translation she has illustrated; she has also illustrated work of Robert Coover. Trafik (2021 chap) is a postmodernist riff on the asteroid-miner Space Opera topos (see Postmodernism and SF). [JC]

Erica DeGré Ducornet

born Canton, New York: 19 April 1943

works (selected)


Alchemy Quartet

  • The Stain (London: Chatto and Windus/The Hogarth Press, 1984) [Alchemy Quartet: hb/Guy Ducornet]
  • Entering Fire (London: Chatto and Windus, 1986) [Alchemy Quartet: hb/Guy Ducornet]
  • The Fountains of Neptune (Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart, 1989) [Alchemy Quartet: hb/T M Craan]
  • The Jade Cabinet (Normal, Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 1993) [Alchemy Quartet: hb/Rosamond Wolff Purcell]

individual titles

  • Phosphor in Dreamland (Normal, Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 1995) [pb/Rosamond Wolff Purcell]
  • Gazelle (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2003) [hb/from Gerald Leslie Brockhurst]

collections and stories


about the author


previous versions of this entry

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