The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #13)

The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #13)

Seanan McGuire


Sometimes I am genuinely astonished that we’ve been able to get this far. This book marks the thirteenth of Toby’s full-length adventures, and the tenth anniversary of my being allowed to introduce her to the world. To those of you who’ve been with me since the beginning: thank you. I don’t feel like I’m being in the least disingenuous when I say that I couldn’t possibly have done this without you. To those of you who are just joining us: thank you, and welcome. I think we’re going to have a wonderful time together.

Every time I sit down to write one of these, I feel like “well, that’s it, I’m out of people to thank,” and then I pause for a moment and realize that there will always be people to thank, because the world keeps on turning, and people continue to be amazing and supportive and essential. So here are my thanks to the people who’ve kept me standing through the writing of The Unkindest Tide. Thanks to the Machete Squad, who keep me from falling flat on my face when I don’t have to; to the entire team at DAW Books, where tolerance meets baffled amusement and everyone wins; and to the Penguin-Random House convention team, whose booths have provided me with safe harbors when the crowds got to be too much for me. All these people have kept me going when I wasn’t sure I could.

Thank you to Vixy, who keeps me from drowning in my own ineptitude for paperwork; to my dearest, dazzling Amy, who keeps her fiddle at the ready; the Forgotten Gods RPG group, who are possibly the most civilized D&D game I’ve ever been involved with; Shawn, for being my off-site brain; Brooke, for being cheerfully prepared to tell me when I’m being stupid; Kayleigh, for being one of the purest sources of joy in this world; and to all the people who have sent me pictures of their cats when asked to do so. Thanks to Amy Mebberson, for reasons she knows very well indeed, and to Carla Speed McNeil, for blowing my mind on a regular basis. Thanks to Margaret, for enthusiasm, and to Whitney, for strapping on a pair of skates and trying to break some bones.

Sheila Gilbert remains the best editor this series could possibly have had, keeping these plates spinning with grace and solemnity. Joshua Starr continues to answer the phone when I call, and has learned to roll with whatever ridiculous things I say. Diana Fox is my personal superhero (everyone should have one), and Chris McGrath continues to take the images we suggest to him and turn them into magic. Finally, thank you to my pit crew: Christopher Mangum, Tara O’Shea, and Kate Secor.

Elsie is much larger now, and still made mostly of wasps. She’s doing well, as are Thomas and Megara.

My soundtrack while writing The Unkindest Tide consisted mostly of Hadestown, by Anais Mitchell (still), the soundtracks to Heathers: the Musical and Mean Girls: the Musical, Instar, by Nancy Kerr, endless live concert recordings of the Counting Crows, and all the Annwn I have on my hard drive. Any errors in this book are entirely my own. The errors that aren’t here are the ones that all these people helped me fix.

Come on. It’s time to set sail. The horizon is waiting.



All pronunciations are given strictly phonetically. This only covers races explicitly named in the first thirteen books.

Because much of this book takes place in open waters, this pronunciation guide has been divided by land and sea. Some of the sea fae have appeared in earlier books.


Aes Sidhe: eys shee. Plural is “Aes Sidhe.”

Afanc: ah-fank. Plural is “Afanc.”

Bannick: ban-nick. Plural is “Bannicks.”

Banshee: ban-shee. Plural is “Banshees.”

Barghest: bar-guy-st. Plural is “Barghests.”

Barrow Wight: bar-row white. Plural is “Barrow Wights.”

Blodynbryd: blow-din-brid. Plural is “Blodynbryds.”

Cait Sidhe: kay-th shee. Plural is “Cait Sidhe.”

Candela: can-dee-la. Plural is “Candela.”

Coblynau: cob-lee-now. Plural is “Coblynau.”

Cu Sidhe: coo shee. Plural is “Cu Sidhe.”

Daoine Sidhe: doon-ya shee. Plural is “Daoine Sidhe,” diminutive is “Daoine.”

Djinn: jin. Plural is “Djinn.”

Dóchas Sidhe: doe-sh-as shee. Plural is “Dóchas Sidhe.”

Ellyllon: el-lee-lawn. Plural is “Ellyllons.”

Folletti: foe-let-tea. Plural is “Folletti.”

Gean-Cannah: gee-ann can-na. Plural is “Gean-Cannah.”

Glastig: glass-tig. Plural is “Glastigs.”

Gwragen: guh-war-a-gen. Plural is “Gwargen.”

Hamadryad: ha-ma-dry-add. Plural is “Hamadryads.”

Kitsune: kit-soon-nay. Plural is “Kitsune.”

Lamia: lay-me-a. Plural is “Lamia.”

Manticore: man-tee-core. Plural is “Manticores.”

Nixie: nix-ee. Plural is “Nixen.”

Peri: pear-ee. Plural is “Peri.”

Piskie: piss-key. Plural is “Piskies.’

Pixie: pix-ee. Plural is “Pixies.”

Puca: puh-ca. Plural is “Pucas.”

Satyr: say-tur. Plural is “Satyrs.”

Shyi Shuai: shh-yee shh-why. Plural is “Shyi Shuai.”

Silene: sigh-lean. Plural is “Silene.”

Swanmay: swan-may. Plural is “Swanmays.”

Tuatha de Dannan: tootha day danan. Plural is “Tuatha de Dannan,” diminutive is “Tuatha.”

Tylwyth Teg: till-with teeg. Plural is “Tylwyth Teg,” diminutive is “Tylwyth.”

Urisk: you-risk. Plural is “Urisk.”


Annwn: ah-noon. No plural exists.

Asrai: as-rye. Plural is “Asrai.”

Cephali: she-fall-li. Plural is “Cephali.”

Cetace: sea-tay-see. Plural is “Cetacea.”

Hippocampus: hip-po-cam-pus. Plural is “Hippocampi.”

Kelpie: kel-pee. Plural is “Kelpies.”

The Luidaeg: the lou-sha-k. No plural exists Merrow: meh-row. Plural is “Merrow.”

Naiad: nigh-add. Plural is “Naiads.”

Nixie: nix-ee. Plural is “Nixen.”

Roane: row-n. Plural is “Roane.”

Selkie: sell-key. Plural is “Selkies.”

Undine: un-deen. Plural is “Undine.”


March 8th, 2014

What’s the unkindest tide?

—William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona.

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE the rise of the cell phone—and the associated rise of the cell phone camera—must have been a boon for the private detective. After all, when your camera isn’t just handheld, but is also attached to a personal communication device, it seems like it should be easier to surreptitiously photograph people doing things they aren’t supposed to do. Like cheating on their spouses, or money laundering, or trying to violate the terms of their custody agreements. All those charming, frustrating little ways that people like to break the rules, captured for the courts with a single press of a button. No fuss, no muss, no need to get anything developed. Swell, right?

Not so much. The trouble is, cell phone cameras have a long way to go before they’ll match the capabilities of a good zoom lens or long-distance rig, much less exceed them—and that’s where I have a problem. I still need my good lenses, but the more ubiquitous cell phones become, the more your classic camera stands out to the curious bystander. I used to be able to wander around with my trusty Canon slung around my neck and be confident that anyone who saw me would take me for a tourist. Not anymore. These days, people notice. People talk.

Some days I wind up taking lots of pictures of flowers and graffiti and showing them to anyone who seems too interested. It deflects suspicion, and it’s surprisingly soothing, even if I’m not going to get a gallery show any time soon. More often, I use some of my precious magic to hide my camera behind a veil of illusion. It makes me look like some sort of bizarre mime whenever I take a picture, but somehow, this is less obviously weird, at least in San Francisco.

Humans are strange.

I’d been following a man around the city with my veiled camera for three days, trying to get pictures of him meeting with a group of “investors” who were planning to use underhanded means to buy shares in his company. I didn’t fully understand why they didn’t just call their stockbrokers, but the man who’d hired me was the first man’s business partner, and he was paying me well for my time and expertise. I don’t question the check, as long as it cashes.

previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ..87 next