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Seanan McGuire's Next Series: Crypto-zoologists of the Secret Monster World

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Campbell Award-winning author Seanan McGuire has been busy. She's just sold the sixth and seventh October Daye novels, and as Mira Grant, she's written the Hugo-nominated zombie novel Feed (which we're currently discussing in the io9 book club) and sequels.

But apparently, that's not enough. She's just launched another new series, with the first book, Discount Armageddon, coming in 2012. According to Publisher's Marketplace, Discount Armageddon is about "a family of crypto-zoologists who protect endangered mythological species, the organization of monster hunters sworn to destroy them, and the forbidden romances on both sides."

We were intrigued about the idea of crypto-zoologists protecting legendary creatures, so we asked her for more details. And here's what she told us:

The basic setup is this: centuries ago, not all the mythological beasts were harmless. I mean, when a dragon is eating your village, maybe eating the village is the right thing to do. The Covenant of St. George was founded around this basic idea. The trouble is, they didn't really have any boundaries. So when they found out that, say, unicorns really do prevent cholera, they didn't care. They kept on killing. From their perspective, monsters are unnatural and abominations, and should simply be disposed of. Our central family, the Prices, are basically naturalists in a way—they want to protect the ecology, even the parts that rely on two-headed yeti to stay stable.


Not everyone knows about legendary creatures—in fact, there's a lengthy sequence where Verity, our POV character, basically stands up on a table and says "I am a monster-saver, I save monsters, this is a monster-hunter, he hunts monsters, any questions?" to prove that people don't believe what they don't see. Some people are credulous, some are dismissive, and the cryptids to survive this long tend to be VERY GOOD at hiding themselves.

Book one, Discount Armageddon, is sort of a cut-rate crucial conflict—it's the first encounter between the Prices and the Covenant in about fifty years, it's the first Manhattan snake cult, and it's the first potential dragon in centuries. So the word "Armageddon" is basically in the title to demonstrate a fight that is both very huge (as per the dictionary definition), and very easy to overlook (hence the "discount").