research * the future * culture

Look, an interview with me in the Globe and Mail!

Here is a look to the mobile edition, which may not work.

“Science fiction has the capability to illustrate alternative and alien subjectivities and for a lot of people – including myself – that’s by nature a feminist project.”

Ms. Ashby’s debut novel, entitled vN, came out last summer. While ostensibly sci-fi, it reads in part like a slice of real life.

“It’s about a self-replicating humanoid with a female chassis named Amy, who eats her grandmother alive at kindergarten graduation,” explains Ms. Ashby, a 30-year-old graduate of Seattle University.

“Thereafter, Amy’s on the run and she deals with a lot of things that human women have to deal with all the time: being underestimated, being groped and having to pretend like you enjoy it, and being treated like merchandise.”

(There’s also a video, here, wherein some slightly different questions are asked.)

This is a really proud moment, for me. I’ve never been profiled in a national print publication, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to talk about why I choose to write what I choose to write, and how my experience of my gender informs those choices. (One answer that was cut from the interview is that I felt anxious about writing realistic female characters because for a long time, I struggled with feeling like a “real” woman.) This whole thing came out of the blue; I came home one afternoon to an email from Dierdre Kelly asking for my input. The feature is part of a series on women in science, which I strongly suggest you read.

Now, the real story is the fact that the Globe asked to interview me in my home before changing the location to a more awesome location, Bakka Phoenix Books. (Their new location is really beautiful. You should go.) What this means is that Dave and I spent some time cleaning house the preceding weekend, even though it was his birthday and Valentine’s Day. Since I couldn’t showcase the results in the interview, I thought I’d take you on a little tour.

This is our office. My desk is on the left.

This is the other place I do most of my work — on our couch. My mom quilted that quilt. Dave’s dad painted those paintings. He also painted this painting:

You’ll notice that everything is backward in that photo, because apparently the iPad camera (yes, yes, I know, I’m terrible) wants you to feel drunk all the time.

Luckily, our kitchen shares the same goal. We moved here just over a year ago after cramming ourselves into spaces that were either too small, too dark, or too damp, and I have to say I’m pleased with where we landed. It’s my first residence in Canada that has felt truly mine.

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  • Madeline Ashby… a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity,, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

  • Books

    Madeline Ashby's books on Goodreads
    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
    reviews: 342
    ratings: 2160 (avg rating 3.43)

    Company Town Company Town
    reviews: 232
    ratings: 1217 (avg rating 3.68)

    iD iD (The Machine Dynasty, #2)
    reviews: 73
    ratings: 439 (avg rating 3.66)

    Social Services Social Services
    reviews: 3
    ratings: 10 (avg rating 3.50)

    A Clock Stopped A Clock Stopped
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.20)

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  • Madeline 's bookshelf: read

    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

    More of Madeline 's books »
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