For the Fungi anthology, we asked contributors to tell us why they had written about fungi. Today, Lisa Bradley answers this question. We also talk about how her story ended in our anthology.
Who is she?
Lisa M. Bradley’s fiction has appeared in Cicada, Brutarian, Escape Pod, and other venues. Originally from South Texas, Lisa has now lived in Iowa for almost twenty years. She believes, as Oscar Wilde wrote, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” She tells her impure, tangled truths at cafenowhere.livejournal.com and tweets little white lies @cafenowhere.
Why write about fungi?
Below is Lisa’s answer to our question:
I’m in a committed relationship with mycoprotein. As a vegetarian who eats Quorn products at least twice a week, I’ve grown accustomed to the suspicious looks I get from people who don’t understand how a human can love Fusarium venenatum. I thought if I wrote about how some fungi live in selfless service to humans, I could combat prejudice.
Among the many bizarre stories we received, Lisa’s was one of the weirder ones. Bradley, a Hispanic-American author, focused on the tale of a bear disguised as a human, cleaning an oilspill with mushrooms. It was easy to identify in the slush. Bear-as-human is probably the easiest tag you can apply to a story. Although it sounds funny when we describe it, “The Pearl in the Oyster, and the Oyster Under Glass” is a tale about the environment, the way we are connected to it, and the alienation we sometimes feel from our surroundings.
“The Pearl in the Oyster, and the Oyster Under Glass” is one of ten stories that was illustrated for the hardcover edition.