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What Moves the Dead?

What Moves the Dead is an excellent elaborative retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher." Rereading the childhood favorite as an adult, T. Kingfisher was disappointed in its brevity. She wanted to know more - and she wanted to know why Poe spends more time describing fungi than Madeline. So, Kingfisher wrote the story herself, and the resulting novella is a gothic treat with all the elements you'd expect from the classic genre.

Fungi are everywhere, which I mean figuratively (although I recognize it's literally true). From foraging trends saturating social media to mushroom printed socks and jewelry to the growing horde of mushroom costumers, the mushroom is to us what the pineapple was in the 18th century. And this extends to our fiction (or science fiction. Or gothic fiction).

There is something undeniably eerie about mushrooms, and they are perfectly gothic. And as much as I absolutely love Mexican Gothic, I think What Moves the Dead does mushroom gothic better. Kingfisher's fungi don't just have mystical properties - they're sentient. Or perhaps it's sentient, since corpse-Madeline does describe it as a singular entity.

I'm running on just three hours of sleep and so I'm running out of words to adequately describe the story, so I'll be brief: it's a wonderful story. Read it.

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