Caitlín R. Kiernan

Review: Dear Sweet Filthy World

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Review: Dear Sweet Filthy World

“Be careful,” she says and smiles again. “You’re starting to taste like regret.”

“And how does regret taste? I imagine it’s bitter.”

She shakes her head. “Then you’re mistaken. It’s not bitter. Regret tastes like dead roses and stale bread. Regret tastes like dust.”

I’ll admit it; I’ve been in kind of a rotten mood lately, what with the gloomy weather, multiple unfinished projects, and the daily train wreck that constitutes the national news. Last week I decided hell with it, I’m just going to grab a review copy of another collection of short stories, one with the darkest, most depressing title I could find, so there.

Dear Sweet Filthy World is the latest collection by Caitlín R. Kiernan. The twenty-nine stories (horror, fantasy, a little bit of sci-fi and a lot of erotica) were first published in Kiernan’s online ‘zine “Sirenia Digest”, so this is the first time they’ve been made available to anyone other than subscribers.

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Review: Children of Lovecraft

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Review: Children of Lovecraft

Say what you will about H.P. Lovecraft – his elaborate Victorian prose, his cringeworthy racial biases – the man created a sandbox that horror writers love to play in. I’ve reviewed one story by Lovecraft in this column; compare that to, what, three separate posts about Lovecraft-inspired stories? Maybe four? There’s something irresistible about a modern take on the Cthulhu mythos, with just the right creepiness mixed in with the horror. I’m always willing to give a new Lovecraft compilation a try, even when I haven’t read anything by most of the authors included.

I needed something to keep me occupied for a long train ride, and I thought Children of Lovecraft would at least be interesting. And then I had to pace myself to keep myself from reading it too fast. Ellen Datlow’s latest compilation has fourteen stories by authors writing at the top of their game, and I feel like I could have eaten up the entire book in one sitting.

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Review and Preview – Alabaster: the Good, the Bad, and the Bird #1

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Review and Preview – Alabaster: the Good, the Bad, and the Bird #1

A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South—murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy Flammarion must face down demons: both those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.

Click the jump for preview pages and a review of Alabaster: the Good, The Bad, and the Bird.

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Review – Blood Sisters

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Review – Blood Sisters

A lot of people think the “Vampire Bubble” may have burst (Vampire Diaries seems to be gearing up for its final season, True Blood is already gone, Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Dracula never got off the ground) and that zombies have taken their place in that part of geek culture that wants to be scared by something that looks human but really, really isn’t.

And every time I think I’ve gotten my fill of vampires too, a collection like this comes along.

Blood Sisters is a selection of vampire stories (edited by Paula Guran) from as far back as 1982 and as recent as 2012. The fact that they’re all written by women is almost inconsequential; the focus is on both male and female characters, and there isn’t an overriding feminist theme to the stories. Many of them are fine as stand-alone pieces, some are okay, but several made me want to hunt up the authors who wrote them and see what other vampire stories they’ve created, because when it comes to off-the-wall interpretations of the original vampire myth, the well definitely isn’t dry yet.

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