Reviews of My Writing
For “That Lucky Old Sun”( Apex Magazine, Issue 80. January 2016.)
Amelia Crowly said: “This really gave me chills. I love the way it *seems* to set the scene at once, only to become darker and more intriguing as the story progressed.”
On Twitter, @robertired said: “It’s amazing. Subverting old school sci-fi is something that should be done more. Congratulations.”
@MariaHaskins called it: “Wonderful, creeping-up-on-you #scifi”
Over at Tangent Online, Kevin P. Halett said: “Carrie’s “end of the world” science fiction story is time and world ambiguous, telling this often-told story from a new perspective. The protagonist is a small girl, innocuously spending what could be her last day with her loving mother, who knows what’s coming. The author touchingly portrays the mother’s loving patience and the girl’s innocence in this easy to read tale.
Telling the story from the little girl’s perspective made it darker and more compelling. I found the writing engaging from the very beginning and it continued to hold me even though I could guess where it might end; a pleasing new variation on an old theme.”
Lastly, and with the most spoilers… At Quick Sip Reviews, Charles Payseur said:
“………….okay then. Yeah, this story is a bit dark, a bit…well, a bit very dark, about a child, Melanie, and her mother as they sort-of wait for the end of the world. The setting is vaguely futuristic and also rather dystopian, a place where people are judged based on their skin but not exactly the way that they are now. Here it’s not exactly race it seems but something in the blood that changes the skin’s color and might do other things to it. Whatever the case, it means that there are vast systems in place to try and “contain” it, mostly by reporting on neighbors and living in a police state and it’s an all around not-good scene. And yet the “problem” persists and so the government decided to just bomb everything. Bomb it all and then return to reclaim the wiped slate. And that the story follows a mother and her daughter on this day is bleak as fuck, but also I rather enjoyed it. There is something to be said about this, that this is where fascism leads, that this is where intolerance and bigotry lead. That there are “understanding” people who are just part of the problem and that everything is built on hate without reason, hate because that’s all it is, and in the end it tears everything apart, tears families apart and lets the central lie of the story fester and burn like the fires of the bombs being dropped. Because a large part of the story is the absence of the father, who is “pure” and who has the chance to survive. It’s a wrenching story and a sad one, very much worth reading but maybe prepare some cat videos for the aftermath. Indeed.”
February 2016 – “No Hand to Turn the Key by Carrie Cuinn tells the tale of an alternate future where humanity has been wiped out by Mythos horrors leaving only automatons behind to defend what remains of Earth’s human legacy. The result is a touching tale of sacrifice and hope in the face of overwhelming odds.” – Alan Loewen
June 2015 – “Savor the Flavor of Each Short. This is a wonderful collection of short stories…. Further, I’m going to suggest that people definitely read the introduction, then work through the stories themselves, savoring each one. Make a point to read the ABOUT THE STORIES section for each story after reading said story as this gives an insight into what brought the story to life, if it had been published elsewhere, and any deeper meaning that the author may want to impart regarding the content. At that point, re-read the story; the background will give each a more intense flavor.” – Amazon, 5 stars!
July 2014 – “In a word, eerie. Ms. Cuinn’s imagination is on display here in technicolor. Reading her stories is like having a dream. They lull you in that way, you know how dreams always start perfectly believably, and get weird until you wake in a rush thinking, what the hell was that? I credit her clear prose, never overdone, with that ability to pull you in. Her strangeness is always situational, sometimes descriptive but conveyed in a frankness that makes it accessible. Until the hair starts rising on the back of your neck, that is. These are not happy ending stories for the most part, though you could see some of them that way, depending on your point of view. You could see many of them as unsettling, even disturbing–again, depending on your point of view. Cuinn leaves that to the reader. I appreciate that.” – H.W.
July 2014 – “Women and Other Constructs is a gorgeous short story collection mixing reprints and originals, with stories focusing mostly on women. There are touches of humor, but a lot of darkness as well. Two stories in particular struck me, placed back to back in the book and more or less at its center, acting as the collection’s heart – Annabelle Tree, and A Cage, Her Arms. They are both lovely and heartbreaking and really show the author’s strength in an overall strong collection. The design of the collection is also worth noting, with lovely cover art and generally a clean and professional look to the entire collection.” – A.C. Wise
February 2014 – “CL3ANS3 took me by surprise. Primarily, because this is one of those stories that make excellent material for experimental animation short films that have this rarely-seen alienating feeling to them. The world outlined by Carrie Cuinn in this short story is clinical, sterilized and strange beyond belief. Its main character might be an antisocial, objective narrator but the rest of the people occupying the setting aren’t all that better off. This story forced me to do a double-take to pinpoint exactly what bothered me about it so much and guess what: it’s not the Lovecraftian Horrors, not in and of themselves. I think that this was perhaps the point that Cuinn was trying to make: the scary, strange future that waits just around the corner, its people distant and antisocial, scared more of each other than the things lurking just beyond the world.” – Konstantine Paradias
February 2014 – ““CL3ANS3” by Carrie Cuinn: This story has a really cool concept about a future where all data has to be organized and that organization is done through a kind of virtual reality (it is cyberpunk after all). Carrie Cuinn does a great job of building a great world of CHARACTERS here, like Orson Scott Card did in Ender’s Game (yeah, the guy’s politics suck but he can write some amazing characters). I bring up ‘Ender’ because there are scenes in the story where the protagonist sits down and interacts with other ‘sorters’ in a kind of cafeteria and it just has this realistic feeling to it. The writing is very solid and when the virtual world starts to become tainted by Eldritch happenings the story delivers.” – D. Anderson
January 30, 2014 – “CL3ANS3 is a beautiful story” and “Cuinn’s voice and the picture she was able to weave inside my mind was absolutely amazing, her prose was top-notch.” – MU Podcast
September 12, 2013 – “Despite its short length there is a wealth of stories here and when I sat down to write my review and pick my favourite stories to talk about, I had a really hard time, because every time I’d change my mind.” – A Fantastical Librarian, about Women and Other Constructs.
July 27, 2013 – “This was my first time picking up anything by Carrie Cuinn and I must say I was very impressed by her simplistic style which can still portray so much. The stories included in the anthology show a great range of ability and talent in multiple genres.” – Goodreads review of Women and Other Constructs.
July 12, 2013 – “Women and Other Constructs is a varied, powerful collection of stories that showcases the range and talent of an author who will hopefully continue to rise in exposure in the SFF community. Her work demonstrates that the short fiction format, particularly in SF/F/H can be a vessel that contains effective plotting, strong characterization, and worthwhile examination of important topics while still being highly entertaining. This collection is not light, by any means, conversely it is not heavy to the point of getting in the way of good storytelling. The stories Carrie Cuinn includes in this volume show that “thought-provoking” need not mean “inaccessible” to the average reader.” Short Fiction Friday (SF Signal), Carl V. Anderson
October 10, 2012 – “I had no idea where this story was going when I started, but I loved where it ended up. Funny and touching.” My Favorite Fiction from September 2012, K. Tempest Bradford, talking about “Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance”.
November 11, 2011 – “This is a great example of a traditional flash fiction structure where a bit of information revealed at the end adjusts the reader’s interpretation of the rest of the story. ” Michael Haynes, “Dissecting the Short Story: Call Center Blues“
Feb 14, 2011 – “Carrie Cuinn does something unconventional in “Mitch’s Girl”, which just proves how diverse sex can be after death, ’cause humans certainly are ingenious in their lust.” Innsmouth Free Press
Jan 1, 2011 – “Mitch’s Girl, by Carrie Cuinn, was a gem that stood out amongst the other stories.” Review of RIGOR AMORTIS at Rise Reviews
Reviews of Collections I’ve Edited
February 16, 2013 – “Cuinn doesn’t edit, but rather throws herself with such abandon in her vision as to how her anthologies ought to look, feel and be, the finished product has its own gravitational pull and it won’t let go until you’ve read the last page.” The Alternative Typewriter
November 20, 2012 – “In Situ is an interesting and thought-provoking anthology. It is a very enjoyable collection of stories and well put together.” A Fantastical Librarian
November 19, 2012 – “All the stories in In Situ are solid, quick-paced reads. There are no clunkers.” SF Signal
October 21, 2011 – “I also applaud Cuinn for selecting a large number of female authors and authors from different culture backgrounds, both sorely needed in the Lovecraftverse.” This Book and I Could Be Friends
September 1, 2011 – “Carrie Cuinn has assembled short stories that are not merely about monsters having sex, though more than a couple do feature some remarkably … unusual intimate encounters.” Wag the Fox
May 12, 2011 – “We must also point out the solid intro by editor Carrie Cuinn. This is a project that in other hands could have become grotesque literary hentai, instead she guides the work with a keen eye and sense of pace.” Boston Book Bums
May 6, 2011 – “Cthulhurotica is as close as I’ve seen to adult Mythos fiction done right.” Yog-Sothoth
April 26, 2011 – “I would like to go on record as to say Cthulhurotica may well be the first great original Mythos story collection of the 21st Century. Read it!” J. Keith Haney, Innsmouth Free Press
Feb 14, 2011 – “In short, Cthulhurotica is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in awhile.” Rise Reviews
Feb 13, 2011 – “I offer my applause to Dagan Books for its choices of stories to include.” 4 out of 5 stars, Opinions of a Wolf
September 12, 2013 – interview at Fantasy Scroll about writing, editing, and reading as a writer.
July 6, 2013 – “An Interview with Carrie Cuinn” about Women and Other Constructs, by AC Wise
May 24, 2013 – “Exclusive Interview: Carrie Cuinn on Fish” by Charles Tan, for SF Signal
September 2, 2012 – “Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance” author interview at Red Penny Papers
March 1, 2012 – “All The Right Words” author interview at Goldfish Grimm
November 21, 2011 – Talking about “Call Center Blues” with Micheal Haynes
March 15, 2011 – Cthulhurotica, editing, weird plushies, and more, Functional Nerds (podcast, with Don Pizarro)
Feb 12, 2011 – “Shiver and Sighs Week”, Romance, Monsters, and Cthulhurotica, Innsmouth Free Press
July 26, 2010 – Cthulhurotica, Innsmouth Free Press
Aug 11, 2010 – Cthulhurotica, Lovecraft, and more, Writer’s News Weekly
July 1, 2013 – “People You Should Be Reading: Carrie Cuinn” by Eric Christensen
April 9, 2013 – “[Women in Genre, Day 9] Carrie Cuinn and Dark Wonders” by Haralambi Markov