Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the best-selling author of the novels Mexican GothicGods of Jade and ShadowCertain Dark ThingsUntamed Shore, and the forthcoming noir A Dangerous Eagerness, among other novels. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu’s Daughters).

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music and magic, won a Copper Cylinder Award and was nominated for the British Fantasy, Locus, Sunburst and Aurora awards. Her second novel, Certain Dark Things, focused on narco vampires in Mexico City. It was selected as one of NPR’s best books of 2016 and was a finalist for the Locus and Sunburst awards.

Silvia’s short story collection, This Strange Way of Dying, was a finalist for the Sunburst Award. 

As an anthology editor, her works include She Walks in Shadows (World Fantasy Award winner, published in the USA as Cthulhu’s Daughters), Fungi, Dead North and Fractured. Silvia is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press. She co-edited the horror magazine The Dark with Sean Wallace from 2017 to 2020. She’s a columnist for The Washington Post and reviews books for NPR.

She has an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis can be read online and is titled “Magna Mater: Women and Eugenic Thought in the Work of H.P. Lovecraft.”

Find Silvia on her website, or follow her on Twitter @silviamg.

Bibliography

  • Standalone
    Mexican Gothic
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Standalone
    Untamed Shore
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • 2020 Sunburst Award Winner
    2019 Nebula Finalist

    Standalone
    Gods of Jade and Shadow
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Standalone
    Prime Meridian
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Standalone
    The Beautiful Ones
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Standalone
    Certain Dark Things
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Standalone
    Signal to Noise
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Collections
    This Strange Way of Dying
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • World Fantasy Award Winner

    Anthologies
    She Walks in Shadows
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Anthologies
    Fungi
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia
     

Reviews

Standalone

Mexican Gothic
“Its archly intelligent tone and insightful writing make MEXICAN GOTHIC an original escape to an eerie world.”

The New York Times

“The author’s postcolonial spin on the gothic tradition evokes the usual suspects: Daphne du Maurier, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley, even Anne Radcliffe. Like those authors, Moreno-Garcia works in a tradition in which chills and thrills tap into elemental cultural fears — runaway science, carnal passion. But to these she adds a more politically inflected horror, both ancient and timely: A racist will to power.”

The LA Times

“Moreno-Garcia’s energetic romp through the gothic genre is delightfully bonkers.”

Publishers Weekly

“MEXICAN GOTHIC is a pitch-perfect Gothic novel.”

NPR

“Moreno-Garcia weaves elements of Mexican folklore with themes of decay, sacrifice, and rebirth, casting a dark spell all the way to the visceral and heart-pounding finale.”

Kirkus

“A dreamy gothic mystery [that] quickly unfolds into a visceral, almost hallucinogenic nightmare […] [MEXICAN GOTHIC] is a distinctive and cinematic horror novel that is not for the faint of heart.”

Bookpage

“It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America […] MEXICAN GOTHIC gets seriously weird”

The Guardian

“This book is deliciously true to the gothic form, grotesque without becoming gross, and considered, always, in the way it thinks about power and its characters’ reactions to power.”

Vox

“In Noemí Taboada, Moreno-Garcia has gifted us one of the most endearing and forceful heroines of recent horror fiction. A masterpiece of modern gothic storytelling, complete with a captivating storyline driven by a strong cast and brooding atmosphere, MEXICAN GOTHIC deserves all the plaudits it has received, and then some.”

This is Horror

“MEXICAN GOTHIC terrified and fascinated me. Silvia Moreno-Garcia proves once again that she’s a genre-jumping wizard, one of the most exciting and necessary authors writing today.”

Charlie Jane Anders, nationally bestselling author of The City in the Middle of the Night

“Darkly brilliant and captivating. Readers who love old houses and family secrets will devour this book (as I did!). The setting itself—High Place, with its reputation for devouring the dreams of young women—is a character in this marvelously fantastical novel. From 1950s glamorous Mexican high society, to the crumbling pride of an abandoned silver mine, Moreno-Garcia enthralls with this twisty tale of love and betrayal.”

Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger and The Ghost Bride

“A gorgeous piece of work [...] absolutely terrifying, and it has stayed with me in a powerful way.”

Sarah Gailey, Hugo Award-winning author of Magic for Liars

“Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes the gothic narrative of a mysterious estate hiding dark secrets and expertly blends it with psychological horror and her personal flare of rich Mexican imagery and culture to create a sultry, beckoning story sure to satisfy. Noemí Tuñon is a firestarter feminist character, and her classy yet clever quip adds just the right element to balance the sinister mysteries of High Place. Between the author, eye-catching premise, and the amazing cover design (wow, Jen Valero), this book will have no problem getting into the hands of readers.”

Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange

Untamed Shore
“This thriller sets a quiet tone before building slowly and evenly, showing how a meek teenager trapped by circumstance grows into a strong woman who takes control of her future.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“This insightful look at criminal lifefrom the viewpoint of a sardonic yet lonely soul seems destined for more plaudits.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“[This] compelling crime debut [...] is a small masterpiece and presages well for Moreno-Garcia if she continues on a criminal path.”

Crime Time

“This is a really good slow-burn suspense novel [...] if you like character driven suspense, and are looking for an interesting setting you’ve probably never read before, definitely pick this one up!”

Book Riot

“Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues her streak of amazing novels with UNTAMED SHORE. Her writing [...] sets the stage brilliantly and the reader truly can picture the village in Baja. Once you’re in this book, you’re in it. It’s nearly impossible to put down, even when the reader is mentally screaming at Viridinana to not be naive and just walk away.”

Fangirl Nation

“The Great Gatsby meets Night of the Iguana in this elegantly spare and darkly twisted story of undercurrents, deception, and colliding cultures.”

Hank Phillipi Ryan

“Atmospheric, compelling, and very suspenseful.”

Alison Gaylin

“UNTAMED SHORE is a masterpiece. I loved this book and can't get Viridiana out of my head.”

Amina Akhtar

“Silvia Moreno-Garcia jumps into the Noir genre.”

L.A. Review of Books

Gods of Jade and Shadow
“Moreno-Garcia takes her, and the reader, on a whirlwind tour of a 1920s Mexico vivid with jazz, the memories of revolution, and gods, demons, and magic which are both indigenous and foreign-born.”

NPR

“Readers will gladly immerse themselves in Moreno-Garcia’s rich and complex tale of desperate hopes and complicated relationships.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Snappy dialog, stellar worldbuilding, lyrical prose, and a slow-burn romance make this a standout.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“The magic that Silvia Moreno-Garcia weaves in her 1920s-set historical fantasy, GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW, immerses the reader in a fairy tale like no other [...] Readers will be floored by Moreno-Garcia’s painstaking attention to detail. Her descriptions of the emotionally charged interactions between realistic human characters and otherworldly gods, witches and demonic forces are unforgettable, as are as the fairy-tale and folktale aspects of the plot.”

BookPage, Starred Review

“GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW is a magical fairy tale about identity, freedom, and love, and it’s like nothing you’ve read before.”

Bustle

“[GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW] is a moving description of a young girl’s coming of age and a seamless fusion of the real and the magical.”

The Guardian

“Although pre-Columbian mythology and magic and the Roaring Twenties may seem like a strange combination, in Moreno-Garcia’s hands they comprise an enchanting cocktail, just as Casiopea’s unsentimental view on her story is the perfect counterpart to its fantastic and at times hair-raising events. Raise a glass, and keep more like this coming.”

Strange Horizons

Prime Meridian
“I’d also give the highest recommendation to Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novella, PRIME MERIDIAN, a subtle and powerful tale of Mars, movies, and Mexico City which stands amongst the best novellas of the past few years.”

Locus

“[PRIME MERIDIAN] ekes out its own unique space as an elegant novella that deserves to be recognized as more than a genre expression.”

Achilles, Powder & Lead

“PRIME MERIDIAN is a haunting novella that swept me away with its dream of Mars.”

The Illustrated Page

“It’s wrenching in a way that has nothing to do with big worldwide events or apocalyptic calamities. It’s just about people, and the hope of getting out.”

Breathes Books

“Melancholy and wise. I strongly recommend it.”

Indrapramit Das, award-winning author of The Devourers

The Beautiful Ones
“This is the third novel I read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and I loved all of them in different ways: each in a different genre by a chameleon writer with incredible writing skills.”

Kirkus

“Moreno-Garcia fills her fantastic novel of manners with sumptuous language and plausible romantic complications in a setting that appears to be based on 19th-century France and is lightly garnished with minor magic […] Readers who enjoyed Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories magical Regency series will be particularly enthralled by the genuine emotions evoked in the course of the unsustainable love triangle.”

Publishers Weekly

“The telekinesis […] adds a fantastical spin to a story that would otherwise be a great fit for fans of the 18th-century French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Valerie is an especially compelling character to watch […] [Moreno-Garcia] returns with a novel that is light on fantasy but overflowing with delicious melodrama.”

Library Journal

“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is a hauntingly lovely book, romantic and crushing by turns, touched with magic on every level. Garcia-Moreno has crafted an utterly convincing world, populated with characters both wonderful and terrible — often with the same character.”

Vancouver Sun

“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES demonstrates Moreno-Garcia’s smart and colorful writing, with descriptions both sensory and sumptuous, and characters you will root for, even in their worst moments.”

Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

“The true strength of the novel of course lies in its characters and its depiction of an era when wealth and its correct show is all that matters […] It’s a slow-burn, stately novel about the magic of what it means to love, and love truly.”

TOR.com

“THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia lives up to its title – it’s beautifully written, both in the sentences themselves and the images they create [...] [R]eaders who enjoy light speculative elements, historical fantasy, romance, and beau­tiful prose will find a trove. Straddling several genres with elegant intelligence, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is both an easy read and a fulfilling one.”

Locus

Certain Dark Things
“Beautifully and powerfully reinvigorates one of the seminal horror fiction monsters in some truly unexpected and sublime ways. Filled with powerful themes of trust, corruption, vengeance, and bloodlust, this novel is by turns sensual and grim, introspective and disturbing, suspenseful and moving, and all told in the sleek and lyrical prose for which Moreno-Garcia is deservedly acclaimed. CERTAIN DARK THINGS is arguably THE vampire novel for the 21st century.”

New York Journal of Books

“Darkly ironic worldbuilding is the real treat of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s CERTAIN DARK THINGS, which posits that vampires are a species that coexists with humans, most recently amid the human underworld.”

The New York Times Book Review

“One of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s great achievements in CERTAIN DARK THINGS is her representation of Mexico City as a real place, a city with history, districts, subways, with beauty and ugliness, with problems […] The whole is a beautifully balanced portrait of imperfect people making terrible choices and gritting their teeth magnificently through the consequences.”

NPR

“The Mexican setting is a huge part of the allure of this new novel from Moreno-Garcia, as are the fascinating varieties of vampires she sets forth.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“A bittersweet, satisfying ending confirms that Moreno-Garcia is an author to watch.”

Publishers Weekly

“CERTAIN DARK THINGS is a gorgeously (dark) emotionally gripping thriller. Moreno-Garcia’s characters are vivid and compelling, as is her prose. As a novel, it’s fantastic: honest, wrenching, compassionate, and brutal. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

TOR.com

“With CERTAIN DARK THINGS, Silvia Moreno-Garcia demonstrates that there is always more to be done with familiar figures such as the vampire, and that in the hands of a talented writer, the creatures can rise to new (un)life.”

Locus

Signal to Noise
“Moreno-Garcia employs her back-and-forth structure beautifully, building suspense and emotional resonance between the two parallel storylines. Her main strength, though, is in the voices she gives her characters […] SIGNAL TO NOISE feels uncluttered and understated […] funny, touching, and engaging […] In a poignant, graceful coda, Moreno-Garcia brings the book full circle.”

NPR

“The magic in SIGNAL TO NOISE may be short on spectacle, but it runs deep in what it tells us about pain and alienation. The astute use of music practically gives the novel its own soundtrack — and helps make this one of the outstanding debut fantasy novels this year.”

Chicago Tribune

“Meche jumps off the page; by turns rebellious, precocious and vulnerable, she wields her magical ability for good and bad — and Moreno-Garcia brilliantly details the consequences of such power in the hands of an unruly teenager […] Haunting and beautifully nuanced, SIGNAL TO NOISE is a magical first novel.”

The Guardian

“The book is this rich, elaborate symphony of awesome that defies simple definitions […] It is incredible how Moreno-Garcia builds this seamless whole […] Meche is a complicated and complex character and to see her arc from teenager to adult was utterly gratifying […] It’s a little bit funny how some books grow on you the more you think about them. SIGNAL TO NOISE, with its intricacies and complicated people, is one of them […] This book destroyed me into little pieces and then the last page put it all back together in the best possible way. I know it’s very early in the year but I can already tell this is one of the Notable Reads of 2015.”

Kirkus

“[A] sweet debut […] This accurate depiction of outcast teenage life cycles effortlessly between eras. Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela are deeply believable characters, and numerous ’80s musical references make this unusual story a welcome blast from the past.”

Publishers Weekly

“Moreno-Garcia uses the trope such an ingratiating way, and with such intriguingly conflicted characters that it seems vibrantly new […] [SIGNAL TO NOISE] is one of the most important fantasy debuts of the year so far.”

Locus

“It’s a vivid, poignant, understated take on urban fantasy, and the setting teems with texture and life. But it’s also a family drama, one whose tragic overtones are heightened by the supernatural elements in play throughout the story. It’s one of my favorite novels of the year, and one that doesn’t necessarily take a genre geek like myself to appreciate.”

The A.V. Club

“SIGNAL TO NOISE is a perfect young adult crossover novel, full of appeal, diverse characters, setting, wonderful writing–and magic […] The author does a wonderful job of pacing the revelations through the narratives. She creates suspense around the fates of her character’s relationships, which propels readers through the book.”

School Library Journal

Collections

Anthologies

She Walks in Shadows
“The women (and generally similar beings) represented defy easy categorization. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. Sometimes they are recognizable Lovecraftian characters in their own right and sometimes they merely encounter them. Some are monsters and some are victims, though more often, both and/or neither. SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS has garnered itself a well-deserved World Fantasy Award nomination for Best Anthology.”

Princeton University’s Figments

“What I love more than anything about this collection, and which I think blows out of the water that Lovecraftian fiction belongs to a certain niche, is the varied settings, characters and mythical interweaving into such a variety of cultures of this collection.”

SQ Mag

“All of these pieces are well written, and the description contained in these pages is something to be admired. As with their inspiration, this book is a perfect read for when you have a few moments to spend diving into another reality. Lovecraft fans will appreciate the numerous allusions to his work or direct references to events or characters from the tales we already love.”

Horror Fuel

“It is a cornucopia of imaginative force and literary talent, and each of the fictions it contains works, in some way, to simultaneously expand and interrogate the limits of what “Lovecraftian” can mean.”

Postscripts to Darkness

“Several of the stories stuck with me long after I finished reading the anthology, and some may linger in my nightmares for a very long time.”

Mad Scientist Journal

Awards & Accolades

Standalone

Mexican Gothic
USA

#9 New York Times hardcover list

USA

#14 New York Times combined print and eBook list

USA

Midwest Independent Booksellers Association bestseller

USA

New England Independent Booksellers Association bestseller

USA

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller

USA

Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association bestseller

USA

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association bestseller

USA

Northern California Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller

USA

Southern California Independent Booksellers Alliance bestseller

USA

Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association bestseller

USA

Library Reads: “#1 Book for June 2020”

USA

Random House Book Club: “Spotlight Pick”

Untamed Shore
Gods of Jade and Shadow
USA

Goodreads Choice Award: 2019 “Best Fantasy Novel”

USA

The Skinny: “Top Realism Books of 2019”

USA

Decentred Lit: Inaugural “Book of the Month”

USA

Big Issue: “Top Five Magical Realism books”

Prime Meridian
The Beautiful Ones
Certain Dark Things
USA

National Latino Book Club: “June 2017 Book of the Month”

Signal to Noise
USA

RT Book Reviews: “Editor’s Best Books of 2015”

USA

RT Reviewers’ Choice Award Nominee: Best Fantasy Novel

USA

2016 Locus Awards Finalist

Canada

2016 Aurora Award Finalist: “Best English Novel”

United Kingdom

British Fantasy Award: “Best Novel”

Collections

This Strange Way of Dying