A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.
In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible — the Children of the Next Level — and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.
A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA's interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.
And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.
Agents of Dreamland is a new Lovecraftian horror novella from award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This chilling supernatural noir novella from celebrated dark fantasy writer Kiernan threads together a story across several different decades, combining government secrecy and otherworldly cults. The Signalman, a lone government agent who is haunted by past events, encounters a cult leader who has amassed forces on the shores of the Salton Sea, waiting for a Lovecraftian second coming. Kiernan's novella is a study of fear, curiosity, and awe at things that remain unknown or inexplicable. The characterization is brief and understated. The Signalman in some respects is an everyman, as bewildered as the audience by what is going around him; "he's learned to settle for the doubtful consolation of necessary fictions." Kiernan's subtly haunting voice draws the reader in, and her work demands a close reading as well as requiring some familiarity with the conventions of dark fantasy and horror.
Gripping Modern Lovecraftian Novella
In “Agents of Dreamland” Caitlín R. Kiernan introduces us to the Signalman, who is a secret government agent who has seen too much. Like Lovecraft’s investigators, he has been deeply damaged by the dark secrets he has learned of firsthand.
The Signalman has been called to investigate a cult, that has brought together fourteen teenagers at a ranch house by the Salton Sea. These young people have been chosen to host the beginning of the end of the world.
This is a very atmospheric novella, which is the first in a series. However, it tells a complete story in itself. It is a very modern tale set in the Cthulhu Mythos, with a very different setting. It is full of bright desert sun, and what lies beneath Area 51. I’m looking forward to reading “Black Helicopters” the next Lovecraftian novella in this series.
Gave up on it after a few dozen pages of completely unintelligible gibberish.
Great blend of of cosmic horror and the latest scientific info, like the HPL stories whose footsteps this one follows in. In this case, there’s a connection to the New Horizons prove’s Pluto flyby.