By Ahrvid Engholm: I’ve known Maths Claesson for — if I calculate it correctly — 43 years. He was an energetic fan, a BNF if there ever was one, a major fanzine publisher cranking the Värnamo (his original hometown) fandom Khuken Olsson mimeo, long time SF-Bookstore pillar (the last few years the chain’s CEO) and also author of the YA book series about a boy named Linux longing for riding a rocket to space.
But some my adventures with him was on bicycle. Out of many episodes, here are two.
The first time I met him was when he and fannish friends Glenn and Thomas took their Volvo to an sf con in Stockholm, August 1980. As the fannish tradition is to find non-locals free crash space (it’s a proud, lonely and economically challenging thing to be a fan…) I could arrange for our bunch to stay the night in the SFSF HQ, at legendary 45 Pioneer Street, also housing the first SF Bookstore. I was on bicycle and they followed in their car. I rode the wheels like a rocket and Maths complained they had a hard time keep up! I had a beanie and they could see its propeller spinning wildly at a distance…
Another memory. Sweden has a state-owned alcohol monopoly. At the time their shops closed at 6pm and it was closed during weekends. If you missed the hours, you were out of luck. We a group of fen planned a weekend sailing excursion in the Stockholm archipelago. Friday at ten to six we found that the Hornstull blog shop to our horror had a computer error and couldn’t sell us the hot dog grilling accessories! Me and Maths hit our bikes for a Tour de Fans dash to save the weekend! We reached it 5:59 breathing heavily. I remember having some Hungarian Tokaj as the sun set on the island and the fire glowed and crackled.
His demise of cancer at the much too young age of 64 (May 7, survived by wife and two genetical offsprings) was deemed important enough for national TV’s “Culture News” to cover it (circa 5 minutes in; use a VPN).
Just a short note: Maths did a lot for sf and fandom, but the SF Bookstore he didn’t found. It started already in 1977 by the Scandinavian SF Association (involving e.g. Stieg Larsson!) on Pioneer Street, the legendary place of fannish lore, where we headef that August evening…
More sad news.
Maths hosted me during my 1984 GUFF trip. An excellent host. A marvellous fan, bookseller and professional. A great loss.
A great loss to fandom. Maths was a wonderful host for GRRM, Linda, and I when he helped organize George’s visit to Sweden and Archipelacon in 2015.