The respected critic Peter Tennant has reviewed David Rix’s “Feather” in glowing terms in his ‘Case Notes’ section of the latest edition of Black Static Magazine. He provides a highly perceptive analysis of the character of Feather and the “excellence” with which the different stories about her intersect and relate to each other. It’s worth buying the mag and reading his review in full, but with his consent we quote from part of it as follows:
“Feather is a contradictory character, both feral child and computer user, a muse and an artist herself, with only the most oblique details carrying over from one story to another, and a sense that what we are witnessing is not strictly linear. Perhaps the best way to approach the character of Feather is to regard her as a Candidesque archetype, constantly questioning those she meets and throwing their artifice into stark relief by virtue of her own candour and innocence.
Rix himself is a character in the book’s Foreword, ‘The Tiny Window on River Street’, out walking late at night and spying a peculiar happening through the aforesaid window, one that involves a young woman who he decides to call Feather and whose presence continues to haunt him, prompting thoughts about the nature of reality and story, a theme that carries over into many of the stories in this collection.
‘Yellow Eyes’ gives us Feather’s back story, the first sixteen years of her life spent as a feral child, living with her mad artist father in a forest near an abandoned nuclear power station, his vision of the measuring men and the torments he inflicts on his daughter, all of it leading into the father’s death and the end of this period of Feather’s life, with episodes that show both the kindness and cruelty of humankind. Underlying it all is a subtext about the duality of
faith and life, Feather’s perceptions of the world filtered through her father’s twisted mind set, and her liberation arising from the will to question, a quality that seems to be her foremost character trait. It’s a harsh story, cruel and compelling in equal measure, but with important issues being addressed….
… Finally we have an Endword to book end the Foreword, ‘The Sea Train’, in which Rix once again encounters Feather and gives her the opportunity to rewrite her own story, dealing with the recurring theme of the interface between fiction and reality. It was a fitting finale to a powerful and intriguingly different collection of fictions, one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and I hope that Rix brings us more adventures of the lovely Feather in the future.”