Bren MacDibble, the Kiwistralian from Melbourne, has four children’s books, a non-fic book, and a list of children’s and SF magazine publications longer than a Post Office queue. She’s a member of SuperNOVA writers’ group and a Clarion survivor.
Q1. I’ve recently had the chance to read a few of your stories in print this year, as well as your upcoming story in Shiny. Mostly you write SF but I noticed that your ASIM 30 story had a more fantasy bent. Do you have a preferred genre that you write in and why?
Occasionally, I write fantasy, usually modern fantasy. The ancient Egyptian fantasy was an attempt at writing something different in a more romantic way. It wasn’t romantic. SF is what I really love to write. I like to explore where we are going, and how terribly flawed we are, and how even stupendous technology will not save us from ourselves.
Q2. What sort of stories do you look to tell in your fiction? What motivates you to write?
It’s a horrible addiction. I want to write prose with the skill of Swanwick and tell tales as wonderful as Lem and Dick and I just can’t stop trying. I always look for the human story amid the machines, mainly our faults and insecurities. Dirt and poverty usually sneak in somehow. I think that’s my subconscious nod to the Eastern European SF that I love to read. Or my hard and dirty NZ upbringing. The biggest motivation to continue is when someone enjoys one of my stories. Nine year old fans tend to be fairly vocal, and I’ve had a couple of excellent reviews for my adult stuff too.
Q3. What goals have you set yourself for your writing? Where would you like to be in say 5 years time?
I have six young adult SF novels in varying stages of completion. It’s a long term obsession. Even though I love the short form (adult SF and children’s), I’d really like to get a young adult novel published. I’d also like to quit my day job.
Q4. Do you read much of the Aus spec fic scene? What’s the best thing you’ve read this year?
I buy all the local mags and eventually read them. I have to say the Pilo Family Circus was the most fun. It was so scary I had to read it through my fingers initially. I don’t get those reptiles but those clowns sure were nasty! Loved them. In the short form… hmmm… actually, an unpublished story by Kirstyn McDermott about a child and colours, working title: Indigo, great prose, great mood. Keep an eye out for it, editors.
Q5. And finally, if you had the chance to get it on with the fictional character you fancy most, who would it be?
Red Schuhart, from Roadside Picnic, we’d get horribly, horribly messy on vodka, lament about the unfairness of the world and the human condition and have unsatisfying sex in a dirty alley and get swallowed whole by a Zone swamp to prove the point. Again, not romantic.