about

© James Womack

Marian Womack was born in Andalusia and educated in the UK. She is a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop, which she attended on a Susan C. Petrie scholarship, she studied English Literature and Film Studies at Glasgow University, and she holds graduate degrees from Oxford and Cambridge universities. Her current doctoral research looks at the intersections of eco-storytelling, independent publishing, and activism. 

Marian works for Cambridge University libraries, and her professional background is in academic libraries, having worked at Glasgow University Library, the Bodleian Library and several of its affiliates, as well as in archives and other repositories. Parallel to these activities, Marian worked in many areas connected to the book trade for nearly a decade in Spain, as a translator, desk editor, fiction publisher, and occasional bookseller. She currently teaches at the Oxford University Creative Writing Master degree, concentrating on fantasy, science fiction, and near-future fiction.

Marian writes in Spanish and English. In Spanish she has published the story-cycle Memoria de la nieve (Tropo Editores, 2011) and, together with Sofía Rhei, the YA novel Calle Andersen (La Galera, 2014), a Steampunk/Gothic continuation of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’. Her writing appears in more than 20 anthologies and magazines, including weird fiction mag Presencia Humana, Steampunk series Ácronos, and bilingual mag SuperSonic. She has also translated authors such as Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Lord Dunsany, Karin Tidbeck, Lisa Tuttle and Daphne du Maurier into Spanish.

In English she has published speculative and hybrid fiction and poetry in Year’s Best Weird Fiction (Undertow, 2016), Barcelona Tales (NewCon Press, 2016), Spanish Women of Wonder (Palabaristas, 2016), EcoPunk! Speculative tales of radical futures (Ticonderoga, 2017), The Silent Garden Collective (2018), The Shadow Booth, Vol. 4 (2019), Apex Mag, Weird Fiction Review and LossLit. She has contributed translations into English for The Apex Book of World SF (vol. 4) (ed. Mahvesh Murad), and the VanderMeer’s anthologies The Big Book of SF, and The Big Book of Classical Fantasy. She has written non-fiction for The Times Literary Supplement, the Science-Fiction and Fantasy NetworkNew Internationalist and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Her first videogame collaboration A Place for the Unwilling, has just been released.

Marian’s short fiction has been nominated to BSFA and BFA Awards. She co-runs Calque Press, a micro-publishing project dedicated to translation, poetry, and nature writing. Marian lives and works in Cambridge with two Spanish cats, her husband, the poet James Womack, and their son.

Marian tweets as @beekeepermadrid.

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INTERVIEWS:

REVIEWS – Lost Objects (2018):

  • Timothy J. Jarvis in Los Angeles Review of Books: “Addresses humankind’s senseless despoliation of its home in subtle, profoundly affecting ways”
  • Nina Allan in Interzone #276: “[T]he themes of climate change and ecological destruction are more urgently expressed in this short book than in any other I have recently read, yet it is Womack’s bravery in stating these themes in terms of poetry, of metaphysics, of personal loss that lifts them above polemic… a sequence of carefully curated pieces of writing that are intended to be read together… This book, with its sharp edges and its thematic urgency and its painful admissions of weakness and of fear, is a collection that highlights everything that speculative fiction, of all possible modes of literature, excels at.”
  • Laura Mauro in Black Static #65: “Lost Objects is a gorgeous, intelligent collection, both masterfully written and cannily prescient… and crafted in a manner that I suspect we will come to recognise as uniquely Womack.”
  • Rachel Cordasco: “I loved Lost Objects because of its exquisite prose, mesmerizing imagery, and apocalyptic/postapocalyptic vision that was anything but dark and depressing. Womack has the gift of bringing other/future worlds to life such that we lose ourselves completely in her vision… I hope to see much more from Womack because my brain demands more collections like this one.”
  • Simon Strantzas in his blog: “Marian Womack’s Lost Objects is a collection of short fiction that illuminates our emotional states of existence in this threatened world… Marian writes with an ear for emotional truth that resonates within the reader, and the book continues to reward even after the covers are closed. Another prime example of a first collection powerful enough to scar, and one you can expect to see on award short-lists next year.”
  • Leif Schenstead-Harris in Weird Fiction Review: “On balance, they offer much to a generous reader. In the effort, they continue the response that weird fiction shapes to the question of the Anthropocene (Capitalocene? Chthulucene?), even while they broaden the ambit of weird fiction by introducing new spaces and settings for creative imaginations… For a debut, Lost Objects looks to a great range of sources and shoulders an immense weight.”
  • Charles Payseur‘s blog: “[U]nderstated but incredibly powerful.”

REVIEWS – Short Fiction (2015-2018):

  • On “Nox Una”: “A story that is a compulsion to read – unusually ‘page-turning’, bearing in mind its rich and satisfying, sometimes constructively cloying, style of narrative.” Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews
  • On “Orange Dogs”: “[F]illed with evocative passages.” Gary Fry.
  • “The best stories take innovative risks and have better payoffs… The eponymous “Orange Dogs” in Marian Womack’s tale are carnivorous butterflies, born in a future of floods and climate change.” Publishers Weekly
  • On “Orange Dogs”: “Haunting and half-engorged, a tale to savour.” Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews
  • On “Frozen Planet”: “A dark, cold setting, with mirage and vision become indistinguishable. Descriptions are vivid, the ubiquitous snow displaying more colors than Lawrence had thought possible.” Locus Magazine
  • On “Black Isle”: “[E]choes  the most beautiful traditions of British language writing.” Strange Horizons