Thursday 16 November 2023

Microinterview with Bernie Jean Schiebeling

We’re very pleased to have Bernie Jean Schiebeling, author of “Crumb Cutie Exodus” in The Future Fire #67, over for a chat about help, hope, and projects.

Art © 2023 L.E. Badillo

TFF: What does “Crumb Cutie Exodus” mean to you?

Bernie Jean Schiebeling: "Crumb Cutie Exodus" is about the need to take immediate action to help others despite possible consequences. Personally, I sometimes have trouble acting quickly, so writing characters who do is kind of like… practice for future situations.

TFF: What is your favourite example of hopeful or fun speculative fiction (in any medium)?

BJS: "D.I.Y." by John Wiswell and The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson are great hopeful fiction—both have clever and compassionate protagonists who take on powerful institutions that seem immune to change, and they win. I've also been having a wonderful time with I Was a Teenage Exocolonist from Northway Games, where the player character experiences a time loop and attempts to create a better (or at least different) life for themself each playthrough.

TFF: What are you working on next?

BJS: It's a busy transitional time—I've recently finished a contemporary queer Gothic novella, so I'm seeking publication for that and working on a backlog of short story drafts. My partner and I are also starting preproduction on our new spec-fic podcast after wrapping season 2 of our last audio project, Gastronaut.


During the early hours of the Paris morning, someone flings a lilac bear from a high hotel balcony, and she tumbles, tumbles, tumbles through the freezing night air. The shiny gold tag in her ear, a plump star shape, flutters and flickers as it catches the wind. She lands with a soft pash of polyvinyl beans on cobblestones.

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

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