A question for Maggie Slater

Q: What would your animal totem be?

A: An octopus. I’ve always loved how smart and yet different they are. I love that their legs can have different personalities. I love that they both look and act like something that maybe, just maybe, slipped through some cross-dimensional fissure and decided that our oceans were comfortable enough to colonize. The only thing I hate about octopuses is how short their lifespans are. I have a growing collection of secret octopus decor hidden around my house. An embroidered throwpillow here. A candleholder there. A door knocker. All subtle enough that they might not immediately stand out, because that’s the weird beauty of octopuses, right? They hide in plain sight. I’ve got my eye on some bookends next…

Maggie Slater’s story “Catching College
in Metaphorosis Friday, 2 June 2023.
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Yet another question for Karl El-Koura

Q: What would your characters say about you?

A: I fear they would say: “Clean your ears, bud. What I said was much more interesting than what you wrote down.” I hope they would say: “Thanks for letting us find our own way.” I expect they would say: “Well—you did your best.”

Karl El-Koura’s story “Anamnesis
in Metaphorosis Friday, 19 May 2023.
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A question for Elizabeth Raphael

Q: What is the first/most recent book that you lost sleep reading/thinking about?

A: I have a vivid imagination and an obsessive personality so I frequently lose sleep over books, but one of my most memorable reads so far this year is Hell Bent, the second book in Leigh Bardugo’s Alex Stern series. Much like the first book, Ninth House, Hell Bent manages to be equal parts thought-provoking and positively bonkers. It’s an unflinching look at class, gender, and racial conflict. It’s an exploration of the transformative power of trauma. It shines a light at the darkness that lies within us all. It does all of that, while also having naked demons, ghosts, frat boy vampires, and other similarly attention-grabbing plot devices and twists. I laughed, I cried, I said ‘whaaaat’ and ‘nooooo’ outloud to myself several times while reading. Truly, Hell Bent is a standard-setting masterpiece of dark academia.

Elizabeth Raphael’s story “The Conch Shell
in Metaphorosis Friday, 12 May 2023.
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A question for Ramez Yoakeim

Q: What is your favourite part of writing?

A: When I’m writing, anything is possible, including giving this instinctive introvert a voice extending far beyond anything achievable on my own. It’s also a sort of therapy as I inhabit a multitude of characters, each with their own backstories, perspectives, and conflicts, and in so doing discover otherwise inaccessible nuances of human motivation. Lastly, what better escapism from the present with its threats of war and cataclysm than the future, not because that future will necessarily be any better (we can hope, but then again we have history), but because then, at least in our imagination, humanity has any future at all!

Ramez Yoakeim’s story “The Diamond Noose
in Metaphorosis Friday, 5 May 2023.
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A question for R. Gatwood

Q: What’s an idea you’re dying to write but haven’t, and why?

A: I’ve long wanted to write a cyberpunk story about racial injustice, but my efforts have dissatisfied me. In the story, a bug in neuro implant software would leave people losing touch with the physical world and behaving like sleepwalkers, leading them to be mistaken for zombies by panicky gun owners and police officers. Sometimes the writer who has the idea isn’t the right person to write it. Perhaps someone else will.

R. Gatwood’s story “Heart Moon
in Metaphorosis Friday, 21 April 2023.
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A question for Dan Le Fever

Q: What book or books inspired you as a child?

A: Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of my biggest influences. I would not be the person today if it had not been for that book. Next, would be all three Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. And as I got a little older, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.

Dan Le Fever’s story “Trapped in Memory
in Metaphorosis Friday, 14 April 2023.
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