Today, we’re chatting with L. Chan, one of our authors for Battling in All Her Finery!
DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!
L. Chan: I’m from Singapore, generally writing around the gamut of SFF, in fairly specific niches. Near future cyberpunk, contemperary fantasy, dark fantasy. This story is a bit of a departure from my normal writing space. Other than stories, I have an elderly Springer Spaniel who inspires all of the interaction that I get on Twitter.
DV: What inspired you to write “Chasing the Wombship Echidna” for Battling in All Her Finery?
LC: Some time ago, there was some Twitter discussion about space marine midwives. I can’t remember whether that anthology actually took off, but I got to thinking about Wombship at that time, in a bit of a reversal, we’d have the monsters being chased by the space marines, flipping the birth of the sisters in space and their subsequent training and modifications as desperate rather than hostile acts. I wanted that to serve as a counterpoint to the idea of a hegemonic military being ambushed by science fiction monsters.
DV: Where did the idea for the Sisters come from?
LC: Two sources. The many armed, many weaponed look calls back to Kali, the Hindu goddess. She’s a little mischaracterised in popular culture, the earliest I remember of her being Indiana Jones. She also inspired Sister Kalindra’s name, and possibly her penchant for righteous destruction.
The other inspiration was HR Giger, not just in the call back to the Aliens movies, but back to some of his original biomechanical art pieces, which you can see in the augmentation of the sisters, in their armoured skin and their cybernetic implants.
DV: Without giving too much away, your story ends on a note that there could be something more. Do you have any plans to write other stories along those lines?
LC: Writers are obligate scavengers and hoarders, so the story of Sister Kalindra and the Wombship is over but what comes after, well that’s something for a future story.
DV: What’s on the horizon for you?
LC: I’m still working on short stories until I get my act together to write up something as long as a novel. I’ve just finished a second world fantasy novella, with a music-based magic system and themes of family, intrigue, and empire. It’s in the next zip code as far as my comfort zone goes, so I’m looking forward to pushing back toward shorts to recharge.
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