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SFF Author: Molly Tanzer

Molly Tanzer is the Sydney J. Bounds and Wonderland Book Award-nominated author of A Pretty Mouth (Lazy Fascist, 2012), Rumbullion and Other Liminal Libations (Egaeus, 2013), Vermilion (Word Horde, 2015), and The Pleasure Merchant (forthcoming, Lazy Fascist 2015). She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and a very bad cat. When not writing, she enjoys mixing cocktails, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, experimenting with Korean cooking, and (as of recently) training for triathlons. She tweets @molly_the_tanz, and blogs — infrequently — at http://mollytanzer.com


Click here for more stories by Molly Tanzer.



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Marion Chats with Molly Tanzer about writing, hiking, and bears

In 2013, Molly Tanzer was nominated for the Sidney J. Bounds award, selected by the British Fantasy Society, for her linked story collection A Pretty Mouth. Her short fiction has appeared in Lovecraft eZine and other horror/dark fantasy markets. Vermilion is her debut novel. Tanzer has a Master’s in Humanities from Florida State University and currently lives in Colorado. Vermilion explores the adventures of Lou Merriwether; a half-Chinese, half-English psychopomp in a Weird West unlike ones we’ve seen before.


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Vermilion: A fascinating character in a fascinating alternate world

Vermilion by Molly Tanzer

I am a sucker for interstitial characters: those literary beings who work the borderlands and thresholds, guiding other characters and the reader from one state of being to another. In Vermilion, her first novel, Molly Tanzer introduces us to Lou Merriwether. Lou is half Chinese and half English; she is a female who dresses as a male and she is a psychopomp, a magical artisan whose skill is to guide spirits of the dead across the threshold into the afterlife — even if they don’t want to go.


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Creatures of Will and Temper: A Wilde pastiche

Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer

Molly Tanzer took quite a bit of inspiration from Oscar Wilde’s classic 1891 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray for her 2017 novel Creatures of Will and Temper, and yet manages to make her story far more unique than simply gender-switching some characters and tossing in modern-sounding references to changing social mores.

Evadne Gray and her younger sister Dorina are completely different — Evadne loves fencing above all else,


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Creatures of Want and Ruin: A sheer pulpy delight

Creatures of Want and Ruin by Molly Tanzer

At first glance, based on the title and cover art, Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Want and Ruin (2018) looks and sounds like it’s a sequel to her earlier novel Creatures of Will and Temper, but it’s not. The stories have different characters and settings, so I’m going to treat Creatures of Want and Ruin as a stand-alone novel.

During prohibition, Ellie West is a bootlegger in Amityville,


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Creatures of Charm and Hunger: A slow start ultimately pays off

Creatures of Charm and Hunger by Molly Tanzer

Creatures of Charm and Hunger (2020), the title of the third in Molly Tanzer’s THE DIABOLIST’S LIBRARY series, accurately describes the elemental beings with whom the human diabolists contract in order to do magic. It also accurately describes the two main characters, Miriam and Jane, and Jane’s Aunt Edith, an important secondary character.

These three books are not a trilogy in the conventional sense, since each takes place at a different point of history,


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SHORTS: Kusano, Swanwick, Howard, Tanzer

Our weekly sampling of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention this week. 


“Next Station, Shibuya” by Iori Kusano (Jan. 2017, free at Apex, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue)

A poetic little story (under 4000 words) narrated by a city (or perhaps a city’s local spirit/deity) in second-person address toward Nagiko, a resident in whom the city has taken a particular interest.  I really liked the small details by which the city shows its love of Nagiko:

As you walked home from the station I made sure every streetlight above you was lit … There is always enough space for you at the standing noodle counters and a sweet head of foam on your nama-beer.


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Cthuthlu Fhtagn!: Variety is the spice of the Elder Gods

Cthuthlu Fhtagn! edited by Ross Lockhart

Usually, I shy away from reviewing books whose name I can’t pronounce. Since this title is in the language of the Elder Gods, though, it’s probably better that I can’t pronounce it. Aklo, H.P. Lovecraft’s mystical language, was never meant for human voices to speak anyway, as editor Ross Lockhart explains in his introduction. Lockhart also informs us that the meaning of “Fhtagn” was given to him in a dream (presumably by the Old Ones) and it means “house.” Anyway,


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Mixed Up: Stories and cocktail recipes; both are intoxicating

Mixed Up edited by Nick Mamatas & Molly Tanzer

Mixed Up (2017) is an anthology of cocktail-themed flash fiction and cocktail recipes, edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. The stories, like the drink recipes, are grouped by type and theme. I thought the editors took the most liberal view of “flash” here, because I think some of these works might run to 1200 words or slightly over, and I think of flash as topping out at 1,000 words. I don’t think there is a hard and fast threshold,


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Next SFF Author: tara
Previous SFF Author: Shaun Tan

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