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! (order it at http://bookshop.ticonderogapublications.com/product/ecopunk/)
Next up is Jason Fischer. Jason is an award-winning Adelaide-based author. He has published dozens of short stories, with an optioned TV show, a novel, a short story collection, comics and computer game work also under his belt. He enjoys competition karaoke, and loves puns more than life itself.
1. Tell us a little about your Ecopunk! story, and the inspiration behind it.
I'm mad for Australian megafauna, and when Cat sent me the guidelines for Ecopunk, I had a half-baked idea for the resurrection of the Diprotodon. I envisaged a future world where global warming has lifted sea-levels to the point that there is once more an inland sea in Australia. In one positive, this has enabled the easy irrigation of central Australia with desalination technology. Another story nugget I was sitting on for a while was the time that the Kimberley region was seriously set aside as a potential homeland for the displaced Jewish people. While this never happened in the real world, I looked at what might happen if World War 1 never kicked off. Colonialism is still rife in my story, and all the old alliances still hold. Add an alternative Hitler timeline, shake vigorously, and allow to settle to room temperature before serving.
2. What science fictional technology do you wish we had now?
All the technology I love already exists, and simply needs to be implemented in this oil-drunk world. I'd love to see the dry interior of Australia farmed for agave cacti, with the view to turning this into a stable source of bio-fuel (and alcohol). Coupled with a stable delivery system for hydrogen (which embrittles metals and tanks, making it hard to transport) and an increase in solar and wind energy use. Home-based batteries and local LPG production plants (so like a gas water-heater but generating all of your houses's power needs) would eliminate the need for massive power plants, supply and demand issues etc.
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?
I've written a lot of fiction dealing with what happens when everything goes toe up. The apocalypse, Mad Max, yadda yadda :-) In reality, people are basically okay, if self-serving and short-visioned. There will be a time soon when the oil runs out. That's okay. That will be the time that alternative fuels and energies come into play. This will also be the time that mining the Moon and Mars will become feasible, and necessity will force humanity back into space. Hopefully by then we will be less awful at looking after the places we live, and won't just traipse across the universe, dumping Styrofoam and coffee pods wherever we go.
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. Order it at http://bookshop.ticonderogapublications.com/product/ecopunk/