|Let Me Tell You A Story
By Tanya Huff, 2010Caution, attempting to describe Seanan McGuire can result in infomercial tendencies as you find yourself announcing to all and sundry, “But that’s not all!” while listing the full catalogue of her interests and accomplishments. Art, music, poetry, folklore, humor, horror, comics, television, politics, cats, spiders, reptiles, zombies, the vectors of infectious diseases both past and potential…But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. I can sum her up in one word.Seanan is a Storyteller.Sometimes she tells stories with line and color and shading, sending a friend riding a T-Rex rampaging through Toronto. As a non specific example…
Sometimes she tells stories with melodies that creep in under your skin and creep out again while you stand in line at grocery stores and banks
Sometimes she tells stories with a smile and a wickedly raised eyebrow.
But mostly, she tells stories with words. Hundreds of thousands of uncountable numbers of words, shaped into blogs and books and poetry and songs. Joy and injustice. Pretty little dead girls still driving. Politics and heartbreak and horror and hope. Metaphor and magic and mystery.
When the melody and the words combine, Wicked Girls get a voice and the Rose-Owl flies and Sarah Tapper will always love Harry Marshall. Word of warning though, Seanan’s torch songs tend to come with actual torches, her laugh is an evil laugh, and exposing your mechanic to the black death may cause delays when it comes time to pay the bill.
The CDC knows her name. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll tell you the story.
Because sometimes, Seanan tells stories the old fashioned way, weaving words in the air, painting verbal pictures of ravens and microwaves and plumbing and Alice and Lilly, and, occasionally, over lunch at Wendy’s, about how parasitic infections are being used to control severe food allergies. Sometimes the stories don’t get finished because friends won’t let her explore abandoned cement factories even if she’s found a way in—but that’s okay because she’ll always have more stories to tell.
Storytellers hold up mirrors made of words so we can see ourselves more clearly. They take truth and give back Truth. They entertain. They teach. Sometimes they rip out their bleeding hearts and offer them on platters so, sometimes, be gentle with them.
Seanan tells us/draws us/writes us/sings us stories. Reflective, Truthful, entertaining, bleeding stories. If the world ended, I’d want her sitting at my campfire.
But that’s not all!
Sometimes, there’s chainsaws.