My new book: Northern Lights — High Strangeness in Sweden!
I’m finally holding it in my hand: my new book — a book I, for once, got published by someone other than myself. In this case, it’s Beyond the Fray Publishing in the US. It happened by chance, to be honest. I had planned (more than that, I actually paid for it) to print it myself here in Sweden for the European market. However, Ryan Sprauge, the host of Somewhere in the Skies and the author of two excellent books — “Somewhere in the Skies: A Human Approach to the UFO Phenomenon” and
“Stories from Somewhere in the Skies” — told me to send the script and presentation to Beyond the Fray. It didn’t take long for them to contact me. We had a wonderful conversation via FaceTime, and then I just waited for the contract to sign! What an unexpected turn! I never ever thought something like this would happen to me! Yay!
So how does it feel to have a book published? I’d say, especially since it’s someone else who releases it, that it’s a mix of pure, unadulterated terror and some kind of awkward joy. I mean, the imposter on my shoulder kicks and screams and makes a fuss, of course, because he’s a bastard, but on the other side — no wait, I don’t have any opposite to the imposter, like one of those cartoon angels sitting and whispering good things in my ear — well, on the other side, there’s no one except myself, emotionally naked and even a bit afraid of what I’ve done. Because WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
It’s that terrifying feeling that I have poured out my innermost feelings, opinions, hypotheses, theories, and emotions for others to read — and maybe judge. But all of that is the purpose of writing a book, beyond just writing it, of course — because in my humble opinion, a book needs readers, and readers are there to judge. Judging doesn’t necessarily mean something negative or a punishment, but it can also be a way to show appreciation. So I tend to see it that way, or at least I’m trying to.
“Northern Lights: High Strangeness in Sweden” began through a series of events and inspirations. One reason I wrote about the 1974 Vallentuna UFO flap here on Medium (it’s included as a chapter, now corrected even more) was because of guys like Rob Kristoffersen from “Our Strange Skies” and Ryan Sprague from “Somewhere in the Skies,” who, through their podcasts, told stories that were so wild, amazing, and sometimes beautiful that I felt the need to tell the stories from Sweden — the extra weird ones.
So during the autumn of 2021, I began writing, one chapter after another, and it ended up becoming this book. I had a first draft after a couple of weeks, but I immediately felt that I needed to add more stuff — because there were cases I really wanted to dig into, people to talk with — and so it continued until a few months ago when I finally delivered the final draft (however, it has not been corrected by Beyond the Fray’s editors yet). Before that, I had read it aloud to Grzegorz, who provided some very valid constructive criticism, and the script morphed into something more coherent, and dare I say… pretty darn good?
The title was a tricky one, as those who follow me on Twitter might have noticed, and I went through a bunch of suggestions: “Dance of the Elves,” “Dark Forests,” “From Another World,” “Liminal Games,” “The Liminal Country,” “Liminal Land,” “Edgelands,” “Strange Frontiers,” “Thresholds,” “Beyond,” “Nighttime,” “Nightfall,” “Dark Roads,” “Night Roads,” “Events,” “Observations,” “The Borderlands,” “High Strangeness in Sweden,” “Games,” “Night Games,” “Omnijective,” “Imaginal,” and so on. For a long time, the decision was made — the title would be “Borderlands: High Strangeness in Sweden.” It’s not a bad title, but “borderlands” itself wasn’t especially original, and there are a bunch of other books on this subject that use it. I don’t remember how I changed my mind, but somewhere along the line, “Northern Lights: High Strangeness in Sweden” came to me, and I’m really happy with the title. It references the northern, Scandinavian parts of the world — and feels a bit poetic.
So, what’s it about? Well, let’s take a look at the super-duper commercial back blurb, written by yours truly and (I guess) edited by Beyond the Fray to not be so damn long. I believe it tells the concept of the book pretty well.
“Northern Lights: High Strangeness in Sweden is the first book written in English entirely devoted to the subject of high strangeness, UFOs, and other mysteries in Sweden. While Sweden is known as a secular, rational country where stories of the paranormal are considered something of the past, the truth is quite the opposite.
The country has a long history of weirdness, unexplained observations, and eerie encounters, often connected to the countryside, desolate roads, and empty fields. From gnomes, elves, and trolls of the past to UFOs and aliens in modern times. Perhaps they’re all connected, just different perceptions of the same phenomenon?
This book takes an in-depth look at a wide range of peculiar incidents recorded throughout Sweden’s history, spanning from 1920 to 2013. It delves into a myriad of extraordinary encounters, diving into the mysterious realm of the unknown. Readers will embark on a journey exploring mesmerizing encounters with otherworldly beings, encounters with strange flying crafts, time rifts, men in black, and even a touch of cryptozoology. However, the primary emphasis of this captivating narrative remains on the gripping subjects of UFOs and extraterrestrial beings, examining their profound impact on both the personal experiences of witnesses and the rich tapestry of Swedish culture.”
I just wanted to tell the stories that are not usually told in this field and, in connection to that, my own thoughts. I’ve struggled to actually keep an open mind and focus on the stories themselves, without trying to find rational, logical answers — even if I occasionally throw out some ideas in that direction. But that’s not the point of the book; instead, it’s to embrace the weirdness — the high strangeness — of a country famous for being rational, secular, and, to be honest, pretty boring. There are so many stories, so many mysteries to dive into. I hope this will lead to more books on the subject, from me and from others.
So where can you buy it? Here’s a few links:
If you buy it — and happen to enjoy it — please leave a rating and review! It will help a lot! Thank you!
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats. Join him on Twitter and Instagram.
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats.