Aftermath: Tales of Survival in Aotearoa New Zealand is SpecFicNZ’s new anthology, available here.
The anthology explores Aotearoa in a post-apocalyptic world. Disasters have occurred around the country and the world. New Zealand, in our isolation down under, may have escaped most of what happened around the world, but it was pretty bad out there. As Kiwis are apt to do, though, we’re “getting over it”. You know, she’ll be right …
This is not just an anthology of disaster stories. The pages are filled with hope in the form of short stories, poems, flash fiction and artwork about what comes afterwards. The contributions are exclusively from SpecFicNZ members and reflect the diversity and breadth of this country we love to call home … even if the edges are a bit torn and tattered.
We’re interviewing all the contributors to the anthology so you can get to know the brave souls who’ve battled zombies, aliens, earthquakes, volcanoes and more to bring you the stories you’ll find between its covers.
Today, we’re chatting with Febriani Idrus
Aftermath includes a variety of disasters set all around Aotearoa New Zealand. What disaster / location combination did you write about and why?
I cheated — I didn’t use any disasters set in New Zealand! Instead I referenced disasters from all over the world, and then positioned NZ as a kind of safe zone or refuge from all these disasters. The truth is however that the real disaster underlying my short story is the disaster of being overlooked, forgotten, disregarded.
How do you think the Kiwi approach to life after disaster is unique?
I think there’s a practicality and a lack of fuss that’s pretty Kiwi. But there’s also a deep and genuine empathy there as well.
What are your most valuable post-apocalyptic skills?
Ummmm…. Lack of squeamishness when it comes to blood and guts. And maybe some health science knowledge. That’s probably it.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Being a writer, you must have lots of pens. What creative use would you put them to in a post-apocalyptic New Zealand?
I would use my pens to help provide routine for child survivors of apocalypse, by establishing a school and teaching the kids how to write. Also, stabbing zombies.
Tell us a little about your other writing?
Apart from writing short stories, I’m also working on a novel (set in NZ 100 years from now; there’s jealous robots in it). Professionally, I also write programme notes and other copy for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a short story set on an alien space ship in an alternate universe, as well as the aforementioned novel.
Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
You can find me on Twitter @febyidrus where I occasionally tweet about how great/frustrating/great writing is.