Friday 12 August 2022

Micro-interview with Sarah Day

We ran a micro-interview with Sarah Day, author of “The Heart of the Party” in The Future Fire #62.

TFF: What does “The Heart of the Party” mean to you?

Illustration © 2022 Miguel Santos

Sarah Day: “The Heart of the Party” is an exploration of the consensuality of inclusion, basically—that we opt in to communities as much as we may perceive ourselves to be validated or included by a community's inclusion of us. Clear self-expression is a key value that contributes to how I practice my various identities, whether that means which ones I choose to express in a given moment, or the ones that are applied to me by social mores or stereotypes. Consciously choosing your community is way more empowering than accepting the defaults assigned to you, and I think that comes through pretty clearly in the text.

TFF: If a device enabled to share thought and emotions with other people, would you connect to it?

SD: No. I feel enough of people's emotions already without additional wetware. I also work in tech—it's impossible for me to imagine new technology without imagining its commercial or society-wide applications. The idea of normalizing shared emotions among the general populace sounds like a bit of a gender and racial nightmare. Even with all my privilege, I still experience the expectations around silent emotional labor applied to most women, and I definitely wouldn't want to give people more of a reason to expect that I would be doing more of that because I could perceive their feelings and thoughts. And like most power structures, the farther you get from being a straight able-bodied cis white man, the worse I imagine this would go: feeling the barista's racism as you queue up for your morning coffee, hearing a passerby's ableist thought as they navigate around your wheelchair. That's a hard no from me.

TFF: What are you working on next?

SD: I just sold my debut novella, Greyhowler, to Mark Teppo of Underland Press!


Staring at the Patrollers across the street, I worried at my crippled implant the way I would work my tongue in an empty tooth socket, trying for the millionth time to activate it. No joy. The frizz of feedback in my hand told me they were still communicating, but the hardware was too damaged for me to hear them. I could guess their conversation, though; they were trying to understand why I’d flash an implant scar at them in broad daylight. Use of networking technology by civilians was illegal, and I was clearly a civilian.

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

Monday 8 August 2022

Micro-interview with Jordan Hirsch

Micro-interview with Jordan Hirsch, author of the poem “We Don't Always Have to Toss Her in the Deep End” in The Future Fire #62.

Illustration © 2022 Cécile Matthey

TFF: What does “We Don't Always Have to Toss Her in the Deep End” mean to you?

Jordan Hirsch: Society in the US relies heavily on the unpaid labor of women and femme-presenting people—particularly BIPOC. We are run ragged and are not adequately supported but are then praised (but not compensated) for our resilience, reliability, and large capacities. How much more would we thrive if we weren't so bogged and beaten down?

TFF: What lost-at-sea thing would you like to find while snorkeling?

JH: A message in a bottle from someone whose story and history I could learn more about.

TFF: What are you working on next?

JH: My main focus right now is revising my adult fantasy novel, though I also have a horror novella that won't stop pestering me to be written. Hopefully you'll get to read both someday soon!


What if when she drowns
she grows gills
sprouting out of her hands
because keeping them busy
has always been
what’s allowed her
to breathe?

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

Friday 5 August 2022

Micro-interview with Nicole Lungerhausen

We had a chat with Nicole Lungerhausen, author of “Song of Your Life” in The Future Fire #62, who was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Illustration © 2022 Fluffgar

TFF: What does “Song of Your Life” mean to you?

Nicole Lungerhausen: I admire people who are unafraid to speak up and let their voices be heard, especially when it comes to speaking truth to power. There are more ways to speak up and be seen and heard right now than at any other time in history, yet in America so many of us are lonely, isolated and disconnected. As important as it is to speak up, listening—to others and to ourselves—is a revolutionary act of generosity and defiance that more of us need to practice right now.

TFF: Who is your favourite mythological heroine?

NL: I love rusalkas. They are my favorite of the vengeful female tropes in mythology, although, as with most things, whether they are heroines or villains is all in the eye of the beholder. In some Slavic traditions, rusalkas are protectors of pregnant women and children, while in others they are shape-shifting sirens luring young men to their death. Should I meet a rusalka someday, I'm not sure if I would ask her for help or run and hide and I love that!

TFF: What are you working on next?

NL: I'm working on a sci-fi short story that involves time travel, epigenetics, and mental health. And it's a comedy… just kidding! I'm aiming for a hopeful story, though, which I think is an even more difficult needle to thread than writing a comedic story.

You make two attempts to sing the song of your life as the keepers herd you and the other recruits from the holding cell to the arena. Unfortunately, neither attempt results in your death.

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

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Mini-interview with Nicole J. LeBoeuf

We have a mini-interview with Nicole J. LeBoeuf, author of the poem “Reasonable Accommodations” in The Future Fire #62.

Illustration © 2022 Cécile Matthey
TFF: What does “Reasonable Accommodations” mean to you?

Nicole J. LeBoeuf: “What would a were-deer have to do to hold down a corporate job?” began as a light-hearted poetry prompt, but workplace accommodations are in no way a light-hearted subject. It's infuriating that so many of us have to contort ourselves to some arbitrary standard of professionalism, a standard that excludes disabilities and pregnancy and breast-feeding and non-white bodies and trans bodies and queer bodies and gender-nonconforming bodies—there are so many “wrong” ways to have a body! And those who deviate from that strict norm can only expect accommodations from their employer after jumping through an enormous set of hoops to adapt ourselves to a workplace that is hostile to their very existence. And then you're supposed to be so grateful for what scraps of consideration get tossed your way, and if your needs are still unmet, well, that's not your employer's responsibility, is it? So many people have it worse than you, and it's not like we're asking you to do anything your co-workers aren't, so suck it up, stop rocking the boat, stop complaining, stop acting like your situation is unique. That the "disability" being half-heartedly accommodated in the poem is unique speaks to how isolating the experience can be, how we're discouraged from making common cause with each other.

What is the most “punk” thing you've ever done or made?

NJL: Oh, that's easy. In 2012 I joined a roller derby league, and, ten years plus a pandemic later, I'm still at it. Flying around the rink on quad skates and slamming my body into my opponents is about as punk as anything in my life gets. For a female-presenting person in a misogynist world, it's revolutionary to be an athlete, to insist on valuing my body for what I can do with it rather than what it looks like. To wear a tank top and shorts without feeling obligated to shave, for goodness's sake! It's revolutionary to be part of a gender-inclusive sport, to share the track with other women, cis and trans, with non-binary individuals, with people of all identities and backgrounds and body types who just want to get together and play this absurd and bad-ass sport we've all come to love.

What are you working on next?

NJL: Mainly I've been scrambling to get my Patreon project, "Friday Fictionettes," caught up to its intended schedule. Otherwise, I'm working on--well, a lot of things, each of them at a different progress point and all of them giving me trouble. I bounce back and forth between them, which I'm told you're not supposed to do, but it's the only way I function. I've got to have somewhere to go when I get stuck. If the mermaid story is refusing to budge, I can jump to the superhero-who-sees-ghosts story, or the oak dryad poem, or the sentient architecture story cycle, see whether one of those other worlds has come together a little more while it was on the back-burner. I'm a big believer in back-burner time for recalcitrant stories.


Long before it rises in the evening,
the moon’s already full, has been for hours.

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

Monday 1 August 2022

Micro-interview with Sarah Salcedo

Interview with Sarah Salcedo, illustrator of “We Were Ghostless before Her” in TFF #62.

Illustration © 2022 Sarah Salcedo

TFF: How did you go about illustrating “We Were Ghostless before Her”?

Sarah Salcedo: I've been trying to develop a style when it comes to my The Future Fire pieces lately. I don't know how far it will extend, but the stories you've sent me have all felt resonant with each other. I want my drawings to compliment the work without pulling away or spoiling anything. I love beautiful genre art, but the really descriptive ones for me always take away a little bit of my enjoyment of the story. I don't want to be distracted wondering how the art correlates to the story, but I love suggestive art when it accompanies a story. Where it gives you little in terms of a spoiler, but makes sense after it's been read. Ioanna's piece, to be careful not to spoil it for anyone who still needs to read it, inspired me with this image.

TFF: What is the spookiest corner of the city you live in?

SS: I live out in the woods, and I don't know that I find much spooky these days. Whenever I feel that haunted feeling, it usually feels more sad or curious than anything.

TFF: To which famous wedding (in any period of history) would have you liked to be invited?

SS: Hmmm… I'd love to get to Anne Boleyn before Henry the VIII and tell her that I'll make a distraction while she escapes on some horses I've hidden out back…

TFF: Tell us about an artist whose work you're particularly enjoying at the moment?

SS: I am constantly returning to the work of Anselm Keifer. I was just working on a story inspired by his Brunhilde Sleeps that floors me to this day.

TFF: What else are you working on now?

SS: I am finishing up a short story collection, as well as a fantasy novel, and a rewrite of a literary novel I wrote about an autistic family of women in a small town. I am trying to finish these projects before the fall when I have to dive back into my documentary film projects.

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