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Laughter at the Academy
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Laughter at the Academy

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  479 ratings  ·  129 reviews
From fairy tale forest to gloomy gothic moor, from gleaming epidemiologist’s lab to the sandy shores of Neverland, Seanan McGuire’s short fiction has been surprising, delighting, confusing, and transporting her readers since 2009. Now, for the first time, that fiction has been gathered together in one place, ready to be enjoyed one twisting, tangled tale at a time. Her wor ...more
Hardcover, Deluxe Hadrcover, 376 pages
Published October 31st 2019 by Subterranean Press
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May 13, 2019 marked it as to-read

you guys, i might do it this time.


5/13 UPDATE - I TOTALLY DID IT!!!! EEEEEEEEE! please don't let the poorhouse get me before this pubs!


5/21 okay, NEW UPDATE!

i was feeling guilty about buying myself a $40 book until i realized this doesn't come out until HALLOWEEN! which means i won't even be charged for it for more than five months! surely in that time i will have $40 to spare, right? i mean, it
Chelsea Humphrey
Short stories are not my forte, but I adore Seanan McGuire and think she's one of the most talented authors of our time. Naturally, I had to check this short story collection out. As is the case with most anthologies, some stories will resonate with the reader while others simply pass the time, and overall I think this was worth the effort spent in each world reading. I would have loved to have seen a few stories as full length novels, but I adored how Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves seemed to ...more
Amy Imogene Reads
This was such an impressive, immersive, and invigorating collection of short stories by one of the most talented authors in the game.

Concepts: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
My love for this author's work: could rattle the stars

Billed as a short story collection to introduce new readers to Seanan McGuire's tales, I want to edge back on that comparison and say that I found my prior knowledge of Seanan McGuire's stories and themes to be a pivotal part of the reading process. Don't get me wrong, it's an impres
This new collection from Seanan McGuire is a good one! Touted as doors opening to new worlds - ie, none of these stories are set in her ongoing universes - there's nevertheless enough familiarity here to satisfy her fans. That said, if her writing doesn't already float your boat, this isn't the collection that'll change your mind. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars for this one - in the end I let personal enjoyment sway me higher.

It's worth mentioning that Seanan McGuire also writes as Mira Grant -
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Our friend, Forrest Gump, once said that life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get. Well, opening up an anthology/short story collection by an author you've never heard of, let alone read, is kind of the same thing. No idea what to expect. No idea which direction it goes in other than some vague reference to fantasy. Apparently, though, McGuire has published some two dozen books about seven different fantasy worlds and has wide ranging interests from zombie apocolypses to ...more
Julie Zantopoulos
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I will be updating this as I buddy read these stories. I was lucky enough to snag a signed limited edition of the numbered (1250-I have number 839) run of this bind-up of McGuire's short stories (not all of them but a curated collection of them). I am tabbing as I read but even though I love annotating my books I can't bring myself to write in this one. Each story is prefaced by McGuire and includes content warnings.

Laughter at the Academy: 3 stars
The first story didn't really connect with me. I
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book even if it wasn't my favorite. I felt like I was reading this book forever. That has more to do with how I tend to read short story collections than the writing contained in these stories. A collection like this one that contains over 20 stories has a lot of natural stopping points and I do tend to stop after finishing a story. I do think that this was a great way to see how Seanan McGuire's versatility.

This collect
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laughter at the Academy is my first introduction to Seanan McGuire and what an introduction! The book is a collection of single author short stories - the first for McGuire. Prefacing each story is a brief peak into origin of the tale and subsequently our author. We have mad scientists, gremlin scientists(!), Neverland, Oz, the destruction of the human race, and on and on. With genres ranging from space opera to crime procedural to steampunk and so much more. Each story is crafted with a deft ex ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As my first dalliance into the expansive works of Seanan McGuire, I was glad to see that she had assembled this collection with new readers of hers in mind. I was debating whether I should start with her Wayward Children series, but I’m happy I went with the short stories. This way, you really get a full sampling of the types of stories she likes to tell.

The ARC that I received didn’t number them, but I counted 21 in total, if I’m not mistaken. Totally could be, though, it wouldn’t be the first
This is a collection of short stories written by Seanan McGuire. I can say that I truly appreciated McGuire's ability to write some spectacularly haunting and twisted but relateable, and that is what made them so haunting, tales. The stories show a dark side to humanity for both the villains and the people who allow the villains to promulgate their evil deeds.

This is not my normal pick in reading material and not for the light hearted reader. That being said, it was extremely well written, spook
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
"Most of all, this book is for all those fools who laughed at me in the academy. I may not be raising the dead yet, but I still know where my shovel is."

It’s no secret that I think Seanan McGuire is pretty great. I’ve only read a few of her books, but I’ve massively enjoyed them all. I knew she was great before I started on this collection, but boy howdy, she has outdone herself. Twenty-two short stories, all filled with her signature wit, wistfulness, and love for all things strange and dis
Lisa Wolf
A brilliant collection of short stories by the talented Seanan McGuire. The topics and themes and tones are varied, and the stories range from humor to horror and everything in between. A story about terrifying dolls is my favorite (despite the recurring nightmares this story caused), but I also loved the too-timely story about viruses destroying humankind, a sci-fi Western, and a GoFundMe campaign to bring on eternal Halloween. I can see myself dipping back into this book from time to time and ...more
Laughter at the Academy is a collection of 22 short stories written by Seanan McGuire, these stories have all been published before but this is the first time they've been collected together and each has an introduction from the author explaining why she chose to include it in this anthology. None of these stories are linked to existing series (like October Daye or Incryptid) so you don't need to be familiar with Seanan's other books to enjoy them.

This really was a fantastic collection of storie
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Subterranean Press. Trigger warnings: Literally everything. Death, parent/child death, suicide, torture, body horror, severe illness, severe injury, explosions, guns, needles, abduction, blood, spiders, mental illness, grief, war mentions, car accidents, drunk driving, bullying, some ableist/sexist/homophobic language.

Laughter at the Academy is a short story collection spanning nearly a decade of Seanan McGuire’s work and blending
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-net-galley
How long have we waited for a collection of short fiction by Seanan McGuire? So long, and yes, I know there is a collection of her short fiction as Mira Grant, but that's Mira fiction (Rise: A Newsflesh Collection and watch out, because it's full of zombies.) This collection, as Seanan McGuire, doesn't have stories from any of her series universes. You will find no Velveteen, no Toby Daye, no InCryptid, and no portals for Wayward Children. But you will find some of my favorite stories she's writ ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, net-galley
***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Subterranean Press!***

As with all short story collections that I read, I prefer to review them by the story. Inevitably I will love some of them and not care for others and this collection was no different. I am a big fan of the author but some of these stories were a miss. I also noticed that there were some formatting issues with the ARC, which meant that sometimes I didn’t get the complete story.
This book is a collection of short stories written by popular fantasy author Seanan McGuire. Some of the genres in this anthology include fantasy, horror, and steampunk.

I liked all the stories in this anthology. The story with the epidemic was very scary. I liked the story that was similar to Peter Pan, where the kids get to go on flying ships and stay young. Glad the author included different genres to fit everyone's tastes.

I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an ho
Jan 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
The first story opens with 5 introductions & forewords, then a good dose of talking heads. Then dives head on into the cringest cliches about scientists that ever cringed. There's the schizotypal genius something something syndrome, which is mad genius disease. But there's no need to worry, there are no more geniuses in our world, only science fearing knuckledraggers, a very popular but strangely unfeared phenotype in America. The first specimen of a mad scientist we meet is a dead particle phys ...more
J.A. Ironside
This was a great collection of shorter fiction by one of my favourite authors. In most anthologies, there are stronger and weaker stories as well as those which suit your taste more or less. However I don't think there was a weak story here at all. Some engaged me more than others; some blew me right out of the water whilst others worked on my mind quietly in the wee small hours, but all of them were skilfully crafted and McGuire has clearly taken the opportunity over the years to play with the ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of good stories in here. It’s interesting reading short Seanan after so many of her long series.
I was worried that I would have already read a lot of these but I had actually only read a few so there was a lot of great new [to me] content here! There's a really good mix both in terms of length of story and subject matter that hits on many of what long time readers will recognize as Seanan's favorite subjects. If you're a fan of her writing then this is a must-read and if you haven't read much of her stuff or maybe only know her from Wayward Children then this is a great way to get a good f ...more
C. S.
As a writer a have a complicated relationship with short stories. I struggle to write them, trying to figure out the exact slice of story to slice thin enough and in exactly the right place to actually be a story.

An interesting realization I had quite late in this fantastically, weirdly delightful collection is that McGuire likes to structure the story around characters who have already made the decisions that are the backbone of the plot, and the story is the slow reveal of those decisions and
Some of the stories bored me to death, others completely stole my heart and ran away with it. Specially her two Peter Pan sort of retelling/reinterpretation (Lost and In skeleton leaves), her sort of Velveteen Rabbit inspired short story called The Velveteen War, and Crystal Halloway and the forgotten passage. Crystal Halloway and the forgotten passage is so bittersweet to read and the author said, and I agree with them, is also a sort of founding story for what her Wayward children came to be. ...more
Desiree McGough
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great short story collection for me. All but one or two of the stories resonated well with me. The introductions at the beginning of each of the stories are great; they give background and inspiration for each story. McGuire plays with format in a few of the stories, which worked well and kept things interesting. Most of these stories have been previously published and are just being bound together in an author specific collection.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A fantastic short story collection from one of my favorite authors. Though the series that I love so much did not having any offerings for this collection (rightfully so, as these were all stand alones), there were so many stories here that reminded of them I didn't miss them. (Well I did, but that's because I'm selfish). This collection was also a reminder of her range, and why I don't read some of her books... I like to sleep.
Crystal Steele
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Oh my, how I wish I could crawl up inside Ms. McGuire's brain and explore haha. This collection of stories may be my favorite read of the year so far. There's something for everyone... from dystopia, AI gone wrong, after life stories and spooky haunted houses. I laughed and cried at times. Definitely would recommend to anyone that enjoys fantasy.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like all short story collections, some stories are good, others are better, but there's not a bad one in here and Seanan's introductions tie the collection together nicely. There is one story in the book that PROPERLY made me jumpy, which is hard to do. Bravo!
Brandee W
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laughter at the Academy

This was a great collection of stories. I particularly enjoyed 'Office Memos' and would have liked working in the corporate world a lot more if I had received emails like these.
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

These stories will stay with me for a long time. And I welcome them! Fascinating and fun. I can see the inkling of Middlegame in many of them.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fantastic! I'm not normally a short story person but this collection was amazing start to finish.
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

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