Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan presents a stunning retrospective of the first 10 years of the author’s work. It is a compilation of more than 200,000 words of short fiction, including many of her most acclaimed stories as well as some of the author’s personal favorites; several previously uncollected, hard-to-find pieces; her sci-fi novella, The Dry Salvages; and a rare collaboration with Poppy Z. Brite.
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You know, I've been waiting to sing Caitlin R Kiernan's praises for a while now and this seems as good a time as any. Especially since, in my opion, short stories are where she excels. Don't misunderstand me, all her writing available here on audible is worth listening to (novels under any pseudonyms included), without a doubt. But if you're looking for a selection of great, often Lovecraftian, stories that truly show off the author's talent... then look no further. Ms. Kiernan seems to understand this type of weird fiction better than anyone else I've ever read.
Not all the stories are Lovecraftian in nature. We get everything thing from a brief look into the final days of one Mina Harker to a fairly straightforward (if no less twisted in nature) crime drama/shoot-em-up. Not to mention echoes of Charles Hoy Fort: one of the first writers and researchers of odd phenomena.
My three favorite stories are, "Les Fleurs Empoisonnees," In which our teen hero: the albino, monster-slaying Dancy Flammarion encounters a coven of not-quite-ghouls already having a bad day, "Onion," Which is a beautiful love story about a couple experiencing strange phenomena together, their pain shared in a genuine way, and "Tears Seven Times Salt," Which is dark fantasy at its finest and most guttural.
All the stories are good if not great. This is weird fiction/horror, however, and though not everyone is doomed like they would be in (oh, I don't know, let's say,) actual Lovecraft, everyone is transformed in some way (either mind, body, or spirit) by the end of each story.
I've been a fan of Ms Kiernan's for some time and I'm thrilled to see her short story collections starting to become available here. If you like weird fiction... Boy, oh boy, are you going to have some fun with this!
- Lena M. Smith
Wonderfully written and narrated!
It is rare that I enjoy every story in a collection. The stories ranged from horror to sci-fi. It was wonderfully narrated too.