...his characters are crystal clear and throbbing with life.
"McKiernan's stories are hauntingly dark, evocatively written and viscerally compelling. With little regard for genre boundaries, McKiernan creates utterly convincing characters who will take you on a journey through fully realised worlds, and every journey is more than worth it."- Alan Baxter, author of Bound and Realmshift
"...proof yet again of the incredible writing talent that can be found in Australia and further still, proof that horror can have a meaningful voice that goes well beyond blood and gore." - Greg Chapman, Thirteen O'Clock
Story first published in Shadow Plays edited by Elise Bunter (2007) ISBN 978-0-646-47127-3
My other favourite from this collection is the very next story: “Calliope”, by Andrew J McKiernan. Set in an alternate Sydney where steam’s the thing (and the Bridge never got built), it’s a romance of two completely unsuitable people, and the lengths one will go to for the other. There are some very clever allusions in there, as well, to historical figures - I’m not sure if I was reading too much into the whole thing, but let’s just say the main character is a patents clerk. This world is well-realised, and I can easily imagine more stories set there.
Read the full review at ASif!
Calliope is an impressive fictional debut by Horrorscope’s own McKiernan. One of the longer stories in the book it tells the tale of a man who falls for a beautiful singing automaton at a travelling circus. Rich in character, McKiernan builds a sense of dread throughout the piece, willingly acknowledging to the reader that something bad is going to happen but enticing them to read on.
Read the full review at OzHorrorScope
Story first published in Masques edited by Gillian Polack and Scott Hopkins (2009) ISBN 978-0-9775192-1-7
The Dumbshow is a noir carnival that shows off Andrew McKiernan's considerable prowess, effectively conveying the mute character's emotions and dialogue through the unlikely medium of written mime. King Al's troupe takes a wrong turn travelling toward Clowntown, and miscommunication, imprisonment and brushes with death follow, culminating in harmony and even romance. The story is action packed, well paced, and could easily be expanded into a satisfying novella. McKiernan's take on the masques theme works well, and his characters are crystal clear and throbbing with life.
Read the full review at Specusphere
By Shane Jiraiya Cummings (author) and Andrew J McKiernan (Illustrator), Brimstone Press (2009) ISBN 978-0-9805677-2-4
"With SHARDS author Shane Jiraiya Cummings and artist Andrew J. McKiernan take us on a guided tour of the darkest backroads of the imagination. It is wonderfully moody and creepy."
– Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of PATIENT ZERO and THE WOLFMAN
“Shards cuts you right open and then sets about infecting the wound. Cummings' prose is as the title suggests: short, sharp, and deadly. The tales themselves are relentless, battering you with their suggestive intensity or mocking with bleak humour. Add to this darkly disturbing illustrations by Andrew McKiernan and Shards is one hell of a nightmare.”
– Dr Marty Young, President, Australian Horror Writers Association.
"Shards offers a worthy selection of short-short stories that reflects the author’s prominence in the contemporary upsurge of 'flash fiction' among Australian horror writers. Fans of the short-short form will welcome this darkly entertaining foray into a world gone subtly—and at times unsubtly—askew, from one of Australia’s 'new bloods' of horror. Combined with a wealth of evocative illustrations from Andrew McKiernan, Shards represents a unique horror experience."
– Robert Hood, the 'Godfather of Aussie Horror' and award-winning author of Creeping in Reptile Flesh
"Shards is a maelstrom of images that delivers to the reader intense stories, and repeated sucker punches to their emotions."
– Sharyn Lilley, Eneit Press
"Reading Shards is like being strapped to a rocket, once you're on you can't get off till the end."
– Stuart Mayne, Editor Aurealis Magazine
Last Updated Monday, September 29 2014 @ 10:53 AM EST|10,439 Hits