Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Flicks with Seanan McGuire - February 17, 2011

"I think there's something wrong with me..."

Confession #1: I am a child of the 1980s. Oh, I've tried to grow beyond my neon scrunchie and rubber monster roots, but at the end of the day, I have to keep fighting the urge to rat my hair, crank up the Julie Brown, and slip my phone number in Jeff Goldblum's back pocket.

Confession #2: I love horror comedies. The blacker the better! The horror comedy was an absolute staple of the 1980s, the decade that gave us Critters and Night of the Comet and Night of the Creeps (and the musical stylings of The Midnight Hour and Little Shop of Horrors). They're the delicious Reese's Peanut Butter Cups of horror, a little salty, a little sweet, a whole lot awesome.

Sadly, the horror comedy fell out of favor in the 1990s, thanks in part to Wes Craven's brilliant Scream, which practically ushered in the post-modern era of horror movies. Suddenly, it was hip to treat the movies with interior scorn, as if they couldn't really hurt us if we didn't let them. Those of us who had survived cinematic encounters with evil clowns and killer carrots knew better, but no one was asking us. Horror became unrelentingly grim—not just horrible, but gruesome, like laughing at the dark was somehow against the rules. Horror wasn't fun anymore.

In 2006, James Gunn changed that. Slither was the first horror movie I had seen in literally years where the credits finished rolling and I got right up to buy another ticket. It didn't do as well at the box office as I might have hoped (I think I was the Northern California box office take), but it made movies like Zombieland possible by reminding us that sometimes, it was okay to whistle past the graveyard. Sometimes, it was okay to laugh at the dark.

Also, Nathan Fillion. I'm just saying.

About Seanan

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn't killed for using her typewriter at three o'clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite. Her upbringing left her with a love of rattlesnakes and a deep fear of weather, which explains a lot.

Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan's personal anecdotes end with things like "and then we got the anti-venom" or "but it's okay, because it turned out the water wasn't all that deep." She has yet to be defeated in a game of "Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?," and can be amused for hours by just about anything. "Just about anything" includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality television, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir's Horror Films of the 1980s as a checklist.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye series of urban fantasies, the first seven of which have been purchased by DAW Books; the InCryptid series of urban fantasies, the first two of which have been purchased by DAW Books; and the Newsflesh trilogy, published by Orbit under the pseudonym "Mira Grant." She's working on several other books, just to make sure she never runs out of things to edit. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies, and she was a 2010 Universe Author for The Edge of Propinquity.

In her spare time, Seanan writes and records original music. She has three CDs currently available (see the Albums page for additional details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, "With Friends Like These...", as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie that has the words "blood," "night," "terror," or "attack" in the title. Most people believe that she doesn't sleep.

Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her three cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, a vast collection of plush things and horror movies, and sufficient books to officially qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have firmly fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the "marginally." It probably doesn't help that she has so many hobbies.

Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010.


  1. Hey Seanan Its so good to learn a bit about you..We are Big fans my daughter and myself..And on The BN UF/Paranormal have so many fans .. We chat about your books of course..All of us are waiting for Late Eclipse's..Our Leader : )Paul Goat Allen and some BN friends said I would like your work..How intuitive of them..Pushing me along on My UF Journry...Much Success...Susan

  2. Have you ever seen "Bordello of Blood"? It was a Tales from the Crypt movie--I loved it when I was in middle school (I know, I know) and re-watched it On-Demand (free!) last weekend. Still hilarious!