As part of The Future Fire’s 10 year anniversary virtual celebrations, I asked author Joyce Chng a few questions about what inspires her to write and her favourite TFF stories.Born in Singapore but a global citizen, Joyce Chng writes mainly science fiction and YA fiction. She likes steampunk and tales of transformation/tranfiguration. Her fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres, The Apex Book of World SF 2, Luna Station Quarterly, and TFF's own anthologies We See A Different Frontier and Accessing the Future. Her website/blog can be found at A Wolf’s Tale and she tweets as @jolantru.
Kathryn Allan: What stories did you love when you were a child? Do they inform your work today?
Joyce Chng: I loved stories of transformation and shapeshifting. And also Chinese myths and legends. Yes, they do influence my work to a fair bit. I write a lot about shapeshifters and hybrids.
KA: Given the time, focus, and energy that it takes to write, what motivates you?
JC: The love of writing, I guess. The passion of the written word. The expression of what and who I am inside.
KA: Who do you write for?
JC: Myself. My daughters.
KA: Why do you think venues like TFF are important? What draws you to submitting your stories to this type of zine?
JC: Venues like TFF are important because they publish stories that are not heteronormative and are open to diversity of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Science fiction should not be limited to white-male-patriarchal: this norm severely limits the scope of science fiction which should encompass everything in the future(s).
KA: Do you have a favourite story (yours or someone else’s) in TFF zine or in one of its three anthologies? What makes this story remarkable?
JC: Oh wow, I am torn. I love both of my stories in We See A Different Frontier and Accessing the Future. But the one that resonated with me the most was “The Lessons of the Moon”. I wrote the poem part of it when I had my biopsy. Fortunately, the lump in my breast wasn’t cancerous. I think I wanted to write a story about chronic and even terminal pain—I also have chronic illnesses, but I don’t talk about them a lot. They are mostly invisible, but I can definitely feel the pain and fatigue. There are good days. There are bad days.
KA: Finally, of the four elements—fire, water, air, and earth—with which do you most identify?
JC: Can I identify with two? Fire and earth? I can be quite fiery, but down to earth too.
KA: Thank you Joyce for letting me pick your brain. I look forward to reading your stories to come!
You can support Joyce’s writing by backing her Patreon, and get a sneak preview of her newest work. You can also support The Future Fire’s latest anthology and future publications by pre-ordering e-book or paperbacks, or picking up other perks at our crowdfunding campaign at: igg.me/at/tffx.
Watch out for a flash-sequel to Joyce's We See a Different Frontier story “Lotus” as part of this anniversary celebration soon.