DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Jennifer R. Povey: I never think of myself as that interesting—I’m a science fiction writer and freelancer who lives in northern Virginia (great museums, not so great urban sprawl). I was born in the UK (and yes, I’ve written stories about immigration before).
DV: What inspired you to write “Dropping Rocks” for Battling in All Her Finery?
JP: Two things:
1. I wanted to do an anti-colonial narrative.
2. “Dropping rocks” simply refers to the fact that in space warfare, a simple kinetic missile is an extremely effective weapon. You can literally destroy a planet-wide civilization with a big enough rock. (“The next war will be fought with thrown rocks” isn’t always a reference to nuclear destruction.)
DV: Your story includes human and “alien” characters. Tell us more about the native population of the planet the humans call “Barclay’s World” in your story. What gave you the idea for that population?
JP: I adore designing aliens. For this particular story, I wanted to play with gender a little, so I gave the Liktora (not Tavarians. Tavar means home. Liktora means people. If I ever write a sequel, somebody is going to be exasperated by that) four sexes. All four are needed for reproduction. The narrator is an ayar “female,” a child rearer and teacher in their traditions. She doesn’t get pregnant, that’s the ayak females. The separation of pregnancy and nursing is not a new idea, but splitting the males too is less usual (The other example is the Andorians, when Star Trek bothers to remember they did that). I chose to play with gender in this way to reflect the fact that some non-western cultures already have more than one gender. (The Liktora might have more than four …or just not the same concepts at all). The other inspiration is badgers or moles. They’re burrowing folk, who den under the ground. And they won’t be driven off their land.
DV: Without giving too much away, your story is one that has arguably two female leaders–the narrator and the character she’s talking about. Do you think your narrator realizes that she, too, is a leader in her own way?
JP: No. She doesn’t. That’s the point.
DV: What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m working on a large RPG project for Avalon Game Company that will be Kickstarted soon. After that I plan on finishing my urban fantasy series (Lost Guardians)—three books of four are published. I was hoping to get it done faster, but … large RPG project got in the way.
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