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Ringdahl, Roar

Entry updated 23 October 2023. Tagged: Author.

(1935-    ) Norwegian author and editor regarded as the Grand Old Man of Norwegian Fandom. Twelve years before the 1966 foundation of the Oslo Students' SF Club (Aniara), Ringdahl and Cato N Lindberg founded what was later called "The First Norwegian Fandom". In sf magazines of the time they found the addresses of foreign fanzines, and got in touch with some 200 sf fans in Sweden, the UK and the USA. Their first Fanzine Fantasi was published in December 1954, followed by another ten issues. Because of their many foreign readers, parts of Fantasi were written in English. Then Lindberg went to sea, and Ringdahl continued to publish fanzines with other collaborators.

In 1958-1959 he published 16 issues of Union SF, a members' magazine for SF Union Skandinavia. Efforts were made to organize the national sf organizations into The International SF Society, and Ringdahl was chosen as chairman for the Norwegian branch. Internal conflicts between SF Club Deutschland and SF Club Europa led to the closing of the Swedish branch. Then the Skandinavisk Förening för Science Fiction ["The Scandinavian Society for Science Fiction"] was founded in 1960. Through SFSF Ringdahl got in contact with another Norwegian fan, Per G Olsen. Both being film enthusiasts, they soon turned to film fanzines such as Filmfan and Filmforum, and jointly compiled Filmindex 1966 (1966 chap), which reviewed some 500 US horror, sf and fantasy films.

When Terje Wanberg (1939-2006) founded the Norwegian sf magazine Science Fiction Magasinet/Nova in 1971, Ringdahl made contact and soon appeared as a member of the editorial staff, regularly writing about films and books, and contributing short stories. His first professional sale was to the Magasinet for alle ["The Magazine for Everyone"] in 1970. In 1972 Ringdahl and Olsen published "Et fengslende program" ["A Mind-Consuming Programme"] in the early Norwegian anthology Malstrøm: Norsk scienc fiction 1972 ["Maelstrom: Norwegian Science Fiction 1972"] (anth 1972) edited by Jon Bing, Tor Åge Bringsværd and Sigmund Hoftun.

Ringdahl's debut collection was Skandalen i Dodderston ["The Scandal in Dodderston"] (coll 1976), whose sixteen stories ranged from parallel Dimensions, Space Flight and an apocalyptic future, to a Computer writing poems, marionette dolls coming alive, and a Poltergeist on strike – with much black Humour and a twist at the end. The book was not professionally reviewed, but received high acclaim from fans familiar with his style.

Some years later he collaborated with Per G Olsen on the novel Nazna ["Nazna"] (February-December 1976 Algernon; 1977); based on unpublished short stories, it tells of the planet Asylet ["The Asylum"], where after a nuclear war (see Post-Holocaust) an orphan, a huntsman and a Werewolf girl fight to stay alive among Mutants and Kryptoautarks, as a travelling carnival comes to town. One of the strangest and funniest Norwegian sf novels of all time, Nazna won the Nova-Statuetten ["Nova Prize"] for the best sf of 1977, voted on by Nova's readers. The sequel "Frack/Fraque" ["Frack/Fraque"] (1977-1983 Algernon) was never completed or published in book form. In the late eighties Ringdahl published another story collection in collaboration with the Bok og Magasinforlaget (he paid for the printing), titled Natt over Drammen ["Night over Drammen"] (coll 1989), with stories in the same vein as Skandalen i Dodderston.

Roar Ringdahl participated in most Norwegian sf Conventions in the seventies and eighties, making the film programme an event. In 1989 he appeared in the Norwegian SF Magazine Sirius with an interview, a short story and film review. Then he fell silent, but for everybody who experienced the golden age of Norwegian fandom he remains a legend. [CPe]

Roar Ringdahl

born Drammen, Norway: 1939

works (selected)

  • Nazna ["Nazna"] (Oslo, Norway: Stowa, 1977) with Per G Olsen [in the publisher's Nova science fiction series: pb/Terje Nordberg]


  • Skandalen i Dodderston ["The Scandal in Dodderston"] (Oslo, Norway: Stowa, 1976) [coll: in the publisher's Nova science fiction series: pb/Per G Olsen]
  • Natt over Drammen ["Night over Drammen"] (Oslo, Norway: Bok og Magasinforlaget, 1989) [coll: pb/Per G Olsen]



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