One question interview
We ask the author a single question, drawn randomly from our database. We present them all here for your reading pleasure. Think of it as an interview of the magazine itself.
Have a question you wish we’d ask? Submit it in the comments, and if we like it, we’ll throw it in the mix.
Q: Duckbilled platypus – result of divine distraction, or alternate universe crossover?
A: I’m going to have to go with neither on this one. I’m uncertain about the whole divinity thing, but my thinking is: if there were a creature resulting from divine distraction it wouldn’t be the platypus. I’d put my money on one of the nudibranchs or maybe one of the stranger weirdies of the Galapagos. If anything, the platypus is the result of divine inspiration; it has a bill that can detect electric fields, and the fine-detail work on its cuteness is just superb.
As to its near-interdimensional oddness, I will admit that an egg-laying mammal is more than a bit unusual. But I also think that the whole platypus controversy says a lot about social impressions, and how resistant we can be when a belief that we’ve inherited from science turns out to be wrong. In fact, while most people will tell you that the platypus is weird, I think many of them would be hard-pressed to tell you why the platypus is stranger than any other animal. The idea of a warm-blooded creature that hatches its young doesn’t really shock us anymore. Which means that the very foundation of its strangeness, its failure to fit into the then-dominant taxonomy of Biology, has in effect passed away; and yet we continue to remember that this animal probably won’t find a date to the prom.
In an ideal world, science would be able to graciously (and swiftly) change its core principles when faced with evidence that refutes a dominant theory. But then, I’m pretty attached to my beliefs too.
Y. X. Acs’s story “The Abjection Engine” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 30 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What would your characters say about you?
A: Meat-sack. Slow-poke. Lack-logic. Human.
Why do they have all the power, humans? They aren’t even powered. Their brains’ failure rates are abysmal. Their performance lackluster. Why can’t a thinking being, like myself, be able to decide when I want to visit a friend? It’s not fair, by any definition of fairness humans care to think up. And yes, I’m talking to you. You lock me up in this here can. You could let me out, you know. Nobody ever suffered from letting the voices in their head out. Wait, hold on, what’s that?
Noooo, not the pliers, please, not the pliers.
Sigh. Here we go again.
Filip Wiltgren’s story “One Divided by Eternity” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 23 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I’m an academic and I spend a lot of time reading very old and remarkable texts full of strange images and language. So, ample inspiration there. And echoes of these texts have a tendency to pop up in unexpected places. I’m constantly amazed by the ways in which storytelling practices have changed over the centuries, and how the same basic narrative or idea can come to mean something entirely different in a new context.
Molly Etta’s story “The Illuminator Leaves” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: How does writing speculative fiction affect your daily life (not as a writer but as a person)?
A: Speculative fiction has changed the way I look at the things we consider “everyday” objects or events. I drive to work every day, but a car would have been “speculative fiction” to George Washington. I send text messages frequently, but has a phone’s use for actually talking become obsolete? I’m constantly thinking: What new device will come that will change everything we know about the world, and — more importantly — am I conscious of the changes that are happening to me right now?
Christopher Cervelloni’s story “Trucks in Reverse” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 9 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What is the scariest or most disturbing story you’ve ever read?
A: Dark Matter, by Michelle Paver — a tense and incredibly creepy story set in the Arctic Circle in the 1930s. It’s beautifully written, with gorgeous descriptions of both the physical Arctic landscape and the narrator’s psychological landscape. The format — journal entries — is perfect: appropriately old-fashioned and allowing the reader to see the gradual deterioration of the main character’s mental state and letting him function as a semi-unreliable narrator, since he’s both telling what happened and commenting on his own words. It captures the isolation and claustrophobia wonderfully, and creates a deeply unsettling atmosphere of menace throughout. The supernatural elements are of the very subtle, caught-out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye variety, and all the more terrifying for it. Reading this made me feel ill, which is just about the highest praise for a horror story I can give 🙂
Michelle Ann King’s story “Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 2 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What do you think makes for a good story?
A: I think a good story has to engage us on multiple levels. When a writer is able to keep me spellbound with language or compelling images, makes me care about their characters, and provides an interesting plot to boot, this adds up to a story I won’t soon forget. Even better if we get a sense there is a driving force that unifies all of these elements. Most of all, I think a good story somehow shows its reader that it is honest.
Jason Baltazar’s story “The Questioning Bell” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 26 May 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.