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Seanan McGuire is an American writer and singer-songwriter.

McGuire is the current record holder of the most Hugo Award nominations in a single year, racking up five (and winning one) in 2013. Her October Daye series has made her a New York Times Bestselling Author as well. She also writes under the pseudonym Mira Grant.

In addition to her many prose novels, McGuire also writes comic books for Marvel. In 2018, she became the new ongoing writer of Spider-Gwen, and scripted the Mystique segment of X-Men: Black, as well as an X-Men: Gold annual. As part of the Age of X-Man crossover event, she wrote the tie-in series The Amazing Nightcrawler.

As a singer-songwriter in the filk genre, McGuire has released five albums to date.

She also occasionally draws a semi-autobiographical webcomic.

She has a website, though it seems to have not been updated in a while. Her blog is more up-to-date, and she regularly posts on Tumblr. A full list of all her written works is available here.

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Selected bibliography:

Prose Novels

as Seanan McGuire

as Mira Grant

as A. Deborah Baker

  • The Up-an-Under
    • Over the Woodward Wall (2020)
    • Along the Saltwise Sea (2021)
    • Into the Windwracked Wilds (2022)

Short Stories

  • Star Wars: Canto Bight — "The Wine in Dreams" (as Mira Grant)
  • The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination — "Laughter at the Academy"
  • Weird Tales #364 — "Too Late Now"
  • Laughter At The Academy — A 2019 anthology of her own short stories.

Comic Books

Marvel Comics

Discography:

  • Pretty Little Dead Girl: Seanan McGuire and Friends Live at OVFF 2005 (2006)
  • Stars Fall Home (2007)
  • Red Roses and Dead Things (2009)
  • Wicked Girls (2011)
  • Creature Feature (2015)

Tropes in her other works:

  • Alien Kudzu: In the short story "Too Late Now", whose narrator outright compares the plot to The Day of the Triffids In-Universe, Earth is overrun by alien plants that outcompete all Earthly vegetation, and then start eating people and animals. Humanity is reduced to a few heavily fortified enclaves that rigorously search returning scouts for any trace of seeds.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Virology, infectious diseases, and herpetology all show up in her works (she studied herpetology in college and worked as one before becoming a full-time writer).
    • Apparently she has a narrative kink for “character licks blood off their hand for the ability to beat mind control” (it shows up in both October Daye and InCryptid, though there it's someone else's blood).
    • Sisters, fatphobia (and defying it), and bullies are some more recurring themes.
    • She has a fondness for Mad Science, with her album Red Roses and Dead Things focusing on it.
    • Old-fashioned carnivals show up frequently in InCryptid and several of her songs.
  • Beast and Beauty: Her song "Creature Feature" is about a classic movie monster (some verses imply he's a Fish Person, others a werewolf) falling in (presumably one-sided) love with a human woman, who's terrified and disgusted by him (at least at first). The song ends on a hopeful note, with him waiting at a movie theater for her.
  • Becoming the Costume: In her Patreon short story "Face Your Furs", an unnamed theme park implants nanotechnology into the Goofy Suits employees wear to turn them into Beast Men. This is all perfectly legal, but they're still treated more like property than employees, and complications arise when the transformation turns out to be irreversible.
  • Black Dude Dies First: in her horror novella Final Girls the unnamed black technician is the first to die. But this story is very much about the rules by which horror movies operate, so it's almost a low key lampshade as used.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: A lesbian version in her Patreon short story "Inflatable Angel", in which a Cute Ghost Girl meets and falls in love with a living woman.
  • Circus of Fear: "The Poisonous Circus" is about a circus for Nightmare Fetishists.
  • Creator In-Joke: There are several that appear in multiple books.
    • The poem "Mairzy Doats" appears in both the October Daye and Newsflesh books.
    • Being betrayed to the bad guys by a pair of shoes likewise appears in both sets of books.
    • The creepy children's book in Parasitology shares several lines with her filk about Silent Hill.
  • Cruel Cheerleader: Played straight, discussed played with and backflipped to hell. Notably, the evil cheerleaders that do show up will are just as likely to be physical threats given that modern cheerleaders need to be superb athletes to do their routines.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much the protagonist of any of her stories except for Parasite.
    • Ghost Roads has Rose.
    • InCryptid has Verity (Antimony as well. Alexander can bring the snark from time to time but on the whole, he's much more prone to dry academic humor).
    • Indexing's is Henry.
    • Newsflesh's is George, though the entire cast could qualify.
    • October Daye has Toby, the Luidaeg, and several others.
    • Velveteen vs. has Velma.
    • Final Girls has Esther.
  • Gender-Blender Name: A number of her heroines go by masculine-sounding diminutives.
    • October "Toby" Daye
    • Georgia "George" Mason
    • Henrietta "Henry" Marchen
    • Jack and Kade from Every Heart A Doorway. Jack is short for Jacqueline. Kade is gender flip of Katie, because he is a trans boy.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Her love of virology and infectious diseases means that many of those stories are cautionary tales about how then-current quarantine and sanitation measures were insufficient and the world was unprepared for a serious epidemic. Then the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, proving many of those fears right. Perhaps the most harsh is the author's note on "The Tolling of Pavlov's Bells" in the Laughter At The Academy anthology, which was published a little over a month before Covid was first identified in Wuhan.
    McGuire: I believe the modern world's disdain for quarantine and willingness to support structures that encourage its violation is going to do a great deal of damage one day, and with new diseases emerging regularly, that day may not be particularly far in the future. [...] Wash your hands.
  • Haunted Fetter: Her Patreon short story "Inflatable Angel" is about Caroline, a worker at a shipping warehouse who was crushed to death under a pile of packages. After she's dead, she finds out she's a ghost bound to an inflatable dragon put in someone's yard as a holiday decoration. The dragon is on a timer, and once it deflates in the early morning, she goes back to The Nothing After Death. After a few nights, she meets Abby, the woman who owns the inflatable, and at the end Abby brings the dragon and timer inside so they can be together even after the decorations are put away.
  • Kid from the Future: Her song "Time Travel Girl" is about the Mad Scientist singer's daughter stealing his time machine and traveling back to make sure her parents stay together.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: A lot of her filks are cheery, bouncy numbers about horrible diseases, zombies, etc. (For example, "Zombie Wedding" actually picks up a little when the narrator mentions she'll be committing suicide to marry her newly-dead boyfriend.)
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts and what they can do vary by the book unless it's a shared 'verse. The ghosts in Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day are different than those from the InCryptid books.
  • Plant Aliens: Too Late Now is a tribute to The Day of the Triffids, featuring a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in small fortresses in fear of ravenous plants.
  • Pom-Pom Girl: A recurring theme in Ms. McGuire's writing, likely to be discussed in some depth. Individual examples can be Valkyries or badass cryptozoologists, "Dying With Her Cheer Pants On" focuses on a badass team of them keeping a town safe, and some characters can be former cheerleaders.
  • Promoted Fangirl: She's a major fan of the Alien franchise and its Final Girls, and got to write Alien: Echo, a young adult novel set in the universe.
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: In the short story "Laughter at the Academy",note  "Schizotypal Creative Genius Personality Disorder" is a recognized psychological disorder, and anyone pursuing scientific research beyond a bachelor's degree is heavily scrutinized, and tested monthly for it. The Mad Scientist of the story is a mad psychologist who discovers how conditioning can induce a previously sane person to develop SCGPD. Nobody suspects her because everyone assumes only hard scientists can become mad.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: In her Patreon short story "Sweet as Sugar Candy", Leah uses human bone as the secret ingredient in her marshmallows.
  • Self-Parody: She wrote a parody of her own song "Pretty Little Dead Girl", changing the words to be about Malcolm Reynolds.
  • Shout-Out: The author is an unabashed fan of Stephen King, and mentions other pop culture she's fond of as it comes up.
  • Stupid Evil: The antagonist of Too Late Now, Manhattan, pushes Boston into a hole to get eaten by the plants, even though he already found out where her scavenging find was so he could loot it. This results in him and everyone with them also getting eaten.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In the short story "Dying With Her Cheer Pants On", the Fighting Pumpkins cheer squad, faced with an unstoppable alien invasion, summons Bloody Mary. They add "I killed your son", which, according to Urban Legend, will get Mary to kill everyone. Including them, but they don't care.
  • Taking You with Me: In "Dear Gina", the titular Gina instigated an Evil Is Not a Toy incident and then skipped town when she realized the consequences. The narrator knows she can't escape the monster hunting down her friend group one by one, so she acquires Gina's address and writes it nice and big on her wall so the monster will know exactly where to go when it's done with her.
    Gina, when you're dead, then I'll forgive you
    P.S.: I hope it hurts like hell
    Love, Katie
  • Teens Are Monsters:
    • Every Heart A Doorway: whether the teens are monstrous because they're teens or because they're no longer accustomed to reality as we know it is left to the reader.
    • Final Girls: Daphne and her clique of popular kids are bullies who take it to the point of violence. They are also a deliberate invocation of this trope, being part of a horror movie simulation.
  • Tuckerization: The author likes to toss in her good friends, but also has sold Tuckerization appearances in her books for charity.
  • Villain Protagonist: Leah, the narrator of her Patreon short story "Sweet as Sugar Candy". Sure, David went against her wishes and wanted to expand her business, but she kills him and turns his bones into marshmallows and it's implied she'd been doing this to other people for a while. In this case, The Witch Hunter was right!
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: To the point of being a Villain Protagonist, the main character of Kingdom of Needle and Bone breeds a super-measles strain that permanently destroys infectees' abilities to be vaccinated, assuming they even survive, in order to convince the world of the seriousness of maintaining herd immunity. The initial outbreak alone kills ten million, including her own niece.

Alternative Title(s): Mira Grant

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