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Caitlín R. Kiernan

(1964- )
Kathleen Tierney is a pseudonym for Caitlín R. Kiernan. Caitlín R. Kiernan was born near Dublin, Ireland, but has spent most of her life in the southeastern United States. In college, she studied zoology, geology, and palaeontology, and has been employed as a vertebrate palaeontologist and college-level biology instructor. She is a four-time nominee for the World Fantasy Award and a two-time nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award. Besides her speculative fiction, she publishes scientific papers and comic books. She fronted the goth-rock band Death’s Little Sister in the late 1990s. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Silk: Oh, what a tangled web…

Silk by Caitlin R. Kiernan

I'm trying to remember how long ago I first read Silk. It may have been as much as ten years ago, when the book was new. I can't say for sure, but I can say that few books have stayed with me the way Silk has. Even when I'd forgotten the details of the plot, images remained: the horror of the climactic scene, the kudzu-strangled trees. A few years after reading Silk, I went on a road trip through the South, and I couldn't help but think of Spyder Baxter when I saw a clearing where the trees had been so swallowed by the kudzu, they resembled ivy-covered pillars of some ruined church.

I reread Silk in one sitting last month, on a night when I was in a melancholy mood and snow was falling hard outside. I'd forgotten that there's a freak snowstorm in Silk. Once again, I felt a str... Read More

Daughter of Hounds: A beautiful amalgam

Daughter of Hounds by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Always on the lookout for a new author to sink my teeth into, I decide to read Caitlín R. Kiernan when I came across her novel Daughter Of Hounds. Upon further research, I discovered that this was merely the newest entry involving psychic Deacon Silvey. Knowing that, I decided to check out Ms. Kiernan’s previous works first, starting with her sophomore effort Threshold. After completing the book, I admit I was torn. On the one hand, Threshold offered a lot to like: flawed, yet interesting characters; a thought-provokingly surreal world to explore; and a promising new talent in Ms. Kiernan whose gifted prose definitely made the story shine. On the other hand, I felt that the book’s ending was too ambiguous for my tastes — even if that was the author’s intention — and left me feeling unsatisfied.

So, it w... Read More

The Red Tree: What a strange book!

The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan

What a strange book! Then again, I know never to expect the expected when reading Caitlín R. Kiernan.

The story centers on Sarah Crowe, a writer who moves to an isolated house in Rhode Island after her lover’s death. Beset by writer’s block, she finds herself unable to write the novel her contract demands, and instead becomes obsessed with an old manuscript she finds in the basement. This manuscript was written by a previous tenant of the house who died before he could complete it, and is a collection of lore concerning a mysterious red oak tree on the property. Sarah begins a diary of sorts, interspersed with passages from the manuscript, which chronicles her life in Rhode Island: her anguish over her lover’s death, her tumultuous relationship with the new tenant who moves in upstairs, and her increasingly creepy experiences with the red tree.

K... Read More

The Ammonite Violin and Others: Beautiful dark stories

The Ammonite Violin and Others by Caitlín R. Kiernan

A while ago, I bought a number of books in a Subteranean Press clearance sale. Eleven books with a huge discount, but I didn't know what I would be getting. As it happened, the package contained a lot of short fiction collections, mostly of authors whose work I'm not too familiar with. The Ammonite Violin and Others by Caitlín R. Kiernan was one of these. Kiernan was completely new to me, but The Ammonite Violin and Others turned out to be a beautifully written collection of very dark short stories.

The collection contains 20 short stories as well as an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer (which, unless you have previous experience with Kiernan's writing, I recommend you read after finishing the stories; he lost me halfway... Read More

Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan

Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan

Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan is a collection of Caitlín R. Kiernan’s works which span the years 1993-2004. In this collection there are 24 short stories, one poem, one novella, an introduction by the author, and a short afterword for each work. The stories are arranged in chronological order, letting the reader watch the progression of Kiernan’s style and the noticeable changes in her stories’ subject matter as she matures. Some of these stories are award winners and all have been published previously (though some have undergone extensive revisions since their original publication). A few have subtle connections to each other. A second volume of Kiernan’s stories will be published by Subterranean Press in 2014.

I’m certain that I... Read More

Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart: 25 works by an accomplished stylist

Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan is a powerful writer, with a prodigious vocabulary, a mastery of prose and the ability to ground a sentence with a perfectly chosen detail. Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, published by Subterranean Press, contains 25 works by this accomplished stylist. Many of the works have graphic sexual imagery and intense sexual violence. In many cases that is the sole intent of the piece.

I have no complaints at all with the line-by-line prose, but the anthology is a mixed bag. My copy was an advanced review copy, and there was no information provided about the genesis of each story and when or where it was published, so there is no context. (I don’t know whether the finished version will give some.) Ultimately, I don’t know if this collection is successful.

Several of the pieces here are traditional stories,... Read More

Blood Oranges: Caitlín R. Kiernan tries her hand at urban fantasy

Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney

Tired of vampires? Or werewolves? Or girls who can dispatch the critters with no effort, swinging a stake through the heart as if it were a knife through butter? Yeah, me too. But give me a vampire who is a werewolf who is also a young female human hunter of vampires and werewolves, and we’re in business. Make her the unreliable, foul-mouthed narrator of her own story, and you’ve got Kathleen Tierney’s Siobhan Quinn in her first adventure, Blood Oranges.

“Kathleen Tierney” is Caitlín R. Kiernan, one of the finest writers of horror fiction working today, trying her hand at urban fantasy. Tierney isn’t satisfied with a cookie cutter approach to the genre, however; she wants to make it her own. So her heroine is a teen who ran away from home at the age of 12 for very good reasons. Quinn has lived o... Read More

Agents of Dreamland: An atmospheric, disturbing tale of horror from space

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan delivers another atmospheric, disturbing horror story with her novella Agents of Dreamland, published by Tor in 2017. Kiernan shifts between the tropes of secret agent thriller, creepy death-cult horror and Lovecraftian terror from space, as agents from two competing intelligence agencies try to parse a mass-murder atrocity that took place at Moonlight Ranch, on the banks of California’s Salton Sea.

Kiernan gets style points for including the Salton Sea. It’s a perfect metaphor for the idea of poisoned dreams and it functions well in this short work as an isolated place where a charismatic cult leader prepares his followers to be, well, I guess “transformed” would be the word.

The Signalman is the weary agent of an unnamed US age... Read More

Magazine Monday: Beautiful Steampunk

“The Melusine (1898)” by Caitlin R. Kiernan is this week’s offering by Subterranean Online. It is a wonderful story, written with an unearthly beauty. Kiernan imagines a steampunk circus that comes to town advertising its name in letters five-stories high, “shaped from out of nothing but the billowing clouds of red dust raised by those rolling broad steel and vulcanized rims." The circus is made of automaton mastodonts and living elephants, and no one can tell if the acrobats are mechanical or real. It promises miracles.

Cala Monroe Weatherall is “a learned woman of industry and science” who comes to the circus in answer to a secret cry, “a dream so vivid and bizarre that she might almost name it a nightmare.” She has been summoned – somehow, some way -- to the... Read More

Magazine Monday: Weird Tales Is Weird

I am happy to report that Weird Tales has grown weirder since Ann VanderMeer has taken the helm as Editor-in-Chief. This is to be expected of the co-anthologist (with her husband, Jeff VanderMeer) of The New Weird, an collection of tales essential to the library of everyone who loves the truly strange; and the co-anthologist of an enormous a... Read More

Magazine Monday: Subterranean, Spring 2013

The spring issue of Subterranean is exceptionally strong, even for a publication known for its excellent fiction. The six long pieces in this issue seem to be somewhat thematically linked, most of them having taken some form of art as their theme.

In “Painted Birds and Shivered Bones” by Kat Howard, an artist named Maeve has gone for a walk, seeking both fresh air and perspective, when she sees a naked man crouched beside a cathedral. She reaches into her purse for her phone, but when she looks up again, the man is gone. In his place is a beautiful white bird. How could she have confused a bird, no matter how large and beautiful, with a naked man? Regardless, the bird proves to be a remarkable inspiration, and Maeve is soon working on a series of paintings of mythological b... Read More

Magazine Monday: Nightmare, May 2013

Nightmare Magazine has been very good from its first issue, but the May 2013 issue, the eighth, is extraordinary.

The magazine opens with “Centipede Heartbeat” by Caspian Gray. Lisa believes that centipedes have invaded the home she shares with Joette, her lover. Worse, she believes that the centipedes have actually invaded Joette: “Each time Lisa rested her head against Joette’s breats, she heard the centipedes. In between heartbeats there was the tiny sound of hundreds of chitinous footsteps against bone, of miniature mandibles tearing at organs.” It’s a horrible situation, especially because Joette refuses to admit what is happening — or is Lisa insane? At any rate, Lisa feels she has to cure Joette of her infestation. Her behavior is logical, from her perspective, though Lisa’s perspective seems warped. But is it? The exterminator she has had in to consult says the place is crawling with the insects, but it d... Read More

Magazine Monday: Subterranean Magazine, Spring 2014

The Spring 2014 issue of Subterranean Magazine is as strong as this magazine ever is, and that’s saying a lot. Kat Howard’s story, “Hath No Fury,” stands out as a memorable work about the old gods in the modern age. It is a story about women who are victimized by men, and the women who refuse to allow those victims to go unavenged. Based loosely on the myth of Medea and Jason, the story is told in the first person by one of the Erinyes — the Furies — who in Howard’s contemporary New York are charged with avenging women murdered by husbands, boyfriends, lovers. Kaira is a close friend of Medea, who is a sort of muse to the Erinyes, guiding them when they first are changed from human to this new shape and watching over them as they fulfill their duties. Several other myths are mashed up here to create something new; so, for instance, Medea keeps bees, the Fates are old women knitting in the ... Read More

Magazine Monday: Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2014

To the dismay of all lovers of great speculative short fiction, the Summer issue of Subterranean Magazine is its last. This magazine was notable not just for the quality of its fiction, but for its willingness to publish short fiction at the novelette and novella lengths. The Summer issue ably demonstrates just what we’re going to be missing.

The magazine begins with Caitlín R. Kiernan’s “Pushing the Sky Away (Death of a Blasphemer).” The first person narrator is in desperate straits, her water and morphine gone, lost in a building of endless hallways, caught in a dispute between the Djinn and the Ghûl. Yet despite the fantasy setting, science has a place in this tale, as Cesium isotopes and radiation poisoning play a role. Kiernan’s language is chosen carefully, turning parts of this story into veritable prose poetry... Read More

Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword & Sorcery

Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword & Sorcery edited by Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders

Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword & Sorcery is a book I’ve been eagerly anticipating ever since it was first announced in 2009. I was particularly excited about the anthology’s impressive list of contributors which includes several authors I enjoy reading like Glen Cook, Greg Keyes, Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, Garth Nix, Tim Lebbon, Caitlin R. Kiern... Read More

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is the second steampunk anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, following 2008’s first installment. It contains about twice as many stories as its predecessor, but unlike the first collection the quality is more uneven here, resulting in a less impressive but still fascinating anthology that should please fans of the genre.

While the first anthology only contained one story I was less than happy with, there are at least four or five in Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded that I could have done without. There are also a few stories here that are at best marginally connected to steampunk, although that probably depends more on how you define steampunk. After all, there are probably as many definitions of steampunk as there are readers. Maybe the best way to defin... Read More

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories edited by John Joseph Adams

Even people who don’t usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the “dystopian SF” sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they’ve become assigned school reading for many students. However, novel-length dystopian SF didn’t stop with those venerable classics, and can even be said to be thriving at the moment. See, for example, the recent success of Paolo Bacigalupi’s debut The Windup Girl ... Read More

Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2

Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 edited by William Schafer

EDITOR INFORMATION: William K. Schafer is the head editor at Subterranean Press, which was founded in 1995. Schafer’s bibliography includes Embrace the Mutation: Fiction Inspired by the Art of J.K. Potter and the first Tales of Dark Fantasy anthology.

ABOUT SUBTERRANEAN: TALES OF DARK FANTASY 2: Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy — published in 2008 to widespread critical and popular acclaim — provided a unique showcase for some of our finest practitioners of dark, disturbing fiction. This much anticipated second volume more than meets the standards set by its predecessor, offering a diverse assortment of stories guaranteed to delight, unsettle, and enthrall. Volume two proper is a full 20,000 wo... Read More

Supernatural Noir: A Datlow anthology

Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow suggests in her introduction to Supernatural Noir that noir fiction and supernatural fiction, with its roots in the gothic, have a lot in common. The main character in each tends to be a hard-living guy, usually down to his last flask of scotch, haunted by a sexy dame whose middle name is trouble. So it seemed natural to her to combine the two genres for an original anthology.

Despite my general rule that any anthology edited by Ellen Datlow is one I want to read, I resisted this one for a long time. Detectives looking for ghosts? Eh. Not my thing. But when Supernatural Noir was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, and... Read More

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

I haven’t actually read every page of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, yet I’m giving it my highest recommendation. Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Master and Mistress of Weird, The Weird is 1126 pages long and should really be considered a textbook of weird fiction. It contains 110 carefully chosen stories spanning more than 100 years of weird fiction. Here’s what you can expect to find in this massive volume:

A “Forweird” by Michael Moorcock gives us a brief history of the weird tale, discusses how it has defied publishers’ attempts to categorize it into neatly-bordered genres, and gives examples of writers who are revered by modern readers but whose weird fiction caused them to be ma... Read More

After: Like panning for gold

After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia by editors Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

When I saw the new Datlow and Windling anthology After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, I was so excited. I love YA fiction, I love dyslit, I love short story anthologies and I love Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling as editors, so I figured it was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, my reading experience didn’t live up to my expectations.

After is an anthology of short stories set after. After what? Alien invasion, plague, environmental collapse, asteroid strike, it doesn’t matter. Just after. This leaves a lot of room for the authors to be creative, as they all can choose different afters to explore, and it leaves the anthology feeling a bit disjointed as you hop from one disaster to another. Technically, most of th... Read More

Magic City: Recent Spells: A solid urban fantasy anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran

Things you should know:
1. This is a reprint anthology. If you read a lot of anthologies in the field, you will probably have read some of these before. I had read three, though two of them were among the best ones, and I enjoyed reading them again.
2. It still has some worthwhile stuff in it, especially if you're a fan of the big names in urban fantasy (Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs) and haven't read these stories before.
3. It isn't just "urban fantasy" by the usual definition (our contemporary world plus the supernatural). There's a sword-and-sorcery story from Scott Lynch, an... Read More

The Monstrous: You can’t go wrong with Datlow

The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

Whenever I see Ellen Datlow’s name as editor on the cover of an anthology, I know I’m in good hands. Datlow has a made a thirty-plus year career of choosing good stories and developing collections that take different aims at the theme. The theme of The Monstrous is monsters, and Datlow makes sure to explore all facets of that word with this mostly-reprint anthology from Tachyon Press.

There are twenty stories in the book. One is original to the anthology. The reprints include one classic horror story and a few that read as dated to me. Datlow’s standards of excellent writing and good characterization stand throughout the book.

I’m going to discuss two pieces out of sequence, because they left me puzzling. The Monstrous includes “Do... Read More

Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror

Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror edited by Ellen Datlow

This anthology comes after a similarly titled anthology, also edited by Ellen Datlow, called Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror which came out in March 2010. Datlow also edits an annual anthology of horror fiction (collaborating with other editors on those). It seems then that Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror (which came out in October 2016) is informed by a great deal of knowledge in the field of speculative horror literature. I am not generally a horror reader, but I still thoroughly enjoyed many tales in this anthology for their engaging storytelling and terrifying themes. What follows is a brief review of each of the 25 tales, in the order which they appear.

“Shallaballah” by Mark Samuels is a story about th... Read More

More books by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan Tales of Pain and Wonder, Wrong Things, From Weird and Distant Shores, Five of Cups, To Charles Fort, With Love, Beowulf, The Red TreeWrong Things — (2001) With Poppy Z Brite. Publisher: This short collaborative collection contains an original novella by Caitlín R. Kiernan, an original novella by Poppy Z. Brite, and a brand-new collaborative story by Caitlín and Poppy set in Poppy’s fictional stomping grounds of Missing Mile, North Carolina. Wrong Things also features an exclusive afterword by Caitlín, 10 full-page interior illustrations by Richard Kirk.Caitlín R. Kiernan Tales of Pain and Wonder, Wrong Things, From Weird and Distant Shores, Five of Cups, To Charles Fort, With Love, Beowulf, The Red Tree

From Weird and Distant Shores — (2002) Publisher: From Weird and Distant Shores: This collection of thirteen short stories by the award-winning author of Silk and Tales of Pain and Wonder establishes Caitlín R. Kiernan as one of today’s most versatile fantasists. Spanning and transcending the fields of fantasy, dark fantasy, and science fiction, these stories include some of Kiernan’s early and hard-to-find work, and explore the limits of that ubiquitous bane of contemporary F&SF, the “theme” and “shared-world” anthology.

book review Caitlín R. Kiernan Five of Cups Five of Cups — (2003) Publisher: This is three-time IHG award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan’s long unpublished, “lost” first novel. The manuscript was completed early in 1993 (with some notes and fragments for the book dating back to Kiernan’s high school days). The Five of Cups was lauded by numerous established horror authors, landed Kiernan her first agent, was the subject of a 1996 Writer’s Digest interview, and was even sold, but never published. Why? As the author says, “It’s a long story.” The Five of Cups attempts to blend the two dominant subgenres of the contemporary vampire tale, crossing the historical Gothic with the gritty, urban realism of “splatterpunk.” Grounded in the squalor of street-life in Atlanta in the early 1990s, but with an epic scope that encompasses the Irish famine of 1847, a yellow-fever epidemic in 1853 New Orleans, and the Union assault on Atlanta in 1864, Kiernan describes the novel as an “overly-ambitious jumble of competing ideas and subplots, trying to unite vampirism, the grail myth, the tarot, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and the Arthuriad into a single, coherent storyline.” Though Kiernan has been privately offered as much as $500 for manuscript copies of the novel and major publishers continue to express interest in the work, she has refused to allow its release until now. The Five of Cups will be published solely as a limited edition, the author providing an extensive introduction relating to the genesis, history, and her present feelings about the book. The Five of Cups allows us a rare glimpse into the mind of one of dark fantasy’s most important and celebrated voices at a formative stage in her career. The Subterranean Press edition will be the only edition published and will include the following: The original introduction, written by Poppy Z. Brite in 1996. A lengthy new introduction by the author. A 1999 essay on The Five of Cups written by Kiernan for her newsletter, Facsimiles of original notes, outlines, correspondence, rejection slips, photos, and fragments from Kiernan’s files and notebooks. Black-and-white interior illustrations by Richard Kirk.

book review Caitlín R. Kiernan The Dry SalvagesThe Dry Salvages — (2004) Publisher: Award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan, best known for her contemporary settings, “gothnoir” tales of pain and wonder, and atmospheric stories of Lovecraftian terror, was first published as an author of dark science fiction. Now she returns to sf with a masterful thirty-thousand word novella, The Dry Salvages. Three centuries in the future, though much of Earth has been crippled by war, pollution, and catastrophic climatic change, man has at last traveled to the stars and even found evidence of at least one extraterrestrial civilization. In a bleak and frozen Paris, at the dawn of the 22nd Century, an old woman is forced to confront the consequences of her part in these discoveries and the ghosts that have haunted her for almost fifty years. The last surviving member of the crew of the starship Montelius, exopaleontologist Dr. Audrey Cather struggles to remember what she’s spent so long trying to forget — the nightmare she once faced almost ninety trillion miles from Earth.

Caitlín R. Kiernan Tales of Pain and Wonder, Wrong Things, From Weird and Distant Shores, Five of Cups, To Charles Fort, With Love, Beowulf, The Red TreeTo Charles Fort, with Love — (2005) Publisher: To Charles Fort, With Love is award-winning fantasist Caitlín R. Kiernan’s third collection of short fiction, a haunting parade of the terrible things which may lie beyond the boundaries of science, the minds which may exist beyond psychology, and the forbidden places which will never be located in any orthodox globe. To quote the object of Kiernan’s affection, meta-poet and arch-enemy of dogma Charles Hoy Fort, “The little harlots will caper, and freaks will distract attention, and the clowns will break the rhythm of the whole with their buffooneries — but the solidity of the procession as a whole: the impressiveness of things that pass and pass and pass, and keep on and keep on and keep on coming.” A deceptively even dozen, this collection includes Kiernan’s celebrated stories “Onion” and “Andromeda Among the Stones,” as well as a number of more obscure pieces. Though Kiernan was recently praised as “the new Lovecraft,” these stories stand as testimony that she will never be merely the “new” anyone, that hers is a unique and demanding voice entirely unlike any other.

book review Caitlín R. Kiernan Tales from the Woeful Platypus Tales from the Woeful Platypus — (2007) Publisher: In 2005, Caitlin R. Kiernan surprised her readers with, Frog Toes and Tentacles, a small-form hardcover of darkly weird erotica. Now Kiernan follows that sold-out volume with a second collection of her unique brand of erotica, Tales from the Woeful Platypus. Like its predecessor, this book will be illustrated by acclaimed artist Vince Locke (The Sandman, Batman, A History of Violence, Deadworld, etc.), and also like the first volume, it is unlikely ever to be reprinted.

book review Caitlín R. Kiernan Beowulf Neil Gaiman Beowulf — (2007) The novelisation of the movie. Publisher: Who will come to the aid of beleaguered King Hrothgar, whose warriors have become the prey of the vengeful outcast monster Grendel? A grand and glorious story that has endured for centuries, the ageless classic adventure takes on a breathtaking new life in a remarkable new version for a modern era. Brilliantly reimagined by acclaimed, award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan, based on the screenplay by #1 New York Times bestseller Neil Gaiman and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Roger Avary, it is the tale of a noble liege and a terrible creature who has cursed his kingdom with death, blood, and destruction — and of the great hero, Beowulf, who is called to a land of monsters to triumph where so many have failed… or to die as so many of the brave before him.

Caitlín R. Kiernan Tales of Pain and Wonder, Wrong Things, From Weird and Distant Shores, Five of Cups, To Charles Fort, With Love, Beowulf, The Red TreeTales of Pain and Wonder — (1998) Publisher: This collection of twenty-two short stories by the author of Daughter of Hounds and Alabaster, originally published in 2000, firmly established Caitlín R. Kiernan as one of the preeminent voices in dark fantasy today. Through a cycle of interconnected narratives, Kiernan unflinchingly explores a surreal world where the fantastic and the mundane are never separated by more than the insubstantial thickness of a shadow. From the murderous backstreets of New Orleans to an abandoned shipyard of the Hudson River, from sun-weary Los Angeles to a maze of dank and forgotten tunnels beneath Manhattan, these stories present a landscape at once alien and undeniably familiar. Including such acclaimed tales as “Estate” (selected for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror), “Postcards from the King of Tides” (selected for The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror), “In the Water Works” (the basis of Kiernan’s award-winning second novel, Threshold), and “Tears Seven Times Salt” (to be reprinted in The Century’s Best Horror), Tales of Pain and Wonder is destined to stand as a modern classic of weird and supernatural fiction. This edition includes a new, previously unpublished story, as well as an introduction by Douglas E. Winter and an afterword by Peter Straub.

Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One) Caitlín R. Kiernan A is for AlienA is for Alien — (2009) Publisher: A is for Alien is award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan’s first collection devoted entirely to her science-fiction work. It includes the critically acclaimed novelette Riding the White Bull (chosen for The Year s Best Science Fiction, 22nd Annual Collection), along with seven other tales of a less-than-utopian future. Ranging from the wastelands and mountains of Mars to the streets of a late 21st-Century Manhattan, from the moons of Europa and Saturn to an iceless Antarctica, these tales bring Kiernan s trademark brand of the eco-gothic to bear on what it means to be human and the paths and decisions that may face mankind only a little farther along.Caitlín R. Kiernan The Drowning Girl

The Drowning Girl — (2012) Publisher: India Morgan Phelps — Imp to her friends — is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth-or from something far, far stranger…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Ape’s Wife and Other Stories — (2013) Publisher: Caitlin R. Kiernan has been described as one of ‘the most original and audacious weird writers of her generation’ (Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, The Weird), ‘one of our essential writers of dark fiction’ (New York Times), and S. T. Joshi has proclaimed, ‘hers is now the voice of weird fiction.’ In The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories — Kiernan’s twelfth collection of short fiction since 2001–she displays the impressive range that characterizes her work. With her usual disregard for genre boundaries, she masterfully navigates the territories that have traditionally been labeled dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, science fiction, steampunk, and neo-noir. From the subtle horror of ‘One Tree Hill (The World as Cataclysm)’ and ‘Tall Bodies’ to a demon-haunted, alternate reality Manhattan, from Mars to a near-future Philadelphia, and from ghoulish urban legends of New England to a feminist-queer retelling of Beowulf, these thirteen stories keep reader always on their toes, ever uncertain of the next twist or turn.