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(1945- ) Norwegian computer engineer and author. Øyvind Myhre is in some ways an anachronism in Nordic sf (and Fantasy) literature. Where most Danish, Norwegian and Swedish writers working in these fields write either in the modernist or humanist traditions of Clifford D Simak and Ray Bradbury, or J G Ballard and the New Wave, and most often from a left-wing political perspective, Myhre writes in the Hard SF tradition of Robert A Heinlein and Poul Anderson, and from an outspoken Libertarian perspective. An sf reader from childhood, Myhre studied at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, and started working as a systems developer at IBM Norway, where he later became head of sales. He encountered Norwegian Fandom towards the end of the 1960s and began publishing a fantasy-oriented Fanzine, Gandalf; in 1972 his first professional story was published in the Norwegian Science fiction-magasinet, which in 1973 changed its name to Nova of which Myhre was the editor 1975-1977. Myhre's first novel, Aster ["Aster"] (1974), was deeply original in Norway: set in a far-distant past, it chronicles the conflict between the two intelligent species, products of parallel Evolution in two vastly different hemispheres of a world orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, whose remnants are now the Asteroid belt.
Myhre's next book was a collection of related stories, Snøen på Nix Olympica ["The Snows of Nix Olympica"] (coll of linked stories 1975), related also to his short novel Kontrabande ["Contraband"] (1976) and the stories in Stjerner over Tharsis ["Stars Above Tharsis"] (coll of linked stories 1995). Together, these books episodically tell of the colonization of Mars and the later conflict when the colonists seek independence from Earth (see Colonization of Other Worlds). Myhre stresses that the three books in no way comprise a Future History of Martian colonization; instead, the individual stories in some cases give alternate interpretations of similar circumstances, and the uniting motif is that of the quest for liberty. His later, stand-alone sf works include Sabotørene ["The Saboteurs"] (1978), a political thriller set in 2050 on an artificial world intended as a stepping-stone to colonize Venus but instead becoming the key to political domination of the solar system; and 1989 (1982), set in the very near future and detailing a Libertarian struggle against a Norwegian government coalition including both the left and the right, was quite controversial and was rejected in manuscript by Myhre's publisher, forcing him to find an alternate house. In Følge en drøm ["Follow a Dream"] (1984), Myhre humorously and playfully lets his two protagonists travel through a Multiverse where Time and space are fragmented and conjoined in the continuing struggle between chaos and stability. Vindens datter, bjørnens bror ["Daughter to the Wind, Brother to the Bear"] (1997) is an Anthropologically based Prehistoric SF speculation on the first meeting between European Neanderthals and African homo sapiens, taking place during the last ice age some 40,000 years ago. Mørke over Dunwich ["Darkness over Dunwich"] (1991) is probably the only Norwegian contribution to H P Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. In his fantasy novels, Myhre – clearly inspired by the Norse and Icelandic sagas – also explores the conflicts between power and liberty, society and the individual – most impressively in Makt ["Power"] (1983), set in ancient Norse and Icelandic history. Øyvind Myhre's contribution to Nordic science fiction is considerable in many ways: a born storyteller, he also combines serious and deeply felt themes with a wide knowledge of both sf and fantasy literature. [J-HH]
see also: Norway.
born Fluberg, Norway: 2 January 1945
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 01:39 am on 27 June 2022.