Category: News

OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY: Coming May 2023!

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For readers of Circe or Ariadne, a brilliant literary revisiting of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein with a fresh, queer, provocative twist.

Years ago, Mary’s great uncle—dropout medical student Victor Frankenstein—disappeared in the Arctic. Now, in 1853, she and her husband Henry live in London, struggling to make a name for themselves as paleontologists.

Unfortunately, in a world where scientific success requires wealth and connections, they don’t stand a chance: Mary, the illegitimate daughter of a housemaid, with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue; and Henry, a recently-fired geologist better known for his gambling problems than his radical theories. But when Mary discovers some old family papers that reveal the truth of her great-uncle’s past, she comes up with a plan—one that will pay their debts, prove Henry’s theories right, and finally get her some of the respect she goddamn deserves.

They’re going to make a monster, and not just any monster—they’re going to create a plesiosaur.

It’s weird, it’s queer, and it’s (almost) here! OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY is my debut novel, a spiritual sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a love letter to women in science and the fascinating history of Victorian paleoart.

Are you a fan of Victorian mad science? Gothic gays? Women who are angry, and ambitious, and covered in blood? Then you should pre-order OHP or request an ARC from Netgalley now!!

OHP is coming out on May 4th 2023 in the UK and commonwealth from Doubleday Books and on May 9th 2023 in North America from Harper.

Our Hideous Progeny takes inspiration from Mary Shelley’s masterpiece along with the Victorian fascination with scientific innovation and the prehistoric world. This wonderful debut evolves into a gripping Gothic tale of grief and ambition, passion and intrigue.

JESS KIDD, author of The Night Ship

A wonderful book; dark, passionate, multi-layered and rich with enticing detail.

Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and the Strawberry Thief

Exquisitely written, brimming with imagery both beautiful and shocking, this daring debut makes the rivalries of the Victorian scientific establishment thrilling and urgent, bringing us a story worthy of Mary Shelley.

Sean Lusk, author of The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

Fantastic read; I felt everything about Mary, her simmering anger and her intellectual delight, so very clearly.

Freya MArske, author of A Marvellous Light
An image button that says "Add Our Hideous Progeny on Goodreads!" Links to Goodreads.

New US Publisher!!

More exciting news today, especially for my American friends — I’m thrilled to announce that my debut book, OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY, has been acquired in the US by Wendy Wong at Harper Collins! 🥳

Publisher's Marketplace Deal Report: Fiction: Debut. January 24, 2022. C. E. McGill's "Our Hideous Progeny," pitched as a queer take on the Mary Shelley classic, in which an aspiring paleontologist and great-neice of Victor Frankenstein attempts to make her name in the patriarchal world of Victorian science by creating her own monster, only to reevaluate what monstrous truly means, to Wendy Wong at Harper, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2023, by Tamara Kawar at ICM on behalf of Sue Armstrong at C&W (NA).
As is tradition, here is my very own Publishers Marketplace screenshot, the most coveted gray rectangle of the publishing world

I’m so thankful to my US co-agent, Tamara Kawar, for negotiating this deal, and so excited to work with Wendy on editing OHP! We’ve already been working together for a few weeks now, along with my UK editor Kirsty, and I feel so fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and talented team helping me bring OHP into the world.

Speaking of, I’d better get back to the edits grindstone; US friends, mark your calendars for spring 2023!

— CEM

Awards Eligibility 2021

So, after several years spent watching ‘awards eligibility posts’ pop up every year on social media and wondering ‘What’s that about? Ah well, doesn’t concern me anyway,’ I was finally forced to put on my Big Writer Hat and learn — because I had a short story published this year!

TtBTtBTBLB (as I lovingly call it) is a story of gods and sacrifices, mountains and mental illness — and what happens when the person picked as sacrifice is unfortunately all-too-willing to go. (Content warning below if you need them.) It’s weird, queer, and dear to my heart, and if you have a moment and/or you’re currently considering nominations for awards, I’d be thrilled if you gave it a read.

P. S.: Content warnings for “Things to Bring, Things to Burn, Things Best Left Behind”: a (non-graphic) near-suicide-attempt on the first page, suicidal ideation throughout, and several brief, implied mentions of transphobia and an emotionally abusive parent.

— CEM

OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY: Coming in 2023!

Absolutely fantastic news today: my debut novel, the Frankenstein-inspired paleontological gothic OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY, has been acquired by Kirsty Dunseath at Doubleday!

Read the full press release here!

It’s been such an exciting week, and I’m thrilled I get to announce this at last! Innumerable thanks to my agent, Sue, for all her hard work (and for managing to negotiate this deal while BOTH she and Kirsty were on trains, no less!). When Sue first sent OHP out to editors, I settled myself in for what I’d heard could be a long and trying process, only to be absolutely blown away by the speed and enthusiasm of the responses — Kirsty’s first among them! I’m so grateful to Sue for her Agenty Expertise, and can’t wait to bear witness to Kirsty’s Editory Expertise as we work more on OHP over the next year. It’s always wonderful to meet someone who feels like they truly love and understand your work, and Kirsty Dunseath is just such a someone. OHP couldn’t be in better hands 🙂

Oh, and did I mention it’s a double book deal?! Speaking of, I’d better get to work writing; more news on OHP and my as-of-yet-secret Book 2 to come!

You can read the full press release on The Bookseller here!

Author Spotlight: “THINGS TO BRING, THINGS TO BURN, THINGS BEST LEFT BEHIND” (Fantasy Magazine, Issue #63)

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Hi all! As of today, my new story, “Things to Bring, Things to Burn, Things Best Left Behind” is available to read online at Fantasy Magazine, along with an author spotlight on yours truly! I was truly humbled and delighted to be given this chance to talk about my writing process and the various works and ideas which inspired TtBTtBTBLB, and interviewer Reece Michaelson’s questions were simply a pleasure to answer. Check it out if you can!*

* After checking out the following content warnings, of course:

Content warnings for the Author Spotlight: non-graphic discussion of depression, suicide, and suicidal ideation

Content warnings for “Things to Bring, Things to Burn, Things Best Left Behind:” a (non-graphic) near-suicide-attempt on the first page, suicidal ideation throughout, and several brief, implied mentions of transphobia and an emotionally abusive parent.

— CEM

New Story: “THINGS TO BRING, THINGS TO BURN, THINGS BEST LEFT BEHIND” (Fantasy Magazine, Issue #63)

Image description: a picture of the cover image of issue #63 of Fantasy Magazine, which depicts a robed wizard-like figure drawn in a graffiti art style as well as the text: C. E. McGill, Tonya Liburd, Megan Chee, Marissa Lingen, Magaly Garcia, and Maria Zoccola. Edited by Arley Song and Christie Yant. /end description

Hi all! I’m thrilled to announce that my new story, “Things to Bring, Things to Burn, Things Best Left Behind” just came out in Fantasy Magazine!

TtBTtBTBLB (as I affectionately call it) is a sort of speculative parable about gods and sacrifices, mountains and mental illness—and what happens when the unfortunate soul picked as a sacrifice is all too-willing to go. It’s here, it’s queer, it’s dear to my heart, and it comes with a HEFTY series of content warnings (see below, if you don’t mind the spoilers).

It’s such an honour to be featured in the new reboot of Fantasy, and in such fantastic (ha! Fantast-ic, get it?) company, too. This is also my first ever publication in a pro-rate magazine, so I’m doubly excited! TtBTtBTBLB will be available to read online for free on January 5th, or you can buy issue #63 of Fantasy Magazine for $2.99 and read it right now.

Stay tuned for more yelling later this week when my author spotlight comes out, too—aaaaaaah!!

— CEM

[Trigger/content warnings for “Things to Bring, Things to Burn, Things Best Left Behind:” a (non-graphic) near-suicide-attempt on the first page, suicidal ideation throughout, and several brief, implied mentions of transphobia and an emotionally abusive parent.]

NEWS, NEWS, NEWS!

I have a very exciting announcement to make today: I am now officially represented by Susan Armstrong at the C&W agency!!

If I were any higher over the moon right now, y’all, I’d be rapidly approaching Mars. Sue and everyone else at C&W have been so delightful and welcoming already; my book could not be in better hands. It’s been a long journey to this point, and it’ll be another long journey ahead, but I’m excited for every step!

And now — to edits!

— CEM

SHORT STORY: PASSENGERS

Julia had grown up knee-deep in superstition. Augury itself came with superstitions, though most would say they were purely common sense. That night, as Julia sat in inky silence tapping her fingers against the steering wheel, she thought about one warning in particular. One that her mother had whispered in her ear years ago, before kissing her softly on the head and buckling her in for some late night road trip.

Always put something in the passenger seat at night. An open seat next to you is an invitation.

A belated announcement, but here nonetheless — my latest short story, Passengers, is now published on Strange Constellations!

Do you like to read about ghosts? About girlfriends? About grief? Do you start sometimes, while driving home at night down those winding country lanes, because you looked in the rearview mirror and saw some huge and shambling shape cross the road? Do you tell yourself after you’ve parked your car, only twenty feet of yawning black void from your front door, that that tapping sound on the roof is just the engine cooling down, just the engine, just the engine? Then this one might be for you.

— CEM

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