Agents of Dreamland review ☆ 3

review Ø eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Caitlín R. Kiernan

A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow Arizona Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation but which haunts the SignalmanIn a ranch house near the sho. Beautifully creepy In this novella Kiernan takes Lovecraftian horror elements and transposes them into an X Files type setting A government agent known as The Signalman is set to meet another operative Immacolata regarding the actions of a California doomsday cult For some reason he finds his fellow operative even frightening than the cult; even though brutal horrific deaths have occurredMeanwhile a young woman explains how the “Children of the Next Level” gave her life the hope and meaning she'd always lacked with its leader's promises of transcendence and transformation Well transformation of a kind there certainly will be The writing is non linear and obscure; and I wanted from the ending but I still loved it Definitely recommended for fans of VanDerMeer's 'Southern Reach' trilogy as well as anyone who's interested by cult psychology and the weirder elements of the X FilesMany thanks to Tor and NetGalley for the opportunity to read As always my opinion is unrelated to the source of the book

review Agents of Dreamland

Agents of DreamlandRe of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible the Children of the Next Level and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence The future is coming and they will help to usher it inA day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his g. Another superlative Tor novella This is actually the second in the so called Tinfoil Dossier something of an in joke that preceded by Black Helicopters with The Tindalos Asset due in October I actually read Black Helicopters first which I enjoyed immenselyIt is certainly testament to the compactness of Cairlin’s world building that these can be taken as discrete books though in essence they are clearly elements of a larger whole Hopefully in this regard Kiernan continues the series or splurges on a great big novel like Martha Wells has done following the success of MurderbotAs I have noted before Lovecraft is a very difficult writer to emulate The end result is so often an empty parody that rings hollow Paradoxically this is the main red flag when a writer treats Lovecraft either too reverentially or too slavishlyThe secret is to develop a Lovecraftian aesthetic which comes from taking some of the Master’s stock in trade symbolism and themes and imbuing these with the writer’s own sensibility Sounds easier said than done of courseBut Kiernan strikes just the right balance There is a lot going on in this slim book “ the Signalman an agent for a black budget American service; a cult ranch house at the Salton Sea that houses horrors from another world; a lost film about an alien princess; a timeless and frightening agent from another service with her own motivations; the New Horizons probe skating past the orbit of Pluto and encountering something alien These singular events and people all feed into the start—or end—of something immense and devastating for the human species” torcomAll these elements add up to a whole that is infinitely such a grand Lovecraftian word larger than the sum of its parts Something inexplicable either seems to lurk in the shadows of the text or bleeds through the pagesIt makes for an uncomfortable reading experience but a truly indelible one And it is also blackly funny and occasionally downright scurrilous I can’t wait for the next instalment of noir Lovercraft that Kiernan so expertly serves up

Caitlín R. Kiernan ´ 3 read & download

Agents of Dreamland review ☆ 3 ´ A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow Arizona Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation but which haunts the SignalmanIn a ranch house neaOvernment sought out help from ‘other’ sources Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contactAnd a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity. Deliberately set in the American southwest in the summer of 2015 when the New Horizons space probe was swiftly approaching the orbit of Pluto the narrative hops from one time period and location to another following three characters on very different and yet directly related journeys Kiernan tells their stories with eual amounts of lucidity and pathos yet each with a distinctive voice and styleFans of classic weird fiction author H P Lovecraft will be pleased to know that this novella is something of a meditation upon his classic 1931 short story “The Whisperer In Darkness” in which a man pieces together evidence of a terrifying alien conspiracy at work in rural Vermont and which also has a lot to do with the then newly discovered PlutoIn something of a nod to espionage fiction an aging government operative referred to only as the Signalman meets with a strange and mysterious woman Immacolata Sexton Their discussion is candid and abstract; it’s a bit like listening in on strangers; only very gradually does the nature of their conversation get revealed—yet even there it illustrates only a few fractured pieces of a much larger and darker picture“The Signalman surrenders a halfhearted smile and opens the envelope spreading the contents out on the table between them Ten glossy black and white photographs a tarot card a flash drive and a very old gold coin At first glance the photos could be shots from any murder scene snapped by any forensic shutterbug But only at first glance”A couple of weeks before a young woman named Chloe describes her time spent with Drew Standish a sort of cult leader who is collecting lost and easily manipulated members to become the Children of the Next Level Chloe’s narrative is often hazy and digressive but it paints a frightful picture nonetheless“I’m barefoot up here as the day I was born high on our hot tin roof high on cultured spores and the words of Drew but like Shadrach Meschach and Abednego in the fiery furnace of wicked King Nebuchadnezzar like Indian fakirs gifted by Allah like an Apollo heat shield I firewalk without burns I bathe in the all forgiving all anointing purifying eye of Old Man Ra and I wait for the others to join me on the roof I’m positively zealous says Madeline in my devotions and my sacrifices the holy mortification of sloughing flesh and she tells me the others could learn from my example Sweaty rivulets scald my eyes and I blink away the little pain I keep my eyes on the Chocolate Mountains They’ll come from there says Drew They will come from sunrise”And then there is Immacolata Sexton herself whom may exist or follow a perception somewhere outside of time and space hopping from one time period and location to another from decades of curious discovery nearly a century ago and into frightful decades yet to come What she observes discovers catalogues and cultivates in these shifts are perhaps the most disturbing hints of all in this tight twisted novellaThere are certain scenes in Agents of Dreamland which are reminiscent of other works by Kiernan; specifically her novella Black Helicopters 2013 Subterranean Press and story “Black Ships Seen South of Heaven” printed in Black Wings of Cthulhu IV edited by S T Joshi Titan Books 2016 Like those other works these scenes hint at the carnivorous cosmic doom that is slowly encroaching upon our world and make for some of the darkest and most disturbing imagery this side of a post apocalyptic taleIt’s a bit hard to comprehend the amount of story that is told in a little over 120 pages; this owes largely to the novella’s jigsaw puzzle like narrative structure Agents of Dreamland is an exuisitely haunting read full of mesmerizing prose unsettling images and profoundly disturbing implications And after reading this novella one may never view that dwarf planet at the edge of our solar system the same way again