Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Anna: Emma Berglund is a co-editor of the sci-fi anthology Into the Unknown. She wrote another short story, “In Our Midst,” for the next anthology installment Beyond Human: Tales of the New Us. This is your second sci-fi anthology outing. Tell us what attracted you to this group project?
Emma: Lower Decks Press started with me, Rohan O’Duill, and Jason Clor having the idea to put together and edit our first anthology, Into the Unknown, within our online community, as we have so many talented writers there. It all worked out well, so we said, hey why not try again! And here we are!
Anna: Your story describes an Earth after an alien invasion. Tell us more about it.
Emma: “In Our Midst” starts off after Earth has been stricken by aliens, but no one knows how they look like or what their intention is. However, what’s visible is how they affect humans. People are turned into either what we would describe as zombie-like creatures, or a sneakier version, where it’s not immediately visible whether a person is infected or not. The invasion has created suspicion in people because of this.
Anna: Is there life outside of this planet? How do you think the contact will be established?
Emma: Out of pure probability, there has to be some sort of life somewhere. Chance is we totally miss any contact tried because we don’t have the right tools to detect them. In the light of that, contact will probably be made from the alien part rather from our side.
Anna: Your story offered hope during a dark time for humanity. Do you believe it is the mission of sci-fi to help us through the conflicts of our dark times?
Emma: In a way, but I’d say that goes for any form of culture. We need the distractions, the explanations, the alternative worlds to enrich our minds, but it also helps us to enhance or be able to cope with our daily life.
Anna: What is it like to work with dozens of writers? Tell us about your editorial process.
Emma: It’s a great, yet overwhelming feeling! But to be able to follow all the writers process from their first draft to the published version is such a fantastic journey. We started with smaller groups where the first draft of the stories was read and discussed, then all the contributors have submitted their story to the three of us as the editors of Lower Decks Press. Since there are twice as many stories compared to our first anthology, we had to add an extra editorial resource person to help us out. Right now, we’re line editing and assembling the layout of the anthology as soon as we get the corrected versions back from the authors. We’re also thrilled to have fabulous illustrations by Marten Norr and a brilliant cover by Rachel A. Rosen, and we’re hoping to set a pre-sale date soon!
Anna: Find both anthologies with Emma’s stories at our website!
Emma: And you can find me on Twitter.