wicked
Fifty days. That's how long we have before The Winter Long will be on bookstore shelves (US on-sale date is September 2nd). Book eight. We made it to book eight. I remember when I was just caught in a loop, rewriting books one through four over and over again, making grandiose plans for book five, but never quite managing to break free and do anything new. Now I'm getting ready to start on book ten, and the path is very clear ahead of me.

Fifty days and five years: that's the distance between Rosemary and Rue and The Winter Long. At an average of 350 pages a book (average; please don't comment to say "but this one was only 338..."), that's almost 3,000 pages of Toby, with more to come. Honestly, I'm amazed she's lived this long, given everything that I've put her through. She's too stubborn to die and too fun to kill, which is probably the only thing that's saved her.

Fifty days and you get to find out everything I haven't been saying since book one. This is the volume where a lot of chickens come home to roost: it's always been planned as the game-changer for act one of the series. I think I managed to accomplish that. Early review copies are out in the world, and thus far there have been no spoilers, for which I am very grateful. I really like it when people can discover what I've done for themselves.

Fifty days. I'll be somewhere in Europe when this book drops (probably in Edinburgh, with Amal, hiding under whatever piece of furniture I can wedge myself beneath), twitchy and waiting for the reviews to come in, yet terrified of reading them. I wish I could be here to do my normal release day funtimes. I'm glad I'll be far away. Somehow, both emotions are succeeding in existing at the same time.

Fifty days. That's so long.

Fifty days. That isn't long at all.
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So it turns out that there are some admin tasks that I was really good at when I had a day job, but am not so good at when "wander away from the computer and watch an episode of Law & Order" is on the table. The review roundup is one of these tasks. I will strive to do better, if only because my notes file is becoming impossible to navigate. This is the first step toward doing better.

Brewing Tea & Books has posted a review of Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, and says, "This book is in one word: Fun." The review goes on to say "But if I have to write a bit more, since one word reviews aren’t very interesting now are they. The book is not only very entertaining and funny, it is also very intelligent and thought-provoking." (Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots is available now from ISFic Press, or via Borderlands Books in San Francisco; they should be getting a shipment soon, and books ordered from them can be signed or personalized.)

Jennifer Brozek has reviewed Half-Off Ragnarok, and says, "Half-Off Ragnarok is my favorite book in the InCryptid series thus far. I thought Verity was interesting but I’m half in love with Alex. The whole Price family is a hoot and Shelby is an interesting wild card in the mix. If urban fantasy, intriguing animals, and fast-paced adventure is your thing, you’re going to love Half-Off Ragnarok. Highly recommended." Woo!

Vampire Book Club has reviewed Ashes of Honor, and says, "Let’s cut to the chase. Ashes of Honor is THE book." I'm...just going to leave that there and wander off. Because dude.

Amazing Stories has reviewed Chimes at Midnight, and says, "Urban fantasy novels are big right now and it’s hard not to love Toby Daye, the unlikely knight and changeling protagonist of Seanan McGuire's popular series set in magic-rich San Francisco. Chimes at Midnight is book seven in the on-going series and, now we’ve met the characters and had hints dropped about the history of the Kingdom in the Mists, the story is getting fascinating." Woo!

Finally for today, Whatchamacallit Reviews has reviewed Games Creatures Play, and had this to say about my story: "Seanan McGuire takes readers into her Incryptid world. Fans of the series will enjoy reading a fun roller derby story from the youngest sibling (and only sibling not to get a book yet) Antinomy’s POV. Readers who have not read the series should read the series, not because they need to in order to understand this short story, just because it this is a fun and entertaining series."

That's all for now: more to come, including a focused roundup about Sparrow Hill Road, shortly.

THE WINTER LONG cover release!

wicked
Psst. C'mere.

So it's no secret that I love the covers DAW gives me, and that showing them off is one of my true pure joys in life. Chris McGrath has been designing Toby covers for eight books now, and he's amazing. Like, seriously amazing. Want proof?

Go ahead. Take a peek.

Cut-tagged for the protection of your friends' list, which really doesn't need something this huge suddenly showing up without warning. But trust me, you should totally click.Collapse )

Boom shaka laka and a round of 'views!

one salt sea
Reviews! Interviews! All the 'views!

I did an interview with Drey's Library about a million years ago (as in, "talks about Ashes of Honor as the upcoming Toby book"), and now you can read it, because I finally remembered to link things. Sometimes I am slow.

The Discriminating Fangirl chose some of my books as their Best of 2011! I am honored and...yeah, really, really slow. I am almost ashamed of this roundup. Holy crap.

Larissa's Life has posted a review of One Salt Sea. No good pull quotes, some minor spoilers, overall awesome review. Thanks, Larissa!

One Good Book has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says "I can't say that this book was my favorite in the series, but it had many more moments that thrilled me than didn't, and it tied up a few loose ends that I felt had been dangling too long. It was a fully entertaining read that left me highly anticipating the next installment." Fair enough!

Boat Girl has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says "For me, it was a really satisfying book in that it tied up some long dangling loose ends." Yay! I really do view One Salt Sea as the end of Act I, and it's nice that people see it that way.

So, yeah. I am trying to catch up on my roundups, because the age of these links is just embarrassing. But the links themselves are awesome. Thanks to all the reviewers I've linked, and those I've missed (or haven't gotten to yet).

And then people said some nice stuff.

indexing
So io9 has named Indexing one of their books you can't afford to miss in January. Not too bad for the little serial that could, huh? I love how much support this wacky experiment in being very, very serious about very, very ridiculous things has been able to garner, and while I haven't seen the print edition yet, I have other books from 47North which lead me to believe that it's going to be gorgeous.

(Also, for those of you who have not yet read this particular universe, I note that right now, it's closed: volume one is complete, in and of itself. I left it open for a season two, but there's no commitment involved in buying the book. There is, however, the awesome potential to pay my power bill, which weighs heavy on my mind just now. Once upon a times! Ever afters of all sorts! Magic and bureaucracy! Which I still can't spell! What have you got to lose?)

Meanwhile, over at Ranting Dragon, the editor named Chimes at Midnight AND Midnight Blue-Light Special as two of the best books of 2013. This delights me down to the bottom of my bones. I love both my urban fantasy worlds, and sometimes I worry about favoring one over the other. This tells me that I'm doing it right, and that makes me so happy. So, so happy.

Glee.
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...a copy of Chimes at Midnight!

Welcome to the third of the Twelve Days of Hogswatch. I am starting a new giveaway every day between now and January 6th (the day after my birthday). Each giveaway has different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on January 9th, because I am bad at going to the post office.

The third giveaway is for a shiny new copy of Chimes at Midnight, the seventh October Daye adventure. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am sleepy (that's been happening a lot lately). So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Monday, December 30th.

Game on!

Anthology funtimes!

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There's some big, big anthology news around these here parts!

First up, and most outside my usual wheelhouse, I am pleased to announce that my story "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War" will be appearing in the anthology Robot Uprisings, edited by Daniel Wilson and John Joseph Adams. The book will be released April 8th, 2014, and I am super excited to be part of a lineup that includes Charles Yu and Cory Doctorow (with whom I will one day conquer the Magic Kingdom and claim it in the name of our dark forces). My story is about toys and children and the dark side of Toy Story, and I think many of you will find it very upsetting. Yay!

On more familiar ground, we have Shattered Shields, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, featuring a brand new Toby-verse story about the Luidaeg, set during the time of the first big Merlin War, and following Antigone of Albany as she tries to walk the line between faith and family. "The Fixed Stars" will be available November 4th, 2014.

Finally, I have been invited to be one of the contributors for The PaulandStormonomicon, an anthology of very short stories based on and/or inspired by Paul and Storm and their songs. (I am actually very proud of being one of their contributors, since I love their music and seem to have gotten invited on the basis of saying "But what about the LADIES?" when I saw the initial contributor list. It's a small thing. I am still pleased.) The Kickstarter has already reached the level at which the book is guaranteed, and it will be available for sale, but supporting the project is going to be the cheapest way to get it. It's like a pre-order, only not quite.

And that is today's anthology news. Look at all those pretty stories!

Glee.
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I am ecstatic to finally be able to announce that I—as in "me writing under my own name," not Mira, who has a different publishing setup than Seanan does—have acquired a UK publisher! Both the October Daye and the InCryptid books will be coming out from Constable & Robinson, under their Corsair imprint. I AM BEING PUBLISHED BY AN IMPRINT THAT IS ALSO AN X-MEN REFERENCE.

My life is complete.

My page on the Constable & Robinson site is right over here, and will eventually have neat things like book covers (no idea yet what the books are going to look like in the UK market IT'S AN EXCITING MYSTERY). There's also an awesome pre-order page for the UK edition of Discount Armageddon, which will be coming out in April of 2014.

The deal includes all the current books in both series, which means a) non-imported editions for my UK readers, and b) easily available ebooks. Such excitement! Such delight!

I am really over the moon about this, and I'm so happy to be joining the Constable & Robinson/Corsair family of authors. UK publisher!

Bliss.
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Links blah blah oh sweet Great Pumpkin SAVE ME FROM THE LINKS. Anyway...

The Telegraph has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "Intelligent and exciting, Deadline raises the bar for the genre." Short, sweet, perfect.

SFFWorld has posted a review of Feed, and says, "Feed is a brilliant novel that embraces the tropes of the zombie story, expands the zombie mythos, speaks to modern fears, plausibly renders a political landscape, and forces the reader to turn the pages to see what happens next." Yay!

Romance Reviews Today has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "If you love fantasy, and particularly urban fantasy, do not miss this series. The author possesses great depth in her vision." Awesome.

Mervi's Book Reviews has posted a review of Late Eclipses, and says, "Once again, McGuire blends action, humor, and pretty dark themes excellently. However, there's again an air of tragedy on the story." Toby is the fairy godmother of tragedy, it's true.

Old Firehouse Books has posted a review of Feed that is deeply personal and very well-balanced. I have no pull quotes from this one, but you should definitely check it out.

This is also where I want to take a moment to note that while I am still cleaning out the old reviews in my link file—I thought they were important enough to save, I'm not going to just delete them—I have gotten a lot less likely to add new reviews, because I am a lot less twitchy on a day-by-day level. This is why there are fewer reviews of newer books. This will change, I'm sure, as I launch new universes, since I'll still be deeply insecure about them.

Reviews!
wicked
We have successfully weathered the release of Chimes at Midnight which means that you deserve a treat. And here it is:

A brand-new story about Tybalt, "Forbid the Sea," has been posted on the Toby Daye short fiction page. It is available in ePub, MOBI, and PDF formats, and is free for download. Please download rather than trying to read locally; my server will thank you.

This story is best read after "Rat-Catcher" if possible, since it is sequentially set ten years after that piece, but should make sense regardless. It is a story about loneliness, and cats, and what it means to love the sea. Nothing good will ever come of it.

Cover graphics are by Tara O'Shea. All short story electronic conversion thus far has been done by scifantasy. As both of them are awesome, we applaud them now.

Go forth, read, and please feel free to use this as a discussion post, which means there may be spoilers in the comments. Tread carefully.

Enjoy.
wicked
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Tomorrow's Party Schedule!

The Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show is returning to our home of homes at Borderlands Books, and we couldn't be happier about it. SEE! The Amazing Mary, imported all the way from Alabama to enchant you with her wicked ways! HEAR! The Incredible Jeff and Maya Bohnhoff, masters of the rocking arts! GAZE IN AWE! At Paul and Beckett, guitar and harmonica, as they ensnare your senses! And I'll be there, of course.

Our evening...

4:00 PM: Setup, sound check, and final details. You can show up, but we may ignore you if you do. Sorry about that.
5:00 PM: Welcome to our party. We're done ignoring you now. Would you like some music?
5:30 PM: Perhaps you would like to win things.
5:40 PM: Now there will be cupcakes and autographing.
6:00 PM: More music?
6:30 PM: More prizes?
6:40 PM: Q&A and book discussion.
7:10 PM: Last music of the night.
7:40 PM: Let's raffle some more stuff off.
7:50 PM: Thanks and final questions before we close the evening.

This iteration of the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show will be in the cafe; the bookstore will be open throughout the evening. The cafe will also be open, and they've promised to have plenty of bread and delicious pastry this time. Raffle tickets will be available through the two standard methods: show up, or buy something from the bookstore.

All performing musicians will have CDs for sale, because we're predictable like that. There may also be T-shirts. There will be cupcakes provided in the bookstore as part of the party, and a whole cafe full of delicious things to purchase and enjoy.

It's gonna be a good night. Hope to see you there.

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT open thread!

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To celebrate the release of Chimes at Midnight, here. Have an open thread to discuss the book. Judging by the comments I'm seeing, some of you have had time, and I'd really, really rather book discussion (sometimes including spoilers) didn't crop up on other posts.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

Seriously. If anyone comments here at all, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. So please don't read and then yell at me because you encountered spoilers. You were warned. (I will not reply to every comment; I call partial comment amnesty. But I may well join some of the discussion, or answer questions or whatnot.) I will be DELETING all comments containing spoilers which have been left on other posts. No one gets to spoil people here without a label.

You can also start a discussion at my website forums, with less need to be concerned that I will see everything you say! In case you wanted, you know, discussion free of authorial influence, since I always wind up getting involved in these things.

Have fun, and try not to bleed on the carpet.
wicked
The results are in, and our winners are...

anna_sinistra
reinvent_love

Congratulations! Please send me an email via my website contact form within the next 24 hours. If I do not receive your contact information within the next 24 hours, I will choose another winner.

Thanks to everyone who participated: you took some incredible pictures, and I really enjoyed seeing how creative and fun you all could be. There's more to come on the horizon, and Chimes at Midnight will be on shelves September 2nd.

Whee!

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT giveaway. Because I can.

wicked
It's August, and that means the seventh October Daye adventure, Chimes at Midnight, will be on shelves soon. But what if you don't want to wait?

That's where this entry comes in. I am giving away two copies, one purely by RNG (random number generator), and one by a slightly more stringent standard: pictures. I want to see pictures of you reading Toby in the strangest place you can think of or access easily. Museums. Hot air balloons. Your own bedroom only covered in Care Bears. Or pose the books with pets or toys, whatever suits your fancy.

To enter the RNG drawing:

1. Leave a comment on this entry.
2. If you are international, indicate a willingness to pay postage.
3. That's all.

To enter the photo drawing:

1. Leave a comment on this entry either including or linking to your photo. YOUR COMMENT MAY BE MARKED AS SPAM. I WILL MANUALLY UNSPAM ALL COMMENTS.
2. If you are international, indicate a willingness to pay postage.
3. That's all.

Yes, someone who posts a picture is automatically entered in both drawings, while someone who only leaves a comment is entered in only the RNG drawing. One entry per person, please—if you're planning to take a picture this weekend, please don't leave a comment without a picture. No matter how cool you think a picture is, please do not reply to other people's comments, as this confuses the RNG. Both winners will be chosen by RNG; if the RNG picks a non-picture entry for the second drawing, we will choose again.

Winners will be chosen on Wednesday, August 21st, and books will be mailed that Friday, getting them in your hands before the book comes out. So you've got the weekend to shutterbug!

GAME ON!
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Reflections of an Emo Mom has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "The world makes sense. The divisions and alliances make sense. The relationships between various fae breeds (and changelings) are believable. Her characters have depth, they have motive and they have history behind them to explain their actions. She takes her time telling Toby's story - it moves along at just the right pace to keep you hooked. And you can't always guess where she's going (which I frankly love), but when she takes you there you know its the only place the story could have gone. Know what I mean? It's just one of the best UF series out there. So get out and buy it. This series should be on your shelves!" I love making sense!

Book Banter has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "McGuire has a lot of fun with One Salt Sea, exploring her protagonist a little more and how Toby is really dealing with everything that's happened to her, as well as finishing up some storylines and revealing some great origin stories for the world of fae. Fans of the series will be completely swept up with this fifth book, hooked to the very end where they get some answers and finally enjoy that satisfied feeling that not many books deliver this well." I really did have a lot of fun with this book. This is 100% true.

Medieval Bookworm has done a splendid overview of the Toby series, which leaves few good pull quotes, but a lot of lovely, lovely text. I am well pleased.

Janicu has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "The way these books build upon each other is extremely gratifying and long running story arcs are cleverly integrated with each self contained mystery. I should probably also mention that there’s plenty of wry humor, a cast of three dimensional side characters that grows as the series progresses, and wonderful world-building. I am so addicted." Hooray!

Book Spot Central has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "A little outside of the ordinary paranormal investigator, Toby Daye is fun to follow around with her hang-ups, her insecurities, her competencies, and her motley adopted family. Out of the many female investigators of varying sorts and styles out there in urban fantasyland, Toby feels very much to me like the girl you would see in the neighborhood store, or the one you see on a regular basis stopping in at the coffee shop. She seems like real people. I like that." Yay!

And now, a word from our sponsor:

I've received a few emails recently asking, in essence, why I haven't linked to "review X." There are a lot of answers to this, but the most simple is that I have less time than I used to, and hence review roundups are rarer and honestly less essential. I mean, Jiminey Christmas, this is a review roundup focusing on a book that came out last fall: by this point, I've either got you or I've lost you, for the most part. I don't have as many Google spiders as I used to, and the roundups are a little pickier. And I don't link negative reviews unless they raise really interesting discussion points that I feel we can talk about without attacking the reviewer. So...I guess I haven't linked to any given review because I haven't linked to it. I may eventually. I may not. Who knows?

Not me!

New wallpaper, some thoughts.

wicked
Thanks to the graphic magic of Tara O'Shea, there are new wallpapers on the October Daye Wallpaper page, this time allowing you to dress your monitor in the fine, fine image of "In Sea-Salt Tears." You can find the wallpaper here:

http://seananmcguire.com/wallpapers.php#short

I am still, to be honest, a little bit staggered by this story's inclusion in this year's Hugo ballot. Not that I'm not staggered by every single nomination—because I am; for some people I may have become a predictable choice, but for me, this is only the third year that I've been on the ballot at all—but this one is...it's special. It's a purely urban fantasy story, for one thing, and stories in that sub-genre don't often get recognized at this level. And it's about women, just women, two women who loved each other for as long as they were allowed. There's no grand battle or flashy challenge.

There's just women.

People talk about "writing what you know," and the parts of this story that are what I know are the parts with kitchens and farmer's markets and Italian dinners and love. So much love. Love that seems like it could change the world forever, even when you know that it can never really change anything but you.

I got urban fantasy on the Hugo ballot.

I'm a little proud of that.
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So you may have noticed that review roundups are getting more and more out of date. This is largely because my link file is getting more and more out of date, to the point that I actually forgot to set alerts for a few books. I wish this spoke to a growing serenity, but it really sort of speaks to the opposite, so...whoops. Anyway, here: have some reviews.

Bookshelf Bombshells has posted a review of Feed, and says, "You wouldn't expect a book that’s laden with so many technological details (the genesis of the virus, the virus’s after-effects, biological scanning equipment, and the various gadgets that the bloggers use) to be a gripping, fast read, but it really is." Aw, yay.

Ranting Dragon has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "Read this book for the action. Read this book for the worldbuilding. But most of all, read this book for the characters and the story. McGuire truly hits her stride in this novel, and it shows, both in pacing as well as her character work." Glee.

Persephone Magazine has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "I was pretty critical of the first book in Mira Grant's zombie-tastic Newsflesh trilogy, Feed. The second book, Deadline, was everything I wanted Feed to be. It was a tighter story, it relied less on clever tricks and more on great storytelling, the characters were richer and deeper, and the whole book was cleaner and felt more intentional." Hooray!

Galavanting Girl Books has taken a slightly different approach, posting, not a review, but a breakdown of October Daye herself as a heroine. It's a really well-done review of Toby's growth over the first five books, without spoilers, and ends with, "Toby Daye I really hope faerie isn't done screwing with you. I love you, but I'm not ready to let you go yet." How much love? All the love.

Rescue Fins has posted a review of Feed, and says, "It's common enough for zombie literature to be used as a medium for discussion of social issues and underlying societal fears, and Grant's book does that brilliantly, taking on not just government control and the trade-off between freedom and security, but tackling the sociology of fear itself." I love it when people catch that, I really do.

So that's five reviews, which makes for a roundup. I'm getting my link file under control, and while I don't know how long I'll continue posting reviews in this format—it's time-consuming, which is bad, but it's also a great way to point out thoughtful, interesting book blogs, which is good—but at least I've started my day by getting something done.
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I have appeared in two limited edition books from Subterranean Press: A Fantasy Medley 2, which featured my Tybalt-centric novella, "Rat-Catcher," and When Will You Rise?: Stories to End the World, which features "Countdown" and "Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box." ("Apocalypse Scenario" is not set in the Newsflesh universe, by the way; it's part of my mad science triptych, along with "The Tolling of Pavlov's Bells" and "Laughter at the Academy.")

A Fantasy Medley 2 is now out of print. Very, very out of print. "The signed edition is selling for upwards of a thousand dollars on Amazon" out of print. I do not have copies for sale. I don't generally sell author's copies of anything, because I am not a store, but in this case especially, I didn't receive enough copies to do anything like that. There is no ebook edition, and right now, because I am still under contract for the physical book, I don't have the option to post the story as a free download. Eventually, it will either be reprinted or posted to my short fiction page, depending on how things go, but for the moment, I just don't have the authority. (Most short fiction contracts come with an "exclusivity" clause which guarantees an author won't sell the same thing to thirty markets at once.)

There are some copies of the basic, non-signed edition of A Fantasy Medley 2 currently available on Amazon, starting at about $15. If you're really, really desperate to read "Rat-Catcher" without buying from Amazon, you might want to consider getting a supporting membership to this year's Worldcon. Yes, $60 for one novella is a lot, but you don't just get one novella: you get the entire Hugo Voter's Packet, which is way awesome and packed with goodness.

When Will You Rise?: Stories to End the World is not out of print...yet. But it is a limited edition of 1,000 copies, and I know that a lot of those have been sold. You can find details on the book here. It's a really gorgeous piece of work, with incredible illustrations throughout. And, speaking candidly...I really enjoyed doing this book, and I'd love it if the sales supported Subterranean doing another. So I'm very much in favor of people buying copies for their very own. Both stories included in When Will You Rise? are available through the Orbit Short Fiction Program, so you won't have the same issues getting your hands on them (at least for right now), but this is currently your only option for seeing those stories in physical form.

Hope this clears things up a bit!

(The Velveteen vs. books are also limited printings, although in this case, the publisher has the option to print more if the first print run sells out. So it's not as much of an immediate concern, although naturally, I think everyone should own these books in their own homes, to avoid them somehow magically ending up in mine.)

ETA: Updated some availability notes, as Amazon once again has the basic A Fantasy Medley 2 available for order. Hooray!
wicked
The winners of the first two ARCs of Chimes at Midnight are...

sassy_swan

...and...

last_archangel!

Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who entered! To our winners: I must receive an email from you, via my website contact form, within the next twenty-four hours. If I do not hear from you, another winner will be chosen in your place.

More giveaways to come!
wicked
The ARCs of Chimes at Midnight arrived last night, and gosh and golly, they are amazing! So pretty. So real and in my hands. I am overcome with delight. And naturally, I am already starting to go "oh jeez get them out of my house, there are so many of them, get them out of my house."

So...

ARC giveaway! This first dance with the free stuff wolves will be the ART CHALLENGE. Post your Toby-inspired art (drawing, painting, manipulated photo, cosplay, animated .gif rendered funny by context, jewelry, anything that is visual and artsy) on this entry, or post links if your material is hosted elsewhere, and indicate whether you are in the US or international (and if international, whether you will pay postage).

On May 28th, having returned from the wilds of Disney World, I will select two winners: one via our old friend, the RNG, and one by going "that one is my favorite, it should have a book."

Game on!

The 2013 Hugo Ballot has been announced.

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The 2013 Hugo Awards ballot has been announced, and is as follows:

Best Novel.

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
Blackout by Mira Grant (Orbit)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi (Tor)
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (DAW)

Best Novella.

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications)
The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)
On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant (Orbit)
The Stars Do Not Lie by Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)

Best Novelette.

“The Boy Who Cast No Shadow” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Postscripts: Unfit For Eden, PS Publications)
“Fade To White” by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld, August 2012)
“The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” by Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity, Solaris)
“In Sea-Salt Tears” by Seanan McGuire (Self-published)
“Rat-Catcher” by Seanan McGuire (A Fantasy Medley 2, Subterranean)

Best Short Story.

“Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld, June 2012)
“Mantis Wives” by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, August 2012)
“Mono no Aware” by Ken Liu (The Future is Japanese, VIZ Media LLC)

Note: category has 3 nominees due to a 5% requirement under Section 3.8.5 of the WSFS constitution.

Best Related Work.

The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature Edited by Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn (Cambridge UP)
Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them Edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Sigrid Ellis (Mad Norwegian Press)
Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who Edited by Deborah Stanish & L.M. Myles (Mad Norwegian Press)
I Have an Idea for a Book... The Bibliography of Martin H. Greenberg Compiled by Martin H. Greenberg, edited by John Helfers (The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box)
Writing Excuses Season Seven by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Jordan Sanderson

Best Graphic Story.

Grandville Bête Noire written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse Comics, Jonathan Cape)
Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Saga, Volume One written by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
Schlock Mercenary: Random Access Memorabilia by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (Hypernode Media)
Saucer Country, Volume 1: Run written by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Ryan Kelly, Jimmy Broxton and Goran Sudžuka (Vertigo)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form).

The Avengers
The Cabin in the Woods
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hunger Games
Looper


Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).

Doctor Who: “The Angels Take Manhattan”
Doctor Who: “Asylum of the Daleks”
Doctor Who: “The Snowmen”
Fringe: “Letters of Transit"
Game of Thrones :“Blackwater”

Best Editor (Short Form).

John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Stanley Schmidt
Jonathan Strahan
Sheila Williams

Best Editor (Long Form).

Lou Anders
Sheila Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Toni Weisskopf

Best Professional Artist.

Vincent Chong
Julie Dillon
Dan Dos Santos
Chris McGrath
John Picacio

Best Semiprozine.

Apex Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Jason Sizemore and Michael Damian Thomas
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke, Jason Heller, Sean Wallace and Kate Baker
Lightspeed edited by John Joseph Adams and Stefan Rudnicki
Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison, Jed Hartman, Brit Mandelo, An Owomoyela, Julia Rios, Abigail Nussbaum, Sonya Taaffe, Dave Nagdeman and Rebecca Cross

Best Fanzine.

Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia and James Bacon
Elitist Book Reviews edited by Steven Diamond
Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Emma J. King, Helen J. Montgomery and Pete Young
SF Signal edited by John DeNardo, JP Frantz, and Patrick Hester

Best Fancast.

The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester, John DeNardo, and JP Frantz
SF Squeecast, Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, Lynne M. Thomas, Catherynne M. Valente (Presenters) and David McHone-Chase (Technical Producer)
StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith

Best Fan Writer.

James Bacon
Christopher J Garcia
Mark Oshiro
Tansy Rayner Roberts
Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist.

Galen Dara
Brad W. Foster
Spring Schoenhuth
Maurine Starkey
Steve Stiles

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2011 or 2012, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

Zen Cho
Max Gladstone
Mur Lafferty
Stina Leicht
Chuck Wendig

Those of you with keen eyes may have noticed my name a time or two. So here are my firsts for this year:

First woman to appear on the ballot four times in fiction categories alone.
First person to appear on the ballot five times in a single year.
First person to appear on the ballot with a purely self-published work ("In Sea-Salt Tears," Best Novelette nominee).

Here are some other fun facts: this is the first time Sheila Gilbert, my editor at DAW, or Chris McGrath, who is responsible for the October Daye covers (as well as many, many more) have appeared on the Hugo ballot. As of this year's ballot, every novella or novel-length work in the Newsflesh series has appeared on the Hugo ballot. I have essays in two of the works in Best Related Work. Urban fantasy in any form rarely makes award ballots, and I have two October Daye-universe novellas on this ballot.

Fringe is on the ballot for the first time ever this year. So is Mark Oshiro of Mark Reads, which is just amazing. The whole ballot is amazing.

I have eaten nothing but ice cream today. I have cried a lot.

I am grateful and honored and terrified and fragile and amazed, because this ballot represents the best of 2012 in a very concrete way. I see so many works there that blew my mind, and I look forward to experiencing the rest.

Thank you so much. I will try very hard not to let you down.

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT cover release!

wicked
Psst. C'mere.

So it's no secret that I love the covers DAW gives me, and that showing them off is one of my true pure joys in life. Chris McGrath has been designing Toby covers for seven books now, and he's amazing. Like, seriously amazing. Want proof?

Go ahead. Take a peek.

Cut-tagged for the protection of your friends' list, which really doesn't need something this huge suddenly showing up without warning. But trust me, you should totally click.Collapse )

Current projects, February 2013.

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Having been sick even unto death on January 15th, this is the first current projects post of the new year. Whoops. I'd say I was sorry, but again, sick even unto death; the coughing and throwing up and passing out sort of obviate my natural desire to apologize for everything under the sun.

Anyway, this is the post in which I tell you what I'm working on, and you finally understand why I don't have time for tea. To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the crazy urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Midnight Blue-Light Special, Parasite). The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag. Please don't ask why project X is no longer on the list.

What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )

"Rat-Catcher" open thread.

wicked
I have been asked to create an open thread for discussion of "Rat-Catcher." So here you go: here is an open thread.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

Seriously. If anyone comments here at all, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. So please don't read and then yell at me because you encountered spoilers. You were warned. (I will not reply to every comment; I call partial comment amnesty. But I may well join some of the discussion, or answer questions or whatnot.) I will be DELETING all comments containing spoilers which have been left on other posts. No one gets to spoil people here without a label.

You can also start a discussion at my website forums, with less need to be concerned that I will see everything you say! In case you wanted, you know, discussion free of authorial influence, since I always wind up getting involved in these things.

Have fun, and try not to bleed on the carpet.

Beginning to dig my way out of the hole.

wicked
First up, the winner of last week's good faith drawing for a copy of A Fantasy Medley 2 is...

bookblather!

Usual rules apply: you have twenty-four hours to get me your mailing information, after which I will select another winner if necessary. Thanks to all who entered, and all who offered to pay postage. You guys are amazing.

I'm going to be opening a few drawings for copies of Midnight Blue-Light Special this week, and try to finish mailing everything that sort of fell a few days behind while I was sick even unto death. Thank you all for your patience, and for your ongoing awesomeness.

Good faith drawing: A FANTASY MEDLEY 2.

wicked
This worked well last time, so here we go: it's time for another good faith drawing, this time for a copy of A Fantasy Medley 2.

Look. Times are tough right now, and a lot of us don't have a huge amount of disposable income. I know a $25 hardcover isn't always in my budget, even when I really really want it. So that is what this drawing is for. If you want a copy but can't afford it, please comment to let me know you'd like to be entered. I will select a winner on Thursday morning.

I don't need to know why you can't afford the book; I just ask that you only enter if you genuinely can't find the dollars right now. That way, we make things a little more level for everybody.

Same region rules as last time: US welcome, non-US only if you can pay postage. And because this has come up before, if you're in the US and would like to volunteer to pay postage for a non-US resident, you can. For this drawing, comment on the main entry if you can pay non-US postage, and while that comment won't win, I will be able to go back to it if someone from outside the US does.

I will be doing a more open giveaway later this week, I just need to take things slow while I get my footing back after the flu that kicked my butt for the last nine days.

Game on!

What's coming up for Toby.

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So I received an email recently, from someone* who wanted me to know that, while they enjoyed the October Daye books, they didn't like the fact that the plot for Ashes of Honor involved a missing child case, since this had come up before. Furthermore, if there was any hint of a missing child in the back cover text of Chimes at Midnight, they would be dropping the series.

This? Is totally, absolutely, 100% fair. You should never have to read anything you don't want to, unless it's for a class (and even then, only if you want to actually pass said class). Life is too short! Don't read bad books unless reading bad books brings you joy, and don't read books that don't interest you unless you have a damn good reason.

At the same time, while I can totally appreciate the sentiment, I'm not sure it's a sentiment that I, as a reader, would ever feel comfortable expressing to a writer. Especially not now that I'm a writer myself, which means I know that a) the story will go where the story will go, and b) by the time you get your hands on book one in a series, book two is finished and turned in, making it impossible for the writer to avoid the plot elements you've said that you dislike. "Don't do this or else" is a wasted statement. It is already too late to avoid doing whatever it is you want to have avoided.

But still, for every person who speaks, there are ten more who don't, so I thought this might be a good time to say something about what's coming up for Toby. Specifically: yes, there will be more missing people, because after defeating Blind Michael and preventing a war, finding people is what she has a reputation for being good at. Ironically, Toby herself prefers murder cases; they're less time-sensitive, and she's less terrified of getting it wrong. But if she gets a call from out-Kingdom, there's a very good chance that it's going to be about somebody's missing son, daughter, or heir.

The plot of Chimes at Midnight doesn't center around missing children, but it does involve someone who has been lost. The Winter Long is still in progress, and is more about people being found than people being lost; there's also a murder, which is good for Toby's admittedly frayed nerves. This doesn't mean that there won't be missing children somewhere down the road, because those are the cases that make people sit up and say "I want my baby back alive, get that October woman."

Losing and finding people are huge themes in the Toby series, and that's a very intentional thing; that's never going to change. If that isn't the sort of thing you want to read, I'm really sorry. InCryptid has different themes, and changes narrators periodically, which should help to keep things more varied. But much like Newsflesh was about truth, Toby is about loss. At least until we find the ending.

So that's what's going on for Toby, and why things are the way that they are. I hope it makes sense; I hope you'll all stick around. And if not, I hope you'll at least understand why I write it this way.

This is how the story goes.

(*Names are withheld, as always, because that's how we roll around here. Playing nicely is the new black.)
feed
My foot's giving me trouble again, which means I'm hopped up on painkillers and not the best judge of what does and does not make sense. To celebrate this legally altered state, here. Have a review roundup.

Well, this is sort of a review and sort of an ongoing game of verbal volleyball, but here: have the long-belated link to the Babel Clash I did with Devon Monk. I really miss the Borders Blog. It was a great community, and they rustled up some excellent postage. Plus they let me talk about the cold dead eyes of Care Bears.

Random Reads posted a review of Feed and Deadline, and says, "Grant constructs a very detailed and well researched world with wonderful, sympathetic characters. The action starts immediately and once it hooks you in, it doesn't let go. The pace is unrelenting, climaxing in a tragic denouement, with a scenario that I've never before seen an author attempt. I could not put this book down." Awesome.

Russ Allbery has posted a review of Feed, and says, " I utterly fell in love with this book; the world is a better place because it exists." Awwww. (The review also contains some absolutely fair criticisms, and I salute the reviewer for offering them.)

Blogcritics has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "Grant takes the political intrigue of Feed and ratchets it up to 11 to a stunning conclusion in Deadline." Victory!

And now for something completely different: Reflections on Reading Romance has reviewed Home Improvement: Undead Edition, and says, of my story, "Despite the absence of my favorite, hottie Cait Sidhe king Tybalt, the story is a delight and a great example of McGuire’s style. Definitely recommend this one!" Also: "For me the Patricia Briggs, Melissa Marr, and Seanan McGuire stories were definite highlights of the collection and more than made the purchase worth the price." Win.

I am well-pleased.

Current projects, December 2012.

editing
So in the November post I mentioned that it was weird to be coming on Christmas and not planning for Disney World. Then I realized I could fix that, and so we're going to Disneyland for my birthday in January. (January 5th. I like birthdays.) PROBLEM SOLVED!

Anyway, this is the post in which I tell you what I'm working on, and you finally understand why I don't have time for tea. To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the crazy urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Midnight Blue-Light Special, Parasite). The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag. Please don't ask why project X is no longer on the list.

What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )
me
My darlingest dearest Paul Cornell asked me to write a post about one of the twelve days of Christmas for his blog, and because he has a newborn son and thus gets to ask me for free content without being looked at sadly, I wrote a post about the hidden blackbirds that come on the fourth day. Four colly birds for all of you!

Jennifer Brozek had a lovely dream and I was in it and it was wonderful, and now you can see it in illustrated, murderous form. Happiness and joy.

This Etsy store has the best handmade catnip eyeballs in the world. There is no joy like watching a cat gleefully maul a giant human eye. NO JOY IN THIS WORLD. Plus we've sold out their stock like, twice since I discovered them. Let's do it again.

I have a Tumblr now. Tumblrs are cool. And while this won't be true for long, if you go there right now, you'll actually get a lovely graphic illustration of how many fucks I have left to give. Hint: not many.

In limited edition news, A Fantasy Medley 2 and When Will You Rise remain available from Subterranean Press, and Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots remains available from ISFIC Press. Velveteen is available in hardcover and ebook formats, the others are hardcover only.

Now, this is important: all three of the books listed above are limited edition, and the print runs are really small. So while they're available now, they won't be available forever. Please keep that in mind, because I will just look sad and shake my head if asked in six months whether I have any for sale. Also, you can get When Will You Rise and Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots signed and personalized for the holidays by contacting Borderlands Books.

And that's the news.

Still feeling lousy. Have a review roundup.

knives
I'm still sick (but getting better), and so, in order to keep myself from dwelling on the frailty of the flesh, here is a review roundup. Yay.

Yeti Stomper has put me on notice with great aplomb. I am honored and afraid. And also amused.

Broad Universe has posted a review of Late Eclipses, and says, "This is an exciting book for fans of Seanan McGuire and the October Daye series. It hints at so much more to come and I can't wait to find out what's next." There's an interview with me attached to the review. Bonus!

The Word Zombie has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "With Feed, Mira Grant established herself as a major new voice in zombie fiction. With Deadline, she proves that 'zombie' is a superfluous addition to that accolade. Without the subtlety of her storytelling, the layers of conspiracy at the heart of this book would have ripped apart like so many sheets of rice paper. Instead, she parceled out the story with the literary timing of Stephen King at his best, while managing to do what King has suffered with so much in recent years—tying the story together in the end and leaving the reader with an emotional punch akin to being hit in the chest with a Taser." ...wow.

Apex has posted a review of One Salt Sea, and says, "This seamless expansion of the fae world in and around the story being told is one of my favorite things about McGuire's writings. She is a master at informing the reader without the dreaded info dump. One Salt Sea is a worthy addition to the marvelous October Daye series and one I will happily reread again." There's also an interview after the review. Yay!

Rie has posted a review of Rosemary and Rue, and says, "I really enjoyed Rosemary and Rue, though it took me a bit to get a handle on the new style after reading some of Seanan's other work first. It was an entirely new pacing and flow, and the switch was not an automatic one. I don't want to imply that the plot is slow moving—it isn't, it's a rich, complex plot that has an appropriate pace for its style and genre—it just wasn't as non-stop action as Mira's Feed." Since this is something I worry about a lot, this is reassuring to hear.

...and that is all for today. I'm tired, and need a nap.

Saturday review roundup.

average
Whee!

Jill Bearup has posted a review of One Salt Sea, complete with recreation of the book's cover, and says, "One Salt Sea is gorgeous. Well-thought-out, sparklingly witty, and heartbreakingly sad all at once." Aw, yay.

Genre Reviews has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "There are a couple of plot twists that from a lesser writer would feel gimmicky, and with someone else I'd roll my eyes and whine about them. Coming from Grant, however, I have to believe she's building up to something, and I'm more than willing to let her do the convincing, because at this point she's earned that bit of reader trust." Readers who trust me make me happy. (Warning: review contains Feed spoilers.)

calico_reaction has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "Because at this point, she's more than earned my trust as a reader. I think most, if not all, of the major complaints (unless you just didn't like the characters) people had in Feed are addressed here, and they're addressed in such a way you know it's an organic part of the story, not just the author plugging in a bit to respond to critics of the first book." More trust! And more spoilers! I love calico_reaction's reviews; even when they aren't glowingly positive, they're honest and well-thought out, and very worth reading.

Publishers Weekly has reviewed A Fantasy Medley 2, and says, "Seanan McGuire’s “Rat-Catcher,” set hundreds of years before her October Daye books, is both charming and gut-wrenching. Tight ties to established settings are sacrificed for the sake of accessibility, resulting in four excellent stand-alone stories." Woo! Shipping soon!

Mandy Reviews has posted a review of Blackout, and says, "Grant will pull you through her world at break-neck speed, she demands you stay on the ball, use that grey matter (sorry, couldn't resist) and keep up with both the characters and the science." Mmmmm. I love reviews that talk about the science.

Erin at the Toasted Cheese Literary Journal has posted a review of Ashes of Honor, and says, "Toby's world gets richer and deeper with every book, a testament to McGuire's worldbuilding ability. I've never found a trip into Toby's San Francisco (and the pockets of Faerie that overlap it) disappointing, and I'm always looking forward to the next time I can return." Yay!

That's all for right now. Bit by bit, I will conquer this link file. BIT BY BIT.

...someday.

Felicia Day reviews ASHES OF HONOR!

ashes2
Ahem:

"This installment bumped this series up to the top of my urban-paranormal series list! I am so invested in the world building and the characters now, and the looming sense that something bad is around the corner. At the same time the romance is real and awesome, but doesn't overshadow the adventure. October is such a great heroine, she's come a LONG way from the first book in the series, that's for sure! Highly recommend it, can't wait for the next! Of all the "Faerie" urban fantasy series out there, I enjoy this one the most. If you like the Dark Fever series or Kate Daniels series, you'll def like this one."

From FELICIA DAY. ZOMG.

I win at everything. I will now eat some pilfered Halloween candy, and rejoice in finally feeling like this cold is going away.

Happy Halloween!

Current projects, October 2012.

editing
Welcome to October, season of mists, mellow fruitfulness, and occasional accounting. I'm prepping for the winter, and that means paperwork. So here, then, is the October 2012 current projects post. The snows are coming, and we're almost ready to put a freeze on the year.

Anyway, this is the post in which I tell you what I'm working on, and you finally understand why I don't have time for tea. To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the crazy urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Midnight Blue-Light Special, Parasite). The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. Please don't ask.

What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )

Draft status -- CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT.

wicked
Total words: 122,700.
Chapters: Thirty-one.
Pages: 412.

Reason for stopping: draft one is finished.
Music: Delta Rae.
The cats: Lilly, bed; Alice, unknown; Thomas, bed.

Did somebody get the number of that truck?

Well, there you go. Draft one is done. I have edits to process, corrections to make, structural elements to adjust, and lots and lots of trimming to do—the book is currently somewhere between five and eight thousand words longer than it needs to be, the length of a short story, if you wanted to write a short story made up mostly of "just," "that," and assorted wishy-washy modifiers. But the words are on the page to be mucked about with. The first draft is finished.

I am exhausted and I feel sort of beaten, but the draft is done. Tonight, I will drink deep from the keg of victory. BRING ME THE FINEST MUFFINS AND BAGELS IN THE LAND!

Draft!

A FANTASY MEDLEY 2 review and reminder.

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You may or may not remember that I've got a story appearing in A Fantasy Medley 2 from Subterranean Press, due out this November. This is a spectacularly lovely limited-edition book, featuring stories from me, Tanya Huff, Amanda Downum, and Jasper Kent. And when I say "limited," I mean it: the print run is restricted to 224 numbered copies signed by the authors and editor, and 1,500 fully cloth bound hardcover copies. That's it. No more copies will be made.

But! That's not all! We just got a starred review from Publishers Weekly! You can read the full review right here, and here's what they had to say about my story, "Rat-Catcher":

"Seanan McGuire's "Rat-Catcher," set hundreds of years before her October Daye books, is both charming and gut-wrenching."

Yay!

So anyway, I'm just gonna leave the link to the ordering page over here, for those who might be interested. It really is a beautiful book, and if you want to read Tybalt's origin story, this is the way to do it.

(Note: "Rat-Catcher" happens hundreds of years before the main series, and doesn't impact anything. It's just background. I really love it, but it is not essential to read and enjoy the books. I promise.)

Squee!

Review roundup. You can't stop the Tweet.

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Or the blogging, or the Facebooking, and let's be honest, why would you want to? Except that, if you're me, your link file might try to kill you in your sleep. IN YOUR SLEEP. So here are some reviews, in an effort to make that file a little less robust and murder-y.

Over at SF Signal, Carrie Cuinn has posted a review of Ashes of Honor, and says, "These books are like watching half a season of your favorite television series all at once. Because the author's conversational writing style doesn't make you work too hard to get into the novel, you can easily sit down at the start of an evening and get to the end before bedtime. More than anything else, though, it's the fun of it all that's kept me returning to McGuire's books, and to this series, long after I've stopped reading other mainstream titles. Right now, she's the only urban fantasy writer whose books I will pick up as soon as they're available, and Ashes of Honor proves that I'm right to keeping doing it." Dude, awesome.

Sigrid Ellis has posted a review of Ashes of Honor, and says, "I really, truly, love these books." (Really, you should read her whole review, which is lovely. It just doesn't lend itself to long pull quotes.)

Stochastic has posted a guest review of Ashes of Honor at On Starships and Dragonwings, and says, "You can gauge an author's skill by just how tightly they can paint their protagonists into corners, while still leaving unexpected and often totally insane escapes, and by this measure, Seanan McGuire is a fantastic author." Win!

Fantasy Book Cafe has posted a review of Ashes of Honor, and says, "Ashes of Honor is yet another exciting, funny, and emotional installment in the October Daye series. It further develops the world and characters while maintaining the right balance between a fast-paced story and character development. Furthermore, it makes Toby deal with tough issues without making these tough issues a stumbling block for story progression. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book." Rockin'.

Tome Tender has posted a review of Ashes of Honor, and says, "Love this book, I literally did not want to put it down! Toby seemed to take front stage while her supporting characters all played a vital roles and kept this brilliant story flowing. The witty banter and perfect amount of humor added the extra kick to make this story extraordinary." Yay!

And finally, for today, I'm just going to set this fun interview about my urban fantasy work down over here, where you can pick it up if you want to. It's worth reading.

And that's a roundup.
ashes
I am...really, I am overjoyed, and staggered, and a little bit dizzy over this:

Ashes of Honor is #16 on the New York Times Bestseller List for September 23rd, 2012.

This is the first time I have appeared on the print list (i.e., "the top twenty") under my own name. Late Eclipses and Discount Armageddon both made the list, but they were in the 30s, not the teens.

I am on the print list.

I am a New York Times Bestseller.

I am having real trouble not informing everyone I meet of that fact, including the guy at Starbucks who fixed my pumpkin spice latte. This isn't bragging. It's shock and delight and bafflement and awe.

Thank you all.

Thank you all so much.

Wow.

Word count -- CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT.

wicked
Words: ??/4,072.
Total words: 77,100.
Reason for stopping: it's time to put pants on and do the grocery shopping.
The cats: Lilly, orange cat tree; Alice, bed; Thomas, hallway floor.
Music: Little Big Town.

The odd format for the "number of words written today" section is because I've missed the last several posts, and I only know that I wrote 4,072 words today. But I don't want to give the impression so that this was a 12k day, and so I format it oddly to show that off. Hooray!

It's a little weird working on this book when book six just came out. For one thing, this is the first time ever that a book has been released while its sequel was still being written. So having Ashes of Honor so well-received has just upped the stakes on me. I think that's a good thing. I'm not going to change my story to make any specific person feel better, but I can motivate myself to earn those reviews again. Also, I can make Toby's life a living hell in the process. Everybody wins.

I will now get dressed and go out, and when I get home tonight, I'll see about finishing "Married In Green."

It's a good life.
ashes2
It is with great pleasure that I remind you all that the latest iteration of the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show will be assembling this Saturday at San Francisco's own Borderlands Books. We'll be getting underway at 6pm, and rocking the roof until closing time comes and they kick us all out! Why are we partying?

To celebrate the release of Ashes of Honor, naturally.

There will be cupcakes! There will be music and a raffle and reading and some Q&A, and it will be a hootenanny of a good time, with a whole lotta hoot AND a whole lotta nanny! Bring your kids! Bring your siblings! Bring your slime monsters! We totally hope to see you there.

Oh, and: Richard Kadrey, who is so awesome that they had to invent new swear words to describe him, will be at the bookstore before the Circus comes to town! His event starts at three. Come early, and make a day of it!

Remember that Borderlands does take telephone and email orders, and would be happy to send you books signed by any of the lovely authors who will be haunting the store that day. Get a book already touched by pure awesome. Or, you know. Ink. The party starts Saturday at 6pm!

Cheese! And! Cake!

ASHES OF HONOR open thread!

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To celebrate the release of Ashes of Honor, here. Have an open thread to discuss the book. Judging by the comments I'm seeing, you've had time.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

Seriously. If anyone comments here at all, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. So please don't read and then yell at me because you encountered spoilers. You were warned. (I will not reply to every comment; I call partial comment amnesty. But I may well join some of the discussion, or answer questions or whatnot.) I will be DELETING all comments containing spoilers which have been left on other posts. No one gets to spoil people here without a label.

You can also start a discussion at my website forums, with less need to be concerned that I will see everything you say! In case you wanted, you know, discussion free of authorial influence, since I always wind up getting involved in these things.

Have fun, and try not to bleed on the carpet.

Because You Asked: Hiding.

wicked
I have once again promised to make five posts answering questions about Toby's world to celebrate the release of an upcoming book. This is the last time I'm going to do this for Toby: the questions are getting too character and book-specific, which trends into spoiler territory. So if you had a burning world question, now would be the time to scroll back to my original entry and ask it.

This is post #4. I will make post #5 tomorrow.

enigmoid asks, "How do the fae remain hidden from the human world from cameras recording devices, and satellites? It only takes one mistake."

Ah, but you see, there are two assumptions here.

1) That fae illusions do not work on recording devices. They do.
2) That anyone would believe what they saw.

Mistakes have been made in the past, and I mean the recent past, not the old, dark, pre-hiding past. Illusions have slipped, things have been seen that shouldn't have been seen...and you know what? People shrugged it off. For every "I WANT TO BELIEVE!", there are ten "I do not want to live in a world where that is possible, and thus it is not possible." Consider the zombie walks, LARPs, comic book conventions, real-world superheroes, and Bigfoot seekers in our real, known world. Consider how few of those are reported as proof of the supernatural.

Now consider what an excellent source of camouflage they are.

Satellites are a different can of worms, and one with potentially more issues, since if the military spots a pod of Merrow, they're likely to respond...badly. But at the same time, that's where the fae predilection for hanging out in the Summerlands comes in handy. Most fae, if they're not indoors or playing human, are in knowes or the Summerlands. Why? Because they feel safer there, where there are no satellites.

So yes, it's a concern, and a good one. But willful blindness and basic caution do a lot to minimize it.

Because You Asked: Language.

pony
I said that I would once again answer five questions about Toby's world to celebrate the upcoming book, and this is question #3. scorbet asks, "Do the Fae have their own language or do they just adopt the language of where they are?"

Great question!

So the fae, insofar as anyone knows, basically just started one day, when Oberon, Maeve, and Titania came strolling out of wherever it is they came from and said "Yeah, this'll do." They did say it. The three of them began with a common language, which we can call, for lack of a better word, "Fae." They spoke the language of the fae, and that's not what they called themselves in that tongue, because "fae" is a loan word. They didn't call themselves by name, either. They were the only three things that mattered in the entire world, and when you have a population of three, you don't so much need proper names.

Now, creating a language is hard. There's a reason that most of us are pretty relieved when we discover that hey, there's a word for that. As the Three wandered around, encountering people and making trouble, they began acquiring words for things. Tree. House. Car. Uncivilized behavior. Frog. Witch. Spell. Humans turned out to be incredibly useful in the "naming things" department, and the Three wound up being called things other than "one I'm with" and "one I'm not."

When it became apparent that whoa, hey, all their kids were totally radically different from one another, and so were their children, humanity stepped up to the plate again, slapping all kinds of names on them. (This is why so many fae races have names that translate as either "funny-looking people" or "kinda like a whale/horse/tree/whatever, only not.") The fae, lacking any better ideas, sort of rolled with it. This is why a) so many fae races have names from so many different languages, and b) fae pronunciation and grammar is a little...questionable. They're literally their own messed-up polyglot linguistic drift.

That's where their consistent vocabulary (race names, etc.) comes from. There are regional variations (Kitsune in Japan don't call Firstborn "Firstborn," they have a local name that I can't spell), but for the most part, those pieces will remain consistent. As for conversational "I can talk to you, you can talk to me" speech, that tends to fit whatever the local language happens to be. So Toby speaks mostly English, as do coastal Undersea fae. Li Qin speaks both English and Mandarin. The Luidaeg speaks about eighteen languages fluently, and can tell you to go fuck yourself in any and all of them.

Fae who have been isolated from humanity for any length of time will tend to develop their own language, although the anchored "root words" will remain, as artifacts to facilitate communication with other races. The deep Undersea has its own language, as does the Oversky. Some fae are not equipped to speak human words, and find other forms of language. Dryads are fluent in wind, for example. But when it comes to the spoken word, the fae are thieves, and they don't give a damn about your grammar.

So there.

Because You Asked: Fire fairies.

sarah
To celebrate the upcoming release of Ashes of Honor, I am answering five questions about Toby's world. This is the second.

So gwisteria asks, "Are there fire faeries or would their lifespan too short to warrant consciousness?"

Yes, Virginia, there is a Fire Kingdom.

Fae crop up everywhere in the world, from the depths of the ocean to the hearts of active volcanoes. They have their own culture, their own traditions, and their own creatures (we've seen salamanders, for example). Even most of the Firstborn don't visit the Fire Kingdoms, because unless they're extremely powerful shapeshifters, or just really, really fire-proof, being set on fire is still inconvenient.

Some fire fae do come to visit, but it's mostly the lava-equivalent of Selkies and Kelpies: the liminal fae, the ones who can do just fine in either environment. Peri are considered fire-fae, for example, as are Kesali, and both of those have been known to show up in Land courts. They usually avoid the Undersea, as being doused in water does not make fires of any sort particularly happy. There are doubtless some breeds of fire fae that have never been seen outside the heart of living volcanoes, slow falls of lava that sometimes open strangely human eyes and try to entice you to come just that little bit closer...

It isn't recommended.

Of all the lands in Faerie, the Fire Kingdoms are the most isolate, and the least likely to be visited on a whim. Most fae would die in an instant, and they lack the overlap of the land and sea or the land and air. It doesn't make them bad people, down there in the flames. It just makes them very, very, undeniably alien.
ashes
I promised you a treat to celebrate the impending release of Ashes of Honor, and here it is:

A brand-new story about the Luidaeg, "In Sea-Salt Tears," has been posted on the equally brand-new Toby Daye short fiction page. It is available in ePub, MOBI, and PDF formats, and is free for download. (So far, this is the only free Toby-universe short story. We'll be adding listings for the published-in-books shorts in a little while, but it's not hyper-high priority.)

This story is best read after One Salt Sea, and it further details the relationship between the Luidaeg and Elizabeth Ryan, the Selkie clan leader we met at the very end of the book. Please download rather than trying to read locally; my server will thank you.

Cover graphics are by Tara O'Shea. All short story electronic conversion thus far has been done by scifantasy. As both of them are awesome, we applaud them now.

Go forth, read, and please feel free to use this as a discussion post, which means there may be spoilers in the comments. Tread carefully.

Enjoy.

Because You Asked: Fae Naming.

ashes
Yesterday I said that, to celebrate the upcoming release of Ashes of Honor, I would once again make five blog posts detailing the background aspects of Toby's reality. This is the first of those posts.

sasunarufan02 asks, "How do the fae go about naming their pure-blood kids/changeling kids?"

Fae naming! Hooray! One of my favorite "oh sweet Great Pumpkin she's talking about it again make her stop topics!"

Let's face it: when the majority of your population can reasonably expect to live for centuries, if not forever, names like "John" and "Mary" stop working for you real, real fast. There's not enough turn-over, and nicknames only go so far. Also, you're going to have an influx of changelings whose mortal parents insisted on "John" and "Mary," which puts even more pressure on the long-lived to avoid common names. Plus, nothing will ever really go out of fashion, since names don't "age out" when the people who have them insist on continuing to walk around and do stuff, rather than politely dying and allowing trendy new names to come into fashion. So what do you get?

You get theme naming.

In Faerie, it's considered insulting to name someone directly after someone else, as it implies either that you're hoping to replace them, or that you expect them to die soon. You can, however, give names to honor or acknowledge specific people. So October, for example, is named partially to honor September Torquill, who was a close friend of Amandine's. October comes after September. September herself was named to honor her father, Septimus, as were her two brothers, Simon and Sylvester. It's a very "S"-y family. (Yes, there are reasons that October was named after a Torquill, no, I won't go into them yet, no, Sylvester is not her father.)

Another example of same-letter naming is the Lorden family, where Patrick and Dianda named their sons Peter and Dean. Both of these are relatively common names, but the Undersea is distinct enough from the land that they have a wider range of names they haven't used yet. The mermaids could give a shit if there's already a Cu Sidhe named "Bob."

Back to October: her name is part of a chain of month names that honor by meaning, not by sound. So September named her own daughter "January," in part to honor the baby's Tylwyth Teg father (since they're often associated with ice and the winter in this setting), and in part after herself, at the urging of her husband. When January had a daughter of her own, she named her "April," both in honor of her mother, and as an acknowledgment to the Chinese holiday of Qingming, to honor her wife. (As a Dryad, April didn't really have a name. So naming her was appropriate and necessary.)

As for Toby's daughter, Gillian...I have had exactly one person email to ask if I was aware that "Gillian" is a form of "Julius." Yes. Yes, I was. While Toby didn't want to outright name her daughter "July," or even "Julia," the fae tendency toward referential naming is very strong, and so she found a name that could be traced back to "July" without actually being "July." Because old habits are hard to break.

Fae families will literally have children named "Antigone" growing up next to children named "Tom," and maybe children named "Duvet," because they like the sound of those names, and they fit into some obscure set of familial naming chains. Oh, and a lot of fae change their names as they age, either to achieve a fresh start, or for social reasons (Princes of Cats change their names when they become Kings, for example). This can trigger a whole new set of referential names.

And now you know.

Ask me anything: Toby's world Q&A.

wicked
Since I have a book coming out in fifteen days, I figure it's time to once again offer to answer your questions about the world. So...

I will make five blog posts detailing aspects of Toby's universe. Ask me anything! I will not answer every question, but will select the five that I think are the most interesting/fun/relevant, and will detail them to my heart's content. There's a lot to learn and know, and asking loses you nothing.

Leave your questions on this post. I'm declaring comment-reply amnesty for any that I choose not to answer this time, since otherwise, my wee head may explode.

Game on!

ETA: Things covered last two times we did this: inheritance, fosterage, madness, historical records, Cait Sidhe court structure, the Changeling's Choice, locational biology, where fae races come from, shapeshifters, and merlins.

At last, your winners.

marilyn
But first, a note:

I wasn't able to draw the winners when I originally said that I would, because planning and prep for Spocon got away from me. I apologize for that. At the same time, if something happens to prevent my posting winners immediately—and we live in a chaotic environment; things happen—please don't start emailing, Facebook messaging, and Tweeting me asking whether I've drawn the winners. When I draw the winners, I post them here. All you do by following me to other forums to ask why I'm late is make my stubborn kick in, and then I wind up even later.

Selecting winners takes time. I need to feed the data into the RNG, and then count, by hand, to be sure that ineligible comments (followups on original comments, comments which do not follow the stated rules) aren't selected as the winners. It can take up to half an hour, with something like this, where there are multiple factors involved. My having time to tweet from the airport doesn't mean I have time to sit and count.

Thank you for understanding.

And now...

Winning an ARC of A Fantasy Medley 2, georgiamagnolia!
Winning an ARC of When Will You Rise?, apocalypticbob!

You each have twenty-four hours to send me a mailing address, and thank you for playing! More giveaways to come!

Word count -- CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT.

wicked
Words: 2,125.
Total words: 65,130.
Reason for stopping: I need to shower and finish packing.
The cats: Alice, eating; Thomas, unknown; Lilly, currently on top of my foot.
Music: Florence and the Machine.

So it's later than I like to be up, and I would have stopped half an hour ago if I hadn't needed to make word count. Which begs the question of "why are you making word count so late?" I'm glad you asked! I actually finished "In Sea-Salt Tears," which is a short story giving a little more background on Elizabeth Ryan, the Selkie clan leader we met at the end of One Salt Sea (and yes, the title similarity is intentional).

I really like this story, and even more, I really like being able to go and fill in things that Toby doesn't know, and doesn't need to know, because they're not her stories. She's not the only person who's ever lived in Faerie and had a story worth telling.

I am happy.
discount2
...merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Today's first review comes from libris_leonis, who has posted a review of "Countdown", and says, "This is a grim, compact little story that works really well, but also really grimly; not uplifting, but certainly excellent, although it does require knowledge of the Newsflesh world to really work to its full effect." Yay!

You know, that review was so nice, let's visit the reviewer twice. libris_leonis has also posted a review of "San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats", and says, "Overall, "San Diego 2014" showcases Grant's best talents; emotionally resonant and effective work, drawing out similarities between characters and readers, and the occasional (more common here than across the rest of the Newsflesh cycle) reference to modern geek culture. A very nice novella." Hooray!

Sadly, one reviewer does not a full roundup make, and so we move on. The Mad Reviewer has posted a review of Blackout, and says, "Funny, dark, suspenseful and full of plot twists, Blackout was no disappointment. And it even had a satisfying, if not entirely happy, ending. What else could I really ask for?" A pony. You can always, always ask for a pony.

Persephone Reads has posted a review of Late Eclipses, and says, "For every knock she takes—and this installment’s knocks would make a heavyweight prizefighter proud—Toby finds a way to get back on her feet. She’s not invincible; she sways and stumbles, but she stands when others might fall. In these pages, Toby’s brand of strength and vulnerability found its sweet spot. It’s no great shock that I continue to be a pom-pom wielding, card carrying member of her cheer squad." Go Fighting Pumpkins!

The Family Addiction has posted a fun, and funny, review of Discount Armageddon. There are no really good pull quotes this time, but it's definitely worth clicking through.

A Modern Hypatia (love the name) has posted a review of Deadline, and says, "Deadline is also an amazingly strong second book—often the weakness of trilogies. There are some places that's obvious (especially the end), but the beginning does a great job of easing you back into the world and reminding you how things work before the story accelerates (which it does quite rapidly.) And then there's a solid plot that both serves this book, but is clearly laying down foundation for a powerful conclusion." Victory is mine!

Finally for today's extremely random review roundup, Monsters and Critics has posted a review of Home Improvement: Undead Edition, and says, "This collection is a treat; the stories are strong and most reward the reader with a pleasing plot twist. The paranormal element added to the mundane yet trying experience of home or business renovation was an inspired theme certain to strike a cord with anyone who has lived the experience. Just the thing to enjoy on a languid summer day with a tall glass of cold lemonade." Works for me.

So that's me purging a little more of the link file. Look for more of these in the next few weeks, as I struggle to get things under control before Ashes of Honor hits shelves.

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