Helena Walton-Cisneros and Eliza Waltraud are back in a new uncanny adventure:

It’s 1902 and Helena Walton-Cisneros, known for finding answers to the impossible, has started her own detective agency. Two English women claim to have seen the ghost of Marie Antoinette in the gardens of Versailles in Paris, and Helena and her colleague Eliza decide to investigate. Soon they are hearing whispers of vanishings at Georges Méliès’s secretive Star Films studio, strange lights, and connections to the occult. What is Méliès practising at the studio? And is it connected to the haunting in Versailles? Helena and Eliza will only find answers if they accept that the natural world is much darker, stranger, and dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

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1901. Queen Victoria is dead, and England heaves with the uncanny. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms. Helena Walton-Cisneros, known for her ability to find the lost and the displaced, is hired by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens.

Eliza Waltraud is solving a vanishing of her own, that of Eunice Foote from the science books, after being the first person to theorise about the warming of the atmosphere due to poisonous gases in her writings. Is the disappearance of the tern connected with a pollution problem, or is something darker afoot?

“A smart, haunting novel that stuns the reader with its elegance and beauty but refuses to leave their mind after reading.” – Jonathan Thornton, The Fantasy Hive

“Precise and eerie. Readers willing to wade through Womack’s murky, off-kilter world will be rewarded with moments of disquieting beauty.” – Publishers Weekly

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Marian Womack is a bilingual writer. She has worked in academic libraries for more than a decade, as well as working as an editor, translator, and occasional bookseller. She has taught creative writing, publishing studies and book history in Spain and the UK, and teaches on the Oxford University writing programme.

In English she has published the short story collection Lost Objects (Luna Press, 2018), shortlisted for one BSF and two BSFA awards, and the novels The Golden Key (Titan Books, 2020) and The Swimmers (Titan Books, 2021), selected as one of the 10 best SF novels of 2021 by The Sunday Times. In Spanish she has published a collection of short fiction and, together with Sofia Rhei, the YA novel Calle Andersen (La Galera, 2014). Her fiction has appeared in anthologies and magazines in both Spanish and English.

Marian spent some years working in publishing, focusing on bringing untranslated genre female authors to Spanish-speaking countries. She was the first publisher in Spanish of authors including Nina Allan, Lisa Tuttle, Karen Tidbeck and Anna Starobinets. In 2015 she was named one of the most influential under-40s in Spanish-language publishing. 

The first Spanish graduate of the San Diego Clarion Writers’ Workshop, Marian holds a PhD in Creative Writing, focusing on the ways weird and gothic fiction portray environmental anxieties. She was the first member of her family to attend University, and holds degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and Glasgow Universities. An enthusiastic collage and pamphlet maker, she loves crafting and specially making handmade books, from letterpress printing to bookbinding.


Marian is represented by Alexander Cochran at CW Agency. For press enquiries and a full bio please refer to the press/contact page.


Some nice things that fellow writers have said about Marian’s work:

“A supremely gifted new writer.” – Elizabeth Hand

“Marian Womack is a rising star.” – Tim Major

‘Marian Womack is an exciting and endlessly inventive writer. I look forward to reading everything she writes.” – Naomi Booth

‘Writing chockfull of interesting ideas about the natural world and ourselves.” – Jeff VanderMeer

“Marian Womack weaves together the lyricism of Angela Carter, the mad imagination of China Miéville, and the earthiness of Robert Macfarlane. A fantastic new talent.” – Helen Marshall

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