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Search tags: Caitlin-R-Kiernan
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review 2018-04-03 11:54
Review: Dear Sweet Filthy World
Dear Sweet Filthy World - Caitlín R. Kiernan

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This particular author is one of my favourites of dark and bizarre fiction. Most of the time I love her work, there are the odd ones that I really don’t like or get at all. This collection of short stories has been on my radar since I heard about it. I was thrilled when I got approved for it on Netgalley (a hardcover is nearly $30). After reading a few of the stories I knew I had to have a finished copy and  I did purchase a finished Kindle version.

 

Stand out stories for me were:

 

Werewolf Smile – a narrator’s flighty girlfriend posing for a series of disturbing photos based on a Red Riding Hood theme. There was something so dark and powerful about the prose that made this story stick with me more than the others. First story in the collection.

 

Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint – this is about a dude who picks up a random girl hitchhiking and finds himself sharing her memories of violent acts throughout history. Very vivid and uncomfortable.

 

The Eighth Veil – I loved this one, I wanted a full novel of this one. A group of weird people gathering in a bar to watch some sort of stage show which seems to be an execution.

 

-30- This one is about a woman who receives an anonymous photo of some sort of monster – is it real? Where did it come from? Who sent it? What is it? An intriguing mystery though was a little disappointed with the end.

 

The Carnival is Dead and Gone – This was another favourite, dude and has friend visiting a carnival of oddities and freaks head into a special area where the strangest of creatures are held including some sort of quivering mass with theatricals that resemble a giant vagina following some strange sex act. It was another one that was quite uncomfortable but utterly compelling and erotic as it was disturbing. It feels wrong but you can’t take your eyes away.  The audience of the show seemed to find it really erotic.  Something like this should not be erotic, but it was and what does that say about the state of my mind?

 

Interstate Lovesong (Murder Ballard No 8) Two sisters who pick up randoms and kill them on their journey get a shock of their own when they pick up a girl with an attitude of her own. Gory and fascinating.

 

These were the stand outs for me.

 

This collection is a host of stories from the strange, the weird, the bizarre, disturbing, erotic and sometimes just plain what the fuck was that? 28 of them. Some of them I loved, some of them I hated. Some of them were just bland. One in particular - Tempest Witch - I read the whole thing and didn’t get a word of it.  The writing is beautiful and lyrical, dark and dreamy.

 

A good mixed bag.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Subterranean Press  for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-04-07 14:04
Agents of Dreamland - Caitlín R. Kiernan

A rich story of Lovecraftian dread mixed with post X-files paranoia. Recommended.

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text 2017-04-06 22:52
I've read 10% and I'm quitting.
Dear Sweet Filthy World - Caitlín R. Kiernan

 

I've been dragging my feet on this for two months and I've decided to throw in the towel. I can't bring myself to read any more solid walls of text.

 

"Great swaths of the rocky seafloor rising up to meet her beneath a carpet of calcified cyanobacteria and the branching lobes and solitary cups of archaeocyath sponges.There are knotted clusters formed by problematic chancellorids, an enigma to taxonomists, who must place all organisms in this box or that box; the chancellorids may be only sponges, or they may be slug like halkieriids protected inside their skins of star shaped, calcareous sclerites."

 

I wanted to like this so much, but I just can't get into it.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC, but since I did not finish, I do not feel it's fair for me to rate or review at this time.*

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review 2017-04-02 01:22
Agents of Dreamland Review
Agents of Dreamland - Caitlín R. Kiernan

“And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.” – When I read this line, I didn’t immediately think about Slaughterhouse Five. If I had made the Slaughterhouse Five/Billy Pilgrim connection, I would probably have ran screaming in the other direction. A Vonnegut fan I am most decidedly not, and Slaughterhouse Five in particular is one of those books that makes my lip curl in disgust when I think about it. But I didn’t make the connection in the synopsis of Agents of Dreamland, so I committed to reading the book.

I can acknowledge that my issues with this book fall under personal taste rather than just bad writing. First off is the prose. I don’t know if this is a trademark of Kiernan’s writing (and if it is she’ll be an author I avoid in the future), but Sweet Baby Cthulhu, Agents of Dreamland is overflowing with metaphors and similes. I don’t mind the occasional one here and there, but there’s definitely a line I draw in the sand. Upon further reflection, it was probably deliberately done to add to the sense of unreality given to you from the plot itself, but it was just outright boring after about four pages in.

There were elements of the novel that I did like. The idea behind the novel itself – of spores of an alien civilization seeding itself upon the earth – was a fun one. I’d like to see a fleshed out version of this plot written with a bit of a blunter pen and more fitted into the sci-fi horror or sci-fi thriller categories. Obviously, the Lovecraftian references delighted me. (The ones that I caught, at least. I’m sure there were some I didn’t get.) There was a snippet of a poem from Lovecraft that she shares near the end of the book that was truly beautiful. I have the full poem marked for reading later. And I did like the connections she made across the ages to add a bit of depth to the story.

However, Kiernan has an interesting mind. That cannot be denied. And there were portions of Agents of Dreamland that did make me think. She also makes some interesting (and apt) observations about humanity. And there was one element in the story that I’ve never seen appear in another science fiction novel, so the uniqueness was appreciated. I just need a little more oomph than ooh la la when it comes to my stories, please.

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review 2015-02-24 00:00
Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales
Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales - Paula Guran,Theodora Goss,Caitlín R. Kiernan,Tanith Lee,Genevieve Valentine,Jane Yolen Prime Books does it again with a neat anthology of fairy tale retellings. My favorite is Theodora Goss' Blanchefleur.
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