Monday, June 25, 2007


The midsummer's weekend has come and gone. All in all a enjoyable experience, even though the midsummer's day was a rainy one.
We got a party tent, erected it and held the party inside while raindrops kept hammering down. Midsummer and people here is a special thing. It is like being outdoors in one wan or another is mandatory. Well, luckily enough Saturday and Sunday turned out to be two lazy days in the sum just perfect for some barbecuing and chatting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Slow writing

One stag night, one wedding, the hottest days in sixty years, day care closing for summer and planning for midsummer haven't helped my writing. I manage shorter paragraphs of changes and outlining, and the occasional sketch for a future idea. Still, all in all, I haven't put many words to paper this month.

Two weeks from now I have another deadline for a short story, but at least I'm pretty clear about the story by now. Remains to put it down on paper, but I doubt I'll start that work until after midsummer.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Yep, that was the correct spelling of the word incluing. I found this little gem at Absolute Write. In one of the forums to be more exact.

So, do we prefer incluing rather than infodumping? I think we do, to a certain degree. Sometimes a solid chunk of data feels good. There's no absolute truth here. Still, on average having the setting and its peculiarities sprinkled into the story in such a way that we don't realise we have been given information until after we read the passage is indeed elegant.

More Swedish sales

Another article, this time in SvD.

More numbers:

Audio books market 185 million crowns

Non-fiction 825 million

Fiction 904 million

The Swedish total market is estimated at seven billion.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Swedish sales

This article in GP is an interesting exercise in numbers.

We're enjoying an all time high in sold fiction. Sales totalled 1.9 billion crowns, somewhere around $280 million or so.

Keep in mind that numbers below only concerns titles printed in Sweden. The direct import of English (as in the language) titles are as high as 20% of all mass-market paperback sales according to information I have read earlier. Unfortunately I can't quote those as they came from a printed excerpt which I have since forgotten where it came from originally.

The total number of titles last year was 4278, down by 2.2%. That number includes non-fiction, translations and audio-books. The last category increasing its percentages by 89% in the number of titles and 20% in revenues.

4278 titles. Almost one for every 2000 persons living in Sweden.

More Potter

There is an interview with Daniel Radcliffe in today's DN.

This is mostly about the actor even though the interviewer makes more than a few attempts to merge the actor with the character.

All in all a rather cute summing up the past year's Potter hysteria and some questions about Radcliffe's planned future.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On blogs on books

In a long article in SvD Lina Kalmteg makes a comparision between literary blogs in English (USA) and Swedish.

No, that wasn't entirely true. She refers to how critical voices have been raised in the US against blogs as the only sources of literary reviews. In Sweden some blogs have come to be just another part of the public room for conversations on literature. The voices here, including those of professionals from the publishing industry, be they publishers, authors or reviewers, are in general positive.

Blogs supposedly fill a slightly different function than reviews in newspapers. The latter don't invite to a conversation whereas blogs do.


It would seem some of the less appealing facets of US publishing has reached naive little Sweden. This article in DN tells of a publisher demanding money from the author.

Those of you familiar with the US publishing industry probably hear the warning sirens wailing by now. Sadly enough you're right. This is a local version of Publish America, including never releasing the rights back to the author, never printing more than a few token copies. The possible difference possibly being that the Swedish scammers charge a hefty upfront fee. Prices quoted vary from 2000 to 6000 US dollars up to the unhappy fool who has dished out in the order of 35000 US dollars for nothing.

The name of the "company" is Härjedalen litteratur och text (HLT).

The sheer extent of our local naivete shows in extracts from interviews done with people from our publishing industry. They show surprise and express ignorance of this peculiar type of publishing model.

Bad, very bad.


There is a new dictionary for SF according to this article in DN.

Titled Brave New Words it should appeal to readers of speculative fiction. The subtitle is The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction and it is indeed published by Oxford University Press.

Monday, June 11, 2007

On genre

I found this little gem thanks to AR Yngve.

A fun article on what defines a genre and divides from another. Five elements of writing and what priority they are given.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Feeling a bit lazy

Or maybe I was merely born thoroughly lazy. Who knows?

I've spent another day in the sun with my daughter. Well, mostly in the sun, anyway. The streets have been crammed with sun starved northerners, and with some kind of medical convention going on the usual splash of English is being heard on the streets in a way that has me thinking of late July rather than early June.

Apart from enjoying summer and the company of my daughter I've also had time to indulge in reading book after book. Wonderful, and awful. There is so much good fantasy out there, and so much, well, not so good. Unfortunately too much of the latter come from the hands of well known authors, including the occasional atrocious writing.

I can give one review at least. If you plan to read David Edding's last quadrology -- don't.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Still enjoying the novelty

Spent yet another wonderful day in the sun. Yesterday was our rather recently instituted national day.

Coming back home from a picnic in the park we passed one of my waterholes.

It is situated dead center in the main street for thirsty tourists and us locals as well.

Just prior to taking those last steps home we headed to another place for a beer and a bit to eat. With ample help from my daughter I got this amazing shot of her.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Even more reviews of fantasy in Swedish

There has to be some kind of Potter-effect going on here.

Today another reviews popped up in DN. This time it is Ursula K Le Guin has her latest, Gifts, given a very positive review. Literary experts in Sweden should start frothing in rage soon, and their deceased predecessors turning wildly in their graves.

What is the world coming to? Should this continue fantasy might even receive the status of literaure over here. Strange days.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This is more like it

And finally summer arrived for real.

We spent most of the day in Liseberg, an amusement park in Gothenburg. Should you ever visit the city during summer I can recommend it for children of all ages.
No, I did not try this stunt by remote. It is my wife doing the honours behind the camera.
The main reason for perspectives being so strange is the location. Amusement park. You do the math.

Partial of Götaplatsen. The single monumental square in Gothenburg. Normally a shot from where I stand would be directed at the center piece statue.

Instead I took that photo from a slightly different angle.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Maybe summer after all

Now when it is officially summer here we peer out through our windows in hopes of watching anything but grey skies and rain wet streets.

My window shows me partially blue skies. So maybe, just maybe, we will get some proper summer here.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Another contest

After a long delay I finally sent a submission to the short story contest with a deadline today. A flash rather than a proper short, as I realised yesterday that the story I was writing simply didn't cut it. Now, don't you start reading any words of mine that this flash would do, because I didn't write that.

Sometimes we simply have to give up a path taken and return back. The story I wrote in Swedish might have worked in English, but the languages are simply too different to be used for the same tale. Things like melody and rhythm differ, as do vocabulary of course, In the end what is pleasant for they eye and your mouth, when you silently whisper the story in your head, in one language becomes clunky and unwieldy in another.

We'll see what happens.