A question for Maud Woolf

Q: What would your animal totem be?

A: I don’t know if I would call them an animal totem, but I’ve always felt a strong affinity with magpies. I remember my grandmother teaching me to use them as omens (one for sorrow, two for joy) and even now, when I see them, I start counting. They may be known as thieves, but to me to me the act of writing often feels like thievery. Shiny objects are like good stories, to be looked out for and hoarded jealously.

Maud Woolf’s story “The Stranding
in Metaphorosis Friday, 18 June 2021.
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A question for Abhijato Sensarma

Q: What kind of non-fiction do you like to read and how does it affect the fiction you write?

A: I’ve always believed that fiction reflects reality in between its lines. The recognition of fundamental truths is what connects the author and the reader beyond the scope of a story’s immediate facts. My favourite kind of non-fiction is sports writing. I’ve always been a cricket fan, and it’s another medium where human stories shine through amidst all its unnecessary grandeur. I’ve learnt a great deal from the likes of writers like Jarrod Kimber, Andrew Fidel Fernando, and Andrew Miller. The biggest lesson has been that telling a story is the primary job of all forms of writing, no matter what its purpose. This realisation has had quite an effect on me, and changed the way I deal with my craft.

Abhijato Sensarma’s story “Satyajit Ray’s Beard or the Lack Thereof
in Metaphorosis Friday, 11 June 2021.
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Another question for Pauline Yates

Q: Are you a Luddite? Or do you have the latest and greatest technology?

A: I don’t like change. It’s in my nature to immediately oppose any update to anything. It’s not that I’m not open to improvement, rather I’m an ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ person. For example, while everyone spent the last ten years updating their phones to smart phones, iPhones, Androids, I stuck with my Samsung flip phone. All I could do was make a phone call and send a text, but that’s all I needed. I always managed to find a way around the need for carrying a ‘computer in a purse’. I had to buy an android phone last year, but only because I couldn’t find another flip phone, when my old one finally died. And yes, I love it now that I’m used to it, but it got yelled at a few times in the learning process. It’s the same with my laptop. It took me two years to convince myself to buy a laptop for my writing, and it’s still the only one I’ve ever owned. It’s twelve years old, had three hard-drive replacements, and I’m still running the 2007 version of Word. Will I update? Not until my laptop breathes its last breath. Do I feel behind the times? Nope. Until my situation changes and I need something flashier, I’m happy to keep things as they are. If the worst happens, there’s always pen and paper, of which I have plenty.

Pauline Yates’s story “The Secret Keeper
in Metaphorosis Friday, 4 June 2021.
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Another question for Mariah Montoya

Q: If someone wanted to make an animated series out of your work, based on the title or recurring themes, what would it look like?

A: When I hear the term ‘animated series’, I tend to think of bright colors and loud noises (Why does Cocomelon come to mind? Help). I’m not a huge fan of that kind of eye-watering intensity, so I’d hope that an animated series based on “The Nocturnals” would depict darker, more subdued colors and sounds—like if the style of Game of Thrones and the tone of The Queen’s Gambit had a baby, only in animation form.

Mariah Montoya’s story “The Nocturnals I
in Metaphorosis Friday, 28 May 2021.
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A question for Jason A. Bartles

Q: What is your favorite fairy tale and why?

A: Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub! What’s not to like about that? Okay, I suppose that’s cheating. It’s a nursery rhyme, not a fairy tale, technically speaking, but since this answer doesn’t have to go through peer review, I’m sticking with it. Though the lyrics have changed over the centuries, I can’t help but hear it as a quintessential queer image hiding in plain sight, and it always makes me wonder: Who are these gents? Why are they floating out to sea? Just how big is that tub? And importantly, is there room for one more?

Jason A. Bartles’s story “Leiprenese 101
in Metaphorosis Friday, 21 May 2021.
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A question for Emmett Swan

Q: Aliens. Are they out there?

A: We all want there to be, right? And we have all heard the argument based on the large numbers of possibilities in the universe. So many stars, many of which have planets, means tons of opportunities for intelligent life to develop. The odds are favorable, I believe, that there are aliens out there. But now comes the bad news. Space is big. I know that you know it’s big, but it is hard to fathom just how big. This may put it in perspective: The Voyager probe, travelling at 35,000 miles per hour, reached Pluto in ten years. How long would it take to reach the nearest solar system? 835 centuries! For comparison, scholars place the dawn of civilization at 50 centuries ago. But, you say, surely we can build a faster ship. How much faster? Ten times? One hundred times? Even at one thousand times faster, it would still take nearly a century to get to the closest solar system.

And if there are aliens out there, it is not likely they are in the next solar system over, or even the one past that. Heck, they may be hanging out in the next galaxy over. Even traveling at the speed of light, it would take millions of years to reach the nearest large galaxy.

Yeah, there are aliens out there. But it’s just the dismal reality that we will never get to meet them. Ever. Almost makes it worse than them not being there at all.

Emmett Swan’s story “The Song of the Moohee
in Metaphorosis Friday, 14 May 2021.
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