Short stories have always held a special place in my heart. I think that short fiction, specifically short science fiction, is an excellent medium for societal change, whether it’s political, environmental, or humanitarian.
Science fiction anthologies represent a culmination of mini-world-changing stories, collecting all their power into one place.
And Triangulation: Habitats, a new anthology from Parsec Ink, brings stories and poems about sustainable housing under one roof (or cover, in this instance).
I want to share my experience with this science fiction anthology with you, as well as the conversation I had with two of the editors, Diane Turnshek and John Thompson.
What’s Inside Triangulation: Habitats?
Triangulation is an annual anthology series from Parsec Ink, a Pittsburgh-based speculative fiction writing community.
For the past few years, Triangulation has had an eco-friendly focus, trying to bring awareness to issues like light pollution and the Earth’s diminishing biodiversity.
With the 2021 issue, the editors set the theme as Habitats with the goal of supporting sustainable living practices and housing, be it tiny homes or hobbit holes.
I was impressed with the selection of work in Habitats. The anthology featured over 30 original short stories and poems from new and published authors alike, as well as a reprint of Theodore Sturgeon’s “Pruzy’s Pot”.
I really liked the story “Metamorphosis” by Octavia Cade, which puts a spin on the traditional big-bug story from Franz Kafka, but with a sustainable habitat touch.
Jennifer Hudak’s “A Gardener Teaches His Son to Enrich the Soil and Plan for the Future” tackles sustainable agriculture during a zombie apocalypse. And the poem “The Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Rose” by Oliver Smith characterizes the theory of DNA/RNA survival in space in a plucky, fun way.
Overall, I found the contents of Triangulation: Habitats to be joyfully fulfilling, and I learned a thing or two about sustainable housing while I was at it! And wasn’t that the goal?
Talking With the Editors
I had the pleasure of talking with two of the editors, John Thompson and Diane Turnshek, and I asked them a few questions about the process of making Triangulation: Habitats, and what was next in the Parsec Ink lineup.
Isaac Payne: How did you come about deciding on the theme for the 2021 issue of Triangulation?
Diane Turnshek: A couple of years ago, I moved into a tiny house on 8 acres of woods in Pittsburgh. I found that people were so interested, and I turned that interest into a teaching opportunity about sustainable housing.
For example, my house is covered in glass on the south side for passive solar. It has a water reclamation butterfly roof that flows into a cistern that’s then filtered multiple times and pumped into the house. I have a thermal Earth tube that brings cool air from deep underground to keep my house cool in the summer.
I have a rain garden shaped like a dinosaur footprint, hügelkultur mounds, and all the state-of-the-art appliances.
Everything in the house is carefully curated to help the environment, from the compost bins to the materials in the walls. So, I thought all of this could be a teaching mechanism for people, and that’s where the theme for the anthology came from.
IP: What was it like pairing prose and poetry in this issue, and is that something you’ll continue to do in future issues?
DT: I think poetry really adds to the anthology, I love all the poetry we bought. Mary Soon Lee explained to us that science poetry is considered science fiction. So, a lot of the poetry we took was just strictly science, not necessarily fantasy or horror. I love it.
JT: As for the second part of that question, we decided that unlike this year, we won’t have a dedicated poetry editor. But, if good poetry is submitted, we’ll accept it. Herb taught us a lot about science fiction poetry. I very rarely read poetry, so Herb was able to help evaluate what which poetry was original or not.
IP: What’s in the future for Triangulation?
JT: The future theme is sustainable energy, and I’m very excited about it. We kind of struggled with Habitats, because the definition is kind of fuzzy at first glance. But this theme is much clearer and more direct.
I hope we get a lot of stories about power sources no one has thought of yet, that would be very cool. Who knows, we may inspire a whole new field of physics!
The 2022 Triangulation anthology, as John said, will be focusing on the theme of sustainable energy. Both he and Storm Walden, an associate editor for the 2021 issue, will be leading the charge with the next anthology. Submissions are set up open December 1st, 2021.
Thanks so much to John and Diane for shedding a bit of light on this exciting anthology! To purchase Triangulation: Habitats, please visit Parsec Ink’s Amazon page.
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