The ebook launch of The Never Never Land, CSFG’s speculative anthology of
Australian myths, yarns and campfire stories, is coming on 1 July 2016.
We interviewed some of the authors to hear what inspired
their unique version of the sunburnt country.

Photo by Cat Sparks

“Tirari Desert, Saturday” by Thoraiya Dyer is a pointed story of border protection, journalistic integrity and violent xenophobia. It opens The Never Never Land.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m an Australian writer with over 40 short stories published here and overseas, and my debut fantasy novel Crossroads of Canopy, about hijinks in a kilometres tall, magical rainforest, is coming out in January 2017. I used to be a veterinarian. I didn’t get expelled for incompetence or anything, just took a break to have the Small One and then became a writer instead!

What was the inspiration behind your Never Never Land story?

Mururoa Atoll protesters. And living in a mining town.

Is it more important to have stories set in Australia, or by Australian authors, or both?

The Never Never Land guidelines made me immediately enthusiastic, because I’d just been re-reading Dreaming Down Under which is an excellent anthology (it won the World Fantasy Award in 1999) but I was struck by how few of the stories were actually set here, as though Australians had to prove not only how well they could write SFF, but prove how worldly they were.

Was there anything you found hard about writing this story?

Making it short enough to fit the guidelines. This is my eternal dilemma. Right now I’m trying to prune a novelette down to short story size and I wonder why I must always do this to myself.

Why did you decide to submit to the TNNL anthology?

Because we live in an amazing place with so many stories.

What did you learn about the writing/publication/editing process from your experience in being involved in The Never Never Land?

I learned to specify lunar orbit when I mean lunar orbit and solar orbit when I mean solar orbit ;)

What was your favourite other story in TNNL?

So many! See my review on Goodreads. I loved the finished anthology.

What are you working on now?

Worldbuilding for a novel. Transforming our ancient saltwater crocodiles into a means of transport. I hope that when the novel comes out in three years you find them as awesome as I do, hahaha!

Where do you want to take your writing? What are your writing goals?

I want to be a writer for my job and make enough money to give the Small One as many choices in life as possible. I want writing about tree kangaroos or saltwater crocodiles in a fantasy novel to be equally or less remarkable than writing about horses or deer.

Where can we find you?

My website, or on Twitter @ThoraiyaDyer

The Never Never Land is available now in paperback and
will be launching in standard ebook formats from 1 July 2016.