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McGuire, Seanan

Entry updated 3 June 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1978-    ) US filker (see Filk), Internet presence and prolific author, who also writes as by A Deborah Baker and Mira Grant; she began publishing work of genre interest with "Lost" in Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name (anth 2009) edited by SatyrPhil Brucato and Sandra Buskirk, and became prominent very quickly, winning the John W Campbell Award for best new writer in 2010. She shared the newly introduced Hugo for best fancast with other presenters of the Audiozine SF Squeecast in 2012 and 2013.

Her first series, the October Daye sequence beginning with Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel (2010) and ending with Chimes at Midnight (2013), is mainly of fantasy interest, featuring half-breed private detective Toby Daye in a noirish San Francisco (see California) who exists half in this world and half in Faerie; the series conforms to the twenty-first century definition of Urban Fantasy as a form deeply infiltrated by paranormal romance idioms, and Shapeshifter characters, including in this case magical Talking Animals in quasi-human form, like Tybalt the King of Cats. The later InCryptid sequence beginning with Discount Armageddon (2012), which employs some similar strategies, sets its kick-ass female protagonist in an Urban Fantasy version of New York, where as a member of a family long engaged in this enterprise, she and her brother work as cryptozoologists studying mythological Monsters and other Supernatural Creatures, all of whom exist. [For Faerie, Talking Animals and Urban Fantasy see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below.]

McGuire's second series, the NewsFlesh sequence – book-length instalments including Feed (2010), Deadline (2011) and Blackout (2012), all as by Mira Grant – is of direct sf interest for its depiction of a Dystopian Near Future world a few decades after an outbreak in 2014 of a virus whose effect is to create Zombies who spread the Pandemic and who drive most of the survivors into urban Keeps. McGuire's assumption that traditional deep-structure news media still barely exist may be hopeful, and her contiguous assumption that social media will take up the investigatory slack may overstate the professionalism of internet sleuths, but her news- and revelation-oriented angle of approach refreshingly justifies both the expository detail of the sequence, and the numerous scoops that stimulate the plotting and her newshound protagonists. Exceedingly close to this sequence in premise is the Parasitology series – comprising to date Parasite (2013), Symbiont (2014) and Chimera (2015) – in which SymboGen tapeworms are installed in human guts in order to fight diseases, but develop sentience, transforming their human hosts into Zombie-like masks over the alien species within (see Parasitism and Symbiosis). The series, told by a "humanized" tapeworm, does not significantly capitalize upon romantic episodes between a kind of Young Adult worm-within and a male human, and may not become a cited Feminist text.

Variations on these basic patterns mark McGuire's later work, though one singleton, Indexing (May 2013 Amazon Look Inside; 2014), interestingly examines, in an Urban Fantasy context, a world in which archetypal figures not only tell us deep truths about our species, but are in fact literally true: and irrupt into the surface world unless constrained. The fluent copiousness of McGuire's talent helps explain the rapid increase of interest in her work; but may also explain its occasional repetitiveness. She is very active in social media [see links below]; some of this work has been assembled as the nonfiction Letters to the Pumpkin King (coll 2014). Her fantasy Every Heart a Doorway (2016) won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award as best novella, and is the first in the Wayward Children series, winner of the Hugo for best series in 2022. Middlegame (2019) also won a Locus Award as best fantasy novel; a later Wayward Children episode, Where the Drowned Girls Go (2021), won a Hugo as best novella. [JC]

see also: Eastercon.

Seanan McGuire

born Martinez, California: 5 January 1978



October Daye



Velveteen Versus ...


  • Parasite (New York: Orbit, 2013) as by Mira Grant [Parasitology: pb/Lauren Panepinto]
  • Symbiont (New York: Orbit, 2014) as by Mira Grant [Parasitology: pb/Lauren Panepinto]
  • Chimera (New York: Orbit, 2015) as by Mira Grant [Parasitology: pb/Lauren Panepinto]


  • Indexing (Las Vegas, Nevada: 47North, 2014) [first appeared May 2013 Amazon Look Inside: Indexing: pb/uncredited]
  • Reflections (Las Vegas, Nevada: 47North, 2015) [ebook: Indexing: na/]

Ghost Roads

Rolling in the Deep

  • Rolling in the Deep (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2015) as by Mira Grant [novella: Rolling in the Deep: hb/Julie Dillon]
  • Into the Drowning Deep (New York: Orbit, 2017) as by Mira Grant [Rolling in the Deep: hb/]

Wayward Children

Alchemical Journeys

Up and Over

individual titles

collections and stories



previous versions of this entry

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