an interview series with the contributor Authors of World Beyond: An Anthology of Papua New Guinean Speculative Fiction.
Rashmii Bell: Speculative fiction gives you the ability to create worlds not found in our current reality. How did you set about imagining ‘Papua New Guinea’ as presented in your story, and what is the ‘speculative’ element that readers are introduced to?
Marie Kima: When telling stories to my little brother or my niece or nephew, I always like making up stories of a Papua New Guinea that was never discovered by European travelers. That people would live openly with the spirit creatures and magic was everywhere, and input them as characters in the stories. So that was something I was going for when working on my story. And as someone who is always in the dream land, I wanted to show the readers a little bit of romance and fantasy.
RB: Having been lucky enough to have read World Beyond, I found the story telling to convey a series of questions and social issues that are unfolding in contemporary PNG society. What are your thoughts on your story addressing a specific issue, and what of its inclusion in World Beyond giving the reader an opportunity to think of the issues outside the norm?
MK: One issue my story addresses is of sorcery accusation. I wanted to include that in my story because around that time, I read an article of a six-year-old being accused of being a witchcraft and was tortured. It was very said as I thought of my own brother who was just a few years older than her. That made me think that I must include this issue in my story as well. To share that in PNG, it is usually the defenseless that are accused of this. The accusation builds up in the community then everyone is against them and they attack because they know no one will stop them.
RB: What’s next for you; do you have any other speculative fiction writing projects underway?
MK: For now I'm building up ideas of a fictional book. And I'm working on my first draft and hoping it'll all turn out well. It's on pause at the moment, as I am preparing for my graduation in the coming week and also searching for jobs.
Read The Story of Aula by Marie Kima in World Beyond: An Anthology of Papua New Guinean Speculative Fiction, complied and edited by Kirsten McGavin.
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