GUFF Interview: Belle McQuattie

GUFF interviews, kangaroo, Earl Grey Editing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald

The Get Up-and-over Fan Fund is designed to promote connections between fandoms in Australasia and Europe. This year GUFF will send one delegate from Australiasia to Worldcon in Helsinki in August. Voting is open to all interested fans, regardless of nationality. It closes 1 April.

Deciding how to rank the candidates can be a pretty daunting prospect, so over the next few weeks Earl Grey Editing will be featuring an interview with each candidate. Joining me today is Belle McQuattie.

Thanks for stopping in, Belle. Before we get started, I have one vital question: What’s your favourite beverage?

Tea! In all forms. Since moving to Melbourne I’ve fallen a bit in love with places like Chatime and Gong Cha, I love their range of iced teas, especially at this time of year!

Ooo… iced tea. We are clearly going to get along.

Now that we’ve got the important stuff done, how did you come to be involved in Australian SFF fandom?

Way back when I was a young pup, I started reading people like Fiona McIntosh, Jennifer Fallon and Trudi Canavan, and it was a short hop from there to the Voyager Purple Zone, where I met a huge amount of wonderful people and loved my time there.

Life happened, and I wandered out of fandom for a bit, but came back a couple of years ago when I decided to start blogging. I was very delighted to find that people are still as awesome, and now I’ve reconnected with some old friends and made many more new ones.

Like me, you’re a judge for the Aurealis Awards this year. Could you share a little about your experiences? What has been the highlight?

Yeah! This is my second year judging, and it has been such a fun experience. A giant towering pile of doom at various points, especially judging the Sara Douglass Award last year, but very fun. Hightlight would have to be discovering all the books/authors that I have never encountered before, we have such a wonderful pool of authors here.

Anyone who survived judging the Sara Douglass Award has my respect. That would have been a massive amount of reading!

Aside from the Aurealis nominees, what Australian SFF have you recently loved?

Ooh this is tricky because 99% of the Australian SFF I’ve read has been nominated (spoiler: the shortlist is going to be AWESOME). Last year I read Waer by Meg Caddy though, and I really enjoyed that. I also loved At The Sign of the Crow and Moon by Mitchell Hogan, which would be a great place for someone wanting to check out the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence.

What are you most looking forward to about Worldcon 75?

Is it cheating to say everything? I’m really looking forward to talking to fans and learning more about other areas of SFF that I don’t get exposure to normally, especially because I don’t know much about European SFF. I’m really excited to explore Finland and see another part of the world. I’m also a super huge fan of moose, and I’m hoping to see some … from a very safe distance.

Belle McQuattie

Voracious reader, online reviewer and Aurealis judge, Belle McQuattie has been devouring fantasy for almost as long as she’s been reading. She will forever be thankful for high school English teachers that think Isobelle Carmody and Terry Pratchett are appropriate study texts, spending many years living a couple of blocks away from the library, and the shenanigans found in the HarperVoyager Purple Zone. She can be found on twitter @theresaninkspot