Another year ends tomorrow and I felt it was time for me to look back a little bit at 2018 before starting on the new year.
My own writing
I have sadly not been able to finish any fictional writing in 2018. I am working on my new novel but it is going very very very slow. I hope 2019 will be a year when I pick up the writing again because it gives me so much in return and I am growing increasingly restless and eager to finish the novel project and all the other writing projects I have planned.
Despite not having any new stuff published in 2018, my earlier work continues to circle around. In 2018 two of my earlier stories were reprinted:
- The short story “Death Wish” was published in the anthology The Black Room Manuscripts Volume Four, eds. J.R.Park and Tracy Fahey. Sinister Horror Company, October 2018
- The short story “The End of the World“ was published in the anthology Fearless Genre Warriors, eds. Jenny Barber. Fox Spirit Books, November 2018
Fearless Genre Warriors also includes a story I picked from each of the anthologies I have edited.
I will also have an earlier story reprinted early 2019 in the anthology Sunspot Jungle, volume two, eds. Bill Campbell. Rosarium Publishing.
Thanks so much to all for including my writing. I am very happy that someone reads and enjoys it.
I also had two non fiction pieces published in 2018, and I wish to give my thanks to all the editors!:
- The essay “Monsters of the World” in the anthology Making Monsters: A Speculative and Classical Anthology. Eds. Emma Bridges and Djibril al-Ayad. Futurefire.net Publishing and The Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, July 2018
- The essay “Look to Africa!” in Far Horizons Issue 30, April 2018
I have edited another monster volume in 2018: American Monsters part one, released December 24th. This book explores the old myths and monsters in South and Central America, with short stories, graphic stories and art, written by authors from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Equador, Uruguay and Guatamala. Thanks to all the authors and artists, the translators, all the others helping out and Fox Spirit Books.
I sadly didn’t have much time in 2018 to promote Pacific Monsters, out in November 2017, but there has been interviews with a few of the authors and some reviews, check out the book’s page. For instance, Instute of Classical Studies at University of London hosted a round table chat with a few of the authors about indigenous writing.
I am very humble and grateful that 2018 has been another year for awards, this year all in connection to the book Pacific Monsters.
The book was shortlisted (finalist) to British Fantasy Awards 2018 as Best Anthology, and stories in this book was finalist to several awards in 2018:
- Australian Shadows Award 2017: Rue Karney for her story «The Hand Walker»: Short Fiction
- Aurealis Awards 2017: Michael Grey for his story «Grind»: Best Horror Novella
- Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2019: AJ Fitwater for her story «From the Womb of the Land, Our Bones Entwined»: Best Short Story
I also received Starburst Magazine’s Brave New Words Award in March, for my editor work on this book.
The Brave New Words book prize was new in 2018, it goes to an individual, not a specific work. It goes to someone who produces break-out literature that is new and bold, and breaks new ground.
Thank you so much, Starburst Magazine, the judges, Ed Fortune, Adele Wearing and Fox Spirit Books, and all the wonderful monster writers and artists. Pacific Monsters was a fun book to work on and I am thrilled that people have enjoyed it.
On a personal level 2018 has been quite a challenging year in many ways: My family went through a crisis spring 2018 that was extremely severe. I was also unlucky and broke the wrist on my right hand early in the year when I slipped on the ice-covered ground. I suffered from pain and the practical challenges with having only one functional hand for a long time afterwards. In the middle of all this I had to move out of my home.
At the beginning of the summer we received the sad and unexpected news that Dad had passed away while he was in East Africa. Months followed dealing with the administration in connection with this – in three countries. I am very grateful for all the warm regards me and my siblings have received. And also for all the help we have had, especially from the local embassy, relatives in Iceland and others.
I could have written about many other things but these events dominate my take of 2018: in many ways it has been a year filled with grief, pain and practical challenges. Yet, so much warmth and friendship.
In general, I feel numb and unsure about the future as we enter 2019, something that has been the rule for the last years. I think many of us are in a state of utter sadness and feeling totally inadequate as human beings for not being able to help more out around the world, be it wars and conflicts, all the refugees, the climate change, the animals going extinct and the political situation of the world.
I don’t know what 2019 will bring. On a personal level I hope it will be a quiet and productive year when it comes to writing and editing.
I will also be editing in 2019. American Monsters part two – stories from North America (including Mexico and Caribbean) – will be out at the end of next year. This seven volumes book series ends at the end of 2020. I don’t know yet if I will be editing any anthologies after that. I have a few ideas and have pitched some anthology projects but so far nothing is settled.
I hope to travel some next year, and see lots of my friends. I am thinking about attending both Worldcon in Dublin and Fantasycon in Glasgow. Hope to see you there?
Whatever comes, I wish you all a happy new year!