This week we welcome to the press page Colleen Anderson, author of the poem “The Fungal Force: A History” in The Future Fire #66.
Colleen Anderson: We’ve learned so much about the mycelial network that links trees and root systems, an alien not-animal lifeform that is part of our world. And of course, there is the destructive controlling fungus that uses insects like zombies to meet its needs. My fiction story, “Sins of the Father” (in On Spec #105) explores that aspect. I work in Vancouver’s DTES (Downtown East Side) and see people being destroyed and physically altered by drugs every day. There is much dehumanization that starts with traumatic abuse in childhood and continues with othering in adulthood. We may see one city or country being particularly abusive of people, but in the end, we are all susceptible to our base natures if we choose to see groups of people as not human or less than.
TFF: You use the names of different mushrooms in a very evocative way. Were these scientific names part of your inspiration for this poem?
CA: No. I chose the names that work in rhythm and potency to the content of the poem.
TFF: What are you working on next?
CA: I’m writing a book of poems on Rapunzel. As is shown, most fairy tales have dark cores. I look at how a hostage in a tower grows and changes, and what happens after the not so happily ever after. Of the fairy tales, Rapunzel may not have died like Snow White but goes through extreme trials and tribulations, giving birth to twins when exiled to the desert.
It began with the men in blue
plus a few other people in government succumbed
when each breath they drew labored with hate
Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at http://press.futurefire.net/2023/07/new-issue-202366.html.