Entry updated 3 November 2023. Tagged: Author.
(1944- ) One of Norway's most popular and productive sf authors, with thirty books to his credit. Since childhood he had been interested in astronomy and space exploration, and always did his best to keep the scientific details in his writing as correct as possible. His style was highly visual, with short, descriptive sentences which efficiently moved the story forward. He often wrote from a Feminist point of view, many of the protagonists being competent women (see Women in SF). Like his close friend Øyvind Myhre, Knudtsen was fascinated by the colonization of the planet Mars (see Colonization of Other Worlds). Many of his stories and novels deal with a future fight between the government on Earth and the separatist movement of Mars Space Organization.
Knudtsen began to publish works of genre interest with short stories in the Norwegian Science Fiction Magasinet, which changed its name to Nova in 1973: the first of these tales was "Sykt sinn" ["A Sick Mind"] (1971 Science Fiction Magasinet #4). His stories being recognized as straightforward, entertaining sf (though with a message), he quickly became a readers' favourite. He wrote all kinds of fiction: sf, Fantasy, Horror, Magic Realism, Dystopian tales and mainstream work. In 1974 he won the Nova-Statuetten ["The Nova Prize"] for the best sf story or book in the previous year, voted on by Nova's readers, for his short story "Planetfall" ["Planetfall"]. He won another one in 1977, and was among the finalists several times.
His first story collection was Dimensjon S ["Dimension S"] (coll 1975). Of his next two collections, Under ulvemånen ["Under the Moon of the Wolf"] (coll 1975), and Lasersesongen ["The Laser Season"] (coll 1977), the first one was horror and fantasy, while the second contained more of his excellent sf stories. The following year saw two short novels: "Planetjegerne" ["The Planet Hunters"] (1976 Nova #3) a Space Opera which never appeared in book form, and the Dystopian Jernringen ["The Iron Circle"] (1976). The latter won the Nova-Statuetten for 1977. By now he was definitely an established author of competent fantastic literature.
Knudtsen's three juveniles for Cappelen Forlag were highly praised by both critics and readers. Tyrannosaurus Rex ["Tyrannosaurus Rex"] (1978) told the story of the first intelligent Dinosaur. Tova – en roman fra Mars ["Tova – A Novel From Mars"] (1979) and Reisen til Jorda ["Journey to Earth"] (1981) were genuine sf, belonging to his "Future History" of Mars Space Organization. The antagonists are young; both novels are also good reads for adults, as well-written Children's SF and Young Adult sf should be.
The title story of Operasjon Ares ["Operation Ares"] (coll 1984) was Norway's first sf murder mystery novel (see Crime and Punishment); this book also contained three additional short stories. Pandoras planet ["Pandora's Planet"] (coll 1986) and Tryllekunst ["Magic Trick"] (coll 1987) assembled all of Knudtsen's short stories which had not yet been published in book form. In the second half of his career he developed his writing into even more competent, fulfilled novels, and he did not write many more short stories.
The paperback and Comic book publisher Bladkompaniet, who had published a few sf paperbacks in the fifties, were the major publisher of Norwegian sf and Fantasy in the nineties. Knudtsen's first contribution there was a trilogy about the Amazons, a mythical tribe of female warriors who are supposed to have lived in Tyrkia some 3000 years ago, where the women were in power and ruled their communities by female ideals and principles. The books were Våpensøstrene ["The Weapon Sisters"] (1987), Rød Måne ["Red Moon"] (1989) and Løvinnens sjel ["The Soul of the Lioness"] (1990). In 1989 Rød Måne received the Norcon-Prisen ["Norcon Prize"], which was the successor of the Nova-Statuetten. Ten years after, he wrote two sequels to the series: Amasoner ["Amazons"] (2001) and Gudinnas døtre ["The Daughters of the Goddess"] (2004). They mirror Ingar Knudtsen's views upon life and human beings in such a sympathetic way that they must be mentioned, though being fantasy rather than sf.
Many readers also have strong feelings about Kalis sang ["Kali's Song"] (1991), a partly autobiographical novel telling the story of rock-and-roll-fan Ivan, a sewing-machine repairman. who gets involved in a mystery that turns into a worldwide conspiracy theory (see Paranoia) involving the Goddess Kali. (This has no connection to the Dan Simmon's novel of the same title.) Over the years, Knudtsen moved away from fantastic literature. He wrote about female soldiers in Vietnam and attack aeroplane pilots in Spain, and a novel about the hunting of wild wolves living naturally in Norway [these non-sf works are not listed below], along with some really charming children's books such as Katteliv ["Life as a Cat"] (1985). His last novel was published in 2008. [CPe]
Ingar Knudtsen, Jr
born Smøla, Norway: 23 December 1944
- Våpensøstrene ["The Weapon Sisters"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 1987) [Amazons: hb/]
- Rød måne ["Red Moon"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladcompaniet, 1989) [Amazons: hb/]
- Løvinnas sjel ["The Soul of the Lioness"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 1990) [Amazons: hb/]
- Amasoner ["Amazons"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 2001) [Amazons: hb/Image Bank]
- Gudinnas døtre ["The Daughters of the Goddess"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 2002) [Amazons: hb/]
- Jernringen ["The Iron Circle"] (Trondheim, Norway: Rune, 1976) [hb/]
- Kalis sang ["Kali's Song"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 1991) [hb/Robert Karlsen]
- Skumringslandet ["The Twilight Country"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 1993) [hb/Knudsens fotosenter]
- Nekromantiker ["Necromantics"] (Oslo, Norway: Bladkompaniet, 2004) [hb/]
works for children
- Tyrannosaurus Rex ["Tyrannosaurus Rex"] (Oslo, Norway: Cappelen, 1978) [hb/Ingrid Jangaard Ousland]
- Tova ["Tova"] (Oslo, Norway: Cappelen, 1979) [hb/Ingrid Jangaard Ousland]
- Reisen til Jorda ["Journey to Earth"] (Oslo, Norway: Cappelen, 1981) [hb/Bjørn Ousland]
- Katteliv ["Life as a Cat"] (Kristiansund, Norway: Blaasvær, 1985) [hb/Tor Kvarv]
- Havheksen ["The Ocean Witch"] (Oslo, Norway: Cappelen 1993) [hb/Per Kristian Strand]
- Genfærdet ["The Ghost"] (Denmark 1995) [hb/]
- Dimensjon S ["Dimension S"] (Oslo, Norway: Gyldendal Norsk, 1975) [coll: in the publisher's Lanterne Science Fiction series: pb/Peter Haars]
- Under ulvemånen ["Under the Moon of the Wolf"] (Trondheim, Norway: Rune, 1975) [coll: pb/]
- Lasersesongen ["The Laser Season"] (Trondheim, Norway: Rune, 1977) [coll: pb/Ingar Knudtsen Jr]
- Operasjon Ares ["Operation Ares"] (Oslo, Norway: Bok og Magasinforlaget, 1984) [coll: in the publisher's Nova series: pb/Vanja E Knudtsen]
- Pandoras Planet ["Pandora's Planet"] (Oslo, Norway, Bok og Magasinforlaget, 1986) [coll: in the publisher's Nova series: hb/Vanja E Knudtsen]
- Tryllekunst ["Magic Trick"] (Oslo, Norway: Bok og Magasinforlaget, 1987) [coll: in the publisher's Nova series: hb/Vanja E Knudtsen]
works as editor
- Evigskogen ["The Eternal Forest"] (Oslo, Norway: Bok og Magasinforlaget, 1990) [anth: pb/Robert Karlsen]
previous versions of this entry