In this episode Jon speaks with Hal Y. Zhang, author of Hard Mother, Spider Mother, Soft Mother. Hard Mother, Spider Mother, Soft Mother is a story about the imprecise nature of memories and how they affect our relationships. You can read an excerpt here.
The story follows Ellery Lang, whose mother Valerie has abruptly left their home after several days of spouting increasingly strange conspiracy theories. In a near future world where citizens are always watched and where “personalization” is part of every day life, Valerie has managed to stay in an era long gone. This makes her a mystery to Ellery, who realizes how little she actually knows about her, and the search for her stirs up painful childhood memories that Ellery can now choose to erase.
Hal Y. Zhang is an international transplant and former physicist who writes science, science fiction, and fiction, in no particular order. Her prose and poetry have appeared in publications such as Uncanny, Strange Horizons, and Fireside. She splits her time between the East Coast and the Internet. Follow her at halyzhang.com.