From Ylva Spangberg:
I always thought the filking tradition barely existed in Swedish fandom, and I suppose we are a bit introverted: most of the filking I can recall isn’t about space, the future and science fiction, but about, well, Swedish fandom. That’s not to say it’s not good – some of it has been brilliant. But as a contribution to a worldwide tradition it’s not much to write home about, especially since most of it is in Swedish.
Enter Karl-Johan Norén, a guy who really took to the idea of filking and in past years has pelted us Swedish fans relentlessly with his writings. He’s no mean rhymesmith (to use a Swedish expression I’m very fond of) and has a knack for being witty, so this bombardment isn’t the least bit painful. On the contrary, it’s quite entertaining.
Karl-Johan is a thorough kind of man, so obviously he started to delve into the past history of Swedish filking. I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that it’s a lot more extensive than I thought, or that the subject used to be science fiction, not fandom. I was, however, surprised when he told me I myself contributed to Swedish filk when I many years back translated Poul Anderson’s World Without Stars to Swedish and managed a translation of Mary O’Meara that can actually be sung – to two different tunes, Karl- Johan pointed out with some amusement. Most likely, this can be attributed more to luck than to skill on my part.
I will not try to say any more about the history and state of Swedish filking; I leave that to Karl-Johan, secure in the knowledge that the subject is in safe hands with him. If you ask him about it he’ll be more than happy to tell you everything you want to know, and probably more.
All in all, I can only congratulate Consonance on its choice of guest. Karl-Johan is a good guy: he’s kind, considerate, persevering in his interests and very, very approachable. So go and say hello to him; he’ll be ready to talk about anything and everything. In fact, sometimes it can be difficult to stop him from talking. In this respect, as in so many others, he’s a real fan.
Interfilk is a fan fund that promotes cultural exchange and cross-pollination between filkish communities by sending talented filkers to a convention they might not normally be able to attend. You mostly won't have heard of the guests they send us - that's kind of the point - but they're always amazing people with a lot to share.
Learn more about this great program on its dedicated wesbite.