Lindbohm, Dénis

Tagged: Author | Editor | Fan

(1927-2005) Swedish photo technician and author. Hugely gifted, though with little formal schooling, Lindbohm early had to support himself; after apprenticeships he became a photo technician at a chain of photo shops where he rose to head of in-job training while twenty years of darkroom labour impaired his health and eyesight. In the 1970s, he was granted a disability pension and turned to full-time writing. Lindbohm's interest in sf was lifelong. A family magazine article about Space Flight captured his interest at the age of six or seven; he read what little sf he could find in Swedish and at thirteen found the newly-launched weekly Jules Verne-Magasinet, in which he was first published with an unpaid "reader contribution", a short, warning vignette called "Atombranden" ["Atomic Fire"] (1945 Jules Verne-Magasinet #38). In late 1952, he founded the Meteor club in Malmö, considered to be Sweden's second authentic sf club; when a new prozine, Häpna!, appeared in early 1954, the Malmö fans became aware of the existence of fans in other parts of Sweden and started the country's second Fanzine, Clloev (1954-1985), edited and published from its third issue by Lindbohm. In 1956 he wrote, directed and acted in the first known Swedish sf amateur movie, the 29-minute Den stora nattens vålnad ["Spectre of the Great Night"] (1956), about an Alien stranded on Earth. The same year he co-arranged the first Swedish sf Convention, held in Lund. A prolific writer and fanzine publisher as well as a furious polemicist and accomplished Satirist, Lindbohm remained a central figure in Swedish Fandom well into the 1980s.

As an sf author, his first short story, "Tingets dag" ["Day of Judgment"] was published pseudonymously as by Anna-Brita Lindbohm (his wife's name) in Häpna! for October 1955; the first to be printed under his own name was "Nattens sådd" ["Seed of Night"] (February 1956 Häpna!). He contributed a further half-dozen stories to Häpna!, published some 25 short stories in Fanzines and, after Jules Verne-magasinet was relaunched in 1969, contributed close to 20 stories to that magazine. Towards the end of the 1950s, Lindbohm began writing sf novels, claiming in the mid-1960s that he had finished more than a dozen. His timing, however, was unfortunate: the five lines of adult sf launched in Sweden 1953-1958 had all been discontinued by 1960, and Lindbohm found no publisher. One novel was serialized in a fanzine: Soldat från jorden ["Soldier from Earth"] (1966-1968 Science fiction forum #26/27-#40; 1973). Lindbohm, unsentimentally, says that he discarded his other novels; his first three published books (1969-1971) centred on Drug problems, Reincarnation and eroticism. When sf as a labelled category returned to Sweden around 1970, Sam J Lundwall, who edited a line of adventure sf paperbacks for Lindfors, asked to publish Soldat från jorden, whose fanzine serialization he had read. Lindbohm, who had kept neither a manuscript copy nor copies of the fanzine, rewrote the novel from memory; consequently, his first novel exists in two different versions, written almost fifteen years apart. It was followed by more than twenty further sf novels. His early published novels are fast-moving Space Operas. In Soldat från jorden, hero Leo Sall single-handedly fights a hostile Alien space empire; in Stjärnpesten ["Star Plague"] (1975), a fraction of humanity has survived a devastating plague in subterranean shelters, and a power struggle erupts between those wanting to return to the surface and the rulers, who refuse to relinquish their power and so want to keep humanity Underground; in Eden utan Adam ["Eden without Adam"] (1975), Starship pilot Tommy Lann returns to Earth after millennia to find a world populated only by women; this novel Lindbohm later rewrote completely as Det kom en orm till Eden ["A Snake Entered Eden"] (1988), considerably improving its structure and making his hero's claims to change the new society he meets more interestingly ambiguous (see Women in SF). Domens stjärnor ["Stars of Doom"] (1975) depicts First Contact between materialistic and callous humans and an alien civilization without Technology but with highly developed Psi Powers; a counterpoint is Domens rötter ["Roots of Doom"] (1983), where humanity encounters an alien culture both more powerful and totally lacking in empathy. A drastically different but perhaps more serious speculation is Den gyllene randen ["The Golden Rim"] (1979), a Utopian novel portraying a future society where no limits or taboos exist in regard to human sexual behaviour (see Sex). Fascinatingly, Lindbohm had in the early 1970s explored the same theme in a long series of short stories with the overall title The Age of Lust, published in a hardcore pornographic magazine. In Bevingaren ["The Wing-Giver"] (1980) an alien being endows an ordinary human with the capacity of flight; this leads to consequences which allow Lindbohm to turn his novel into a pessimistic Satire on arbitrary and high-handed governmental bureaucracy, paternalism and despotism. In these, as in several later novels – perhaps most explicitly in Blå tornet ["The Blue Tower"] (1985), set on a world where new knowledge of a potentially revolutionary kind has been discovered and the issue at stake is whether it should be freely available or controlled by a minority, which by virtue of its nature could make themselves absolute rulers – Lindbohm effectively uses his storytelling gifts to illustrate and discuss political (see Politics) and moral principles; unusual for a Swedish author, his own views are strongly individualist and anarchist.

Lindbohm's last sf novels Dockan från Fomalhaut ["The Doll of Fomalhaut"] (1987), Blod på solen ["Blood on the Sun"] (1990) and Tidväxeln ["Time Exchange"] (1999) are closely related adventure stories centered on Vito Laird, a space police officer who uses a technology enabling him to adopt the personalities and bodies of others to infiltrate criminal or dangerous organizations; the concept may well have been inspired by Joe Haldeman's All My Sins Remembered (1977), which had been translated in 1979, but Lindbohm's use of it is his own. An autodidact, Lindbohm read almost only in Swedish; this means that he was not much influenced by the US authors to whom he may be compared, and who include Gordon R Dickson and Keith Laumer: writers who also combined fast-moving action adventure with ethical and political concerns.

By the beginning of the 1990s, the Swedish market for sf had once again dried up. Since the early 1970s, however, Lindbohm had also published a growing number of essays and books based on his interest in parapsychology and Reincarnation; perhaps surprisingly for a self-professed rationalist and atheist, Lindbohm also claimed to be firmly convinced that he held memories of innumerable previous lives, the earliest from an advanced, space-faring culture in a global star cluster called Kvatur Glón. These writings had provided him with a secondary readership, uninterested in his "made-up stories" but deeply convinced of his expertise in ESP and cosmic truths. Consequently, in his last years he concentrated on this strand of writing, publishing a further 25 books from 1990. In truth, several of his stories of previous lives show marked similarities to his sf adventure novels; nevertheless, titles which the author claimed to be autobiographical have been excluded from the Checklist below. His last work, published only months before his death, was Kvatur Glón: Minnen från en annan värld ["Kvatur Glón: Memories of Another World"] (2005). [J-HH]

Ernst Rune Denis Lindbohm

born Tranås, Sweden: July 11 1927

died Malmö, Sweden: October 24, 2005

works (sf only)

series

Vito Laird

  • Dockan från Fomalhaut ["The Doll of Fomalhaut"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1987) [Vito Laird: hb/]
  • Blod på solen ["Blood on the Sun"] (Malmö, Sweden: Psi-cirkeln, 1990) [Vito Laird: pb/]
  • Tidväxeln ["Time Exchange"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Wizard, 1999) [web: Vito Laird: na/]

individual titles

  • Soldat från jorden ["Soldier from Earth"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Lindfors, 1973) [first appeared in different form 1966-1968 Science fiction forum #26/27-#40: pb/]
  • Stjärnpesten ["Star Plague"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Regal, 1975) [pb/]
  • Eden utan Adam ["Eden without Adam"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Regal, 1975) [pb/]
  • Domens stjärnor ["Stars of Doom"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1975) [pb/]
  • Stjärnvargen ["Star Wolf"] (Jönköping, Sweden: Grafiska förlaget, 1978) [pb/]
  • Den gyllene randen ["The Golden Rim"] (Stockholm, Sweden: SFSF, 1979) [pb/]
  • Regression ["Regression"] (Stockholm, Sweden: SFSF, 1979) [pb/]
  • Nattens lösen ["Seal of Night"; supernatural horror] (Stockholm, Sweden: Plus, 1979) [hb/]
  • A-ett ["A-One"] (Lund, Sweden: Jörgen Lindell, 1980) [pb/]
  • Bevingaren ["The Wing-Giver"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Bokád, 1980) [hb/]
  • Frostens barn ["Children of the Frost"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1980) [pb/]
  • Solens vargar ["Wolves of the Sun"] (Lund, Sweden: Jörgen Lindell, 1980) [pb/]
  • Edens nyckel ["Key to Eden"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1982) [hb/]
  • Domens rötter ["Roots of Doom"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1983) [hb/]
  • Nattsidan ["The Night Side"; supernatural horror] (Malmö, Sweden: Psi-cirkeln, 1983) [pb/]
  • Allt har sin tid ["There Is a Time For Everything"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1984) [hb/]
  • Vägens förra slut ["The Earlier End of the Road"] (Malmö, Sweden: Psi-cirkeln, 1984) [pb/]
  • Blå tornet ["The Blue Tower"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1985) [hb/]
  • Glömda gudars väg ["Way of Forgotten Gods"] (Malmö, Sweden: Psi-cirkeln, 1985) [pb/]
  • Domedagens skymning ["Dusk of Judgment Day"] (Stockholm, Sweden: LFP, 1986) [pb/]
  • Evig exil ["Endless Exile"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1986) [hb/]
  • Världsförvist ["Outcast of Worlds"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Delta, 1987) [hb/]
  • Skuggor över Elysion ["Shadows across Elysium"] (Malmö, Sweden: Psi-cirkeln, 1989) [pb/]
  • Världar runt hörnet ["Worlds Around the Corner"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Aleph, 2005) coll: [pb/]

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