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Lönnerstrand, Sture

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1919-1999) Swedish poet and author. In his teens Lönnerstrand began reading US Pulp SF Magazines, which fascinated him, but initially he set his goals higher: he wanted to be a poet. He went to university in Lund, though as far as is known without graduating, and there published his first two books of poetry; the second, Där ["There"] (1941), is an epic Fantasy story in lyrical form, noticeably inspired by the Icelandic Eddas. After war had broken out, Lönnerstrand moved to Stockholm: unable to support himself by writing poetry, he began contributing short stories to weekly entertainment magazines. In 1943, he began writing short sf for the popular weekly Levande Livet ["Living Life"]; under the surtitle "Between Imagination and Reality", some 75 stories were published over a period of two years. A dozen of these, all about Dotty Virvelvind ["Dotty Whirlwind"], were basically crime stories about a girl Superhero, whose powers stem from animal gland secretions injected into her by a Scientist. The stories were popular enough that Dotty was turned into a Comic given a full page in the weekly 1944-1945. After 1945, Lönnerstrand moved on to other markets, publishing at least two sf serials in other weeklies, as well as numerous other stories. The first ten of his short sf stories were collected as Den siste iguanodon ["The Last Iguanodon"] (coll 2009); a second volume is in preparation. Lönnerstrand's 1951 book of stylistically innovative sf poetry, Den oupphörliga (incestrala) blodsymfonin ["The Incessant (Incestuous) Symphony of Blood"] (coll 1951) was favourably reviewed and is a minor classic of Swedish experimental poetry.

A severe car accident in 1952 led to lifelong medical problems, and Lönnerstrand's productivity decreased sharply, but in 1954 he won a competition for best original Swedish sf novel aimed at young readers with his Rymdhunden ["The Space Hound"] (1954). After that, however, he mainly concentrated on nonfiction, publishing translations and commentary on Hindu writings, a book defending Comics against their detractors and another on a purported case of Reincarnation (in which Lönnerstrand believed). A final, Dystopian sf novel in experimental form, Virus (1960), appeared in 1960; a radio play on the fall of Atlantis was produced in the mid-1960s, and a few short stories ended his fiction career. Despite his limited productivity, however, Lönnerstrand was instrumental in establishing sf in Sweden. As president of the first clear-cut sf club in the country (Futura, formed in 1950), as spokesman for sf in newspapers and magazines and as a Fanzine contributor for a number of years, he influenced both the public view of sf and the first generations of Swedish fans, many of whom later became writers, editors, or critics. Though his early stories show signs of being quickly written and often inspired by US Pulp sf, he soon developed a distinctive voice where his often poetic language and innovative style marked him as a far from pedestrian writer. His themes gradually became existential and by the early 1950s he was already publishing speculative stories questioning our view of reality, Gender roles, and traditional concepts of humanity. [J-HH]

Sture Lönnerstrand

born Jönköping, Sweden: 1919

died Stockholm, Sweden: 1999


  • Där ["There"] (Lund, Sweden: Sällskapet för god läsning, 1941) [poem: pb/]
  • Rymdhunden. En resa till Jupiter ["The Space Hound: A Voyage to Jupiter"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Bonner, 1954) [hb/]
  • Virus: (psy)komedi ["Virus: (Psy)comedy"] (Stockholm, Sweden: Symb, 1960) [novel partly in playscript form: pb/]



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