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Hardcover To Charles Fort, with Love Book

ISBN: 1596060344

ISBN13: 9781596060340

To Charles Fort, with Love

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5 ratings

Sometimes redundant, but brilliant on the whole: fantastical and frightening, these stories are a pl

Thirteen unconnected stories of Lovecraftian nature, united by their threat of the great unknown, this collection spans from a silently growing mud puddle to a goddess-haunted shack by the sea-shore. It can feel repetitive at times, but on the whole this collection is brilliant. It's fantastical, haunting, and frightening; all of the stories are good, and there are some real gems hidden within. Kiernan is a master storyteller, and these stories in particular are wonderful. I loved and highly recommend To Charles Fort, With Love. The stories in To Charles Fort are largely unconnected and so they never come together as a cohesive whole, but they do fit well in one volume. As with any collection of this sort, some stories shine while some fall by the wayside, but there are no real duds here. The stories are haunting, delicate, surreal, and have a distinct Lovecraftian horror vibe, and even if some are better than others they are all a pleasure to read. In fact, the collection's greatest failing is just that it's a collection. In one author's note, Kiernan writes of her "belief that dark fiction dealing with the inexplicable should, itself, present to the reader a certain inexplicability. It's not about resolution nor understanding, but that brief, disturbing contact which usually characterizes actual paranormal encounters (232)." Suitably, most of her stories are a build up to that brief moment and have little or no resolution afterward--a scheme which is quite effective within a given story, but can grow repetitive when used time after time. Which isn't to say that the collection becomes boring--indeed, just when it begins to seem redundant, a truly inspired short story will shine from the pages. And beyond the repetition, I have no other complaints. I'm not usually a fan of short stories because I prefer the complex premises and plots of novels, but in Kiernan's hands short fiction is never simple. She opens doorways and exposes icecaps: her stories are hints and glimpses into a world of threat and wonder which waits just beyond our own, and they are written with a delicacy and fantasy which perfectly straddles that line between the known and the unknown. I loved every word of To Charles Fort, and I recommend it highly--to fans of Kiernan, or as an introduction to her work.

The new Ray Bradbury.

Reviewers have often called Caitlin R. Kiernan "the new Lovecraft." No disrespect to the old gent from Providence, but I think it would be closer to the truth to call her the new Ray Bradbury, and the range and breadth of fiction collected in To Charles Fort, With Love is all the evidence of this that I need. Like Bradbury, Kiernan works words like a carnival barker or a medieval alchemist, shaping them into things we have never imagined they could be and drawing from them sheer glorious wonder.

The best of the best!

I've been a reader and fan of Caitlin Kiernan's work since her days writing The Dreaming for DC Comics. She's come a long way. The stories in To Charles Fort, With Love are the work of an author whose voice continues to mature. I was especially taken with "The Dead and the Moonstruck" and "Andromeda Among the Stones." At this point, I'd rate Kiernan as one of the foremost short-fiction authors writing fantasy today, alongside writers like Thomas Ligotti, Kelly Link, and Neil Gaiman. This collection is simply brilliant. A must for lovers of all things fantastic!

It's that good.

Caitlin R. Kiernan, To Charles Fort, with Love (Subterranean Press, 2005) Once again Subterranean exceeds expectations by having constructed a beautiful book. It's amazing how much difference there can be between a book from a major publisher and one from a small press; pick up just about any title from Subterranean, Ziesing, Prime, etc., and the difference will immediately be obvious. The beauty of the construction alone is enough that any Subterranean Press book I've ever come across starts off in a better place, from the standpoint of reviewing it, than most. Inside this one, in particular, are the stories of Caitlin R. Kiernan, whose work, in my experience, has never once failed to do justice to the labor-of-love construction one finds at Subterranean. Kiernan's work is never less than excellent. It is sometimes difficult, sometimes confusing (in a good way), always thought-provoking. If you've been a fan for a while, you've probably read one or two of these (most likely "Standing Water" and "Onion," both of which are well worth the re-read), but unless you're a fanatic with far more money than I, there will be a few in here that are likely new to you. I always seem to come back to comparing Kiernan's work to Candles for Elizabeth, and of course that was where my head went immediately upon finishing this collection; many of these stories are just as good as the work in that chapbook, which, from my POV, ranks them among the best of her stuff that I have yet come across. Wonderful. You want this. **** ½

Essential story collection

This book is a treasure; buy a copy while you have a chance. The stories are gripping and the prose masterful. The tales linger in the memory and will surely reward future re-reading. Kiernan's wonderful short fiction has won numerous honors and awards, and the reasons are quickly apparent. The attention to excellence throughout the book goes beyond the wonderful tales and prose to the physical product and details like interior illustrations, dusk jacket design, and a gripping introduction that eases into an unsettling personal anecdote, as memorable and fascinating as many of the tales themselves. This book is filled with writing to be savored.
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