For our second round of interviews for Queer Coded: Pride Edition we got the chance to chat with Lindsay Bradford about the queerness in their sci-fi poetry collection The Cyborg Anthology (Brick Books). They also share some of their favourite LGBTQ2S+ reads.
How is your queer identity reflective in your writing process? Would you say your writing is overtly or covertly queer?The Cyborg Anthology contains a cast of characters that I mined various aspects of my own queerness to create. The future world that the collection takes place within isn’t as encumbered by the cisheteropatriarchy as our current one is. I hope that my writing comes across as overtly queer, I certainly don’t intend for it to be covert.What’s a piece of LGBTQ2S+ literature that you heartily recommend?Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante. It’s surprising and delightful and genre-expanding, while also being a vivid meditation on grief and loss. I’m in awe of this book. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is another I often recommend. Time travel is difficult to do well, and this book succeeds at that while also having one of my favourite slow burn, enemies to lovers romances of all time. I’m also a big fan of ND Stevenson’s graphic novel Nimona. It’s a book I often purchase for others because it’s just so much fun. My kids and I are deeply excited about the movie adaptation coming out this month.Which, if any, queer writers influenced your writing of this book?I was influenced by a lot of different science fiction writers, characters, and worlds. The particularly queer ones that come to mind are the Wachowski’s Matrix, Janelle Monáe’s Cindi Mayweather, and Ursula K. Le Guin.Is there anything you would like readers to take away from The Cyborg Anthology?As with all futuristic sci-fi, I hope that readers are inspired to think about the future. The present can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to see a way out of the mess(es) humanity is in. Imagining different futures, and thinking about steps I can take to create the futures I want, helps me find my way forward. This pride month, I’m imagining a future for the queer and trans youth that’s safe and supportive for them, and I’m going to work hard to create this future.
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Lindsay Bradford (formerly Lindsay B-e) is a writer and filmmaker from small-town Saskatchewan, currently living in Toronto. They have undergraduate degrees in Film and English and attended The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. Their debut poetry collection The Cyborg Anthology was shortlisted for the VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award.