BENEATH AN OIL-DARK SEA: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, Volume Two

Beneath An Oil-Dark Sea is the second volume of talented Caitlin R. Kiernan’s short stories. You can read my review of her first volume, Two Worlds and In Between, here. The stories in this volume were published between 2000 and 2013. A bonus is a bibliography of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s work from 1985 to 2015. My favorite stories in this massive collection (600+ pages!) are “Pickman’s Other Model (1929)” and “Houndwife.” Both stories are homages to H. P. Lovecraft stories. Kiernan is prolific so the quality of the stories vary. When she’s good, she’s very very good. When she’s not so good, she’s just average. If you’re looking for provocative stories by one of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy writers now publishing, I recommend Beneath An Oil-Dark Sea. GRADE: B+
Table of Contents:
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
PART ONE (Atlanta, 2004-2008)
Bradbury Weather
Untitled 17
A Child’s Guide to the Hollow Hills
The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)
A Season of Broken Dolls
In View of Nothing
The Ape’s Wife
The Steam Dancer (1896)
In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection
Pickman’s Other Model (1929)
PART TWO (Providence, 2008-2012)
The Melusine (1898)
As Red as Red
Fish Bride (1970)
The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean
The Sea Troll’s Daughter
The Maltese Unicorn
Tidal Forces
And the Cloud That Took the Form
The Prayer of Ninety Cats
Daughter Dear Desmodus
One Tree Hill (The World as Cataclysm)
Black Helicopters
Epilogue: Atlantis
Bibliography/Publication History
Illustrations (Bonus in Limited)
Falses Starts II Table of Contents (Volume Exclusive to the Limited Edition)
The Path of Silence
Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars
The Benefactions of Demons MM. Newcoment, Watt & Boulton (1900)
The Diamond Friendly
There are Kisses for us all
There will be Kisses for us all
A Piece of the Sky
May 5, 2013
May 6, 2013
May 8, 2013
Penance to the Pool of Perversity (1917)
Noah’s Raven
Mechs Have Better Things to do with Fallen Angels
Words Written Backwards
Deep Ocean Vast Sea
(Dead) Love Among the Ruins
Untitled 19
Night in an Eye of God
The Seeker in the City of Stone Flowers

15 thoughts on “BENEATH AN OIL-DARK SEA: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, Volume Two

  1. Beth Fedyn

    LOVE the cover, George.

    I’ve never tried her stuff but, if she’s tipping her hat to Lovecraft, it’s worth a look.


    1. george Post author

      Rick, here’s the latest from Jeff:

      “Don’t worry. We’re good. We stayed in Fredericksburg, Virginia last night, which was fine. There was an inch or two of snow overnight, but the main problem was the cold and wind. Several people decided to stay another day, but it looked OK so we went on.

      The only problem area was around Richmond, mostly the trucks throwing up water on the road (plus a minor accident that slowed everything down), but once past Richmond the sun came out. The roads are much drier here in North Carolina, despite a similar amount of snow.

      I’m hoping by tomorrow that South Carolina and Georgia get themselves straightened out.”

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    I’m here in North Carolina. The snow is mostly gone here, but locals do not know how to cope and are freaking out. The local news is all weather, all the time.

    I didn’t get to comment this morning because we were trying to decide whether or not it was safe to keep driving.

    I did, like Beth, immediately pick up on the Lovecraft title. I will check it out.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, another Polar Vortex hit us during the night. We woke up to a -1 temperature (-17 windchill). All the schools are closed. It’s supposed to be even colder tomorrow! Stay safe!

      1. wolf

        Hope everybody makes it through the cold!

        Here in Hungary we have just a little bit of rain and it’ll stay above freezing all of January.
        Everybody here hopes for some cold in February so all the larvae, wyrms etc in the ground will freeze to death – if not we’ll have a lot of insects next spring, not good for the farmers!

        Totally OT:
        Our news are full with reports from “Bannon the Barbarian” and the book on Trump – funny in a way!

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