My wife and I had the distinct pleasure of going to ConQuest in Kansas City earlier on this year. If you haven’t been, I can’t recommend it enough. The programming was excellent, the location (The Sheraton at Crowne Center) is awesome, and they had a game room the likes of which I haven’t seen before or since. We’re looking forward to returning this year, and probably for many more in the future.
One of the chief draws of ConQuest this year was the convention’s author guest of honor, Seanan McGuire. She’s someone who’d flown under my radar for a long time until I picked up Rosemary and Rue, the first in her October Daye series during one of my “Eh, its Urban Fantasy and I need something to hold me over until the next Dresden Book comes out” searches of Audible.com.
Spoiler alert: The next Dresden book comes out in exactly one hundred years.
Back on topic, though. Since that first book I’ve been hooked to just about everything that Seanan writes, and fortunately for me, she writes a lot. Not only that, but her panels at ConQuest were hilarious and mildly frightening. Through some of her books, she’s done quite a bit of research on genetic engineering and put a lot of thought into how she would end the world on the cheap. She actually consults for the CDC in one capacity or another along with some other authors. I’m assuming because it’s their job to think up worst case scenarios and then think up ways out of them.
All that being said, if you don’t know who she is, and what she writes, that’s what we’re doing here today. We’ll start where I started, with the October Daye series.
While I really don’t want to compare October Daye to Harry Dresden…there are a few similarities. Not in a “this is a copy” sense, but more in a “both of these characters could use a vacation” sense. October Daye is a Changling, half-human, half-fae. She’s had a rough last decade and a half. While searching for the kidnapped wife and daughter of her liege, his asshole half-brother changed her into a goldfish and left her to swim about in a lake for fourteen years. When the spell finally breaks, she has to pick up the pieces of her life and deal with all the problems she left behind. If that sounds a little rough…it is. Toby gets the crap beat out of her in just about every book, makes more enemies, gets in more trouble, and generally bites off more than she can chew. She is also a bad-ass, though. Seriously, check it out.
Maybe “hard-boiled fae-private eye” isn’t your speed. Though, if it isn’t I’m not sure we have all that much in common. Still, if it isn’t, maybe “monster conservation” is more your speed. Well, the proper term is Cryptozoologist. For Verity Price, Cryptozoology is the family business. In the first book in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series, Discount Armageddon, Verity is in the middle of a study of the Cryptid populations of New York while trying to decide if she wants to pursue the family business, or follow her heart and become a professional ballroom dancer. All that goes out the window when a snake cult starts murdering folks and a member of the Fellowship of Saint Giles (monster hunters and assholes) shows up. I like this series a lot, for the world building, the characters and the everything else. In a later book they go to Australia and I wish she had an entire series based there.
Sometimes you’re not in an urban fantasy mood though. Sometimes you feel like a little horror. How about some zombies? Well, under her pen name Mira Grant, Seanan writes a couple of different horror series that are both engrossing…and gross.
In the Newsflesh series, starting with Feed, the zombie apocalypse has come and gone. The world has changed in the last forty years. First, zombies are a still a thing. Just because the apocalypse ended doesn’t mean they aren’t still around chewing on people. Along the way, the traditional media dropped the ball, and the new journalists are bloggers. Some are pure journalists, while others go out into the wilderness and poke dead things with sticks for page hits. Feed joins the first blogging crew embedded with a presidential campaign. Go out and read this. Trust me. Just do it. I wish I could tell you more…but I really can’t spoil this. Its good.
Zombies too tame for you? How about a world where genetic modification has produced a tape worm that you voluntarily take to solve all your health problems. What about when that goes really, really wrong? Then might I humbly suggest Parasite also by Mira Grant, the first book in the Parasitology series. Also a great read full of conspiracies, and creepy parasites.
Phew… There’s almost certainly something in here for you. I highly recommend that you buy her books. All of them. Read and keep reading forever.
I’d like to do some similar posts with other authors who I’ve stumbled across. But I’m terrible at delivering on blog promises. So, you’ll get what you get and you’ll be happy. Besides, if you read everything by Seanan McGuire that you can get your grubby little mits on, you won’t need any more books for a while. For now, I can hear the sweet, siren call of bed. That and the cats hunger. Catch you next time!