“An impressive collection from one of the most important writers of weird fiction in the last few decades.”
In his Locus review of Two Worlds and In Between—the first volume of The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan—Gary K. Wolfe wrote, “…it makes you wish the second volume were here now.” Well, the long wait is almost over. Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume Two) completes this ambitious undertaking, collecting the finest of Kiernan’s stories from 2004 to 2012, selected by the author herself. The book includes twenty-five short stories and one poem, plus the short novel ‘Black Helicopters’—over two hundred thousand words of fiction, including the World Fantasy Award-winning ‘The Prayer of Ninety Cats.’
Why We’re Excited About This Book: Caitlín R. Kiernan has published over 200 short stories and Subterranean Press have begun the task of collecting her work together, with the first volume of her ‘Best Of’, Two Worlds and In Between published last year. This second volume, Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, contains pieces written between 2004 and 2012. With twenty-five short stories plus a mini novel ‘Black Helicopters’, it’s an impressive collection from one of the most important writers of weird fiction in the last few decades. The fact that it doesn’t even scratch the surface shows just how impressive Kiernan’s body of work is.
The stories might be the main draw, but Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea also contains an introduction by scholar S.T. Joshi and a complete bibliography of Kiernan’s writing between 1985-2015. In addition the limited edition will included a bonus hardcover of unpublished material called False/Starts II: Being Another Compendium of Beginnings.
“Add in obsessed cultists and Machiavellian corporate politics and X’s For Eyes promises to be a hell of a ride.”
Brothers Macbeth and Drederick Tooms should have it made as fair-haired scions of an impossibly rich and powerful family of industrialists. Alas, life is complicated in mid-1950s USA when you’re child heirs to the throne of Sword Enterprises, a corporation that has enshrined Machiavelli’s The Prince as its operating manual and whose patriarch believes, Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds, would be a swell company logo. Consider also those long, cruel winters at the Mountain Leopard boarding school for assassins in the Himalayas, or that Dad may be a supervillain, while an uncle occasionally slaughters his nephews and nieces for sport; and the space flight research division of Sword Enterprises “accidentally” sent a probe through a wormhole into outer darkness and contacted an alien god. Now a bloodthirsty cult and an equally vicious rival firm suspect the Tooms boys know something and will spare no expense, nor innocent life, to get their claws on them. Between the machinations of the disciples of black gods and good old corporate skullduggery, it’s winding up to be of a hell of a summer vacation for the lads.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: Laird Barron returns with X’s For Eyes, the first in a series of novellas set in an alternative version of the 1950s. X’s For Eyes appears to be a departure from Barron’s more usual densely literary horrors, combining a pulp-era setting, a gleefully twisting plot and a maniacal fast pace. It’s Barron’s first foray into comedic fiction, although rest assured it remains very, very dark and scary.
The ‘heroes’ of the piece are a twelve and fourteen year old pair of brothers, already schooled in the arts of killing and debauchery. The corporation their father runs launches a probe into space which encounters an evil alien intelligence… which happens to be a fan of the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Not good news. Add in obsessed cultists and Machiavellian corporate politics and X’s For Eyes promises to be a hell of a ride.
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