Review – Agents of Dreamland

Posted 6 March, 2017 by Nikki in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. KiernanAgents of Dreamland, Caitlin R. Kiernan

Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 28th February 2017

Once again, not knowing my Lovecraft tripped me up. Yep, this is yet another Lovecraft-based story, although in this case it’s a rather less well-known one: the Fungi from Yuggoth. Not one I’d have known anything about even if I’d known in advance, but perhaps I might have been better prepared for the sheer bleakness and darkness of this story had I known it was based on Lovecraft’s mythos in any way.

It’s an intriguing little novella; self-contained, though it hints at a world before and after it through one character who is, to some extent, ‘unstuck in time’. The flesh-crawling horror of the fungi, a kind of invasion we’re helpless to fight, is done really well. There’s one phrase which just made me shudder, because of all the different implications stacked together: “the fruiting corpse”. Gah. Gaaah.

It’s very effective writing, and because I don’t know to what extent it takes any of the detail from Lovecraft, I can say that it’s definitely something that can stand on its own. It doesn’t rely on me realising exactly what’s going on through familiarity with Lovecraft; the creeping unease works as well or better if you’re ignorant of where things are going.

Rating: 4/5

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2 Responses to “Review – Agents of Dreamland”

  1. This sounds kind of…creepy…and I almost wanted to read it until I saw the phrase “the fruiting corpse.” Wait, what? Haha, I’m not too familiar with the works of Lovecraft (weird since I’m usually all over weird writing like that), but I might have to check this out anyway because it seems like something I would love. Great review!
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