Books, Life, podcast, Translation, Writing

Read my story ‘Balawats portar’ / ‘The Gates of Balawat’ in SAMOVAR MAGAZINE

You can read my science fiction story ‘The Gates of Balawat’, originally ‘Balawats portar’, in the brand new issue of Samovar Magazine. Also in the issue: poetry by Salik Shah, a column by Rachel Cordasco, and fiction by Stamatis Stamatopoulos.

(Next week, you will also be able to listen to the story read in both English and Swedish, and I am doing the Swedish reading which was both terrifying to do, and VERY cool.)


Samovar is part of the Strange Horizons family, and publishes translated speculative fiction:

Samovar is a quarterly magazine of and about translated speculative fiction. We publish fiction and poetry in their original language and in English translation. We showcase the work both of writers and also translators, who we have to thank for opening doors to new worlds.

This is a fantastic idea for a magazine of speculative fiction, and a great way to open the doors between readers and writers of speculative fiction in different parts of the world, and between languages. You can support the fantastic work done by Samovar and Strange Horizons here.


‘Balawats portar’ was originally published in Swedish in my short story collection Mimers brunn (Norstedts, 1996). My translation, ‘The Gates of Balawat’, first appeared in my English language debut, Odin’s Eye (a collection of science fiction short stories that I self published in 2015).

Recently (and much to my amazement), this story was the inspiration behind a piece of music by Australian guitarist Graham Greene. You can get it from CD BabyiTunesAmazon, and Google Play. Get all the details on Graham Greene’s official website.


It takes place in London, where a team working for a corporation is digitizing the collection of the British Museum. The original inspiration for the story was my own first encounter with the gates of Balawat in that museum.

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Not only are they impressive and beautiful, there is also something very evocative about standing in front of these gates that once opened in a different place, a different time, a different world. (Also, as with many of the famous artifacts in the British Museum, the fact that they are now there, in a building in London, kind of makes you consider how the world is organized.)

And if you want to pick up a copy of Odin’s Eye, it’s available in both ebook format and paperback.

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