A Small and Remarkable Novel

Nick DiChario’s novel A Small and Remarkable Life (Red Deer Press, 2006) is one of the best bits of speculative fiction I’ve read in quite some time. This is mostly due to the fact that being in an MFA program prevented me from reading genre fiction (since there’s no extra time for leisurely reading and genre fiction couldn’t possibly be literary). DiChario’s book, however, would be a strong contender as literary fiction on the merits of its craft and the excellence in the telling of its tale, an allegory set in the 19th. century. While the protagonist is an earth-born alien, he is surprisingly accepted in the culture of western New York state. Perhaps this is because western New York has given birth to several different brands of religiousity where angels have visited and spiritual colonies have settled. We western New Yorkers are not easily shocked.

Blue-skinned (no, he’s not an Andorian) Tink Puddah offers the reader a study in mercy, grace, and forgiveness, attributes that we would all be well -reminded to exhibit on this 21st. century quotidian Earth.

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