A neat review of author Caitlín R. Kiernan’s new work, Agents of Dreamland.
This is a quest story. With a sensible middle-aged professor as the protagonist, through a fantastical landscape filled with strangeness. There are ghouls and gugs and tunnels, ships and dangerous forests and the courts of kings. And a consistent undercurrent of hopeful kindness, of solidarity, of doing the right thing not for hope of gain but because it is the right thing, and finding that in time it has borne fruit.
“Some people change the world. And some people change the people who change the world, and that’s you,” Jurat says to Vellitt, at the novella’s thematic climax–a pair of lines that pack a powerful punch in context, for Vellitt has just realised that she herself cannot go home again–to her teaching position at Ulthar’s Women’s College, the place she didn’t realise was home until it was barred to her forever.