2020 Snapshot: Thoraiya Dyer

Thoraiya Dyer is an Aurealis and Ditmar award-winning, Sydney-based writer and veterinarian. Her short science fiction and fantasy stories have appeared in Clarkesworld, Analog, Apex, Cosmos, Nature, the anthology Bridging Infinity and boutique collection Asymmetry. Thoraiya’s novels Crossroads of Canopy, Echoes of Understorey, and Tides of the Titans are published by Tor books. Find her online at thoraiyadyer.com or on Twitter @ThoraiyaDyer.

  1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

My latest science fiction novelette about family feuds, parthenogenesis, dogs and oysters, “Generation Gap,” was published in the February 2020 Clarkesworld. Yay, Clarkesworld!

The Chinese translation of my short story, “The Wisdom of Ants,” appeared in the May issue of Science Fiction World. So that was very cool.

  1. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

Just one experience? Define “one”, because it’s all blended, and besides, everything has been the best!

Including all the bad things, like eight hundred rejections (yes, just ask my husband), expectations not met, attempts at perfection failed, houses repossessed, communications botched, friends hurt, tempers lost, deaths feared, P2 masks worn through bushfire smoke, trips to New Zealand cancelled due to pandemics. Do you call those things character-forming? (yes, Mum, I listen to you).

Including all the good things, especially all the fun firsts, like first time invited to contribute to an anthology (New Ceres Nights, 2009), first Aurealis Awards and meeting Australian publishing people (2009), first Worldcon (2010), first cover (The Company Articles of Edward Teach), first joining SFWA (2011), first Swancon with bonus Ditmars and 3yo Small One on the stage (2011), first agent (2013), first novel with dream publisher (2017).

They are all one continuous best experience.

  1. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

I would recommend: Fantasy novel Silent Sorrow (Kirkpatrick, 2020), for smart, poignant escapism and tangible sense of place (warning: this is a book #1), beautiful (free!) Strange Horizons short story “Whom My Soul Loves” (Rafael, 2019), The Giant and the Sea (Jamieson & Cai, 2020), a deceptively brutal, lush children’s picture book,  Sweatshop’s After Australia anthology (Ahmed, ed. 2020) for future short stories by Indigenous and POC authors, collection Dark Harvest (Sparks, 2020) for vivid, cutting, collected award winners and some of my personal favourites, and finally, Harp of Kings, (Marillier, 2019) because her recurring themes, of earning forgiveness, and of all people being deserving of love, are a warm hug in troubled times.


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