We’ve learned something so far about the ecotones our contributors have experienced in their lives, be they environmental or experiential, but this anthology must stand or fall on the strength of the stories, not their authors. So now we present to you our third Question of the Day:
Without giving too much away away, would you tell us a little bit about what motivated you to write the story you did?
Kurt Hunt, who wrote Paolo, Friend Paolo: The motivating idea was simple: what if someone like Steve Jobs found a terraforming device? This was in the aftermath of listening to people talk endlessly about the Isaacson biography, and hearing story after story of terrible things Jobs did to the people around him in pursuit of his goals. And what would happen if the stakes were higher?
Victor Espinosa, who wrote The First Feast: I’ve had my mind stuck in this world that I created for a long time, and I wanted to show what it would be like for two fantasy races to interact in a way that wasn’t violent. What does it look like for elves and humans to interact with each other when there isn’t an impending war or invasion? What’s at a multi-race feast when there is no political danger or conspiracy brewing?
Christina Klarenbeek, who wrote The Pattern Box: One of my current novel projects involves a character finding the journal of Lieutenant Commander John Avery, some two thousand years after this story takes place.
Daniel Ausema, who wrote Seeds by a Hurricane Torn: I’d written two other stories in this fantasy setting with plant-based magic forming the backdrop to those stories. In both of them, there were refugees from a hurricane-destroyed coast who played important roles in the plots, but both took place within a city removed from that coast. When I saw the theme for this project, I began to wonder what that coast would look like when some of those refugees returned at last. The rest of the story simply developed from there.
Stephen Palmer, who wrote A Theft of Flowers: While reading about the Green Wall Of Africa I had a strong mental image of a technological camp sited next to it. This quickly developed into a story using metaphorical ideas based around some of Africa’s experience of interacting with the West.
P. J. Richards, who wrote Green Man: The image of the Green Man is compelling but essentially unexplained. I thought I’d look at it in a literal sense, and from the point of view of nature rather than the usual anthropocentric angle.
Matthew Hughes, who wrote Not a Problem: I tend to write about individuals who do not fit comfortably into their social milieu and have to find strategies and work-arounds to fit together square pegs and round holes.
Andrew Leon Hudson, who wrote Homo Panthera: I’d been mulling over a big story focusing on ecology, evolution and artificial intelligence for several years, so I picked out an eco-section in the hopes of submitting something to this anthology. I hit the word limit with the story barely started, so I filed it and picked a different, earlier bit of the project instead—and the same thing happened. I hacked it into two smaller pieces and made this story from one of them, and happily I’m now well on the way to finally getting that bigger project off the ground.
Rebecca Schwarz, who wrote The Silva: How we view and communicate with the other has a lot to do with how we perceive our selves. I am fascinated with how we define our differences and find similarities. I wanted to explore how people behave when they are motivated to understand the other, and how we find a way to bridge areas that defy our understanding.
Igor Ljubuncic, who wrote The Grass is Greener On the Other Side: I find the whole climate change drama hilarious. For those not well versed in history, it is the recent story in a long-standing series, longer than most fantasy sagas, which started with the Ozone layer depletion in the 50s, ice caps meltdown in the 70s, and now the global warming. Well, we’re still here.
Jonathan Laidlow, who wrote Inundated: The story originated as an entry to the SFFWorld forum’s monthly “flash fiction challenges”, a thousand word story about an apocalyptic conflict between land and sea, and a couple trapped in the middle of it. It drew on a song I love by Bonnie “Prince” Billy, And then the Letting Go. I’ve reworked and expanded it for Ecotones, and I still haven’t captured the magic of that song, but I’ll keep trying.
Okay, that’s your lot for today, we’ll be back tomorrow. In the meantime, if the coming together of these diverse motivations has whet your appetite for more ecotonal encounters, why not check the progress of our Kickstarter campaign, maybe pick yourself up some really good stories on the cheap?