Lyrically compelling, THE VERY BEST OF CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN is a collection to be read and savored

The impending release of THE VERY BEST OF CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN has the internet all abuzz. 

Becky Spratford for RA FOR ALL praises the book.

The result is a volume that presents a mere snapshot of her genius, showcasing how she plays with gender, creates tension that progresses to the level of nightmare, and crafts a story where beginnings and endings don’t matter, rather it is about the characters, their struggle, and really humanity itself. Yet despite the darkness at each story’s core, there is also beauty in these lyrical compelling, and intriguing tales that are nearly impossible to stop reading. Fans may have read some of these stories before, but many readers who have more recently been introduced to works of writers with more mainstream attention like Carmen Maria Machado, Jeff VanderMeer, or China Mieville, will be glad to find this volume on your shelves so that they can discover a writer who inspired them all.

At REVIEWS AND ROBOTS, Jacob Olson was impressed.

THE VERY BEST OF CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN is a collection of stories that defies expectation. You’ll find fantasies to startle and impress the imagination. Horrors to shock and enthrall you. Most importantly, you’ll find a brilliant writer that gives you every detail, no matter how gruesome or grotesque. Kiernan’s talent oozes off the page, forcing itself into your mind, leaving you startled by how skilled one person could be. The stories gave me chills at times, and I was in awe of these strings of words that acted more like spells than stories. It’s a collection to be read and savored.

Photo: Kyle Cassidy

Nick Cato for THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW enjoys his further dive into Kiernan’s works.

I’ve read a story or two from Kiernan over the years, but never read a novel or collection (and she has many of both). So when given the chance to check out her latest collection I figured it was high time to dive in. While most of the tales here are dark fantasy or sci-fi, almost all have elements of classic, sometimes extreme horror.


These are 20 previously published stories, so this might not be of much interest to long time fans. But for this newbie, it has made me a fan, and a big one at that. Kiernan is easily one of the best writers of weird fiction working today and I’m looking forward to digging into her catalog.

ESPRESSO AND BOOKS likes their first exposure to Kiernan’s works.

I don’t know why I haven’t read anything previously by Caitlin R. Kiernan! Her writing is beautiful and really draws you into the stories. This book is a collection of short stories. The stories range from sci-fi to full out horror. There is a darkness to her writing style that really gives these stories an edge. I will definitely have to check out more by her!!


Edited by Tachyon Publications, the collection includes twenty stories published between 2003 and 2017, testimony to the talent and originality of the Irish writer, best known for the novel   The Drowning Girl.

THE HERO COMPLEX and BOOK BUM were both attracted by the cover.


Granted, I’ve only read Kiernan’s The Red Tree, but that book has, somewhat literally, haunted me (that is at least a double pun, good lord) since I read it two years ago. I’m so excited to dig into a collection of her short fiction — and that cover art!

I am easily seduced by good cover art, what can I say?


I’ve never heard of Caitlín R. Kiernan before, but you know me… I’m a sucker for a short horror story collection! I also love this mesmerising & disturbing cover for this one.

B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG and IO9 included the title among their things to look forward to in February.

For more info about THE VERY BEST OF CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Hannes Hummel
Design by Elizabeth Story