A new story from the winner of multiple World Fantasy, Tiptree, Locus, Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards is always something to look forward to, and Agents of Dreamland doesn’t disappoint!
We’ll just let commissioning editor Jonathan Strahan dive straight in:
About a year ago a fragment of a new Caitlin Kiernan story fell into my hands. It was intense and hypnotic and came on like a parched, hypnotic, sage-soaked amalgam of Lovecraft, Tom Robbins and every X-Files nightmare you ever had. It was practically poetry.
I read it aloud and it was like that moment where you hear Jack Palance on Roger Waters ‘The Pros and Cons of Hitchiking’ talk about ‘the body on the plain’, but it goes on for pages and gets darker and weirder and goes places I never expected.
I couldn’t wait for more, so when “Agents of Dreamland” showed up unexpectedly in my email inbox a while later I devoured it. It’s a helluva thing and some of Caitlin’s best ever work. I’m really excited to be able to bring this story to Tor.com’s readers in 2017. I think they’re gonna love it.
I am extremely excited to be working with Tor on Agents of Dreamland. It’s one of those stories that might very easily have fallen through the cracks—not long enough by half, but still far too long to find a home. As a champion of the short novel and the novella—if, indeed, a meaningful distinction exists between the two—I’m grateful that a publishing house has provided a desperately needed market for an often overlooked, but vitally important, form.
Agents of Dreamland publishes in early 2017. From the catalog copy:
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.