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A is for Alien Hardcover – January 30, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean (January 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596062096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596062092
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Known for dark fantasy that skates the edge of horror, Kiernan (Tales of Pain and Wonder) turns to science fiction with equally unsettling effects in these eight stories. The mostly off-screen aliens in Zero Summer, The Pearl Diver and Bradbury Weather seem oddly tentative compared to the fully realized monsters of Kiernans fantasy tales, and Riding the White Bull, In View of Nothing and Ode to Katan Amano focus on fraught relationships more than their isolated, almost sterile settings. Fans of Kiernans fantasy will be more drawn to two poignant rejoinders to stories of post-human glory: Faces in Revolving Souls, wherein a woman is isolated from her smug new culture by surgical rejection, and A Season of Broken Dolls, whose nameless protagonist is fascinated and revolted by art made of people. (Jan.)
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More About the Author

Caitlin R. Kiernan was born near Dublin, Ireland, but has spent most of her life in the southeastern United States. In college, she studied zoology, geology, and palaeontology, and has been employed as a vertebrate palaeontologist and college-level biology instructor. The results of her scientific research have been published in the JOURNAL OF VERTEBRATE PALAEONTOLOGY, THE JOURNAL OF PALAEONTOLOGY and elsewhere. In 1992, she began writing her first novel, THE FIVE OF CUPS (it remained unpublished until 2003). Her first published novel, SILK (1998), earned her two awards and praise from critics and such luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Poppy Z. Brite. Her next novel, THRESHOLD (2001), was also an award-winner, and since then she has written LOW RED MOON (2003), MURDER OF ANGELS (2004), DAUGHTER OF HOUNDS (2007), and, forthcoming, THE RED TREE. She is a prolific short fiction author, and her award-winning short stories have been collected in TALES OF PAIN AND WONDER (2000), WRONG THINGS (with Poppy Z. Brite; 2001), FROM WEIRD AND DISTANT SHORES (2002), and TO CHARLES FORT, WITH LOVE (2005), ALABASTER (2006), FROG TOES AND TENTACLES (2005), TALES FROM THE WOEFUL PLATYPUS (2007), and, most recently, the sf collection, A IS FOR ALIEN (2009). She has also scripted comics for DC/Vertigo, including THE DREAMING ('97-'01), THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE DEATH ('98), and BAST: ETERNITY GAME ('03). Her short sf novel THE DRY SALVAGES was published in 2004, and has published numerous chapbooks since 2000. Caitlin also fronted the goth-rock band Death's Little Sister in 1996-1997, once skinned a lion, and likes sushi. She lives in Providence, RI with her partner, Kathryn, and her two cats, Hubero and Smeagol. Caitlin is represented by Writer's House (NYC) and United Talent Agency (LA).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DWM on March 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Until I read one of her short stories in the short story collection "Lovecraft Unbound", I had never heard of her. Since then I have started to read everything she has done. This collection is more on the Science Fiction side (which I prefer) as opposed to some of her other horror which leans more to the supernatural. I only gave four stars since I will be the first to admit she is not for everyone. Her stories are usually very gloomy and nihilistic. However four stories, Riding the White Bull, Zero Summer, In View of Nothing, and Bradburry Summer are virtually perfect examples of cosmic horror/science fiction. The other stories, while I did not enjoy as much are all very strong and unsettling.

The book is also very nicely put together with a suitably "normal but bizarre" artwork on the cover. Indeed the biggest complaint I have had with her books is sometimes the artwork which tends to make some of her books look like a teenage "Twilight" movie.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. T. Glover on May 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection is a fine cross-section of science fictions, treating everything from extreme surgical metamorphosis to the colonization of Mars. Kiernan's well-tuned prose is on good display here, in service to dark, unrelenting visions of the future that lack easy, certain answers. New religions, microscopic aliens, and all manner of disintegration move this collection beyond the easy grit of cyberpunk or the familiar reaches of dystopia into a uniquely dark future. If you've enjoyed her previous work, you'll enjoy what the author sees when she turns her eye to the future. If you enjoy William Gibson, Blade Runner, the Alien movies, and the like, this collection will also appeal.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rob on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
kiernan has great discriptives. my problem, and it is my problem and not the authors, is that no story of hers that i have read has an ending. i'm come to believe this is by design.
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