firthFORTH author of Beneath The Liquid Skin, Berit Ellingsen, updates us on her most recent activity: from essays on gaming to the empty, frigid arctic, Ellingsen has continued to show both the range and precision displayed in her 2012 collection.
After Beneath the Liquid Skin came out, French author François Bon translated my novel The Empty City to French. The novel came out in French as Une ville vide in the summer of 2013, published by Publiemonde and Publienet.
In 2013 I wrote a novel with the working title Landscapes, Fragments (an excerpt, “Grains of Sand” is here). It’s a story about climate change and personal agency, and has been picked up by an American publisher. But I can’t say more about it before they make it official. I am, however, over the moon to see the novel come out, because it’s about issues that are very dear to me.
I completed the revisions of Landscapes Fragments, then began on a follow-up in early 2014, because there seemed to be more to the story. That novel is not fully revised yet, but close.
Last year I also wrote two essays for British lit mag Litro’s blog, one about a visit to the world’s northernmost abandoned town, and one about computer games and architecture. Both pieces were really fun to write and a nice change of pace after two novels in a row.
Those essays inspired a series of memoiristic fiction/hybrid genre-linked essays about gaming, games, people, and memory, one of which was published in Entropy Magazine. The essay series is currently in slush and may be expanded.
In 2014 I also completed some short stories, but fewer than the years before. One is scheduled to come out in Black Candies’ anthology Surveillance, edited by Ryan Bradford. The TOC for the anthology hasn’t been published yet, but previous Black Candies have included stories by Aaron Burch, Sarah Rose Etter, Zack Wentz etc.
Another of my more science-fiction’y stories, “Dancing on the Red Planet”, which was first published in the anthology Rocket Science, edited by Ian Sales, and nominated for the British Science Fiction Award in 2012, was reprinted in the anthology World SF 3, edited by Lavie Tidhar. This anthology was chosen as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014, which was fantastic!
This coming spring my flash story about Cold War spies, “Sovetskoye Shampanskoye”, will be reprinted in W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, which has an amazing line-up that includes Nobel laureate Czeslav Milosz, Kim Young-ha, and Ethel Rohan.
Another short story, “Boyfriend and Shark”, first published in Paul Jessup’s Coffinmouth, will be reprinted in The Humanity of Monsters, edited by Michael Matheson. This anthology features stories by well-known SFF writers such as Peter Watts, Yoon Ha Lee, Indrapramit Das, etc.
I also have in slush a long essay about last summer’s trip to the Arctic and am also working on a few short stories. My short stories since Beneath the Liquid Skin have had an apocalyptic theme to them, so that may be the foundation for a future collection. I would also like to explore the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, and memoir and ekphrasis further.
But first and foremost, my new novel is out this year, and release details will be public as soon as they’re ready.
Berit Ellingsen is a Korean-Norwegian writer whose stories have appeared or will appear in SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, Metazen, decomP, Unstuck, and other literary journals. Her novel, The Empty City, is a story about silence. Berit’s short story collection, Beneath the Liquid Skin, was published by firthFORTH Books in November 2012. That year one of her stories was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and another for the British Science Fiction Award. Find out more at beritellingsen.com.