Today, the delightful Thoraiya Dyer talks about her Focus 2014 tale, “Wine, Women and Stars”.
What was the inspiration for this story?
The inspiration for “Wine, Women and Stars” was reading journal articles about potentially using solid metal fuel in cars and me trying to work out if you could do it in a living organism, you know, replace the whole inefficient digestion thing we’ve got going on!
I was also interested in how being older can help or hinder in a career, and how criteria for a person’s usefulness can change right when you’ve reached the wrong side of the divide. My father was on the brink of being a qualified aeronautical engineer in the early 70s, but couldn’t get the flight hours he needed to graduate. In those days, there were no age discrimination laws, and the airlines didn’t hesitate to tell him, as they turned him away, that they could get someone ten years younger with twice the flight hours. End of dream.
What should new readers know about you?
Readers should know that I love individuals and their ecosystems, layers of history and disastrous futures, made-up pantheons and cramming too many ideas into small numbers of words. I hereby abandon all responsibility for consumer dissatisfaction.
Can you remember the first story you read that made you want to be a writer?
The first story that I read which made me want to be a writer was The Witches by Roald Dahl.
Name your top five favourite authors.
Oh, cruel question! Top five favourite authors. You really mean I can pick five from Sydney, five from Perth, five from…no? How about my five favourite dead authors. They are Patricia Wrightson, Pat O’Shea, Rudyard Kipling, Frank Herbert and Michael Ende.
The future of Australian spec-fic is …?
I just finished reading this month’s Locus and there’s a helluva lotta brilliant Australian work being reviewed in it these days. The future of Australian spec-fic shines brightly…until we’re all killed by radiation, a la “On The Beach” by Nevil Chute.
You were warned
Thoraiya Dyer is a four-time Aurealis Award-winning, three-time Ditmar Award-winning, Sydney-based Australian writer. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Nature, Cosmos and Analog and her collection of four original stories, “Asymmetry,” is available from Twelfth Planet Press. Dyer’s debut novel, “Crossroads of Canopy,” first in the Titan’s Forest trilogy, is forthcoming from Tor books in 2017.
Dyer is represented by the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. She is a member of SFWA. A qualified veterinarian, her other interests include bushwalking, archery and travel. Find her online at Goodreads, Twitter (@ThoraiyaDyer) or www.thoraiyadyer.com .