Swimmers Club

The pioneers of aviation were never lonely

30th June 2017


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Image by Maddison Stoff

Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Who: Maddison Stoff.
Where: Melbourne, Australia
What: Writer and independent musician.

Cat No: DW-365

What do you do?

I'm a fiction writer, lo-fi musician, and essayist with a deep and abiding love for intertextuality. All of my stories are connected, to create the sense they're set inside a living universe.

Stock question. Can you tell us a bit about your influences?

William Gibson, Kathy Acker, punk rock, and computer games. I'm also really into critical theory and philosophy, which informs my work in a variety of ways.

Can you tell us about your most recently published book and whether it does or doesn't differ from the types of things you've written before?

For We Are Young and Free is sort of like my demo tape. It's looser and a little bit less polished than the writing that I'm doing at the moment, but it introduces many of the concepts that I've built upon in later stories. It's also fairly close to me as a person, inspired by the friendships I've made, the subcultures I've been part of, my anxieties around the future, and the places that I've been. It's experimental science fiction with a local setting and a realist bent. You'll like it if you like that sort of thing.

What are you currently working on?

I've had a tough few months with managing my mental health, so right now my biggest goal is trying to recover. That said: I'm working on some short stories about badass trans protagonists in sci-fi situations, and might be starting on a novel soon. Watch this space.

Swimmers Club has a focus on the state of independent culture at the moment (independent coffee shops, presses, record labels, etc). How healthy do you think independent culture is right now?

Independent art is booming at the moment, though there’s too much competition and the pace of it is slightly overwhelming! I think what I’d really like to see is more sharing, less posturing, and a healthier environment for artists as a whole. A lot of that comes down to time and money: all of us are hurting for it, and unless you’re a celebrity, there isn’t really much of it to go around.

What influence, if any, does the city in which you live have on your world?

I've never lived anywhere that I've felt as normal in as Melbourne, and I'm constantly inspired (and intimidated!) by the things that I see other people making every day. I feel like I'm a part of something living here, and the confidence that feeling’s given me has been amazing for my work. I was always very negative about being in Australia when I lived in Queensland, but Melbourne has revitalised my interest in the country as a whole. I'm energized and excited by the city. Melbourne's great!

Finally, can you swim?

Yeah, but I'm not that great, for lung capacity and general co-ordination reasons. I'd drown in a survival situation, but at least it wouldn't happen right away?

More Info:

You can look me up on Google, or Twitter @thedescenters.