Guest: Paul van Leeuwenkamp

After Paul van Leeuwenkamp (b. 1955, The Hague) graduated as a biologist and after studying Library and Documentation Science for a while, he ended up in ICT. He worked in this field for nearly forty years, first as a COBOL programmer, later as a designer and information analyst. He has lived for many years in Utrecht, with his wife and two daughters. From an early age he played volleyball (until 2021) and chess (he never learns), and he writes.

Paul became a member of the Dutch SF Society in 1978 and his first story was published in Holland SF in 1979. That was the start of all the rest.

His stories appeared in magazines (SF Terra, Rigel Magzine, Fantastische Vertellingen, Manifesto Bravado, Cerberus, Lava, atmoSFeer, Ator Mondis, Ballustrada, Concept, Wonderwaan) and in collections such as Ganymedes, Ragnarok and more recently Wereldbedenkers (2017), Nieuw-West Side stories (2018) EdgeZero, the best Dutch genre stories 2019/2021 (2020/2022) and Wonderwaan 50 (2020). A number of science fiction stories were collected in Plasmadromen (published by Verschijnsel in 2007), followed by the free e-book De schaal van offerande (2012).

Around the turn of the century he was to be found regularly in the top ten of the Paul Harland Award / Millennium Award / King Kong Award, the oldest short story competition for fantastical fiction in the Netherlands, resulting in a 2nd and a 3rd prize as best achievements.

He was part of the judging team or selection team for this competition four times.

Some of his stories are collaborations with Gust van Brussel, and on one he collaborated with Jos Lexmond.

He won several awards for his poetry, for instance the Poetry Award of the town Sint Truiden (1991). His poetry was collected in Brede gebaren (1992), Als een huis (1996) and Krabbels op de krant (2004). With the Amsterdam writer Meurs A.M. he edited an anthology of poetry by Gust van Brussel, Het onbereikbare licht (Book:light, 2014), an author about whom he wrote a long essay that was published in Gust van Brussel: veelzijdig auteur (2004). His own poems appeared in various magazines (Ballustrada, Concept, Meander, Appel, Lava, De gekooide roos, Begane grond, En er is), occasional publications (Zwolse Courant, Tuinscheurkalender) and in collections such as Een geluk als nieuwe wijn geschonken, the 100 best poems from the Gedichtenwedstrijd 2019.

To literary magazine Ballustrada he mainly contributes prose, but for their poetry section he edited a special edition about town poets (2019).

One of his poems is set in brass and can be seen in a city park in Utrecht.

In 2014 the Fantastische Vertellingen Foundation published Voor de geboorte, a novel consisting of stories and other texts that forms the first part of the Boeken van tijd van leven series. The second part, Corresponderend, appeared in 2022. The work was partly translated in English and German (Rund um die Welt, 2016).

From 1998 onwards Van Leeuwenkamp wrote reviews and short essays for the Flemish Libraries (VLABIN, Bibnet), some of which were published in the magazines Leesidee, De Leeswolf and De Leeswelp, and otherwise found their way to specialised databases and CD Rom. After a while his reviews and essays were also published in magazines such as Concept, Holland SF, Meander, Ballustrada and Fantastische Vertellingen, the latter naming him ‘minister of reviews’ in their colophon these days.

He was part of the editorial team on Schreef and Holland SF and is still a regular editor on Ballustrada.
Since 2013 he has been one of the editors – along with Remco Meisner – of the yearly publication Ganymedes, a collection of fantastical stories and poetry in which pretty much all Dutch-language authors can be found.

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