• Q & A with Rachel Swirsky

    1. What about the theme drew you to the anthology?

    As someone who is occasionally drawn into events which most would describe as science fictional, I find that I crave the release of being able to write these stories down and disseminate them to readers. My identity as a science fiction writer allows me to publish these stories without fear of being believed; I become an unreliable narrator of my own life, which suits my purposes. I have published memoirs of this type in Thackery T. Lambshead’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and in the forthcoming Queers Dig Time Lords, and thus far no one has even suspected that the events which I describe are true. This has given me confidence to extend to a broader themed anthology such as your own. Only recently, I experienced an event which falls well within the remit of your anthology which is extremely convenient for the furthering of my memoirs.

    2. We’re often told to write what we know. Did you draw your G&M story from your own nightlife experiences?

    The events which I will relate are, as I have stipulated, entirely drawn from my real life, in total, without a fictional element save perhaps for the reconstruction of conversation that I can’t remember, or the occasional elision of detail that would unnecessarily weight the narrative. Such devices are well-known techniques for writing memoir. Of course, I do not expect anyone to believe my story (hence my ability to publish it), and so your readers must inevitably read what is, in fact, for me, only the nitty gritty of everyday life, as if it were some flight of fancy.

    3. What’s your favorite way to make life more glittery?

    I find that glitter often suffices. Glitter, for instance, in the sequins sewn onto a skirt, or in the eyeshadow that I carefully streak onto my eyes (before the application of foundation, since glittery eyeshadows are prone to generating dust). Alas, such glittery preparations are rarely possible when one finds oneself drawn into events such as those I have previously mentioned, as they often overtake one by surprise, leaving one, alas, drab in a housedress, with only ordinary, non-glittery eyeshadow dabbed onto one’s lids.

    4.  If you had to create a cocktail that reflected your story, what would it be?

    For reasons that will become apparent to those who eventually read my memoir, I must say that I would base any such cocktail on Absolut Vodka, sponsor of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

    5. If you knew you were up for a surreal evening, what and whom do you bring with you, and why?

    Since I invariably find myself unprepared for such occasions, I have given long thought to this question. First, survival packs are out of the question, as it turns out that survival in different environments requires radically different tools–things which one would assume would be of benefit anywhere are, in fact, not as universally applicable as one might hope, and sometimes may even serve to deepen the danger in which one is entrenched. Towels, likewise, do not serve as well as their proponents in the media would have you believe. In my experience, candy cigarettes are a reliable trade item, and easy to dump should one appear, for instance, in the Dour Estate upon the rings of the planet Whisper (many galaxies from here, I’m afraid; I would give more detail, but you’d find it meaningless) where candy objects of various sorts are forbidden on general principle.

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