Grazing

I go through periods during which I read very little, and periods during which I binge. At the moment I'm sort of grazing, having a hard time concentrating on one single book. Probably because I'm working on a mind-consuming project. These are littering various tables right now:

The Affirmation by Christopher Priest. I met him and Nina Allan at Hispacon in December, and asked each of them what I should read by the other. So after this I'll hunt down Nina's story Spin. So far The Affirmation creeps me out, which is a very good start.

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. A dive into the nature and history of libraries, for a project I'm working on which involves, as you might have guessed, a library and a librarian. I've written about librarians before, in Amatka, but I guess I wasn't done. Really, librarians can't be overdone.

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie. Ancillary Justice was brilliant, if slow going, so naturally I have to see what she does with this one.

El Joven Moriarty y Los Misterios de Oxford by Sofía Rhei. I don't really speak Spanish, but I really want to read it. I'm slowly deciphering the text with the help of my meager French and Latin. It's working unexpectedly well.

But, really, most of my decompression time is taken up by Dragon Age. I'm not as in love with the DA series as I am with the Mass Effect games, but since ME4 won't be out for some time I'll take what I can get. But really, you know what I actually miss? Psychonauts. And I just found it as a download. Fantastic.

New story out: "Mine-Wife"

Words Without Borders has a new issue out, and the theme is alternate history. I wrote a story in Swedish, "Gruvmaja", which was then translated into English by Silvester Mazzarella. It was an interesting and pleasant experience to have someone else translate you into English. I think he did a great job. "Mine-Wife" is about mechanical shepherdesses, a disappearing town, and a narrowly escaped horror. Enjoy.

Barcelona!

So, tomorrow it's off to Barcelona and MIRcon, both of which I'm looking forward to very much.

The last time I was in Barcelona was back in 1998, when I and my friend Anna decided to follow the pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela. She was interested in architecture, I was a comparative religion buff with an interest in the wandering of mother goddess attributes and iconography from east to west. We were both massive fans of medieval history and conspiracy theory. The pilgrimage route was pretty much our dream journey. We didn't walk all the way; we started out taking buses along the route, then hooked up with a bunch of Australian SCAists along the way and then walked the last 100 kilometers. For a couple of thoroughly unathletic goths, that's no mean feat. It hurt. But it was even more awesome than our wildest dreams. So, I'm excited to be back. And I'm just as excited to say hi to my Spanish readers, who have said the kindest things about my work (and once even organized a LARP inspired by my short story "Sing" - how's that for a compliment?).

I arrive on Thursday, and will stay for all of MIRcon. I'll also be at Libréria Gigamesh on Friday at 19.00. Don't miss out on the chance to see the other visiting guests at MIRcon:  Christopher Priest, Nina Allan, Aliette de Bodard, Félix J Palma and many more.

And please come say hi if you want to. I have a pretty bad case of bitchy resting face, but beneath my dour exterior I'm quite nice. Should I suddenly break off and leave, it's probably not because I hate you, but because I'm also a massive introvert.

Fantastisk podd #17

Finlandsgruppen pratar research! Efterforskningar, för övrigt, är både en av de viktigaste, roligaste och farligaste aspekterna med att skriva. Särskilt viktigt är det att göra faktisk research, det vill säga att gå utanför Wikipedia. Till exempel till biblioteket, eller till miljön du skriver om. Känna hur den luktar, låter och verkligen ser ut. Och att prata med någon som är expert på området, eftersom de också kommer att svara på frågorna du borde ha ställt. Det kan rädda en berättelse (eller tvinga dig att skriva om den, eftersom du har baserat den på en grund som inte håller). Sen kan det visserligen sluta med att man slösar timtal på att leta bilder på lik konserverade i kopparvitriol, eller göra misslyckade utflykter till en gruva som visade sig inte alls vara en gruva, men ingen kunskap är dålig kunskap och utflykter är stärkande för karaktären.

Sokrates död

Min gamla lärare från Skurups skrivarlinje, Niklas Åkesson, lyrikdebuterade just med diktsamlingen Sokrates död. Han är jävligt bra, och det har den här recensenten fattat. Suktar du efter poesi, är det alltså honom du ska läsa. Sen är det också så att Niklas är den bäste lärare jag någonsin har haft. Han var den första lärare som fattade vad jag försökte göra, som hjälpte mig hitta min röst och gräva fram vad det var jag ville skriva, som tyckte att ju konstigare desto bättre, som kunde hala upp en från golvet med ren entusiasm. Jag är skyldig honom mycket. Därför är det fantastiskt roligt att se att hans lyrik får ett så fint mottagande.

Skaffa boken här till exempel.

Songs for stories that never lived

Every now and then I find documents I've completely forgoten about. Here, squeezed in between an old version of "Beatrice" and my archived diary from the old Helgon community, I found a soundtrack list of a row of stories from 1998-2000 that never saw publication. So, I present to you: soundtracks for the stories that never were.

Read More

Fat Mats, comatose cats

On the porch of the house by the sea lives a comatose cat. It supposedly belongs to the neighbor, my host told me, but it spends most of its time in a basket on the wooden sofa outside. Every time I come out on the porch it's changed position slightly, nose pointing in a new direction, like a sun dial. I've never actually seen it move. In between writing shifts, I do a bit of research: this time on archaeology, mines and dead bodies. I'm learning a ton of stuff thanks to archaeologist Ola Kronberg, who helps me dredge up answers to questions like "how does a body decay in a mine?" and "who do you call when you find something ancient?". It turns out there are even more ways to preserve a body than I knew of (and I know of quite a few). Fet-Mats (Fat Mats), for example, was perfectly preserved by copper vitriol in a disused mine shaft. And I'd forgotten how peat bogs preserve skin but dissolve bone (so that bodies found in peat bogs are essentially skin sacks). Might go visit the nearby mine today. There's no other way to find out what it smells like.

By the sea

So I'm in a house by the sea, working on a couple of projects. One I will talk about at the end of the month or thereabouts. The other will take longer. For those who are looking for new stories, there are a couple of them on the horizon now: a story called "Migration" in Jonathan Strahan's upcoming anthology Fearsome Magics: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, and the entry "Cultes des Goules" in Nate Pedersen's fictional auction catalogue The Starry Wisdom LibrarySwedish readers will find the story "Ett upprop för avlidna författares rättigheter" ("A call to arms for deceased authors' rights") in the upcoming issue of Swedish Granta, out in November (no English translation available yet). Remember Tidsrum's excellent puppetry adaptation of "Beatrice"? They're visiting Roskilde next week with three shows: Friday the 22nd at 8.30 PM, and Sunday the 24th at 1.30 and 4 PM. If you're nearby, you should definitely take the chance to see it. Tickets sold here. The venue is INSP! on Køgevej 4-6.

Two exciting things happening RIGHT NOW

First: I'll be judging The Golden Key's flash fiction contest, which I'm very excited about. The Golden Key is an odd and delightful bi-annual journal that collects stories and poetry which scratch at the surface of the everyday to uncover wonders. So, submit your flash if you have it. Even if you don't intend to submit anything, go have a look at the journal. The-Golden-Key-Flash-Fiction-Open

Second: the Jeff VanderMeer's Weird Fiction Bundle is out!

Storybundle offers a heap of e-books for whatever price you're willing to pay, 3 USD minimum. The basic bundle contains books by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, Michael Cisco, Leena Krohn, Amal El-Mohtar and a Finnish weird antho edited by Desirina Boskovich. If you decide to pay more than 12 USD, you get three bonus books: The Tyrant by Michael Cisco, The Third Bear by Jeff VanderMeer, and if you don't have it: my collection Jagannath.

Go check it out. If you want summer reading that will interest and freak you out, this is your chance. You have 21 days.

Gävle, jag är i dig

och imorgon är det dags för Steampunkfestivalen, Swecon 2014. Här är mina programpunkter, saxade ur programmet: Fredag kl 17.00 Fantastiska svampar i vilket jag på ett fullständigt ovetenskapligt sätt pratar i 20 minuter om fiktiva svampar jag gillar.

Fredag kl 21-22 Panel: Den svenskspråkiga fantastiknovellen Det finns knappt några tidskrifter längre, men istället har det kommit en del antologier de senaste åren. Hur är läget för den svenskspråkiga fantastiknovellen idag? Är det stycksålda e-noveller som är framtiden? Johan Jönsson, Karin Tidbeck, Elin Holmerin. Moderator: Nahal Ghanbari.

Lördag kl 13-14 Panel: Being a writer Writers write, but what about all the other stuff? What is it like to be a part of the book industry and it’s current changes and challenges, to release your books to readers and critics or to go to events as a writer, instead of as a reader or a fan? Cory Doctorow, Chris Wooding, Steven Savile, Karin Tidbeck. Moderator: Gillian Redfearn.

Lördag kl 14-15 Panel: Troll och andra väsen Författarna från Fantastisk podd spelar in ett specialavsnitt inför publik och diskuterar nordisk folktro i fantastiken. Anders Björkelid, Oskar Källner, Kristina Hård, Erik Granström, Nene Ormes, Karin Tidbeck.

Lördag kl 16-17 Panel: ”Skriv kort, helst inte alls” Redaktörer och författare pratar om konsten att redigera, både egna och andras texter. Karin Tidbeck, Elin Holmerin, Kristina Hård, Oskar Källner. Moderator: Johan Anglemark

Mannen som överlevde manusslakten

Jag gjorde en lektörsläsning åt Johannes Pinter, som skrev om sin upplevelse på Debutantbloggen under titeln "Den stora lektörslakten". Den som undrade hur det är att få respons av mig kan läsa mer om det där. (Sammanfattning: det gjorde ont, han är nöjd) Johannes roman heter Vackra kyrkor jag besökt, och kommer att bli hur bra som helst. Håll utkik efter honom! Här är hans hemsida.

The Apex Book of World SF 3 available for preorder!

And you can do it here. It's a great and truly diverse lineup, and I'm very excited to be a part of it. Here's the TOC:

  • Introduction by Editor Lavie Tidhar
  • Courtship in the Country of Machine-Gods by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Thailand)
  • A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight by Xia Jia (China)
  • Act of Faith by Fadzlishah Johanabas (Malaysia)
  • The Foreigner by Uko Bendi Udo (Nigeria)
  • The City of Silence by Ma Boyong (China)
  • Planetfall by Athena Andreadis (Greece)
  • Jungle Fever by Zulaikha Nurain Mudzar (Malaysia)
  • To Follow the Waves by Amal El-Mohtar (Lebanon/Canada)
  • Ahuizotl by Nelly Geraldine Garcia-Rosas (Mexico)
  • The Rare Earth by Biram Mboob (Gambia)
  • Spider’s Nest by Myra Çakan (Germany)
  • Waiting with Mortals by Crystal Koo (Philippines)
  • Three Little Children by Ange (France)
  • Brita’s Holiday Village by Karin Tidbeck (Sweden)
  • Regressions by Swapna Kishore (India)
  • Dancing on the Red Planet by Berit Ellingsen (South Korea/Norway)

Recap: three great things

I've been lax on the blog updating front, mainly because of work. One of the things I do for a living is read other people's manuscripts and critique them, which takes up a lot of headspace. At least for me. There's only so much text I can look at before my brain gets saturated. I've also been busy with a couple of new projects. And I've spent more time on Twitter, which decreases blogging by about 300%. But anyway. I spent Saturday at Fantasticon in Copenhagen, interviewing Filipino science fiction author Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. We had a very entertaining and interesting conversation about Filipino culture in relationship to science fiction, physical and cultural colonization, Rochita's work with using Filipino languages in her own fiction and lots of other stuff. We could pretty much have gone on all afternoon. We also ended up talking about the Anglophone cultural colonization that concerns both our cultures, which I think I'll write about separately. All in all, great day, and as always Fantasticon delivered the hygge.

In the publishing department, my short story "Moonstruck", originally published in Shadows and Tall Trees #5, is nominated for the British Fantasy Award. I'm absolutely delighted to be considered for the award - the shortlist is stuffed with great works, so I'm in very fancy company. Also very glad to see Sofia Samatar's amazing novel A Stranger in Olondria nominated for best novel; it's been showered in nominations and awards this year, and it's all well deserved. It's by far the best fantasy novel I read in 2013.

Finally, JAGANNATH is now available in Turkish, entitled ZEPLIN. Yay!

zeplin

Manushjälp: uppdatering

Jag har utrymme för en novell eller kortare roman i manushjälpen nu, så det finns fortfarande tid att höra av sig. Jag har också uppdaterat infon vad gäller lektörsläsning av novell. Tidigare har endast avgiften för roman funnits med i beskrivningen. För novell gäller alltså startavgift 500 kr, sedan 6 kr/påbörjad sida från sidan 10 och framåt. Moms tillkommer med 25%.