Christmas With Seanan McGuire + Giveaway(INT)!

Christmas with The Prices

The Price family originated in England, and are nominally Anglican, although they don't tend to go to human churches and they live with a colony of talking pantheistic mice, which has made their religious observances a little...strange. At the same time, Christmas is hugely important to them, because it's the one time of year when the whole family can be together, and nothing gets smashed over anyone else's head.

The family compound in Portland is decked to within an inch of its life, largely with the eager help of the Aeslin mice, who consider the Holy Rite of the Trimming of the Tree to be second only to the Celebration of Christmas Cookies in their list of holiday rituals. Jane and Theodore come down from Seattle with Elsie and Artie. Angela and Martin fly in from Columbus. The family members currently living on their own--Verity, Alex, Sarah, and Alice--all come back from whatever cities or dimensions they're traveling through, and everyone gets to be together for a little while. Even Aunt Mary will usually drop by, sometimes bringing a few of her dead friends along for the evening. It's a time for allies and acquaintances alike to feel like they belong. Or at least like they won't be shot on sight.

Christmas night, around midnight, the mice begin their long Observance of the Fallen. It will take three days to complete. Every time it is revised, it takes a little longer, because there are so many things that have to be remembered. The priests from each branch of their small, strange church come together, and under the pine wreaths hanging in their attic, they remember all the Prices and Healys who have come, and gone, and been lost forever. They remember Enid, who was kind, and Alexander, who was clever. They remember Jonathan, who was quick, and Fran, who was quicker. They remember generations, and they weep for every one of the lost like their deaths happened on that very night. Aeslin mice never forget. It is their gift and their burden.

Alice Price-Healy, the oldest currently known member of the family, always stays long enough to see her grandchildren open their gifts before she slips away again. Most of them assume she goes straight back to her endless search for her missing husband. Angela and Sarah, the family telepaths, know that really, Alice goes home first: she goes back to Buckley Township, Michigan, to a crumbling farmhouse still held in her name. She visits the graves of her parents and grandparents and baby brother. She sleeps in the bed she once shared with Thomas, and she cries herself to sleep. One more Christmas alone.

Sometimes she thinks she can't bear another one. Another always comes.

Being a family means carrying the past everywhere you go, forever, and the Prices know that; they understand the cost of who and what they are. So when they can, they gather in the bright lights of the Christmas tree, and they give thanks for one more Christmas. They've made it this far. Who knows how far they still have the potential to go?

Copyright @ Seanan McGuire

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.

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 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 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.
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