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.

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Bild 2014-08-27 kl. 17.51

When working on a new story, I do a lot of sketching to figure out what things and people look like. Such as this thing/person. Bonus: hedgehog photobomb.

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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.

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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.

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Nytt avsnitt av Fantastisk podd

Sju av oss spelade in ett bonusavsnitt av Fantastisk podd på Steampunkfestivalen! Gå hit och lyssna. Dessutom lite fina bilder från festivalen.


Från vänster Kristina Hård, Susanna Nissinen, Oskar Källner, Erik Granström, jag och Anders Björkelid. Erik säger något sorgligt, vi andra lyssnar.

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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.


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.

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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

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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.

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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)
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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!


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