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image of Jason Nahrung

Over coming weeks we'll have a series of mini interviews ("minterviews" if you will) with some of the awesome writers in our forthcoming Ecopunk! (check it out on kickstarter http://kck.st/2xGeJ9x)

Next up is Jason Nahrung. Jason's work is often set in Australia and invariably darkly themed. His most recent books are the seaside Gothic Salvage (Twelfth Planet Press) and outback vampire duology Blood and Dust and The Big Smoke (Clan Destine Press). A PhD candidate in creative writing at The University of Queensland, the former Queenslander lives in Ballarat with his wife, the writer Kirstyn McDermott.

1. Tell us a little about your Ecopunk! story, and the inspiration behind it. 

"Today Home" combines a couple of issues. The primary one is the dislocation of people in low-lying islands and coastal areas and the mass migration this will cause. We're already seeing this happen, not to mention those being pushed across borders by drought and famine. This bumps into Australia's anti-refugee policy and the notion that although our country is a contributor to climate change, we don't have a role to play in trying ameliorate it or help those disadvantaged by it. And the third strand is the moronic push for the Adani (et al) coal mine in the Galilee, against all economic and environmental sense. The aim was to show that bad decisions like the Adani mine can be turned around, that there are other options, and also to suggest that, although some things that are lost cannot be replaced, there might still be a way to keep a community and culture intact. There are many Australians who will relate to the disruption caused when a culture that is firmly anchored in place is forced to leave that place -- indeed, faces the destruction of that place. If it's too late to prevent that loss, then the least we can do is try to help -- and stop making the situation worse.

2. What science fictional technology do you wish we had now?

Sticking to environmental themes, on a personal level, a passenger jet that doesn't cause environmental grief -- I love planes, I love flying, I love travel. On a broader level, some big scrubbers to haul some of the greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere would be ace.

3. With all these scary climate events happening at the moment, it's sometimes hard to see some light. What gives you the most hope for humanity and the world?

When you look at the federal governments in Australia and America, and hear the corporations advocating for more fracking and more coal-fired stations, it's easy to despair. But then you look at the communities, the councils, the state governments, and those national governments that actually are doing somthing to improve things, well, that's where the hope is. We're seeing the rise of social justice, of environmental justice, a repositioning of humans and the non-human world with a goal of some kind of equilibrium, and there's hope for a more inclusive and healthy world.

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Ecopunk! - speculative tales of radical futures contains 19 optimistic tales, selected by two award-winning editors, showing how humanity can survive and flourish, despite the looming uncertainty from climate change. The incredible line-up includes some of Australia's best science fiction writers.

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