(1941- ) Swedish author, editor, critic, translator (of about 400 books, many sf), professional photographer, television producer, film director, composer, singer (several records) and publisher. His first published work was an sf play for Swedish radio, broadcast in 1952 when he was eleven years old. Enormously active in sf Fandom since 1956, Lundwall began selling stories in 1963. His first book was a collection, Visor i vår tid (coll 1965). His next book was sold in Lundwall's own translation to Ace Books: Science Fiction: från begynnelsen till våra dagar (1969; exp trans Lundwall as Science Fiction: What It's All About 1971); it was one of the earlier studies of sf in English.
Beginning 1970, Lundwall has written a number of novels, four of which have been translated into English. In Alice's World (1970 dos US; trans Lundwall as Alice, Alice! 1974 Sweden) a spaceship returning to an abandoned Earth finds it occupied by mythic and literary beings. Lundwall's Satire can be vicious, as in King Kong Blues (1974; trans Lundwall as AD 2018, or The King Kong Blues 1975), about Advertising; at other times it is despondent – as in Bernhards magiska sommar ["Bernhard's Magical Summer"] (1974), the third in a trilogy beginning with No Time for Heroes (1970 dos US; trans Lundwall as Inga Hjältar här Sweden 1972) and Bernhard the Conqueror (1973; trans Lundwall as Uppdrag i universum Sweden 1973) – or hilarious, as in Mörkrets furste ["The Prince of Darkness"] (1975), probably his best novel, a burlesque of turn-of-the-century Dime-Novel SF.
From 1970 he edited the Askild & Kärnekull sf line, thereby reviving Swedish publishing interest in sf. In 1973 he left to form his own house, Delta, which lasted until 1991, specializing in new and reprinted sf, averaging some 20 sf books a year. Under the Delta imprint Lundwall also edited the revived Jules Verne-Magasinet, Sweden's only professional sf magazine, which in its first incarnation had run 1940-1948; it is still published, now under his personal imprint, Sam J Lundwall Fakta & Fantasi. Lundwall's careful Bibliography of sf published in Sweden, both original and translated, is Bibliografi över science fiction & fantasy, 1741-1973 (1974), the second revision of a work which originally appeared in 1962; the sequel is Bibliografi över science fiction & fantasy, 1974-1983 (1984). His anthology series Den fantastiska romanen, four volumes (1973-1974), collects documents of sf history with critical comment. A later 18-volume anthology series edited by Lundwall was Det hände i morgon ["It Happened Tomorrow"].
Another work in English is Science Fiction: An Illustrated History (1978), which argues the primacy and greater sophistication of European over US sf. Lundwall's most recent book in English is The Penguin World Omnibus of Science Fiction (anth 1986) edited with Brian W Aldiss, which in its eclectic, mostly non-US content could be seen as a footnote to his earlier argument.
Among the dozen or so novels Lundwall has written since 1975, CRASH (1980) is about the adventures of a Swedish sf author in the US publishing world. His most ambitious project is a series (novels, stories, poems) set in a probabilistic Parallel World, a flat Earth facing dissolution into other probability formats; the scientific underpinning is rooted in quantum physics. Only three short stories from the series have been translated into English, "Nobody Here But Us Shadows" (August 1975 Galaxy), "Take Me Down the River" (in Twenty Houses of the Zodiac, anth 1979, ed Maxim Jakubowski) and "Time Everlasting" (in Tales from the Planet Earth, anth 1986, ed Frederik Pohl & Elizabeth Anne Hull). The central novels of the series are Fängelsestaden ["Prison City"] (1978), Flicka i fönster vid världens kant ["Girl in the Window at the Edge of the World"] (1980), Tiden och Amélie ["Time and Amélie"] (1986), Gestalter i sten ["Figures in Stone"] (1988), Frukost bland ruinerna ["Breakfast in the Ruins"] (1988) and Vasja Ambartsurian ["Vasja Ambartsurian"] (1990).
Lundwall has been a pivotal figure in Swedish sf as author, editor, publisher, entrepreneur and translator. He updated the Scandinavia entry (dealing principally with Norway and Sweden, now given separate entries) for the Second Edition of this encyclopedia. [J-HH/PN]
see also: Critical and Historical Works About SF; Mythology.
Sam Jerrie Lundwall
born Stockholm, Sweden: 24 February 1941
individual titles (highly selected)
works as editor
Previous versions of this entry