Mexican Gothic meets The Lie Tree by way of Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley in this delightfully witty horror debut.
A captivating tale of two Victorian gentlemen hiding their relationship away in a botanical garden who embark on a Frankenstein-style experiment with unexpected consequences.
It is an unusual thing, to live in a botanical garden. But Simon and Gregor are an unusual pair of gentlemen. Hidden away in their glass sanctuary from the disapproving tattle of Victorian London, they are free to follow their own interests without interference. For Simon, this means long hours in the dark basement workshop, working his taxidermical art. Gregor’s business is exotic plants – lucrative, but harmless enough. Until his latest acquisition, a strange fungus which shows signs of intellect beyond any plant he’s seen, inspires him to attempt a masterwork: true intelligent life from plant matter.
Driven by the glory he’ll earn from the Royal Horticultural Society for such an achievement, Gregor ignores the flaws in his plan: that intelligence cannot be controlled; that plants cannot be reasoned with; and that the only way his plant-beast will flourish is if he uses a recently deceased corpse for the substrate.
The experiment – or Chloe, as she is named – outstrips even Gregor’s expectations, entangling their strange household. But as Gregor’s experiment flourishes, he wilts under the cost of keeping it hidden from jealous eyes. The mycelium grows apace in this sultry greenhouse. But who is cultivating whom?
Told with wit and warmth, this is an extraordinary tale of family, fungus and more than a dash of bloody revenge from an exciting new voice in queer horror.
About the Author
Noah Medlock is a novelist and theatre musician living in York, UK. He writes vivid and off-beat stories which sit somewhere between Horror, Fantasy, and Historical. Noah plays piano and trombone for shows and teaches singing and performing arts in York. A passionate devotee of all musical theatre, but especially Stephen Sondheim, Noah is the kind of person who will happily start crying at the overture. He once worked as a horticultural advisor at a garden centre, which inspired the completion of his debut mycelial horror novel A BOTANICAL DAUGHTER. Noah can still be found shouting into the void on Twitter, as well as on TikTok and Instagram.
Praise for A Botanical Daughter:
“This book is the most fun a reader can have while still gritting their teeth in fear! Enchantingly eerie and upsettingly lovely, A Botanical Daughter is an intoxicating hybrid of blood, botany, and old-timey charm.” Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed with Us
“Ripe, lush, and bursting with beauty and horror, A Botanical Daughter will delight, amuse and terrify, all while breaking your heart. Perfect for readers who can imagine Frankenstein as created by the characters of Good Omens in the Garden of Eden.” Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times bestselling author of Bloom
“Macabre and magnificent. Horrifying and hilarious. Oddly and unquestionably heart-warming. A delightfully gruesome and rather brilliant debut from Noah Medlock. A viciously violent Victorian romp that would have Mary Shelley saying ‘Damn!’” Angela (A.G.) Slatter, award-winning author of The Path of Thorns
“Medlock invites readers into a rich and sumptuous world in a dark and charming novel full of macabre delights. The perfect blend of classic science fiction and horror, wrapped around a core of found family, love, and heartbreak – this story hits all the right notes.” A.C. Wise, award-winning author of Wendy, Darling
“Deliciously arch and bursting with eccentricity, A Botanical Daughter starts its uncanny life as a cosy-yet-macabre look at found family. Soon, however, it grows, steadily and with skill, into a vegetal monstrosity, forcing us to look - not without a shiver - at the horrifying 'other' and the boundaries of personhood. An extraordinary debut.” Ally Wilkes, author of All the White Spaces
“This flourishing horticultural horror could only be the monstrous byproduct of a mad phytologist, Mary Shelley grafted onto Jeff VanderMeer, a gothic greenhouse of sporror that reaches down deep into the substrata of the reader’s subconscious and eternally takes root. I absolutely loved it.” Clay McLeod Chapman, author of What Kind of Mother and Ghost Eaters
“A dreamlike green Frankenstein. Medlock’s debut is full of uncertainty and charm, where wonder and suspense grow entangled with each other in a book that grips you tight. A captivating weird gothic.” Hailey Piper, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Queen of Teeth
“Medlock’s fertile imagination has given rise to a neo-gothic novel that twines ideas of life, death, and humanity together in an inexorable, fecund embrace. Beautifully macabre and monstrously, joyously queer, A Botanical Daughter wrapped its tendrils around my heart and slowly squeezed until I was quite short of breath. Expect it to grow on—and in—you.” Trip Galey, author of A Market of Dreams and Destiny