What exactly is the difference between a love letter and a suicide note? Is there really any difference at all? These might be the questions posed by Dear Sweet Filthy World, Caitlín R. Kiernan’s fourteenth collection of short fiction, comprised of twenty-eight uncollected and impossible-to-find stories.
Treading the grim places where desire and destruction, longing and horror intersect, the author rises once again to meet the high expectations she set with such celebrated collections as Tales of Pain and Wonder, To Charles Fort, With Love, and the World Fantasy Award-winning The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories. In these pages you’ll meet a dragon’s lover, a drowned vampire cursed always to ride the tides, a wardrobe that grants wishes, and a lunatic artist’s marriage of the Black Dahlia and the Beast of Gévaudan. You’ll visit a ruined post-industrial Faerie, travel back to tropical Paleozoic seas and ahead to the far-flung future, and you’ll meet a desperate writer forced to sell her memories for new ideas. Here are twenty-eight tales of apocalypse and rebirth, of miraculous transformation and utter annihilation. Here is the place where professing your undying devotion might be precisely the same thing as signing your own death warrant—or worse.
The stories in Dear Sweet Filthy World were first published in the subscription-only Sirenia Digest, run by Caitlín for her most devoted readers. This publication marks the first availability to the general public for most of these rare tales.
From Publishers Weekly:
“The 28 stories (most previously available only in her e-zine, Sirenia Digest) in Kiernan’s newest collection of dark fiction (after Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea) explore the human and inhuman conditions in all their filthy glory, and bravely wallow in the effluvia of mythology, murder, and depravity…her many fans will be overjoyed to have these works collected.”
From Kirkus Reviews:
“Horror blends with love, obsession, transformed bodies, and terrifying mysteries in this collection of stories. Kiernan’s surreal and often unsettling fiction derives much of its power from the way it causes characters and readers alike to question reality via a shroud of narrative ambiguity… At their best, these stories are sinister and beguiling in equal measure, tracing the border between fear and obsession and asking powerful questions about desire along the way.”
From Locus Online:
“Although Kiernan has produced three fine novels, I think it’s safe to say that most of her fans think of her as one our finest and most productive writers of short stories. And so this new collection, her fourteenth, will certainly be received with much delight and acclaim. Containing nearly thirty tales, this handsome volume incidentally proves once again that Subterranean Press continues to be one of the most generous, savvy, elegant and creative publishers around.”
“Any fan of dark fiction should be reading Kiernan, and if you haven’t discovered her yet this collection is a chance to see what you have been missing.”
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