City of Dancing Gargoyles

Now Available for Preorder

directly from the publisher SFWP

or Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Amazon, or Walmart

Coming September 2024

In the parched, post-apocalyptic Western U.S. of the 22nd Century, wolves float, bonfires sing, and devils gather to pray. Water and safety are elusive in this chaotic world of alchemical transformations, where history books bleed, dragons kiss, and gun-toting trees keep their own kind of peace.

Among this menagerie of strange beasts, two sentient stone gargoyles, known only as “E” and “M,” flee the rubble of their Southwestern church in search of water. Along the way, they meet climate refugees Dolores Baker and her mother Rose, who’ve escaped the ravaged West Coast in search of a safer home. This quartet forms an uneasy alliance when they hear of a new hope: a mysterious city of dancing gargoyles. Or is it something more sinister? In this strange, terrible new world, their arrival at this fabled city could spark the destruction of everything they know. 

Tara Campbell summons fantastical magic in this kaleidoscopic new speculative climate fiction. 

Reviews

"In this wild postapocalyptic outing... Campbell’s unfettered imagination is sure to win readers over. Quirky and occasionally mystifying...offers plenty to entertain."

~Publishers Weekly, full review


The City of Dancing Gargoyles is a weirdly wonderful and wonderfully weird book, a story of friendship and hope set in a ravaged world, a post-apocalyptic road trip through horrors and wonders. In its collection of magical cities, I was reminded of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. . . but this is Calvino with more horror, more bite. A deliriously strange travelogue, a quest, a wondrous road trip—this is a book to be savored in bites, one magical city at a time.

~Review by Vanessa Fogg, author of The Lillies of Dawn and The House of Illusionists and Other Stories

Interviews

Interview with Constance Malloy at The Burning Hearth

"The World is an Uncomfortable Place" -- interview in X-R-A-Y Lit Mag

"Beyond the Bounds of Realism" -- interview in Uncharted Magazine

Advance Praise for City of Dancing Gargoyles

"This strange, sharp warning of a novel is a little bit Calvino, a little bit Atwood, and a little bit Anne Carson - but the monsters and the cities and the post apocalyptic landscape are entirely Tara Campbell originals, bleak and wry and brilliantly written. I'd read pretty much anything Campbell writes, and this one had me hooked from the opening lines."

~Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You and The Unfinished World


"City of Dancing Gargoyles is a book that will leave you thirsty, an epistolary arroyo of rocky beauty, a kind of love like the scraping of stone teeth."

~Meg Elison, Hugo and Locus award winning author


"A Le Guinian travelogue of brilliantly imagined places, a post-apocalyptic gargoyle buddy road trip, a meditation on finding your home and finding your people, and how those aren't always the same thing. This was delightful."

~Sarah Pinsker, Nebula and Hugo Award- winning author of A Song For A New Day and Haunt Sweet Home


"Stones with wings, fearful blankets, angry candy, wind chimes who would rather gurgle than ring--everything in this weird, post-apocalyptic landscape is alive! City of Dancing Gargoyles intertwines the research of fledgling academics with the epic journeys of human and magical climate refugees, near-future families seeking new homes, new lives. Campbell fills our minds with the glorious improbabilities they encounter, depicting changes that test the fragile boundaries around what we’ve always thought could happen. Sharp and true, her language brings us face-to-face with the inescapable wonders surrounding both them and us every day, in every way."

~Nisi Shawl, multiple award-winning author of Kinning, Everfair, and Speculation

"Campbell deftly weaves between absurdist worlds and a post-apocalyptic journey across a parched American landscape, never losing sight of the poetry of the human condition. An eerily prescient adventure across a drought-ridden America, with Tara Campbell’s signature in every line: dark absurdism and existential whimsy with a heartbeat. If you want to imagine six impossible things before breakfast, read this book."

~Yohanca Delgado, O. Henry Prize Winner, co-author with Janelle Monáe: The Memory Librarian


"Carrying on the post-apocalyptic experimental coolness of Dhalgren, written in an effervescent style, with unexpected humor & characters who will stay with you."

~Raven Belasco, author of the Blood & Ancient Scrolls series


"In the metaphorically deft City of Dancing Gargoyles, trees wield guns, books bleed, ghosts sink into rising waters, and creatures of flesh and of stone alike are seekers in a climate-ravaged world. This is a trippy, engrossing, visually-stunning zoetrope of a novel, swirling with storytelling that warns us, moves us, and changes us. Tara Campbell has written a singular eco-fantasy that is an exciting addition to the literary canon of the U.S. West."

~Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra and The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac


"Inventive, absorbing, and utterly original, Tara Campbell's City of Dancing Gargoyles sweeps readers into a near future landscape plagued by both the familiar and strange, and populated with the most surprising of characters. At once a post-apocalyptic fantasy and an intricate fable about how to navigate a transformed world, Campbell's brilliant novel left me transfixed."

~Talia Lakshmi Kolluri, author of What We Fed To The Manticore


“One day our world will be ruined, unfortunately, but when it is, may it be as wondrous as the ruined world in Tara Campbell’s City of Dancing Gargoyles. These are strange and beautiful cities you need to spend some time in.”

~Rion Amilcar Scott, author of The World Doesn’t Require You