The Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2016: S. G. Larner

Stacey LarnerS. G. Larner is a denizen of sunny Brisbane, Australia, where she wrangles three children, studies a Master of Information Science, works in an academic library, and complains about the heat. She tends to explore the dark underbelly of the world in her short fiction and poetry, in genres ranging from literary to science fiction and dark fantasy. Her artwork ranges from realism to fantastical. Recently she’s started exploring combining her poetry with original musical compositions.

Her work has been published by Apex, Aurealis, the Australian Poetry Journal, Fablecroft, SQ Mag, Tincture Journal, and Tiny Owl Workshop, among others. In her non-existent spare time she’s training to become a ninja, and runs a school library. She occasionally tweets as @StaceySarasvati and can be found at Forego Reality.

You’re currently working on a Master of Information Science, majoring in Library and Information Practice – how has that affected your writing, beyond taking away time for it? Do you feel like you’re seeing things from another angle?

In the beginning, studying was a means to an end for me, a way to get my family out of the low-income mire; I had always intended to keep writing through my degree. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I’d enjoy studying again and how much the content would interest me. I definitely think it’s affected a lot of the ways I approach my writing and vice versa: I think I have an advantage over a lot of the other students because my writing activities have naturally led to a lot of the professional practice that we’re encouraged to do as librarians. But librarians have a real sense of end-user needs, which I think writers, because we are so protective of our “creative imperative”, sometimes lose sight of. I started writing a blog post of things writers could learn from librarians but I never finished it because busy. Librarians are hardcore!

I still find myself torn between my identity as a writer and my forming identity as a librarian (or information professional). And the lack of publications this year is very painful!

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The Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2016: Jodi Cleghorn

Jodi CleghornJodi Cleghorn (@jodicleghorn) is a writer, poet, editor, small press owner and workshop facilitator with a penchant for the dark vein of humanity. Her stories (published here and overseas) traverse a variety of genres, formats and lengths, and she’s a passionate advocate of collaborative writing. Elyora/River of Bones, her debut novella, was shortlisted for an Aurealis. No Need to Reply, a flash-fiction chapbook will be followed up this month by the companion publication, The Heart is an Echo Chamber, penned by eight friends.

Your post-it note and cut-and-paste poetry are a consistent delight across my social media. What’s their role in your overall writing process – are they warm-ups, or important in their own right?

In short: both. They have been frivolous and serious, stop-gap play and scheduled work, disposable creativity and important self-expression. The cut-and-paste poetry gave my depression a voice in 2014, when I was coming to the realisation I was chronically ill. It morphed into poem squares and gave me the ability to keep creating/writing when my intellectual capacity for my own original work didn’t exist.

I’m a jack-of-all-words, so I am happy to be an author of science fiction sometimes, poetry builder from the texts of Winterson and Calvino other times. As long as I don’t use one to procrastinate from the other, they have the capacity to be a refueling loop.

Poem squares are important in their own right now. I sold my first one recently and plan to put more up for sale as well as open for commissions.

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The Australian Spec Fic Snapshot 2016: Laura E. Goodin

A picture of author Laura E Goodin

American-born writer Laura E. Goodin has been writing professionally for over 30 years. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Review of Australian Fiction, Adbusters, Wet Ink, The Lifted Brow and Daily Science Fiction, among others, and in several anthologies. Her plays and libretti have been performed on three continents, and her poetry has been performed internationally, both as spoken word and as texts for new musical compositions. She attended the 2007 Clarion South workshop, and has a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Western Australia.

For those of us who weren’t able to catch The Cabinet of Oddities, can you tell us a bit about it (and whether we can expect a reprise anytime soon)?
My husband, composer Houston Dunleavy, and I collaborate frequently on pieces. A while back he wrote a piece for one of the low flutes (find out more about these fabulous instruments here!) as incidental music to one of my flash pieces (“The Monster Tarantella”). We realised that it would be intensely fun to get other writers and composers to work together to produce a collection of these sorts of pieces. And when we found out that the Australian Flute Festival was occurring at exactly the same time a few hundred metres away from Conflux last year – well. How much more reason did we need? In the end, all the writers, composers, and players had a fantastic time creating and performing the concert at Conflux, and the audience members were thrilled with hearing brand-new works – both text and music – and with seeing and hearing the wondrous suite of flutes. It really was a joyous experience – but over way too soon, with only one performance. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce there will be two more performances as part of the Melbourne Fringe on September 23 and 24 – keep an eye on their site, as the program launches August 9!

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The maths of everything

Jennifer-Ouellette-credit-Ken-Weingart-2This interview was originally published in COSMOS Magazine, issue 51.

Los Angeles-based Jennifer Ouellette writes about science, particularly physics, for The Wall Street JournalNew Scientist and Physics World. Her most recent book, The Calculus Diaries, tackles many students’ nemesis, mathematics. She tells COSMOS reviews editor Rivqa Rafael why she took up the challenge.  Continue reading

On thinking cosmically

403px-CarolynThis interview was originally published in COSMOS Magazine, issue 50.

A sci-fi–fantasy blend about a mysterious woman with a multiverse to save, C.J. Cherryh’s first book was published in 1976. Since then, she has won numerous awards and delighted readers with more than 60 books. Her latest, Protector, the second installment of the fifth Foreigner trilogy, is expected in April. She talked to COSMOS reviews editor Rivqa Rafael about the genre and how she writes it. Continue reading