Episode 32: Writing about Love and Grief and Also Aliens with Marissa Lingen

In Episode 32, we talk to sci-fi and fantasy author Marissa Lingen about writing speculative fiction and how to decide which shape a story should take. Marissa also shares advice for how to submit to short fiction markets, how to discover your process and fix a story that’s stuck, and what not to do with the world’s abundance of concrete. Be sure to check out her latest short story, “Grief as Faithful as My Hound,” out next week in Asimov’s. You can also find more of her work on her website.

This episode was recorded on October 19. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod.

People, Texts, and Magazines Mentioned in the Episode
  • Sheila Williams
  • Asimov’s
  • Kurestin Armada
  • Colin Sullivan
  • Nature
  • Nancy Stohlman
  • Dorothy Sayers
  • Lord Peter Wimsy stories
  • Meghan Nolan
  • Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
  • Orphan Black
  • “Macey” Jennifer Mace
  • Arkady Martine
  • John Chu
  • Django Wexler
  • Emma Goldman
  • Analog

“One of the things about science fiction that I like is that you can do all the things you can do in other genres, but also then you have this kind of extra wiggle room to play with…You can tell stories about love and grief and the human heart, but you can also tell stories about: what if things were different? And I think that’s important for trying to make things different in the world.” @MarissaLingen

“I think one of the things that appeals to me most about science fiction and fantasy is that there’s just that little bit of extra that’s not nailed down that sometimes gives me another angle on what I’m seeing in the real world, so that I don’t have to take on problems head-on; I can kind of come at them sideways.” @MarissaLingen

“Short stories are kind of my instant gratification.” @MarissaLingen

“You grow and you shift with time, and things change about your life circumstances, and your process has to change with it.” @MarissaLingen

“The most successful dystopian or negative premises are the ones that allow people room to say: okay, so what else?” @MarissaLingen

“Voice and implication are the two tools I use most in flash.” @MarissaLingen

“Flash [fiction] is usually just one crystalized idea…and it doesn’t have any moving parts really. Whereas when I’m writing a longer short story, it’s less, hey look at this cool thing, and more, let’s move through an arc of this cool thing.” @MarissaLingen

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