The Swedish language has produced three truly great fantasists. Two are internationally reknowned: Astrid Lindgren (with Pippi Longstocking) and Tove Jansson (with Moomin). The third, Erik GranstrÃ¶m, is almost exclusively known among Swedish gaming nerds like myself. From 1987 to 1994 he published a series of wildly innovative adventure and background books for the Swedish role-playing game Drakar och Demoner. GranstrÃ¶m's material soared miles above the fare us ex-kobolds were used to, particularly the 1988 travelogue/novella that introduced us to the islands of Trakoria. I game-mastered the whole suite of adventures and we had a great time.
In 2004, GranstrÃ¶m published a lovely meaty novel based on his gaming work, Svavelvinter, "Sulphur Winter" (somebody, get it published in a big language!). A sequel is currently in the works, and GranstrÃ¶m is feeling the need to toss out some ideas to see who salutes. So with shaking hands, this fanboy types the magic words: Erik GranstrÃ¶m is blogging.
Update same day: The novel is being translated into French. Allons, enfants!
This I've got to read!
Of course, what he [i]really[/i] should be writing is the next part of the series. :-)
I gather the blog is intended as a tool to help him get that book done!
There is also a forum at http://forum.jarnringen.se/ where Erik regularly posts. The activity has been rather low lately, but around the time the first novel was published discussions ran wild. Erik was very open to ideas and input and he even held contests for our amusement.
I'm so glad that you mentioned Tove Jansson, even though I'm slightly biased, with a Fennoswedish mother and all :)
Oh, I love Finland! In fact, I was most likely conceived there during my parents' honeymoon. And my son's ancestry is 25% Karelian. His grandma was a refugee from the Viborg area who ended up in the River Torne valley and married the local hÃ¤radsbetÃ¤ckare.
Not only is Tove Jansson great, but also Irmelin Sandman Lilius and Arto Paasilinna. And the Kalevala! And Hedningarna's singers!
Mmm... "HÃ¤radsbetÃ¤ckare". Now there's a word oozing with history and folksyness, and which is sadly underrated and not enough used these days.
Finnish is a nice language. Probably the only one that makes "heather" sound evil and like a curse word: Kanerva!
I'd like to suggest adding Lennart Hellsing to your list of outstanding Swedish writers. There are many more of course, but I recently read one of my old Hellsing books, and was amazed over how amazed I became.
Ah yes, Hellsing is a great absurdist poet, but I was restricting myself to fantasy writers.
I think Bertil MÃ¥rtensson should not be underestimated as a fantasy author. It's been years since I read him last, but I greatly enjoyed his books.
I wonder if "Drakar och Demoner" was the same game which was published as "Drager og Demoner" in Denmark. Sounds likely.
No, the Danish version's called ÃllebrÃ¸d med FlÃ¸de.
For those who don't know, ÃllebrÃ¸d med FlÃ¸de is a Danish dish, which in my opinion is rather nasty.
It means "beer porridge with cream". Consists of stale rye bread, beer, sugar and water. I'd like to try it some time! The really cool thing about the dish is that many Danes pronounce its name as if they were vomiting. "Urgle bllgh mfluuh". (-;