Seanan McGuire

American writer

Seanan McGuire (born January 5, 1978) is an American author and filker, known for her award winning urban fantasy novels.

Seanan McGuire (2018)


All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-8550-5
Won the 2017 Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novella
  • “Hope hurts. That’s what you need to learn, and fast, if you don’t want it to cut you open from the inside out. Hope is bad. Hope means you keep on holding to things that won’t ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there’s nothing left. Ely-Eleanor is always saying ’don’t use this word’ and ’don’t use that word,’ but she never bans the ones that are really bad. She never bans hope.”
    • Chapter 1, “Coming Home, Leaving Home” (p. 30)
  • Her accusations had been met with reality, and they didn’t have anyplace else to go.
    • Chapter 5, “Survivors, For a Time” (p. 94)
  • You know, sometimes I almost forget how creepy you are, and then you go and say something like that.
    • Chapter 7, “Cocoa” (p. 129)
  • Then Angela turned on Kade, and said, “I meant what I said. It’s sick, how you pretend like you’re something you’re not.”
    “I was about to say the same thing to you,” said Christopher. “I mean, you always did a pretty good job of pretending to be a decent human being. You had me fooled.”
    • Chapter 9, “The Broken Birds of Avalon” (p. 152)
  • Time resumed.
    Time had a way of doing that.
    • Chapter 11, “You Can Never Go Home” (p. 164)
All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-9203-9
  • Hope only got you hurt. Hope was her least favorite thing, of all things.
    • Chapter 3, “They Grow Up So Fast” (p. 43)
  • “There might be spiders,” said Jacqueline. She wrinkled her nose, less out of actual distaste and more out of the knowledge that she was supposed to find spiders distasteful. She really found them rather endearing. They are sleek and clean and elegant, and when their webs got messed up, they ripped them down and started over again. People could learn a lot from spiders.
    • Chapter 3, “They Grow Up So Fast” (p. 43)
  • Of course this was all real. She had had her share of wild and beautiful dreams, but never anything like this. And if she hadn’t dreamed it, it had to be real, and if it was real, of course they were still there. Real places didn’t go away just because you’d had a nap.
    • Chapter 4, “To Market, to Market, to Buy a Fat Hen” (p. 62)
  • The first man—the Master—raised his goblet in a mocking toast. “To the future,” he said. “It’s on its way now, whether we’re prepared or not.”
    • Chapter 5, “The Roles We Choose Ourselves” (p. 81)
  • There are moments that change everything, and once things have been changed, they do not change back.
    • Chapter 8, “The Skies to Shake, the Stones to Bleed” (p. 124)
  • Time is the alchemy that turns compassion into love.
    • Chapter 12, “Everything You Never Wanted” (pp. 179-180)
All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-9358-6
  • “Only one way to find out,” said Kade, and started walking.
    “Why do people always say that?” muttered Cora, trailing along at the rear of the group. There’s always more than one way to find something out. People only say there’s only one way when they want an excuse to do something incredibly stupid without getting called on it. There are lots of ways to find out, and some of them even involve not pissing off a man who goes by ‘the Lord of the Dead.’”
    “Yeah, but they wouldn’t be as much fun, now would they?”
    • Chapter 5, “Places of the Living, Places of the Dead” (p. 56)
  • The Queen of Cakes pursed her lips. “You must be from Sumi’s world,” she said primly. “You’re just as obnoxious as she was. She’s quiet now. How did you make her that way?”
    “Well, she died, so that was a large part of it,” said Kade.
    “Dead people normally stay in their graves, out of the way of the rest of us.”
    • Chapter 7, “Prisoner of Someone Else’s War” (p. 100)
  • Cora was very good at ignoring people who told her to do foolish things.
    • Chapter 8, “The Tallest Tower” (p. 111)
  • Quests were a lot like dogs, Cora thought. They were much more attractive when seen from a distance, and not barking in the middle of the night or pooping all over the house. She had been there for every terrible, wearying, bone-breaking moment of this quest, and it held no magic for her. She knew it too well.
    • Chapter 12, “The Baker’s Story” (p. 162)
All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-9929-8
  • Parents lied to children when they thought it was necessary, or when they thought that it would somehow make things better. It only made sense that children should lie to parents in the same way.
    • Chapter 1, “A Very Ordinary Garden” (p. 21)
  • Miss Hansard, who had been teaching for nearly twenty years, slumped against her desk and wondered when retirement had gone from a distant impossibility to something to be devoutly yearned for. They got younger every year. She was certain of that much, at least. They got younger, and harder to understand, every single year.
    • Chapter 2, “When is a Door Not a Door?” (p. 26)
  • Mysteries in books were the best kind. The real world was absolutely full of boring mysteries, questions that never got answered and lost things that never got found. That wasn’t allowed, in books. In books, mysteries were always interesting and exciting, packed with daring and danger, and in the end, the good guys found the clues and the bad guys got their comeuppance. Best of all, nothing was ever lost forever. If something mattered enough for the author to write it down, it would come back before the last page was turned. It would always come back.
    • Chapter 2, “When is a Door Not a Door?” (pp. 27-28)
  • Katherine understood rules. Understood them down to the marrow of her bones. Rules were the reason the world could work at all. Following the rules didn’t make you a good person, just like breaking them didn’t make you a bad one, but it could make you an invisible person, and invisible people got to do as they liked.
    • Chapter 3, “Rules are Rules, No Exceptions, No Appeal” (p. 38)
  • There are many good things in the world, and each of them happens for the first time only once, and never again.
    • Chapter 4, “Fair Value” (p. 60)
  • “Sometimes ‘fair’ is bigger than just you,” said the Archivist.…“Sometimes ‘fair’ has to think about what’s best for everyone.”
    • Chapter 7, “Fly Away, Fly Away Home” (p. 94; ellipsis represents the elision of one sentence of description)
  • If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.
    • Chapter 11, “In Air as Clear as Crystal” (pp. 148-149)
  • Paperwork is a magic in and of itself. It makes spouses out of strangers, makes homes out of houses…and mades students out of runaways.
    • Chapter 14, “Promises and Paperwork” (p. 179; ellipsis in the original)
  • It can be easy, when hearing about someone else’s adventures in a far-off, magical land, to say “I would never choose the mundane world over the fantastical. I would run into rivers of rainbow as fast as my legs would carry me, and I would never once look back.” It is so often easy, when one has the luxury of being sure a thing will never happen, to be equally sure of one’s answers. Reality, it must sadly be said, has a way of complicating things, even things we might believe could never be that complicated.
    • Chapter 15, “Fair Value” (p. 195)
All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-9931-1
  • Hope is a vicious beast. It sinks in its claws and it doesn’t let go.
    • Part 1, “The Gravity of the Moment,” Introductory section “Home Again” (p. 14)
  • My name’s Christopher. I was a friend of Jack’s before she went back to the Moors. I mean, not really. Jack doesn’t have friends, she has minions who haven’t figured out their place in the grand scheme of things.
    • Chapter 2, “They Always Come Back Home” (pp. 32-33)
  • “Clothes matter,” he said, draping the vest over his arm and reaching for a pile of neatly folded blouses. “Clothes are part of how you learn to feel like yourself, and not someone who just happens to look like you. Don’t you remember what it was like when someone else decided what you were going to wear?”
    • Chapter 3, “Windows of the Soul” (p. 41)
  • Sumi was Sumi. Spending time with her was like trying to form a close personal relationship with a cloud of butterflies. Pretty—dazzling, even—but not exactly companionable. And some of the butterflies had knives, and that was where the metaphor collapsed.
    • Chapter 3, “Windows of the Soul” (p. 48)
  • New things are the best kind of magic there is.
    • Chapter 8, “Everyone Has a Mask” (p. 114)
  • I’d banter, but I haven’t the time, and you haven’t the wit to keep up.
    • Chapter 12, “All the Drowned Children” (p. 158)
  • That’s the trouble with gods. They don’t care much how poorly they treat their toys.
    • Chapter 13, “The Broken Crown” (p. 170)
  • “Jack?” Kade took a cautious step forward. “Are you…?”
    “There are only a certain number of possible ways to end that question, and the answer to all of them is ‘no,’” said Jack.
    • Chapter 15, “A Heart of Wire and Glass” (p. 195)
All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-1-250-21359-4
  • If your friends would stop wanting you around because you’re not exactly like them, they’re not very good friends.
    • Chapter 2, “The Cost of Being Ordinary” (p. 25)
  • “Back where I come from, mothers and fathers live together most of the time. Unless they’re divorced.”
    “What’s ‘divorced’ mean?”
    “It means they were married and now they’re not anymore, so their kids get double Christmas.”
    • Chapter 9, “Off to the Fair with Bangles and Beads” (p. 92)
  • “I don’t believe in destiny.”
    “Destiny believes in you.” The fawn took a breath. “I really am sorry we had to hit you.”
    “I’m sorry too,” said Regan.
    “You understand this was for your own good.”
    “I understand you think this was for my own good.”
    • Chapter 10, “Taken” (p. 105)
  • Destiny wasn’t real. Destiny was for people like Laurel, who could pin everything they had to an idea that the world was supposed to work in a certain way, and refuse to let it change.
    • Chapter 10, “Taken” (pp. 110-111)
All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-1-250-21362-4
  • There would be time to grab something from the dining hall before she had to go to English class. The thought of having to analyze the poetry of Emily Dickinson without calories was enough to make her want to cry. Why adults constantly wanted to know what centuries-old poems meant was beyond her. Shouldn’t someone have found the right answer by now? Or at least an answer good enough to accept?
    • Chapter 3, “Full Fathom Five” (p. 28)
  • We can’t make things that happened not have happened by wishing that they hadn’t.
    • Chapter 3, “Full Fathom Five” (p. 29)
  • This wasn’t the first time Cora had met people who thought their ideas about how the world should be were the only right ones.
    • Chapter 7, “Candy-Coated Nightmare” (p. 54)
  • “Heroism is addictive. Maybe that’s why it sounds so much like ‘heroin.’”
    • Chapter 9, “Mice in the Walls” (p. 77)
  • “If they’re being locked, they’re being locked. We don’t have a key.”
    “Sometimes, you don’t need a key,” said Sumi. Her smile verged on feral. “Sometimes a crowbar is good enough.”
    • Chapter 10, “A Crowbar or a Key” (p. 99)
  • You look like the kind of girl who might know stuff about lichen.
    • Chapter 12, “The Headmaster’s Tale” (p. 115)
  • The nameless girl stared at Cora. “You’re insane.”
    “Probably,” said Cora placidly. “Sticks and stones, as the sages say; sticks and stones. I know what I am and I’m happy this way, and saying something true shouldn’t be an insult, ever, because that’s not how words want to work.”
    • Chapter 13, “Lichen and Lies” (p. 124)
  • “My name is Lord of the Forest,” said the stag.
    Regan nodded. Every stag she’d ever met had been named Lord of the Forest, even when there was another stag only a few feet away. Deer didn’t understand irony.
    • Chapter 15, “Two Sides of the Story” (p. 135)
Wikipedia has an article about: