Happy birthday to the exceptional Caitlín R. Kiernan

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Born in Dublin, Ireland, and raised in the southeastern U.S., writer, vertebrate paleontologist, and musician Caitlín R. Kiernan is the author of thirteen acclaimed novels including Silk (1998; winner of International Horror Guild Award), Threshold (2001; International Horror Guild), Murder of Angels (2004), The Red Tree (2009), The Drowning Girl (2012; Tiptree and Stoker), the Siobhan Quinn series (all as by Kathleen Tierney; Blood Oranges [2013], Red Delicious [2014], and Cherry Bomb [2015]), Agents of Dreamland (2017), Black Helicopters (2018), and La Belle Fleur Sauvage: Plague of the Womb (2019).

Cover by Hannes Hummel
Design by Elizabeth Story

Her more than two hundred and fifty short stories have been collected in Candles for Elizabeth (1998), Tales of Pain and Wonder (1999), Wrong Things (2001 with Poppy Z. Brite), To Charles Fort, with Love (2005), A Is for Alien (2009), Two Worlds and In Between (2011), Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (2012), The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories (2013; winner of the World Fantasy Award), Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea (2015), Dear Sweet Filthy World (2017), The Dinosaur Tourist (2018), Houses Under the Sea (2019), and THE VERY BEST OF CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN (2019).

Kiernan has written graphic novels for both DC/Vertigo and Dark Horse Comics including The Dreaming (1996-2001 with various artists), a spin off series from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman,  and the Stoker Award winning Alabaster: Wolves (2013; with artist Steve Lieber). She fronted Death’s Little Sister, a short-lived goth-rock band.

A vertebrate paleontologist, Kiernan co-founded the Birmingham Paleontological Society (1984). She co-authored papers describing a new genus and species of an ancient marine lizard the mosasaur Selmasaurus russelli (1988) and in 2020, a new large fossil sea turtle, Asmodochelys parhami. In 2019, Kiernan became a research associate and fossil preparator at McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

In November 2005, she began publishing the Sirenia Digest, “a monthly subscription-only e-zine continuing Caitlín’s exploration of the fusion of erotic literature with elements of dark fantasy and science fiction, usually creating brief, dreamlike vignettes, and sometimes much longer short stories.” There are currently sixty-six issues and more than eighty vignettes.

Asmodochelys parhami
Courtesy of The Royal Society

Kiernan lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner, Kathryn Pollnac, and two very large cats, Selwyn and Lydia.

All of us at Tachyon wish the lyrical and memorable Caitlín a happy birthday full of dark fantasy and dinosaurs.