Sign up for my newsletter for an early look at upcoming titles and events!

Author Archive

For the first time ever, I’m typing up an official Awards Eligibility Post for 2017. I had a few things come out, but I’d really like to use most of this space to promote the stories in Mixed Up: Cocktail Recipes (and Flash Fiction) for the Discerning Drinker (and Reader).

As for me, I had a novel come out:

I also had three short stories published for the first time:

Nine-Tenths of the Law,” available for free on Lightspeed. I don’t usually write SF, so this story is special to me. It’s also about sex, consent, and the lies we tell ourselves when we’re falling in or out of love. Also Denver International Airport conspiracy theories.

“Cognac, Communism, and Cocaine,” which was co-authored with Nick Mamatas, and appeared in Through A Mythos Darkly, ed. Glynn Owen Barrass and Brian M. Sammons.

“The Language of Flowers,” in Dark Discoveries #37 (Supernaturalism). This story links with Creatures of Will and Temper. 

Then there’s Mixed Up. Mixed Up is a hybrid work, part cocktail guide with recipes, part flash fiction anthology. It is out now through Skyhorse in hardcover. I was the cocktail editor; Nick Mamatas handled curating the fiction. I suppose as a whole, that would make the book a Related Work for some awards categories? In reality, it is a gift book, but there are plenty of individual stories worthy of note while you nominate this year. Mixed Up has fiction to please everyone (crime, slice of life, and some scifi, fantasy, and horror) but here are ones with a fantastical or science fictional or supernaturally horrific element for the genre awards circuit:

  • “Eat the Wyrm,” by Elizabeth Hand
  • “The End of the End of History,” by Nick Mamatas
  • “Hot Night at Hinky-Dinks,” by Will Viharo
  • “Bloody at Mazie’s Joint,” by Benjamin Percy
  • “Gin is Stronger than Witchcraft,” by Dominica Phetteplace
  • “But You Can’t Stay Here,” by Tim Pratt
  • “There and Back Again,” by Carmen Maria Machado

I think that about wraps it up for my year of publishing. Thanks as always for reading, and happy new year!


Creatures of Will and Temper has been getting some nice notice, so I figured I’d note a few here for form’s sake:

NPR reviewed it, saying:

She has created a Victorian England which is, in all noticeable ways, exactly the Victorian England we know — the mother of our modern world, by turns smoky, smutty, gross and backward, then beautiful, wondrous and louche with the turn of a corner. And yet, embedded in it — woven so closely into the fabric of normalcy that almost no one can see it — Tanzer has given us … demons.

It’s true!

And the Chicago Tribune liked it, too!

The novel’s fast-moving conclusion should satisfy anyone who misses the recent TV series “Penny Dreadful,” but Tanzer’s detailed evocation of Victorian London, of Wilde’s original tone and of the complex relationships, especially of the two troubled sisters, lends the novel its real resonance.

Locus gave it a pretty good review two, calling it “awe-inspiring” at one point in its online review, and saying even nicer things in a roundup in its print version. Fantasy Faction was kind as well, saying “Her cast is complex, layered, and harboring secrets under their public facades.” A few bloggers have also taken note, most recently Books Bones & Buffy (“A delicious tale of manners, trysts, fencing and demons”). Oh, also Wil Wheaton posted it to his Tumbr, so I am officially super stoked.

I’m grateful people seem to be enjoying the book, and look forward to posting new updates as they come!






It’s true. Creatures of Will and Temper is out! It’ll be in your local B&N, or your local bookstore, hopefully, or definitely online at one of the links I’ve put up on the sidebar.

The critical response to the book has been very good so far. It’s gotten kind reviews in Publishers Weekly (starred!), Library Journal, Booklist (link is to the reviewer’s expanded review on her own blog), Fantasy Faction, and a few other place so far. This BookPage review really knocked my socks off.

I’m doing a Reddit AMA on 11/14, when the book drops on r/fantasy. Come and see me, ask me something! Anything!

Also on the 14th, I’m doing a reading at the Denver Tattered Cover, the LoDo location. Details at the link, show starts at 7.

The following Monday, the 20th, you can find me at the downtown Powell’s in Portland, OR. I’ll be reading there at 7:30!

I’ll try to update things here as the book comes to life, but obviously I always go way too long between updates. If you’re super invested in hearing about what’s up with Creatures of Will and Temper I’d suggest following me on Twitter @molly_the_tanz, or on Insta @molly_tanzer. I consider FB friend requests a lot more carefully if they come with a note, but I also keep that account a lot more locked down than my public social media.

Creatures of Will and Temper is available for pre-order on Amazon! So, if you think a feminist retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray with sword fighting and demons sounds cool, please do pre-order it or mark your calendars to go into a brick-and-mortar to pick it up when it comes in!

Many people agree with me that you should do this… among them, Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of Outlander, whose blurb graces the cover, and who just causally name-dropped my novel today in The Washington Post. Yes, that Washington Post

Here’s a roundup of what people have had to say about this book (out Nov. 14th, mark your calendars, or just have an online store send you a copy the moment it’s available!)

“An artful, witty, Oscar Wilde pastiche with the heart of a paranormal thriller.” — Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of Outlander

“A delightful, dark, and entertaining romp… Molly Tanzer is at the top of her form in this beautifully constructed novel. Sure to be a favorite of readers and critics alike.” —Jeff VanderMeer, bestselling author of Annihilation and Bourne

Creatures of Will and Temper is a wild ride from start to finish, beautifully and boldly written, and a most worthy successor to Oscar Wilde’s scandalous novel.” —Amy Stewart, bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun and The Drunken Botanist

“Decadent Victorians clash with dueling demon-hunters in this sharply-observed, page-turning reinvention of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale. —Charles Stross, award-winning author of The Delirium Brief

“Creatures of Will and Temper is a smart, gorgeously written book about passion, loyalty, and love in many forms.” —Kat Howard, author of Roses and Rot

“A perfectly queer homage to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Creatures of Will and Temper is a story of acceptance, of understanding, of correcting erroneous first impressions, and the bond of a disparate group of individuals in a shared bad situation. It is a timely story, and one that I think we all need right now.” —Sarah Lynn Weintraub, Books Manager, Pandemonium Books and Games

Look at this crazy thing! The amazing Liv Rainey-Smith, she of the wood-cuttery and print-makery, sent me this doll by the astonishing Christine Morgan, writer and doll-maker extraordinaire! Lou Merriwether has never looked so real, or so genuinely intimidating.


I’ll be at ICFA in Orlando from March 22-26.

My schedule:

Thursday, March 23: 8:30-10 AM, Vista A. Reading, with K. Tempest Bradford and Jennifer Stevenson

Friday, March 24: 8:30-10 AM, Vista A. Reading (host), with Maurice Broaddus, Chesya Burke, Usman Malik

Friday, March 24, 2:30-4 PM, Oak, Panel: Weird Sisters: Women Writing Horror/Weird Fiction. Moderator: Sean Moreland, with Bernadette Bosky, Anya Heise-von der Lippe, Helen Marshall, Gina Wisker, and me

Hope to see you there!

I know the USA is a tire fire right now, but I also have a new story up on Lightspeed Magazine. Take a break from the news, just half an hour, and check it out. It’s called “Nine-Tenths of the Law” and it’s about marital problems and Denver International Airport conspiracy theories. And other stuff. It’s a bit racy so maybe read it at work. You can also listen to it!

There’s a little interview with me, too, in which I talk about said conspiracy theories!

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

Trump won. America voted for him. People I know voted for him—people who know me, and knew my father; who claimed to love us, who are familiar with our Jewish ancestry: they still voted for someone who has declared intent to start a registry of people based on their faith; someone who has threatened mass deportation based on ethnicity. I am sure people you know voted for him—people who claim to love you, whether you are queer, brown, Trans*, black, a woman, poor, or just a decent human being who tried to explain to them the importance of voting against someone who stands for white supremacy, “braggadoccious,” and actually literally sexually assaulting women and girls.

People we don’t know voted for him too. Lots of them. Enough to put him in the White House.

I watched it happen at the world’s worst election night party (through no fault of my lovely hosts). Early in the night it had been full of excited, if nervous people, chatting happily of this and that, eager to see a win for the most qualified presidential candidate in recent history, whose victory was all but assured. We quickly went quiet as Rachel Maddow began to lose her shit on MSNBC. The results came in—or rather, didn’t—for long enough that we all sensed it in the wind. People split into other areas of the house, glued to phones or laptops or the TV. We were silent, shocked. In tears I called a friend, who told me to be patient, to wait, that it would be all right.

It was not all right. The next morning, I saw the same friend had messaged me at 1 AM MT, after I’d given up and gone to sleep, with just one word.


In the wake of it, I have not been well. I am grieving. Something has cracked deep inside of me; some part of me is leaking out. I think it is my civility; my willingness to swallow my sighs and my anger and instead speak calmly. Maybe it’s my lifelong goal of being the approachable, easy going feminist who takes the time to explain issues patiently and who endures sexism with a smile and a handshake because you win more flies with honey.

On Wednesday afternoon after the election, as I was working at the coffee shop, a young white man elected to explain to me all about HRC’s “flaws.” I stopped him at some point, which surprised this entitled bastard, in order to say, “Actually, I’m a big fan,” which shocked him.

“You can’t possibly mean that!” he said, in mock astonishment.

“No, I really do,” I replied.

At that point he decided to explain to me how “corrupt” HRC was, and that if I was a fan, I couldn’t possibly have read much about her, or be informed about what she really is. I stared at him, standing next to my friend and boss, who was also too angry, too tired from fighting tears all day, to tell him what we really thought about him and his white male opinions—about his certainty that his thoughts were more reasoned, more valid than my own. About his feeling that in the wake if this defeat, I should be listening to him, not he to me.

It sent me to a dark place, out of which I have not yet crawled. Why didn’t I tell him to shut the fuck up? My boss would have supported me. I know that under normal circumstances she would have sent his ass packing with his fucking iced coffee, no room for cream.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel; what to do. When I go outside now, I see white men and white women, who overwhelmingly voted to put Trump in the White House… and I wonder, what are they thinking? Are they enjoying having told American women that they’re garbage; that they actually can’t be anything they want, ha ha? Do they see Trump’s victory as a sign that their Islamophobia, their racism, their misogyny, their hatred, is “correct” and “moral” and “just” now? Are they feeling anything at all, or are they able to just roll their eyes and say to themselves, “it’s just politics, what’s the big deal?”

It’s no longer just politics. It never was, of course, but it’s more obvious than ever before.

To anyone who says “don’t be angry” or “this is a time to set aside our differences and work for unity,” reflect on this… feeling as if the people around you hate you because of who you are is depressing, and it is terrifying. This is not a time for unity. It’s a time to say “I will never ally myself with fascism, or with those who support it.”

I will also never join with those who are pointing fingers specifically at women and saying, “it’s your fault.” Yeah, the “bitch” there is silent, but it’s still loud and clear. It’s doubly hard to know who your friends are these days. The Right can obviously go fuck itself; they have spoken and spoken loudly on behalf of bigotry, misogyny, and violence, and fear. The sad thing is, the Left seems just as willing to paint women public servants as harlots or sell-outs, whether it’s the so-called Radical Left or just moderate fair-weather Democrats who just didn’t feel “inspired” enough to vote for HRC because they were too busy throwing a tantrum that their magic grandpa Bernie Sanders lost the primary. Yesterday I saw a prominent radical Leftist magazine sneering at HRC’s graceful concession speech (the radical left is just as disgustingly sexist as any other group, and will as far as I can tell never acknowledge/give two shits about the unique struggles of women when it comes to navigating the public eye), as well as willfully misrepresenting the brave and fiery Elizabeth Warren’s remarks on “compromising” with President Elect Trump (read what she really said here, without the sexist spin). I wish I were surprised, but it’s of course the divided left that lost the election for HRC as much as it’s the fascist alt-right, shrug-n-vote Republicans, and “fuck yeah” bigots who won it for Trump.

To whom can anyone turn? I just don’t know. There’s a movement, riffing on Brexit, where some of us are putting safety pins on our clothes as a way to signal being a safe person to talk to in these dark times. I admit I liked the idea, and dug one out of my sewing box. Just as quickly, of course, I see an article tearing down the idea and sneering at those who might be looking for a way to do something instant and meaningful and good. It’s just us “embarrassing ourselves,” apparently. Hatred and violence are tearing us apart, but so, apparently, are love and small actions that seem like an immediate way to stand up for what is right and kind while we plot and plan bigger things down the road.

I’m angrier at the Right than the Left right now, true. But the truth is, we all need to take responsibility. We all need to look at ourselves. We all need to figure out who we are, what we stand for—and what we stand against.

I don’t know. I don’t have answers. I wish I did, but all I have right now is grief and a desire to do my best for my piece of shit, abusive country—yes, even now, when they’ve told me and my friends that I’m trash undeserving of basic human rights and human decency. I don’t know. I don’t know. I wish I did.

But I do know I’ll be looking for answers, and looking for them quickly. I’ll try my best to do the right thing at a time when most of the country is reveling in supporting the rhetoric of violence, hatred, and evil.

We have turned down a dark path, and it will not “be okay,” as so many people are saying. We will have to make it okay. We will have to take action. I just don’t know what, yet.

Hi all! After a crazy few months of not blogging for different reasons, I’m settling into a new routine of not blogging for my usual reasons, and then doing frantic catch-up posts.

I’m excited to announce that things with Creatures of Will and Temper are moving along. I turned in the finalized manuscript last week, and am now turning my eyes to the as-yet unnamed sequel. Out over a year from now still, the mean time check out this article on the Cercle Saint-André-des-Arts, a fencing club that would have been around (in Paris) when Evadne Gray (my protagonist) would have been fencing in London.

Cool, huh? Just look at that place. It definitely looks like the Westminster Fencing Academy did in my mind.

Next up: Issue 03 of Congress Magazine is out today, delayed by stuff and things, but congres-magazine-oct2016still good. We have stores by Matthew Addison, Carrie Laben, Wendy Wagner, and Jason S. Ridler this issue. Cover by Arielle Croitor. Good stuff! The other news there is that Congress is going on hiatus until next year, probably February. When I began the project, I figured it would be winding down about when the manuscript now known as Creatures of Will and Temper would likely be snapped up; as it stands, I get to write a sort-of-sequel and I need to get into that before I slush a bunch of kinky porn stories. Ah, life!

Finally, I’m going to be at BizarroCon! I don’t have my full schedule, but I’ll be in on the 17th and teaching a workshop on “The Art of Dialogue” on Friday the 18th. That night will also see the launch of the reprint of Rumbullion: An Apostrophe. My publisher has brewed a rum stout to accompany the launch! It’ll be super cool. I’ve never attended BizarroCon, in spite of having actively published in Bizarro since 2012—it’s just never been the right time—so I’m pleased to have the opportunity to go this time.

And, for good measure, here’s the full spread of Rumbullion, for your viewing pleasure. Gorgeous work as always by Matthew Revert!