Short story ‘Ariel’ published in Seizure

Seizure is a fresh literary journal coming out of Sydney. Each issue imitates the style of a different type of magazine. The first issue looked like a glossy food magazine and all its pieces were linked to the subject. The second issue is ‘Sci-fi’, and it looks like a pulpy science fiction mag. I have a story in the issue, called ‘Ariel’. It’s a pretty traditional narrative about an AI being relied upon to come up with the answer that will save us all. But the story has a bit of a homoerotic twist.

Like a lot of the fiction I have found myself writing in the past couple of years, the story combines a bit of ‘speculation’ with aspects of the everyday. I like to write about desire, sensation and emotions in extreme environments or contexts. In the end, I guess I am asking pretty ancient questions about the effects (and ethics) of ‘progress’. But mainly, I want to write stories that will make you think and feel something.

Other contributors to the Seizure sci-fi issue include PM Newton, Kate Forsyth, Ben Jenkins, Pip Smith and Dinosaur Comics.

I attended the launch of the issue last weekend in Sydney. It was held at the end of the Speculative Fiction Festival at the NSW Writers’ Centre, so there was a good crowd. I enjoyed the festival, hearing writers talk about works in a range of genres that come under the spec fic umbrella (ie. SF, fantasy, supernatural, steampunk, horror). Basically, spec fic covers works that explore ‘what could be’ outside ordinary, rational reality. I’ve always liked fiction that has an element of strangeness, the odd or the slightly off. But I do also like straight realism, too. The great thing about the festival was getting to hear authors who are often sidelined at bigger festivals, or who get stuck at those festivals debating genre vs lit fic (yawn).

Sci-fi rations

But the launch… The Seizure team had bright blue Andorian Ale waiting for us. I mingled and drank under the Jacaranda trees on the gorgeous Writers’ Centre property. Then we received our ‘sci-fi rations’: a protein pill, Soylent Green, Soma-pop and Phlogiston. Yum and fun.

One of the best parts of the day and evening was meeting and catching up with a lot of Sydney peeps and tweeps. You know who you are. Thanks for the great chats.

I hope you will all check out and enjoy Seizure. It’s available in print and as an iPad app. There’s a bit of a sample on the website, too.

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