Tuesday 29 August 2023

Micro-interview with Devin Miller

We welcome Devin Miller, author of “Smells of Brine, Witching” in The Future Fire #66, for a mini-interview.

TFF: What does “Smells of Brine, Witching” mean to you?

Devin Miller: We tend to think of things that change and decay as sad, wasted things. What forests teach us is that decaying things are food, homes, an essential part of creation and regeneration. What beaches teach us is that when water wears a stone down, it does get smaller but it also gets smooth and beautiful. This is one of my favorite metaphors for writing: unwritten ideas and unfinished stories aren't wasted, they're just compost for future writing. And compost is a form of transformation, and therefore magical.

TFF: Is it the double nature of fungi that makes them such a suitable witchcraft ingredient, in your opinion?

DM: I think they're a suitable witchcraft ingredient because they are themselves witches. Saprobic fungi feed on dead organic matter, break it down and transform it, which is pretty much what a witch does stirring her cauldron.

TFF: What are you working on next?

DM: I've got lots of short fiction to revise; I've particularly been meaning to get to the one about a road trip with a sea-wife.


Quiet have I lived at the border between
woods and sea. Here where shorebirds scurry, forage,
where wrens, juncoes make busy life in tree homes,
here have I breathed salt.

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at

Monday 28 August 2023

CFS: Hopeful SF

Photo by Ádám Berkecz on Unsplash
We invite submissions of stories (flash to novelette) or poems for a themed issue of The Future Fire. We would like to see optimistic or hopeful—or even cuddly—futures and fantasy worlds, including (but not restricted to), solarpunk, hopepunk, spoopy horror, cozy, utopian, happy-ever-after/happy-for-now, stories that tease with the better-than-now rather than warn with the (even-)worse-than-now, golden age sense of wonder, radically inclusive and accessible futures or secondary worlds.

You know the drill: use the normal guidelines at Add “HOPEFUL” to the email subject line to help us with sorting, but we will consider subs from the general pool for this issue, and vice versa.

This call will be open until the end of 2023 or the issue is filled through February 2024.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Micro-interview with Sean R. Robinson

We’re happy to have a chat with Sean R. Robinson, author of “Boxes Full of Memories” in The Future Fire #66, about fantastic fiction and nonfiction.

TFF: What does “Boxes Full of Memories” mean to you?

Art © 2023 Fluffgar
Sean R. Robinson: I started writing professionally when the fantasy punk second wave started, authors like Catherynne Valente, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link and others took the work that was done by folks like Terri Windling and reinvigorated the idea of using myth and legend and fairy tale to address modern life. I have always thought that this made a lot of sense, and over the years I've had the opportunity to publish stories from an ongoing series I've called ‘Laundromat Fairy Tales,’ that have looked at issues from life through the lens of fairy tales. “Boxes Full of Memories” is, maybe, a step or two from those, but what do you do when your mother was the sea witch and she dies, leaving all of her stuff behind? A family member passed away several years ago, and the family had to discuss the dispensation of every spoon and fork and frying pan. It was important to them that it was done correctly, as a final act of love. That stuck with me, and found its way into these stories.

For folks interested, one of the other ‘Laundomat Fairy Tales’ has appeared in TFF: “Spindle Talk.”

TFF: If a fantastic creature asked you to tell them a story, which one would you pick?

SRR: My grandfather used to re-tell me the Three Little Pigs as a bedtime story. But I got to pick what the houses were made out of, and there sometimes featured a guest appearance by SuperPig who came and saved the day. I'd go with that, because why mess with the classics?

TFF: What are you working on next?

SRR: I'm in the death throes of a doctorate program, so most of my gray matter is headed to that. I'm currently picking at a Narnia / Those Who Walk Away from Omelas novel that is still in the planning stages, but it's been fun so far. I have a fantasy story (that's maybe a reimagining of Theseus and the Minotaur if you squint and look at it wideways) coming out from Kaleidotrope at the end of the year.


A mattress on the floor under the window, a beaded screen hiding the bathroom. The hotplate I’d gotten her for Christmas, a microwave that looked like it was about to burst into flames. A few plants that seemed to be doing well, even after weeks without water.

And boxes.

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Micro-interview with Lisa Timpf

We welcome Lisa Timpf, author of the poem “Mycelial” in The Future Fire #66, to talk to us about utopia, music and poetry.

TFF: What does “Mycelial” mean to you?

Lisa Timpf: Underlying “Mycelial” is the thought that Utopia may lie, not in space, but right here on Earth, if we can shrug off the pressure to surround ourselves with more and more things, and get back to taking satisfaction in what is available to us through nature and the outdoors. Mushrooms are a good metaphor for connectivity because of their apparent ability to communicate with one another, and the symbiotic nature some have with trees.

TFF: Does music play a role in your work? Do you have a writing soundtrack?

LT: I don't have a writing soundtrack, but I usually have music playing in the background when I write. It sets a mood and helps me concentrate, so much so that it often takes me a moment to remember where I am when I get interrupted.

TFF: What are you working on next?

LT: Right now I'm working on some ideas for collections (poetry, short stories) and possibly a non-fiction book using some of the research from my never-completed Master's thesis on women's field hockey in Canada's Maritime provinces.


At first, it seemed absurd,
mycelial motherboards in our computers.
But the notion grew on us, the way
shitakes take to oak.

Reminder: you can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at