Storm, Jannick

Tagged: Author

Working name of Danish author, critic, editor and translator Finn Jannick Storm Jørgensen (1939-2015), whose importance was first acknowledged outside the Nordic countries in the dedication of Brian Aldiss's sf overview Billion Year Spree (1973): "To Jannick Storm, who colonised Denmark". The implication is hardly literally true: Storm himself encountered sf as a teenager, via cheap (generally abridged) paperback translations of US and British adventure sf as well as in the work of Niels E Nielsen (1924-1993), Denmark's most prolific sf writer with 35 sf novels published 1953-1994. However, by the end of the 1950s, all attempts at introducing foreign sf to Denmark had been given up, and Storm worked to re-establish the form in his home country. From the mid-1960s, he wrote and spoke about contemporary sf, particularly of its more recent and experimental authors, in Danish newspapers, magazines and radio, and urged publishers to try their hand at it. From 1968 he edited a line of mainly translated sf for the major Danish house Hasselbalch, publishing titles by (among others) J G Ballard, James Blish, Philip K Dick, Frederik Pohl with C M Kornbluth, and Clifford D Simak, plus genre Anthologies. In 1969 his translation of Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition (coll 1970; vt Love and Napalm: Export USA 1972; rev 1990), under the literally translated Danish title Grusomhedsudstillingen, was the book's first appearance in print. These efforts proved surprisingly effective. Within a few years, modern sf was discussed seriously in Denmark; new Danish authors began writing in the genre; sf fan groups were formed and the first specialized sf book store in Scandinavia, Fantask, opened in Copenhagen on 22 October 1971.

In the first half of the 1970s, Storm edited several sf anthologies as well as a further sf novel line for Notabene, now featuring such authors as Mark Adlard, Brian Aldiss, again Philip K Dick, and Theodore Sturgeon. Parallel with his editing and translating work, Storm also began writing sf stories, publishing in English in New Worlds and Ambit; in Denmark, his stories appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, as well as in his own irregular experimental fiction magazine Limbo (1970-1972), which ran several translated J G Ballard stories. Most of Storm's sf is collected in two books, Miriam og andre ["Miriam and Others"] (coll 1972) and Er mao død ["Is Mao Dead?"] (coll 1974); some stories from these collections reappear along with newer ones and non-genre work in the later De forrige tider ["Past Times"] (coll 1992). His stories are highly experimental in both form and content, often inspired by Ballard's "condensed novel" concept but also incorporating other experimental sf tropes, such as Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius mythos (which fascinated Storm; in 1971, he edited an anthology of fourteen Cornelius stories by six authors). The central themes in Storm's stories, notable for their poetic imagery and language, are existential: Identity, sexuality (see Gender; Sex), the breakdown of both external and internal reality (see Perception), and death. His single sf novel, Hjerter er trumf ["Hearts are Trumps"] (1995), was written in the early 1970s but found no publisher; however, in 1976 it was made into a major film with the same title, directed by Lars Brydeson. His failure to find a publisher for this novel, a near-future account of the first Danish heart transplant patient (see Medicine) and his subsequent quest to identify the donor saving his life, led Storm to largely abandon prose fiction; he turned to poetry, publishing a number of highly regarded collections. However, the illness and death of his wife as well as his own deteriorating health severely limited his work from the 1990s to the end of his life. [J-HH]

Finn Jannick Storm Jørgensen

born Svendborg, Denmark: 24 February 1939

died 9 May 2015

works (selected, sf-related only)

  • Hjerter er trumf ["Hearts are Trumps"] (Copenhagen, Denmark: Forenede udgivere, 1995) [pb/]

collections and stories

  • Miriam og andre ["Miriam and Others"] (Copenhagen, Denmark: Gyldendal, 1972) [coll: pb/]
  • Er Mao død ["Is Mao Dead"] (Aarhus, Denmark: Jorinde og Joringel, 1974) [coll: pb/]
  • Parakurt: Agent A38 ["Parakurt: Agent A38"] (Copenhagen, Denmark: Fantask 1974) with Gunnar Anton Wille [story: graph: pb/]
  • Parakurt og volden ["Parakurt and Violence"] (Copenhagen, Denmark: Fantask 1976) with Gunnar Anton Wille [story: graph: pb/]
  • De forrige tider ["Past Times"] (Copenhagen, Denmark: Brage, 1992) [coll: pb/]

nonfiction

works as editor

links

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