Mini-Interview – Daniel Ausema

For our first contributor mini-interview we welcome Daniel Ausema, who is back for more after appearing in our last two anthologies, Ecotones and You Are Here!

Daniel’s fiction and poetry have appeared in many publications, including Strange Horizons, Diabolical Plots, and Daily Science Fiction. His novel The Silk Betrayal, the first novel in the Arcist Chronicles, was recently published by Guardbridge Books, and he is also the creator of the Spire City series. He lives in Colorado, at the foot of the Rockies.

  • What was the first story you ever wrote, published or not?

I’ve talked in other interviews about the very early things I wrote as a child and teenager. So skipping those, the first story I recall from college involved two drunks in a dry bar with secret knowledge—or delusions?—of the end of the world. Knowledge they learned by studying the bizarre patterns in the wall. It ends with one running away to save himself while the other stays behind to help the people who don’t believe them.

  • Who’s your famous-around-the-whole-world hero?

Every time I find a hero, I end up learning some less savory part of their personality or legacy. So I’m leery of holding up any of my current heroes, lest I jinx them…

  • Who’s your no-one’s-ever-heard-of-that-one hero?

Is Wendell Berry too famous to go here? Specifically the Mad Farmer persona from a handful of his poems. I think the Mad Farmer could be an awesome superhero. Though he’d probably just refuse to show up in any panels of the comic book if someone tried to co-opt him. “As soon as the generals and the politicos / can predict the motions of your mind, / lose it.”

  • I guess the clock is ticking for poor Wendell’s reputation now… so, what’s your secret weakness – Fire? Ice cream? Kryptonite?

Coffee? Or rather lack of

  • What would it take to drive you to a thrilling life of crime?

Nothing. [shifty eyes] I mean, what do you already know about that?… Actually, it would take some major shock, some reaction to high level corruption of some kind where I’d come to believe that what those in power saw as crime was really something I had to do.

  • Describe your superhero suit – spare no detail!

Forest green. With a green cape and mask. And a walking stick—with surprising powers! So I think I must be setting myself up to be a superhero version of Robin Hood… Hopefully one with a rooster narrator to sing of my exploits.

  • If you were Mayor of Pacific City, what would be your first abuse of power?

Does overturning unjust sentences and curbing corporate power count as abuse?

  • Congratulations, you’ve discovered an ethical form of abusiveness! We’ve danced around this long enough: which are you, Hero or Villain?

All depends on your point of view. A hero to those I champion, a villain to those I oppose. Err something like that. It sounds very noble, anyway, as well as pretentious…

Nobility and pretension have a long, comfortable history of cohabitation, so that works fine. So, what does Daniel have in store for his third SFFWorld anthology appearance?

OVER WATER, UNDER SURVEILLANCE — a woman for whom swimming is more than merely second nature wants nothing but the right to be left alone… yet in the land of the free, not all freedoms are equal.

Many thanks to Daniel, more interviews are on the way!

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