Berit Ellingsen is a Korean-Norwegian writer whose stories have or will appear in W.W. Norton's Flash Fiction International Anthology, SmokeLong Quarterly, Unstuck and other places. Berit's work also includes a short story collection, Beneath the Liquid Skin (firthFORTH Books, 2012) and a novel, Une Ville Vide (PublieMonde, 2013). Berit's work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the British Science Fiction Award, and included in the Wigleaf Top 50 longlist.
Berit's short story, "Dancing on the Red Planet", has been collected as part of the terrific new Apex Book of World SF 3. (Out now!)
Continuing the past few weeks' them of inspiration, Berit has shared a list of five stunning locations, and how they have inspired fiction.
Brasília - the capital of Brazil, dominated by the architecture of the brilliant, but also criticized, Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012). The architecture and plan of the city is fascinating and impressive in itself, the central areas, for example, form the outline of an airplane to symbolize the flight into a bright future. Today, Niemeyer's modernist architecture looks both retro and futuristic at the same time, with a dash of grandiosity and decay that gives it an even more haunting and beautiful look.
The architecture of Niemeyer's Brasília inspired the cover of my novel, The Empty City. A friend in Brasília was kind enough to photograph the Congresso Nacional do Brasil, one of the city's most distinct buildings, and send it to the book's graphic designer, who created a cover that fit the novel perfectly.
For someone who has never been to Brazil, not even to South-American continent, the landscape and climate of Brasília is something I can only imagine. Brazilian friends have shared that the city is surrounded by lakes with beaches where people go swimming and socializing, and that the city is so extensive that you can get isolated unless you have a car. I hope to someday write a story that is set in Brasília, and to have the chance to see the city in person.