Friday 22 July 2022

Mini-interview with Francesca Forrest

We are joined for a chat by Francesca Forrest, author of “New Day Dawning” in The Future Fire #62.

Illustration © 2022 Toeken

TFF: What does “New Day Dawning” mean to you?

Francesca Forrest: SF generally imagines collective consciousness either as a horrifying erasure of self (as with the Borg in the Star Trek franchise or ancillaries in Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch books) or as some kind of groovy spiritual opt-in experience. I wanted to consider it from a more organic perspective, something more connected to collective organisms that exist already. And I didn’t want to push a viewpoint: I wanted there to be room for a variety of feelings about such a being. Unrelatedly, I also wanted to posit a highly successful non-Eurasian indigenous nation-state.

TFF: What posthuman augmentation would you like to receive?

FF: Not gonna lie: I’d be interested in having Winna’s experience.

TFF: What is the most rebellious thing that you did as a child?

FF: I’m a painfully compliant person, so my rebellions were more along the lines of “This isn’t expressly forbidden, so it must be permitted—right?” When I was seven, a friend and I climbed out a window onto the roof of our back porch in order to launch a flying carpet we’d created. (My parents had never thought to state that climbing onto the roof was forbidden.) Some kind of prudence got us to test the carpet sans riders first. We’d just thrown it off the roof when my mom got home and found us there.

TFF: What are you working on next?

FF: I’m making revisions to a story about a swarm of bees that impersonate a beekeeper’s wife, and I’m also working on a novel to follow on the two shorter-length Tales of the Polity I’ve written.


“There it is,” exclaimed Winna. “There’s the Santa Marta bloom!” Thirty-five thousand feet down, a pinkish-brown smear drifted on blue waters of the Caribbean: Trichodesmium terrens, the novel cyanobacterium poisoning oceans worldwide and bringing hunger and economic chaos in its wake. Next to Winna, Tomás looked up from his tablet and out the window. Across the aisle their boss, Dr. Sengupta, was pointing out the bloom to the half-dozen assistant and associate researchers on his team.

“So that’s Terrible T, the enemy bringing us all together,” Tomás said. “Little does it realize it’s about to meet its doom.” He punctuated his prediction with a half-smile.

Reminder: you can comment on any of the stories or illustrations in this issue at

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