Let me tell you about slushing. You read stories sent by hundreds of hopefuls from all over the world. You try to do them justice, remembering each one is somebody’s baby, but mostly, they’re not very good. Some are quite good, even publishable - but once in a while, you get a story that makes you sit up and say, “YESSS!” - a story that reminds you why you keep reading slush, hoping something like it will come along. And once, making my way through the Andromeda Spaceways slushpile, I found such a story which we later published. It was, of course, one of Thoraiya’s. She is a very special writer.
I found the mental images created by Thoraiya’s story incredibly intense and I think she’s a first class author who will go far.
Thoraiya’s ‘Faet’s Fire’ is a searing, white-hot lightning bolt of a story, and one that dies away with the afterimages still playing across the reader’s retinas. At least that’s the way it was for me—maybe I need to see an optometrist. Thoraiya always packs a lot of story into as few words as possible, and ‘Faet’s Fire’ is an excellent example of her skills in this regard.
The Hunter Valley in NSW is rodeo country, and when I first saw the anthology guidelines, I thought I'd write something about a rodeo. There's nothing like tying a rope around a bucking bronco's nads, jumping on its back and opening the gate to fit the very definition of "Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear."
But, you know, characters never listen, do they? When I started writing, it turned out Theo didn't want to be a bull rider. He wanted to be in the campdraft; he wants Lisa to admire him for his knowledge and skill, not his bravado. The pivotal moment in the story when he flicks his cigarette lighter is all about being knowledgeable, not reckless. He thinks he knows what will happen.
Just like the coal seam gas industry thinks it knows what will happen if it hydraulically fractures the ground beneath our feet using high-pressure chemical cocktails, allowing methane trapped in pores in the rock to flow into their wells. The Lock the Gate Alliance believes otherwise. The point is, there's no going back once you've done it.
In real life, unlike in my story, there are unlikely to be alien gods able to reverse time and bestow a second chance.
About Thoraiya's Writing
Thoraiya Dyer’s work has appeared in Apex magazine, Cosmos, Nature. Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and Redstone SF. Her fantasy short story, “Fruit of the Pipal Tree,” won the 2011 Aurealis Award in its category. An original collection of her short fiction, Asymmetry, will be published in 2012 as part of Twelfth Planet Press’ Twelve Planets Series.
If you want to find out more about this wonderful writer, go to her web site: http://www.thoraiyadyer.com/