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Laughter at the Academy

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  54 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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Average rating 4.43  · 
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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's not that i don't have $40 to my name - i'm not that close to dying in the gutter. yet. but there are a lot of books and i want
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 tie i ...more
Amy Imogene Reads
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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/>My/>/>
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
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
Elle Rudy
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
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 fi
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 disturbing.

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 wr
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.
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 fi ...more
Haley 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.
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.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect sampling of the weirdness that is Seanan McGuire.

From mad science and urban legends to Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz, it's all here. The title story is one of my all-time favorites.
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
Laughter at the Academy is Seanan McGuire's first true collection of short stories, by her own words. If you've read any of Seanan McGuire's works, then you probably already have a good idea of what will be in store for you here. So I don't need to explain all of the reasons you should be reading this. If you haven't read Seanan McGuire, this is an excellent sampling of her works, and thus worth checking out.
Laughter at the Academy consists of twenty-two short stories; Laughter at the Aca
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 comp
Because I am a delight who doesn’t like it when her friends get too much sleep.

I cannot express how much I adore Seanan McGuire’s work. She has a gift of being able to slide into any genre and twist it into her own world, her own little touch of macabre. I am sure she would even appreciate that I am working on this review in the attic (alone) of a waiting lounge from the 1870's, where people waited after the funeral before going to the grave site. (What can I say, I get a lot of writing done while I am
Jill Elizabeth
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am continually amazed at the prodigious amount of writing that Seanan McGuire turns out - the woman must never sleep... She's one of the few authors whose short work I reliably like (in such rarefied company as Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis, no less), and since she's featured in so many anthologies, she's often one of the reasons I decide to go against my natural inclination and pick up a book of shorts. When I saw she had a collection of entirely her own short fiction, I was naturally intrigu ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 / 5 addictive stars!

Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors. While I’ve only read a few of her works, what I have read I enjoyed so much that I consider her one of my auto-buy authors. Naturally, when I received an email saying that my request for a review copy of this book had been approved I squealed and leaped in headfirst.

I would like to begin by saying that we should all take a moment to be grateful that McGuire has chosen to be an author rather than, say, a mad scientis
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors, so I was beyond excited to dive into this collection. It was awesome! Each story was unique and different, yet still contained McGuire's creative genius and signature style. If you're new to McGuire's work, then Laughter at the Academy is an excellent place to start.

I usually find that most short stories are just too short and lack the depth they need to make a good story. But that's not the case with McGuire. She's near-flawless in her ability to t
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for an honest review. Seanan McGuire is among my top five favorite authors. If you have read her works you probably love her too. If you haven't this short story anthology "Laughter at the Academy" will be a great introduction. There is at least a little something for all readers in this collection. My count shows twenty one stories bundled here. This author has a very twisted mind and it makes for some great stories. (I am also a bit conc ...more
This collection of previously published stories (although some were never published widely, such as those available to her Patreon supporters) ranges from fantasy to sci-fi to horror, so there is plenty of variety here for genre readers. Many of the stories in this volume are very much like the works she publishes as Mira Grant, so this collection would work well as an introduction to her full oeuvre. However, none of the stories in this collection are part of any of her established universes, w ...more
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

OK, full disclosure - I've read and enjoyed most of Seanan McGuire's books (and those of Mira Grant), so I was primed to enjoy this short story collection - and it didn't disappoint!

Too often, I don't like short stories as much as longer works, because they seem incomplete - too little character development or stories that are unsatisfyingly abrupt. This collection is different.
Other Rachel
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire (published 10/31 by Subterranean Press) is exactly what I needed to read after the High Holidays.

This eclectic anthology is the first bundle of short stories by the Nebula/Hugo/Insert Award Here-nominated author of clever changelings in modern-day San Francisco going on quests to bloodthirsty mermaids chomping on a documentary crew and more! While Seanan McGuire has carved out a space for herself with her many series, Laughter at the Academy is a master
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
disclaimer: i received a copy of this book via subterranean press in return for an honest review.

sometimes a short story is its own world, containing everything you need. then there are times when the story leaves you asking "and then what happened?", and you know that you'll probably only find out in your dreams. laughter at the academy, seanan mcguire's first* personal anthology contains both types and more.

to ease the way into each story, mcguire provides short introductions to serve as windows. i
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
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
Harrison Schweiloch
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Seanan McGuire is a treasure, and this collection is a treasury.

Seanan McGuire can do it all - fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Her stories are equal parts funny, tragic, and inspiring. This is her first short story collection under her own name and I sure hope it’s not the last. Her pseudonym, Mira Grant, had a collection a few years back of short stories in her Newsflesh universe, but, unlike that collection, nothing in this volume comes from one of her established universes (although I
Jenna R
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I was provided an electronic ARC by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

Avg rating: 3.82

I always have the hardest time rating anthologies and short story collections, so I've decided to give each story an individual rating and average them to the overall score. For the star rating, I rounded up :)

For any short story collection, there will be some that strike better with one reader than another, and generally some stories are preferr
Laura (crofteereader)
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I have to start with: I thoroughly enjoyed every single story in this collection. McGuire's imagination knows no bounds and she's not afraid to go weird and/or violent to satisfy it. I kept messaging my friends like "oh my God, McGuire is turning all the human beings on the planet into dinosaurs" and giving people random snippets like "man-eating plant woman devours the queen of (steampunk) England".

There were a few that I was a little less enamored by (Peter Pan as an infinite loop,
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book knowing nothing about it. I saw the author was Seanan McGuire and blindly requested it as she’s one of my favorites.

I think I was expecting something whimsically messed-up, much like her ‘Wayward Children’ series (which I ADORE). Instead, I got a book of short (yet very much messed-up) stories.

And I LOVED it!

That’s saying something because I do not care for short stories. Just when I start to get into them, they end, and I have to start all over with a complet
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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 share my hou(Rosemary
“His whole life seemed to matter a great deal. Her whole life didn't seem to matter at all. It was too much. It was too much. It had to stop.” 0 likes
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