Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a Mexican-Canadian author and editor and the owner of Innsmouth Free Press. I particularly enjoy her work because it often gives voice to those who are othered in society and I was really happy that she agreed to do an interview with me here on Speculating Canada.
In the upcoming interview, Silvia tells us about how stories influenced her life from an early age and prepared her to be a writer, about the different take that she has on the figure of the monster, the role of social oppression in SF, the power of transgressive writing, and ideas of home.
Here are some teaser quotes from our upcoming interview:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “Do I write about monsters? See, to me when I think monster I picture Godzilla. Vampires, zombies…they seem so normal nowadays you’d expect them to live next door and drive a mini-van.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “My great-grandmother, when I was growing up, would tell me stories and in those stories witches and shape-shifters were as normal as the baker and the corner policeman. The monstrous and the mundane co-existed. I grew up with that vision of the world so to me, I’m probably more scared of the Mexican police than a vampire.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “One thing that has always bugged me, for example, is why do aliens always land in the USA? Why don’t people with menial jobs get featured in fantasy stories? Does the kid cleaning the kitchen pots not have an interesting tale to tell? That’s why I tell these stories. It’s the questions I’ve asked myself.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “Demand more than clichés in [SF] narratives and move beyond ‘exotic’ characters to add a dash of spice.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “If young readers don’t see spaces for them in fiction, they are not going to become writers and they are not going to tell their stories. They’ll go to another space where they feel welcome. We have to make them feel welcome.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “There are many, many voices that have amazing stories to tell and we haven’t even begun to mine them.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “I like not having to worry about certain things when I’m writing. Like if someone suddenly dies and comes back as a ghost, sure, why is that not fair game? Speculative fiction allows you to do that.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “There’s nothing like reading a help wanted ad in the newspaper that says “Secretary wanted. 20-35 years of age. Good looking” to get you on a feminist path. That’s what I grew up with. I couldn’t stand the macho culture around me. It was so stifling.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “Each story is different. I hope it’ll evoke a feeling more than a question. I remember an e-mail I got once from an editor rejecting one of my stories saying he couldn’t buy it because, although it had made him cry, he didn’t understand it. I don’t want people to understand my stuff. I mean, they can if they want. But I’d like if they could feel it. When I was growing up and me great-grandmother told me stories I didn’t ask ‘why.’ Why did the witch turn into a ball of fire? Why is there a lion loose in the sierra? I accepted it all. But it did evoke feelings and it painted pictures in my mind.”
Silvia Moreno-Garcia: “I was always identifying with the bad ‘other’ guys.”
Join us this Wednesday January 16th to hear about minivan monsters, Ms. Moreno-Garcia’s ability to ask tough SF questions about the people who are under-represented, and hear about some methods of helping SF to be more inclusive of the diversity of people. If you haven’t already seen it, you can check out my review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “A Handful of Earth” at https://speculatingcanada.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/abandoned/ .