Congratulations on your Hugo nomination! When the three of you first started Galactic Suburbia what were your goals? Did you ever imagine that it would become a globally recognised podcast and have such an impact on the spec fic community?
Thanks!! It’s perhaps the most exciting thing ever to have happened to me, science fictionally speaking anyway. We started it with several goals in mind: to be an Australian voice and to be female voices were two really big ones, because back then (two years ago now) there seemed to be no SF-focussed podcasts that were all-women, or even mostly women. And there weren’t many Australian podcasts either (although of course that’s changed…). We also wanted an excuse to talk to each other on a regular basis and if on no other count we’ve definitely succeeded in doing that. I certainly never expected to be part of a globally recognised podcast, although when we went to WorldCon in Melbourne in 2010 and someone recognised mine and Alisa’s voices (at the Hugo presentation no less), I realised that people actually listened to us … which rather freaked me out, to be honest. And in terms of having an impact – well, we seem to have ecnouraged a few of our male listeners to recognise some of their reading biases, and that’s exciting, although again it rather freaks me out sometimes that people are paying attention.
You’ve built a major reputation as critic, reviewer and fan writer. How did you first get involved in the Aussie spec fic community? Do you remember your first review?
I think the ‘major’ might be an overstatement! I’ve been writing reviews for a very long time, right back to when I was at high school – I think I wrote a couple of reviews for an English teachers’ journal way back when. I’ve also always read science fiction and fantasy, right back to Riddle of the Trumpalar when I was awfully young, and choosing to read Lord of the Rings because it was the biggest book in the house. But in terms of on-going involvement with the community, it’s all Alisa Krasnostein’s fault. I was reading a copy of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, thanks to a friend, and there was an interview with Alisa about her reviews site, ASif! – in which she said she was looking for reviewers. I thought, hey that sounds like fun! So I emailed her, and then I was on the list. From there I went on to become one of the founding members of the Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth crew, and then I went to a con, and then… yeh. Sucked right in.
Is there a next step for Galactic Suburbia? What can you do to make sure it stays fresh and on the cutting edge?
We have to keep reading the good stuff! That seems to be what many people like the most. And I don’t just mean new stuff either; I’m loving Ursula le Guin’s back catalogue at the moment, which I hope people will enjoy hearing about. We also need to be sure that we’re aware of our own biases and blinkers, and not be afraid of confronting them, which I think we’ve been willing to do so far.
What Australian works have you loved recently?
I adored Greg Egan’s Clockwork Rocket from last year, and cannot wait for the sequel – a world where light’s speed isn’t constant, and mothers must cease to exist in order to procreate! It’s got some really awesome ideas – physics and gender-related – and the first book left the plot hanging rather direly, so I NEED resolution. I’ve also been enjoying some of Egan’s back-catalogue. Of course, I may be biased, but I’ve also been enjoying the Twelve Planets from Alisa’s Twelfth Planet Press; “Love and Romanpunk” by Tansy was brilliant (and dedicated to me, so I am TOTALLY pie-eyed here); Deb Biancotti’s “Bad Power” was kind of what Heroes could have been if it had actually lived up to its potential.
Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?
There seems to be more being published, which is great. There’s definitely more being said about what’s being published, and I’m thinking particularly of podcasts because they’re what I know: you’ve got podcasts on books, on films, on comics… it’s really exciting to see.
This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at: