The Fantastic Short Story Competion (“Fantastiknovelltävlingen“, in Swedish) has been running yearly since the year 2000, and is dedicated to stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror. It is probably Sweden’s oldest at present; at least one short story contest that used to be older has folded.
This year the contest received 117 entries, and the jury decided to distribute the prize money of 2000 Swedish crowns (just under €200) to the following three winners. Titles given in Swedish with English translations and some comments from the jury are added:
First prize: “Bläcklingar” (“Inklings”) by Fredrik Stennek. “A fine tale in the succession of HC Andersen… A portrait of a society collapsing under censorship and oppression…but humour and longing for freedom is bigger. It raises questions of freedom of the press and freedom of opinion“.
Second prize: “Hon” (“She”) by Eva Ullerud. “A wonderfully creepy story… When the threat is close, really close, it easily becomes invisible, but even creepier.”
Third prize: “Götheborg” (“Gothenburg”) by Dennis Jacobsson. “An alternate history explaining why the ship Götheborg went under in the 1700’s. The atmosphere is as thick as the wool in the woolen clothes of the characters, the danger as tangible as the smell of gunpowder on gundeck, and the curiousity of the reader picks up wind.”
Five stories – By Jonas Bengtsson, Emanuel Blume, Lisa Hågensen, Hanna Kristoffersson and Jens Mattsson – also received honourary mentions by the jury, consisting of the sf/f authors Niklas Krog, Pia Lindestrand and Karolina Bjällerstedt Mickos. All stories were judged without author identification. Several of earlier stories from the Fantastic Short Story Contest have been translated and published abroad – if you’re interested, contact ahrvid[at]hotmail[dot]com.
The organizer is the writers’ E-mail list SKRIVA (Yours Truly as administrator) supported by the Short Story Masters (“Novellmästarna“) group, and prizes were sponsored by SF Bokhandeln Bookstore, the magazine Skriva, the publishers Wela and Zenzat. The next contest, open for entries in Swedish, will be announced in the spring 2016.
Ahrvid Engholm is a swedish author, editor, journalist and SF fan.