What’s on the Infinity Press?
A lot of general ramblings, maybe entertaining, or thought-provoking, or useful, or just a little weird. I moved from the US to Scotland to London chasing cancer down. I’ve since moved from London to Sweden. I’m trying to get my fiction out there. I like to experiment in the kitchen. I read. A lot. I’m dreadfully opinionated, but also chronically busy. So we’ll see how this blogging thing goes.
Who am I?
I am a writer and scientist, and publish under the name T. J. Berg. I attended the 2004 Odyssey Writer’s Workshop, with the help of a Gandalf Grant. I received my PhD in 2010 from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Toxicology and Pharmacology and now work as a cancer researcher. I write fiction, attend science fiction conventions (and sometimes have some fun on panels), and am currently seeking an agent or publisher for my novel, Little Birds (synopsis below). I have only started one lab fire.
I was shocked to find recently that people reviewed my stories and liked them, so I’ve put together a list of my short stories that have been published, with links to some reviews.
“The Wren, the Baba Yaga, and the Origami Horse” Andromeda Spaceways Magazine
“The Strange Case of Dr Birch and Mrs Campbell” Worlds Collide Anthology
“The Original Confession Shop and Cafe” Denial Kills
“This Is What The Boogeyman Looks Like” Diabolical Plots
“The Creamy Ichor Sauce Over Lake Michigan” Shout: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction
“To Hold a Soul” New Myths
“The Freedom of Above” The Overcast Podcast
“Mickey’s Ghost” Urban Crime
“The Walker Street Story” podcast at Tales to Terrify.
“To Crown a Sand Castle Just Right” Talebones #28, Summer 2004
Reviewed on Tangent
Honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction
“The Danger of Her Muse” Tales of the Unanticipated #30
Reviewed on Tangent
“Witherking” Electric Velocipede, Issue 21/22 Summer 2011
“Fallen Through a Giant’s Eye” Caledonia Dreamin’-Strange Fiction of Scottish Descent (anthology edited by Hal Duncan and Chris Kelso, Eibonvale Press) Available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Reviewed at The Future Fire and
Dreamcatcher Real-Time Reviews.
“Watching the Ashbless Bloom” Sensorama (anthology edited by Allen Ashley)
Reviewed at Risingshadow
at The Future Fire.
You can purchase from the publisher or at Amazon.
Little Birds, short synopsis
Wren is a city risen from the chaos of a post-nanotech apocalypse. When Jessica was only a baby, her mother immigrated there and raised her daughter alone in a strange place. Now, Jessica must find her vanished mother. Jessica befriends Jack, a boy raised by giant rats, and Tetra, a trash-eating land anemone with an alcohol addiction. Jessica, impulsive, bold, prickly, and often quick to judge others, must find trust and friendship in the timid and shy Jack while they investigate the possible causes of her mother’s abduction.
Your father was taken by fairies, her mother had often said. Had they taken her, too? Why did her mom flee to Wren? Is it something from her past that has stolen her from Jessica? Perhaps her work at the woman’s shelter led her into trouble. Or could it be the priceless jewels Jessica finds hidden in her mother’s closet?
Jessica’s hunt leads her into the darkest corners of Wren, where religious diseases kill by turning you into angels or demons, where child laborers are held captive in basements, and where everyone seems to be trying to catch her. Jessica soon discovers the stakes are high–the very survival of Wren may rest on finding her mother. There is a secret in Wren. It feeds on human misery, and lately the city has been preparing a feast.
This is the first book in a series. The second book deals with the larger threat to Wren revealed by Jessica’s and Jack’s search for her mother. Additionally, while the first book in the series only touches upon the dichotomy between the religious immigrant communities embedded in the largely areligious society of Wren, this conflict will emerge more strongly in the second book, both on personal levels, such as Jessica confronting Jack’s bisexuality, as well as on larger scales.
Berg TJ, Pietras A. Radiotherapy-induced remodeling of the tumor microenvironment by stromal cells. Semin Cancer Biol. 2022 Feb 8:S1044-579X(22)00033-5. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2022.02.011.
Pantazopoulou, V.; Jeannot, P.; Rosberg, R.; Berg, TJ; Pietras, A. Hypoxia-Induced Reactivity of Tumor-Associated Astrocytes Affects Glioma Cell Properties. Cells 2021, 10, 613.
Berg TJ, Marques C, Pantazopoulou V, Johansson E, von Stedingk K, Lindgren D, Jeannot P, Pietras EJ, Bergström T, Swartling FJ, Governa V, Bengzon J, Belting M, Axelson H, Squatrito M, Pietras A. The irradiated brain microenvironment supports glioma stemness and survival via astrocyte-derived Transglutaminase 2. Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 22:canres.1785.2020.
Grassi ES, Jeannot P, Pantazopoulou V, Berg TJ, Pietras A. Niche-derived soluble DLK1 promotes glioma growth. Neoplasia. 2020 Dec;22(12):689-701.
Johansson, E., Grassi ES, Pantazopoulou V, Tong B, Lindgren D, Berg TJ, Pietras EJ, Axelson H, and Pietras A. (2017). CD44 Interacts with HIF-2alpha to Modulate the Hypoxic Phenotype of Perinecrotic and Perivascular Glioma Cells. Cell reports. 20:1641-1653.
Frentzas S, Simoneau E, Bridgeman VL, Vermeulen PB, Foo S, Kostaras E, Nathan MR, Wotherspoon A, Gao ZH, Shi Y, Van den Eynden G, Daley F, Peckitt C, Tan X, Salman A, Lazaris A, Gazinska P, Berg TJ, Eltahir Z, Ritsma L, van Rheenen J, Khashper A, Brown G, Nyström H,, Sund M, Van Laere S, Loyer E, Dirix L, Cunningham D, Metrakos P, Reynolds AR. (2016) Vessel co-option mediates resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy in liver metastases. Nat Med. Nov;22(11):1294-1302.
Clarke C*, Berg T.J.*, Birch J., Campbell A.D., Thompson V.L., Foo S., Blyth K., Strathdee D., Reynolds A.R., Norman J.C. (2016) The Initiator Methionine tRNA Drives Secretion of Type II Collagen from Stromal Fibroblasts to Promote Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis. Current Biology 26, 1–11. *Shared First Authors
Fairley, J.A., Mitchell, L.E., Berg, T., Kenneth, N.S., von Schubert, C., Silljé, H.H., Medema, R.H., Nigg, E.A., White, R.J. (2012). Direct regulation of tRNA and 5S rRNA gene transcription by Polo-like kinase 1. Mol Cell. 45(4):541-52.
Gastonguay, A., Berg T., Hauser, A.D., Schuld, N., Lorimer, E., Williams, C.L. (2012). The role of Rac1 in the regulation of NF-κB activity, cell proliferation, and cell migration in non-small cell lung carcinoma. Cancer Biol Ther. Jun;13(8):647-56.
Berg, T. J., Gastonguay, A. J., Lorimer, E. L., Kuhnmuench, J. R., Li, R., Fields, A. P., and Williams, C. L. (2010). Splice Variants of SmgGDS Control Small GTPase Prenylation and Membrane Localization. J. Biol. Chem. 285(46), 35255-66
Zhi, H., Yang, X. J., Kuhnmuench, J., Berg, T., Thill, R., Yang, H., See, W. A., Becker, C. G., Williams, C. L., and Li, R. (2009). SmgGDS is up-regulated in prostate carcinoma and promotes tumour phenotypes in prostate cancer cells. J. Pathol. 217, 389-397
Tew, G. W., Lorimer, E. L., Berg, T. J., Zhi, H., Li, R., and Williams, C. L. (2008). SmgGDS regulates cell proliferation, migration, and NF-kappa B transcriptional activity in non-small cell lung carcinoma. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 963-976