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image of Claire McKenna

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

Next up is Claire McKennaClaire is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. She is a graduate of the first Clarion South Workshop, an Aurealis, Ditmar and Writer's of the Future nominee, along with several other prizes and publications.

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

This story had to be written VERY quickly, as I got a last minute request from Cat Sparks needing some content to fill a space in the anthology that a departing writer had left. So my instructions were: a 6K positive story with no other elements from any of the other accepted stories (I was given a no-no list that included drones and arcologies and weird music!) and to be submitted within a few days if possible.

Anyway, without a lot of time to dwell on what the story was actually about, I turned to that beloved and much maligned go-to for quick and non-drug assisted plotting: the fairytale retelling. (Because in a future where genetic engineering is readily accessible, one definitely shouldn’t accept a stranger’s offer of magic beans…)

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

Apart from an unlimited and massive energy source (doesn’t everyone want that?), I’d be keen on an artificial magnetosphere. Solar wind is one of the major things completely harshing our eventual colonisation of Mars. The rest… well, I just came up with a great story idea just writing this, so I’ll say no more!

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?

That as a species we’re pretty adaptable. We’re still utilising some of our first climate-change assistive technology, commonly referred to as “Fire” and “Clothes”. However as a society we will have to make some big changes on how we organise resources and production in a world where such things may no longer be readily available.

I have a feeling what comes up next will have some deep roots in Marxism, but with less ego and a greater reason to make the end result work. (Cue Simpsons .gif of Zombie Lenin smashing his way out of his glass casket!)


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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