A review of “Iskriget”

My dieselretro spy adventure Iskriget has received yet another favorable review. I cannot resist the temptation of translating reviewer Patrik Centerwall’s most pertinent opinions into English:

Iskriget is a well-written, swift-moving and exciting adventure that touches several interesting issues of morals and philosophy. Anders Blixt does not make matters easy, neither for the novel’s characters nor for the readers. As far as possible, he makes us understand what choices must be made. He does not shirk from asking hard questions about the horrors of war. The novel is not long, but it is impressive how much it contains […]. Iskriget is very good and thought-provoking and it is warmly recommended to everyone who wants a somewhat different reading experience.

Reading commentaries like this encourages me to work on the sequel.

The simple things are often hard

Today I was interviewed by a college student writing an academic paper on how people feel and react when they come home from peace-keeping or peace-enforcing operations in faraway lands. Her interviews covered the Congo campaign 50 years ago, the Middle East ceasefire monitoring 40 years ago, the Balkan wars 20 years ago and the ongoing Afghanistan struggles. Quite ambitious.

I was happy to explain my experiences of doing civilian service in Afghanistan, from which I returned three years ago, and how I afterward readjusted to a mundane life in Sweden. When the interview was over and I had put down the phone, I realized that JRR Tolkien had written a sentence in The Fellowship of the Ring that summarized most of my thoughts on the matter:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

The Maestro of Traveller

A link to an interview with Marc Miller, one of the top veterans of roleplaying-game design och the creator of Traveller >>>>

I was really pleased to read Marc’s description of how the Traveller designers handled the many racisms (“species-isms”?) that permeate the social structures of their Third Imperium game-cosmos. A clever approach — a boomerang hitting the reader in the neck so to speak — and a praiseworthy twist by a team of progressive Americans who grew up during the Civil Rights struggle.

An odd feat

Languages are one of my hobbies and ten years ago I learned Interlingua, a minor constructed language that mostly resembles a mix of simplified Latin and Italian. I did it for the fun of it and never expected the knowledge to be really useful. I also enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s science fiction short-stories and ended up translating “The Horror of the Heights” into Interlingua just to test my skill. Since Doyle’s original is public domain and the translation was of no commercial significance, I donated my text to Project Gutenberg. Here is the link >>>