Agents of Dreamland

Caitlín R. Kiernan. Tor.com, $2.99 e-book (93p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9431-6
This chilling supernatural noir novella from celebrated dark fantasy writer Kiernan threads together a story across several different decades, combining government secrecy and otherworldly cults. The Signalman, a lone government agent who is haunted by past events, encounters a cult leader who has amassed forces on the shores of the Salton Sea, waiting for a Lovecraftian second coming. Kiernan’s novella is a study of fear, curiosity, and awe at things that remain unknown or inexplicable. The characterization is brief and understated. The Signalman in some respects is an everyman, as bewildered as the audience by what is going around him; “he’s learned to settle for the doubtful consolation of necessary fictions.” Kiernan’s subtly haunting voice draws the reader in, and her work demands a close reading as well as requiring some familiarity with the conventions of dark fantasy and horror. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/19/2016
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-7653-9432-3
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