Tuesday 29 March 2022

Micro-interview with Jennifer R. Donohue

Welcome, Jennifer R. Donohue, author of “Every Quivering Fold of Flesh” in The Future Fire #60.

TFF: What does “Every Quivering Fold of Flesh” mean to you?

JRD: For me, “Every Quivering Fold of Flesh” is a 'what if?' story. The washed-up blob that I describe is far larger than the mystery blobs that tend to wash up on beaches in the real world, maybe more whale-sized, and I'm not really sure of the typical method of their disposal (though I'm sure we've all seen or heard of the 'dynamite whale' video.) So I thought "well what if a Thing washed up, and nobody really knew what it was, but other than that, it somehow wasn't really remarkable enough either? So it just sat there." And then I thought, well what if somebody ate it? And what if, by eating it, they were transformed? So this is the somewhat alarming (according to my readers) result.

Illustration © 2022 L.E. Badillo

TFF: Is there something you would definitely never, ever eat?

JRD: First of all, I would definitely never eat a blob that washed up on a beach. I'm actually not really a big fan of seafood; when I was little, my palate was very easily overwhelmed by stronger tastes, and since I'm from the Jersey shore, seafood was something I was presented with again and again, and have consistently not liked. There was a time when Orange Roughy was a really popular fish, and I could tolerate that, and my dad (not unreasonably!) thought "well if we tell her the fish we give her is Orange Roughy, she'll eat it and won't know the difference" and that did work...until it didn't! So then I was unwilling to try fish at all for literally years. So now, my very limited fish palate includes things like fried calamari, mahi mahi, canned tuna, and the spicy salmon that's often in/on sushi. I will absolutely not eat octopus, though, I won't even try it. Their intelligence makes me feel really bad about the idea of eating them.


When it washed up on the beach, the news said these things tend to be giant squid, or whales, or blobfish. To the locals, it didn’t look like it was the right color for any of those things, gray-green and vaguely warted like a cucumber, but it’s what they said on the news. Whales had bones, though, and so did fish. And squid, at least one big long flat bone, and a beak. This vast mound of flesh, inclined to quiver, had none of those things.

You can comment on any of the stories or illustrations in this issue at http://press.futurefire.net/2022/01/new-issue-202260.html

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