Guest: Jorrit de Klerk

Jorrit de Klerk (1975) has been hooked on stories about science, space travel and extraterrestrial mysteries for as long as he can remember. Watching the very first Star Wars movie on VHS (not having a clue as to what to expect) is still a watershed moment from his childhood, just like watching episodes of the original Cosmos, Battlestar Galactica, Blake’s 7, and Doctor Who. Around the same time he sneaked into the grown-up section of the public library in his home town Harlingen, where he borrowed every single science fiction book he could find, despite the presence of a frankly frighteningly stern librarian – who haunts his nightmares to this day. After finishing all the books in the library, he bought (or was given) everything that was available at the bookshop, until he switched to reading in English in the early 00s.

After finishing secondary school Jorrit decided to study Business Administration, for reasons unclear even to himself – everyone had expected him to go to drama school, film school or the school of journalism. Despite a large number of first chapters, and even a couple of steamy adolescent poems, it was only in 2014 that Jorrit decided to start writing 1,000 words per day again and really get serious about this whole writing business.

This led to numerous publications in a variety of magazines and collections in the fantastic genre, such as Wonderwaan, Ganymedes, Fantastische Vertellingen and Edge.Zero. Jorrit’s story ‘Reset’ came second in both the Fantastels and the Edge.Zero writing competitions. The year 2019 saw the publication of his first SF novella ‘Revolte’, a space opera that kicked off the Zwijgende Aarde (‘Silent Earth’) sequence for publishers Quasis. Right now he is finishing his first collection of SF stories, which will be published at the end of 2021.

These days he works as a self-employed automation specialist, based in Harlingen in the province of Friesland. His main clients are non-profit organisations, specifically in health care.

In 2015 and 2019 Jorrit was involved in organising the short story competition of the Harland Awards, automating the registration of entries and introducing various innovations. Since 2019 Jorrit has been involved with a number of cultural organisations that work on the development of spoken word, film and art, and on attracting creators from a range of sectors to the north of the Netherlands, as well as more focus on cultural activities and the creation of new, beautiful things together.

He is really happy to see HSFCon come to Friesland. He hopes to take part in some panel discussions on science fiction, aiming to put our beloved genre even more in the spotlights. And in between these discussions he hopes to watch a couple of good (or really terrible and blood-soaked) genre movies.

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