Black Helicopters

July 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

helicoptersBlack Helicopters by Caitlín R. Kiernan


For years, I had written off Kiernan for being a little too loosey-goosey in her style, for having a bit more form than function. Last year’s Agents of Dreamland surprised me, though, enough for me to pre-order Black Helicopters, which I took to be a continuation of that story. It is and it isn’t, though; it’s an expanded revision of a story originally published only in a limited release through Subterranean Press which loosely ties in to Agents of Dreamland. In a way, that’s good, since it means readers can find an affordable copy of the book; on the other hand, it isn’t really a part of a series as much as it’s in the same universe.

The story has a Lovecraftian bent to it, like Agents did, but it’s buried beneath another story that jumps through time and isn’t easy to follow. It doesn’t help that one entire chapter is written mostly in French, and it further doesn’t help to discover after I had done all the impromptu translations through my Kindle that the chapter is reproduced in an appendix, fully translated. In short, Kiernan doesn’t make this story approachable, which doesn’t surprise me, but it does disappoint me that it wasn’t as straightforward as Agents.

I won’t give up on Kiernan, since I enjoyed Agents as much as I did, but I’m a little more hesitant to pick up anything she writes. I’ll be more selective in picking up my next book of hers to read. I do think readers who like thoughtful, Lovecraftian fiction (Thomas Ligotti comes to mind) might like this book better than I did.

Started: May 13, 2018
Finished: May 28, 2018

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