As the spooky season approaches, Tordotcom Publishing is pleased to announce that Sanaa Ali-Virani has acquired the world English rights to Hache Pueyo’s novella, But Not Too Bold, a dark fairytale pitched as Mexican Gothic meets The Shape of Water. It follows Dália, the new keeper of the keys for the eccentric and monstrous Anatema, a creature known for her volatile temper and her appetite for human brides, leaving Dália with a mystery to solve and the dangerous interest of her employer.
Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Lee O’Brien at Looking Glass Literary and Media brokered the deal.
The old keeper of the keys is dead, and the creature who ate her is the volatile Lady of the Capricious House—Anatema, an enormous humanoid spider with a taste for laudanum and human brides.
Dália, the former keeper’s protégée, must take up her duties, locking and unlocking the little drawers in which Anatema keeps her memories. And if she can unravel the crime that led to her predecessor’s death, Dália might just be able to survive long enough to grow into her new role.
There’s just one problem: Anatema cannot resist a beautiful woman, and she eventually devours every bride that crosses her path.
Said author Hache Pueyo:
“I’ve always adored monsters, no matter how grotesque or strange they might be, and I set one rule for this novella: the monster had to be monstrous, and loved as it is. The rest is a self-indulgent amalgamation of things I like, sewn together in the shape of a spider, from the architecture to the flora to the food to the romance. Originally published in Brazilian Portuguese, this story was as fun to translate as it was to write, with all the mysteries and secrets of the portentous Capricious House.”
From editor Sanaa Ali-Virani:
“I am absolutely enchanted by this delicious queer monster romance wrapped in gothic fantasy trappings. You can consume it in a single evening—but will find your mind returning to its singular flavor again and again. Hache’s prose sings with a beautifully unique turn of phrase. And in her characters, both monstrous and human, I found a deeply relatable depiction of the mortifying ordeal of being known and a tantalizing taste of the love it can engender.”
Hache Pueyo is an Argentine-Brazilian writer and translator. She won an Otherwise Fellowship for her work with gender in speculative fiction, and her work has appeared as H. Pueyo in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, among others. Her bilingual collection, A Study in Ugliness & Outras Histórias, came out in 2022. You can find her online on hachepueyo.com or on social media @hachepueyo.