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.
Q: What’s your favorite story?
A: Just one favorite short story? I don’t want to dodge the question—but there are so many short stories that had changed me and made my world bigger, having to pick one is just cruel. However, when I’m thinking of a favorite story now, the first one that comes to my mind is “The Evening and the Morning and the Night” by Octavia E. Butler. Butler’s writing is precise and ruthless; she doesn’t spare her readers. And why would she, if she’s about to tell a story of sickness and depersonalization? But ruthlessness itself isn’t what makes this story so powerful—it’s Butler’s empathy and understanding for, and of, the world she created.
Karolina Fedyk’s story “The Early History of the Moon” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 19 May 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
A: When I was younger, I read a collection of different tellings of “Beauty and the Beast.” I’ve always been fascinated by that story (and, especially, by the library in the Disney version).
Anna Zumbro’s story “Ways to Face the Firing Squad” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 12 May 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.