It's finally happening. Amatka will be out in English on June 27. That's next Tuesday! You can preorder it from Amazon here.
The road has been a long one. Amatka was released in Swedish back in 2012, and it took a long time to translate. It took a long time to write, too. This year it's been ten years since I started working on the story.
Amatka started out as a poetry collection that I wrote on the sly. I was really working on my first short story collection, but as you know, doing something you're not supposed to do is more fun. I had spent some years collecting dream notes, and I found myself wondering if they could be mapped. What did my dream country look like? I found that some places showed up again and again, although the geography, events and people shifted. I ended up ordering the notes according to an imagined compass: north, south, east and west, and finally, a central city. I called the collection Horn and Ivory, named after the mythic gates through which dreams emerge into the world.
The collection was rejected by all the publishers I sent it to, and I shelved it for a time. Then, when my short story collection was finished, I found myself wanting to do something else. I wondered if the poetry collection could be organized as prose instead. It became a flash fiction collection. That didn't seem to work either, though. It needed someone to move through that landscape. That's when Vanja knocked on the door. Vanja, a somewhat reluctant protagonist, agreed to be my guide. But what was the world? Dreams, as I thought of them, are ruled by language. What would Vanja's life be like? What would a society be like in a world where language ruled over matter? The story of Amatka began to unfold. It broke loose from my dream continent and became a world of its own.
Amatka is the story of a few basic principles taken to their ultimate consequences. What is a world like that is ruled by language? How does a society survive in such a world? And what happens to the individual people who live in it?
The road here has been long. I'm very happy to finally be able to share the story with my English-speaking readers. Come walk with me through Amatka.
Writing is a slow business. Finishing a short story can take anything from a week to several months. Then you shop it around, which can take anything from a week to several months, or in some cases, years, if it happens at all (yes, years. I know people who submitted a story for years until they finally had it published. In many aspects it's a numbers game, and sometimes it just takes a while). Upon acceptance the story is queued for publication, which can be, again, anything from a week to several months. So, from first draft to publication, you might be looking at years. And that's just for a short story.
2015 was a busy year, but most of it was invisible. I published three short stories: "Mine-Wife", "A Call to Arms for Deceased Authors' Rights" and "Lyssna" (Swedish). I wrote several more stories and sold them, but they are all due for publication in 2016. I worked on a novel, which compared to the short story process is a whole new level of slow. Also, my agent shopped my 2012 novel Amatka around (with success!). 2016 will hopefully be more visible. I have three stories due for publication in Lightspeed, Tor.com and in the anthology The Starlit Wood; I'll post more info as it comes. The English translation of Amatka is in the works and planned for spring 2017. There are more short stories in the pipeline. All of this is to say: things are happening. Keep an eye out.
Great news! Vintage Books has acquired Jagannath and my 2012 Swedish novel Amatka. Amatka is tentatively planned for publication in spring 2017. More details as they appear later.
Snart är Andra vägar ute från ETC förlag! Den är proppad med nyskrivna noveller av mig, Anders Fager, Jessica Schiefauer, Johan Frick, Boel Bermann, Kristina Hård, Kristoffer Leandoer och Andrea Lundgren, och med ett förord av Jeff Noon.
Min novell "Lyssna" är en fristående fortsättning på "Sing" som jag publicerade på Tor.com för ett par år sedan. Den utspelar sig på den nedlagda gruvkolonin Kiruna, som plötsligt blivit intressant för en grupp människor vars tal har märkliga effekter på det mänskliga medvetandet.
Andra vägar kommer ut till bokmässan i Göteborg.
Over at Where Ghostwords Dwell, you can find an excerpt from a short story that never made it into Jagannath: "Linkax, Symass, Kanevat". We decided to let it go because it didn't really add anything to the collection as a whole. In hindsight it was a good decision - it's not a strong story. Still, I thought it'd be fun to give you a peek.
Here's me talking to Gregory Pellechi of Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing about such diverse things as Nordic Weird, Mass Effect, writing for LARPS and writing in several languages. We didn't agree on the ME ending (space Jesus!), but had a ton of fun.
I published the story "Sing" at Tor.com in 2013. Most of my stories get a specific playlist. I've recently come back to the world in which "Sing" takes place, so I recreated and added to the old playlist on Spotify. Click on Greg Ruth's gorgeous artwork to get there.
I brought up The Cure's album Wish for a short story project, and had trouble writing because of the assault of memories it brought with it. I had forgotten I used to listen to it while traveling. We're in the mid-90's, boys and girls, in a conglomerate of trips to festivals and English towns.Read More
I had the honor of presenting the works of the pseudonymous author Harriet Dumont at Malmö Pride a couple of weeks ago, and you should all head over to her blog. Why? Because she presents the case for writing pansexual, polyerotic pirate smut. It turns out, it's sorely needed.
- That my blood would turn into powder like in The Andromeda Strain
- That I would live forever and be there when the sun expanded and the water boiled away from the surface of the Earth
- Imagining eternity
- The thing that lived at the bottom of the stairs at night
- People wearing masks
- The lizard people from V
- Things at the bottom of lakes
My friend Patrik Eriksson makes films. He made Kim Jest Arvid Pekon? and Wozek, among other things. We discuss the creative process now and then. He has a series of questions for me, he says, that I should talk about and that people should read about. So without further ado, here's the miniseries Patrik Asks Stuff. Welcome.Read More