Mary Rosenblum, author of “My She”

Tell us a bit about your story. What’s it about?

It’s the story of communication on a couple of levels – communication is power. But it’s also a story about the nature of communication as well as one of my favorite themes – where does the boundary lie between human and non-human?

What’s was the genesis of the story–what was the inspiration for it, or what prompted you to write it? Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?

I initially intended to write about the nature of communication as power, but it was hard to find an insertion that wasn’t, well, obvious. So I was stopped for a time. But once I invented the character Siri and evolved her into the dog-human creation that she was, the story acquired the extra dimension it needed, combining the concept of communication as power with the idea that religion provides a very good means of controlling thought and knowledge, as well as the concept of human/non-human boundaries.

Most authors say all their stories are personal. If that’s true for you, in what way was this story personal to you?

Well, it’s personal in the fact that I use it to explore a theme that I particularly love to explore – the nature of ‘human’. And there is a strong personal connection. I had brought home a new puppy before I wrote the story. I was being very entertained, watching Annie, my four year old dog, mother and discipline the new baby. So Siri has some aspects of Annie in her, although Annie is a much sterner and less patient puppy raiser.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I have actually done a fair amount of reading on various quantum theories that hold the seed of instantaneous communication across vast distances. However, I opted for a type of telepathy instead, and the idea that humans would emulate machines as the model of perfection.

What is the appeal of this type of fiction–stories that take place in interstellar societies? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do readers and film viewers love it so much?

I think it achieve what I believe makes SF the most versatile and powerful genre out there. We are so sure of our world, right and wrong, how things work. When you step people out of their comfortable reality, you can make them see things in a different light. You make issues that they have long ago catalogued, filed, and forgotten, suddenly fresh and new. And some people can take that new perspective back to the everyday world with them. We really do need to think about what we’re doing and where we’re going and SF helps us do that in a way that no other form of literature does. I’ll get off my soapbox now!

Any new work of yours just out or forthcoming you’d like to mention, or anything else you’d like to add?

Right now, Horizons, from Tor is out in paperback, but that’s been out for some time now. ‘Water Rites’ a compilation of my novel ‘The Drylands’ and the three Asimov’s novelettes that preceded it and complete the dramatic arc, is available from www.fairwoodpress.com . I’ve been back to my short fiction roots, lately, but am working on a YA fantasy and an alternate history project.

To learn more about Mary, visit her website.