Announcing Even Though I Knew the End, a Noir Fantasy by C.L. Polk

An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother’s life is offered one last job before eternity in hell…

Tordotcom Publishing is thrilled to announce Even Though I Knew the End, a new novella from C.L. Polk! The deal was brokered by Caitlin McDonald at Donald Maass Literary Agency, and is scheduled to publish in Fall 2022.

An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother’s life is offered one last job before eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can’t resist—the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves. To succeed, she must track down the White City Vampire, Chicago’s most notorious serial killer, in the three days she has left. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.

C. L. Polk shared their enthusiasm:

I am so happy to be working with Tordotcom for this novella! Even Though I Knew the End was inspired by the pulp detective stories of the mid 20th century with a supernatural twist, but it was the protagonist who really made the story sing to me. Helen Brandt is a character who has to move carefully on the edges of a society where being visible would put her in horrible danger, stubbornly using the gifts she was born with even after exile. She has the office, the fedora, and the wry voice of the hard-boiled detectives who came before her, but Helen loves with a fierce loyalty that’s miles away from the weary cynicism of the noir protagonists of the pulps.

Editor Carl Engle-Laird agreed:

I’m overjoyed to be working with C. L. Polk on Even Though I Knew the End. Polk writes my favorite romantic fantasies, and I’m a huge sucker for noir. A noir fantasy by Polk is a dream project, and the results are better than I could have hoped. Even Though I Knew the End wraps hard-boiled tone around a warm human core that will blunt the harshest Chicago winter.

C. L. Polk (they/them) wrote the Kingston Cycle, beginning with the WFA winning novel Witchmark. Their standalone novel, The Midnight Bargain, was a Canada Reads, Nebula, Locus, Ignyte, and World Fantasy Award finalist. They have been a film extra, a costermonger, and identified lepidoptera before settling down to write fantasy novels. Mx. Polk lives in the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3).


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