Friday 1 March 2024

Mirco-interview with Emma Burnett

We were delighted to invite Emma Burnett, author of “Escape Choice” in TFF #68, to join us for a chat about SF, the sea, and future work.

Art © 2024 Cécile Matthey

TFF: What does “Escape Choice” mean to you?

Emma Burnett: The title, it just felt like a good fit for the things that come up in the story. People escaping from Earth. People escaping from a colony ship. People escaping from each other. They’re all choices that have to be made.

The story, I wanted Max’s decisions to be recognised as valid for him. Even if they don't always make sense to other people, his lived reality is legitimate, and I wanted him to have that space. Maybe because I haven’t, always.

TFF: Do you remember the first time you saw the sea?

EB: No. But I remember the first time I nearly died in the sea. It was nothing, we were at the beach. But a wave caught me behind the knees, and suddenly I was under water and upside down, and I remember thinking very calmly, “Oh. This is how I die.” I must have been, like, 14. I didn’t die, obviously. Except maybe in another timeline where I did. It didn’t make me scared of the sea, but it did give me what might be considered empathy for those lost in it. She’s a powerful beast.

TFF: What are you working on next?

EB: I’m always working on things all the time. I’ve always got a few short stories on the go. I’m about a third of the way through writing a novel, but then I have to type it up because I’m hand writing it like an epic loon. I'm also working on improving my handstands and learning to play the ukulele.


Max glanced at his mother’s face. She had that line between her eyebrows, which sometimes meant that she was thinking, and sometimes meant she was annoyed. He looked briefly at his teacher, sitting across from them. Her face was too blank for him to interpret.

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

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