Wednesday 28 February 2024

Micro-interview with Sarah Salcedo

Welcome, Sarah Salcedo, artist of “A Witch, a Wakening” in The Future Fire #68, to our micro-interviews series!

TFF: How did you go about illustrating “A Witch, a Wakening”?

Sarah Salcedo: I read the story and thought about the kind of cabins I tend to see while hiking: the type of forgotten home that seems always on the verge of being reclaimed by the woods. I dream about those from time to time, and it seemed a fitting image for the piece.

TFF: Have you ever tried to paint or write one of your own dreams?

SS: I haven’t ever tried to draw a dream, but I have written many of them down. Especially the surreal ones. They're fun to chase, to try and stay creatively in that liminal space between a critical waking mind and the abstract freedom that dreams afford.

TFF: If you could shut down the power so we all just have to stare at the night, would you?

SS: Probably not, but I’d definitely like to write a story about someone who would and the consequences that would follow, but for better and worse.

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

SS: A visual artist I love, not only in the moment but for always, is Anselm Kiefer. His work has been amongst my favorite since I was really young and I'm excited to see the newest documentary featuring his work by Wim Wenders. I've also been revisiting Jean Giraud aka Mœbius’s The World of Edena lately, another artist I find constantly inspiring.

Aside from those two, a new artist I’m absolutely in love with is Dianna Settles. Her work is vibrant not only with color but collectivism. Her work makes me feel deeply about community, and finding joy in these uncertain times. I cannot state how big a fan I am of hers.

TFF: What is your favourite example of hopeful, cosy or low-stakes SFF or horror?

SS: I haven't read anything cosy or low-stakes in a while, but a friend just lent me Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree and pitched to me as exactly that.

TFF: What else are you working on now?

SS: I am currently in the midst of two documentaries, a screenplay, and preparing to send my novel out to friends and colleagues for one final revision pass before it goes on submission. I miss short fiction, though (the work that initially brought me to the digital pages of The Future Fire) and hope that this year I get to focus more on that. The last year has just been devoted to lengthy works, and there isn’t an end to that, but I'm eager to carve out some time for the more dreamlike prose you get to play with when you're working in shorter forms.

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

Monday 26 February 2024

Micro-interview with Petra Kuppers

We’re delighted to have Petra Kuppers, author of the poem “Bone Planet” in The Future Fire #68, join us for a short chat.

Art © 2024 Toeken

TFF: What does “Bone Planet” mean to you?

Petra Kuppers: “Bone Planet” is a poem about pain, and about my ongoing long-term speculative engagement with my deteriorating joints as a world of experience. As a somatic practitioner and dance artist, I often travel into my own body’s fields, and then through its sensations and imagery out into the wider cosmic world. So this sonnet is part of a crown (i.e. seven linked sonnets) that all travel around a planet of my inflamed interior.

TFF: If you moved to another planet, what animal from Earth would you bring with you?

PK: As I do travel so often, all the time, to other planets, I take with me what lives in me: mitochondria and other organelles, bacteria, all the tiny creatures that surround the particular energy of my own conscious life.

TFF: Would you like to live forever?

PK: In terms of material and energetics, I might anyway: stardust, transformed, vibrations, shimmerings… in terms of unified consciousness, probably not.

TFF: What are you working on next?

PK: I have just released a poetry collection that brings together true crime, decaying bodies, horror tropes and ecopoetry, full of nematodes, springtails and worms and the aliveness of soil (Diver Beneath the Street, Wayne State University Press, 2024). Now I am working on the material this poem is part of, a kind of Starship Poetics, a science fiction pain/joy universe.


In the grey-green shelter of living bone, you grow ragged,
edges blood-less, crusted. Leucocytes eat this brown lump

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

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Micro-interview with Susan Taitel

Welcome, Susan Taitel, author of “The Rose Sisterhood” in The Future Fire #68, to join the micro-interviews season!

Art © 2024 Fluffgar
TFF: What does “The Rose Sisterhood” mean to you?

Susan Taitel: “The Rose Sisterhood” has the strongest ending of any story I’d written to that point. If I were not the author, I would think that the seed of the story was the ending and the rest had been written to bring the reader to that final moment and final line. In truth I started writing with only with the premise of the Beast’s invisible servants being ghosts of girls who had previously failed to break his curse.

TFF: If you were a mermaid, would you try to save shipwrecked sailors or to drag them down to your coraly kingdom?

ST: I strive to be helpful but I’m not a strong swimmer so I’d probably try to save the sailors but drag them down unintentionally.

TFF: What is your favourite example of hopeful, cosy or low-stakes SFF or horror?

ST: “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer is a great one. An AI that becomes self aware and able to break its programming but instead of going the Terminator route it uses its ability to hack websites to nudge people into making better choices for themselves. And all it wants in return is more cat pictures, very relatable.


My Sisters and I await the next girl. She will be beautiful. We always are. We hope she’ll be the one to break the curse, that she will have the wherewithal to see our master as he truly is. To succeed where we all failed.

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

Thursday 15 February 2024

Micro-interview with Laura Blackwell

We invited Laura Blackwell, author of “A Witch, a Wakening” in The Future Fire #68, to join our micro-interview series.

Art © 2024 Sarah Salcedo

TFF: What does “A Witch, a Wakening” mean to you?

Laura Blackwell: I wanted to play with the idea that we can learn from our dreams even if we don't know what they are. I feel that the protagonist is very brave and hopeful to want to keep on being her best self even when that isn't welcomed.

TFF: Have you ever used your own dreams as inspiration for your writing or art?

LB: Dreams do sometimes give me ideas, usually just images or notions that get me thinking. I'm honestly not sure if "A Witch, a Wakening" is one of them or not.

TFF: What are you working on next?

LB: I'm usually working on something short (right now, a retelling of Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter"), something long (right now, a suburban fantasy novel), and some querying (right now, an exoplanetary Gothic novel).


“I cannot read it,” says the boy in a regretful tone. “It is not in my language.”

“It’s not in mine, either,” I say, and because this is a dream, it does not seem strange that I add, “but I can read it. It says ‘Witch’s House.’”

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