Title: The Colliers’ Venus (1893)
Author: Caitlin R. Kiernan
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 18th December 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
5th sentence, 74th page: “How very inspirational.”
There is something waking in the mines. But only he knows how to deal with it.
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that mines are kind of terrifying places. The passage of time is also terrifying, but in a more abstract way. So a story that somehow combines these two things? It actually worked out incredibly well as a scary short story. Nothing terrifying, not like the Stephen King books I’ve been reading lately… but still not a comfortable story.
There’s something about Kiernan’s short stories that are just a little darker and more twisted than the others in my collections. Or at least, in the collections that she’s been in. It’s nothing obvious and poignant, but, as soon as I finish one of her short stories I just feel… uncomfortable. And kind of just sit there feeling a bit “huh” over what I just read. Which is kind of amazing. But also means that I have to be in the right mood to enjoy her stuff.
I loved how this story was created out of a vague, dreamy state. Nothing felt concrete and real in the storyline and as I turned the last page I just kind of sat there staring at the wall. Trying to figure out all the intricacies of the storyline. I’m still not quite sure that I’ve got it… but that’s why I love to reread stories!