While I first and foremost love at Breaking the Glass Slipper is speculative fiction writers, it’s important to note that there are women working in the industry on a wide range of projects and in a number of different roles. Mahvesh Murad is one of them, and furthermore, someone who wears multiple hats. She is an editor (you read my review of The Djinn Falls in Love, which Mahvesh co-edited with Jared Shurin over at Pop Verse), a critic, and a fellow SF podcaster with Tor.com on the spectacular Midnight on Karachi.
We are very lucky to have Mahvesh pop by and answer a few quick questions about her love of speculative fiction, the trials involved when editing a short story collection, and who she thinks we should be reading!
What first sparked your love of genre fiction?
The Arabian Nights! And Greek mythology. Then came Diana Wynne Jones & George Orwell.
How do you decide on a theme for a short story collection? Are there any themes that won’t work? If so, why not?
A theme to pitch to a publisher, you mean? I think of what I’d like to read, & if it’s missing from my life. I’m pretty sure any theme could be made to work…I’m pretty sure any theme has been made to work! 🙂
What challenges do you face when editing an anthology?
My primary concern is always that I have to ask writer’s whose work I love to write me a story for the very little money short stories are bought for. It’s abysmal & embarrassing & everyone I ask is worth so much more.
As both a fan and critic, what are the trends you want to see more of in upcoming speculative fiction releases?
I don’t really want to see trends. I want to see unlimited imagination & a wide array of voices. The more writers break free of trends, the happier I’d be.
How do you go about discovering new writers? Could you tell us about a few writers you are excited about but feel are under appreciated?
It’s just a matter of word of mouth, half the time, isn’t it? Kuzhali Manickavel is a writer I’ve loved for a few years now & feel is massively under appreciated & under published. I’d like to have a story by her in every collection I ever have a chance to curate.
Mahvesh Murad is a critic, editor, rogue voice for hire and recovering radio show host from Karachi, Pakistan. She is published regularly in Dawn’s Books & Authors, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and Pornokitsch.com. Mahvesh is editor of the Apex Book of World SF 4 (2015), co-editor of The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories (2017) and Speculative Fiction 2016 (2017).
She hosts the weekly interview podcast Midnight in Karachi published weekly on Tor.com and is the narrator of stories, TV & radio commercials, documentaries, phone trees. Have sold you more stuff than you know.