By Scott Edelman
Eating the Fantastic
In a better world, Meg Elison and I would have broken bread together in Los Angeles earlier this month during the Nebula Awards conference — but this is not that world. And so instead, even though we’re on opposite coasts of the United States, we ordered takeout sushi to nibble as we pretended we lived in a timeline of our own choosing.
Meg Elison is the author of The Road to Nowhere trilogy, which consists of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (which won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award), The Book of Etta (nominated for both the Philip K. Dick and James Tiptree awards ), and The Book of Flora. Her novelette “The Pill” made the final ballots this year of both the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She’s been published in McSweeney’s, Shimmer, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Catapult, Terraform, and many other venues. PM Press recently published the book Big Girl — where “The Pill” first appeared — as a volume in its famed Outspoken Authors series.
We discussed her pre-pandemic prediction for the kind of year 2020 was then shaping up to be, how reading Terry Bisson’s “They’re Made Out of Meat” changed her life, using tabletop RPGs to deal with the powerlessness felt during recent times, the way rereading taught her to be a writer, our dual fascination with diaries, when she realized her first novel was actually the start of a trilogy (and the songs which helped her better understand each installment), why she followed that post-apocalyptic trilogy with a contemporary YA novel, and much more.
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And here’s our respective sushi —
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Please come back two weeks from now when I’ll step into a restaurant for the first time since March 10, 2020, with a guest whose name I’m going to hold off on revealing until the day actually comes. Because you never know — we could very well chicken out. Either way, please give the next episode a listen to find out what did — or didn’t — go down.
Thanks for listening!