Today I am interviewing James Webster, author of Heroine Chic, a new collection of sci-fi and fantasy short fiction on the theme of ‘Heroines’.
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DJ: Hey James! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
James Webster: Hi! So, I’m James (my friends call me Webster), and I write weird little stories about monsters. And angels. And gods. And vampires. And witches. And spaceships. They’re usually stories about love and resistance and hope. And makeouts. There are often makeouts.
Um. Basically, I write micro/flash fictions that use speculative concepts as metaphors for everyday issues. That’s my jam. You can find them on my tumblr here.
Oh, and in the rest of my time I am: a slam-winning poet; a LARPer; a theatre marketer. All that stuff.
DJ: What is Heroine Chic about?
James: So, Heroine Chic is a collection for 52 of my microfictions, themed around the concept of ‘Heroines’. So, these stories all have female or non-binary protagonists – and the idea is to try and celebrate the heroine’s place in sci-fi and fantasy genres. There’s stories about queens, generals, thieves, gods – plus a few poems and some reworkings of myths and legends too.
Theme-wise: a lot of it is about resistance. It’s about me listening to the experiences of women and femme folks in real life and about paying attention to portrayals of heroines in fiction, and about putting a spotlight on the way they carve out space in an uneven world.
But it’s also about taking experiences that are universal and that everyone can relate to and using speculative fiction to illuminate the joy and wonder of those things. So it’s also, in a big way, about love. Not necessarily in a romantic way, but love as a transformative power and as a thing you find at the core of hardship. A thing you feel for folks when you truly see them. So I guess it’s also a bit about empathy. Continue reading