Artificial Night, An - Seanan McGuire


An Artificial Night is the third of Toby’s adventures, and by the time I reached it, I had a decent idea of what I was doing . . . or so I thought, before I was tackled by the fine members of the Machete Squad, who beat some sense into me and some awesome into the book. Big thanks go to every one of them for their tireless labors. Special thanks on this volume go to Deborah Brannon, Mia Nutick, Michelle McNeill, and Jeanne Goldfein, all of whom helped immensely with the process of hacking my way down into Blind Michael’s lands. Mary Crowell took me down the scarecrow trail to show me a few things I’d missed when I was walking on my own, and Rebecca Newman was glorious, as always. A great deal of detail came from long discussions with Meg Creel-man, who was a fantastic help. I couldn’t have done it without all of them.

Chris Mangum and Tara O’Shea made sure my web-site was as awesome and low-stress as possible, thus allowing me to stress out over other things, like what my cats were doing. My agent, Diana Fox, was supportive and clever in all the best ways—it’s good to have a superhero in your corner—while my editor, Sheila Gilbert, was a joy to work with. Marsha Jones and Joshua Starr at DAW answered my endless questions about this and the books before it, and made the process much closer to painless than it could have been. Here on the home front, Kate Secor, Michelle Dockrey, Brooke Lunderville, and Amy McNally kept me from losing my mind, and made the book better at the same time. Finally, a big, big thanks to Betsy Tinney, who rescued me from an emergency kitten shortage when she provided my latest family member, a blue classic tabby and white Maine Coon named Alice.

My personal soundtrack while writing An Artificial Night consisted mostly of Archetype Cafe, by Talis Kimberley, Thirteen, by Vixy and Tony, Seven is the Number, by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, and Films About Ghosts, by the Counting Crows. 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.

Now breath in deep, and keep hold of your candle. It’s a long way from here to Babylon.


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

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.

Cornish Pixie: Corn-ish pix-ee. Plural is Cornish Pixies.

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

Djinn: jin. Plural is Djinn.

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

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.

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

Hob: hob. Plural is Hobs.

Kelpie: kel-pee. Plural is Kelpies.

Kitsune: kit-soo-nay. Plural is Kitsune.

Lamia: lay-me-a. Plural is Lamia.

The Luidaeg: the lou-sha-k. No plural exists.

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

Naiad: nigh-add. Plural is Naiads.

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.

Roane: row-n. Plural is Roane.

Selkie: sell-key. Plural is Selkies.

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.

Undine: un-deen. Plural is Undine.

Urisk: you-risk. Plural is Urisk.

Will o’ Wisps: will-oh wisps. Plural is Will o’ Wisps.


September 7th, 2014

Away from light steals home my heavy son

And private in his chamber pens himself,

Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out,

And makes himself an artificial night.

—William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

ONE THING I’VE LEARNED IN MY TIME working as a private investigator-slash-knight errant for the fae community of the San Francisco Bay Area: if something looks like it’s going to be simple, it probably won’t be. Some people might consider that an easy lesson. I must be a slow learner because it’s been anything but easy. I’ve been turned into a fish, cursed, nearly drowned, impersonated, slashed, shot at, and had my car blown up—thankfully not while I was inside it, although it was a close call—and now I was chasing Barghests around Dame Eloise Altair’s feast hall, trying not to get myself hurt. Also not easy.

“Toby! Duck!” Danny didn’t sound particularly worried. Danny’s also a pureblood Bridge Troll, which means he has