Contributor spotlight: Patrick Johanneson

Today we hear from Patrick Johanneson, author of Summertime in the Void, in which a man wanders a deserted, post-rapture Manitoba.

Tell us a little bit about what inspired Summertime in the Void.

The title is taken from an I Mother Earth song from the ’90s, and so is some of the imagery: most obviously the upside-down sun. I also wanted to explore the Singularity, the so-called “Rapture of the Nerds,” and what might happen in an almost entirely empty world if the Singularity still loved those it was forced to abandon.

What do you hope readers get from reading Summertime in the Void?

I hope they enjoy my exploration of the question “What happens if the Singularity doesn’t want you?”

How has your time in the Prairies influenced your writing?

The skies above us are huge and full of stars, especially if you can find a dark place far from the lights of the cities. The cities and the towns are far apart and the fields, the lakes, and the woods outnumber the people.

What do you feel anthologies, and short stories in general, accomplish that longer works like novellas and novels may not?

Short stories tell a different kind of story than a novel, more compact but not necessarily smaller. Every scene, every word, is important. Short stories also give you an opportunity to check out a new writer without the commitment of a longer work.

What work have you done that you’d like the readers to know about too? Please share!

My website has a number of my short stories available for free – . (My favourites include Resurrection Radio, Exit Interview, and The Trick (in the Very Short Stories group).) If you’re interested, I also post a lot of photographs, including astrophotography – .

What are you working on now? What can readers look forward to next?

My current projects include a novella about a wizard trying to stop a nuclear warhead from obliterating his city; another novella features a derelict slower-than-light starship arriving at a world colonized by faster-than-light ships that left Earth centuries later than the derelict. (Plus ghosts.)

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