By Ahrvid Engholm: The Swedish Fantastiknovelltävlingen (means “The Fantastic Short Story Competion”), organized by the country’s oldest writers’ E-mail list SKRIVA (est 1997), reached a record 125 entries in its 17th incarnation. The jury, authors Karolina Bjällerstedt Mickos, Pia Lindestrand and Niklas Krog, decided that the following three shall split the prizes (consisting of ca €210 in money and free subscriptions to the writers’ magazine Skriva).
- 1st prize: “Rickard erövraren” (“Rickard the Conqueror”) by Gustaf Grandinsson
- 2nd prize: “Riten” (“The Ceremony”) by Eva Häggmark
- 3rd prize: “Skyskraporna i Densai” (“The Skyscrapers of Densai”) by Joakim Broman
Honorable mentions went to stories by Tobias Alfredsson, A R Yngve, Liv Vistisen Rörby, Oscar Westerholm Ulf Lidsman, Joakim Szczypinski and Jenny Eriksson.
Some words from the jury citations about the winners.
“Rickard Erövraren”: A romantic comedy with an unhappy ending, told from two different perspectives. He is a ship computer which has obtained emotions and she is a somewhat unsensitive ship’s captain. A really well told and twisted version about Artificial Intelligence which would pass the Turing Test, and what would happen then? (Pia Lindestrand)
“Riten”: A primitive village on a distant planet, the bond between mother and son, and the exotic environment – it’s all delightful. The reader wanders together with the characters towards a fantastic goal: the see ther Saviour. When the end comes it erupts with a laughter and you feel exhausted when the story is finished. (Karolina Bjällerstedt Mickos)
“Skyskraporna på Densai”: Diary notes from a life as a slave labourer on an alien planet. An almost Intolerable description of hopelessness that eats into the reader. There is longing, also dreams. But nothing indicates that those will become a reality. A genuine dystopia. (Niklas Krog)
The competition is supported by the Novellmästarna (“Short Story Masters”) society, the publishers Wela and Zen Zat, and the magazine Skriva. Stories from this competition have previously been translated and published abroad. If you run a publication that may be interested, contact the competition administrator (me, firstname.lastname@example.org) and something may be worked out.