Welcome, traveller ...

Here the curious reader can follow the progress of the forthcoming new two-volume novel "Brent" by Norwegian
author Morten Jorgensen a.k.a. me. Here you will find
links that will give you some background for the books,
problems that I solve or questions that I ponder may be introduced, reports from my travels on research missions
for "Brent" may appear, news may break on this blog,
excerpts may be published.

Here all shall be revealed. In due time ...


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Thursday, 27 August 2009


Today, I am suffering from an exotic ailment: I have an earlobe infection, and my left ear is twice as big as normal. Not exactly painful, but very unpleasant. And weird. Yesterday, a friend of mine said that I was starting to resemble Mr. John McCain.

It is a very strange feeling. But also quite interesting. Someone in "Brent" will surely have an earlobe infection, and I think I know who ...


When people who do not know my authorship ask me what kind of novels I write or what I write about, my answer is "I don't". I am into aestetics, into text as text, I am in search of textual poetics. Content is an uninteresting factor to me. Genre is of no interest to me.

When I became a Cappelen author in 1995, I wrote them a letter, containing my writing plan, i.e. four novels. One had already been published, two have later been published, and now the time has come for "Brent", the final novel of these four.

As aestetics is my sole purpose, the skills of the novelist are decisive to me. But while writing my first novel "Sennepslegionen", I quickly realized how limited my skills were at the time. So I made a chart, a map of the Skills of the Novelist. You know, characters and character debt, intrigue, dialogue, depictatations, clichees etc. etc.? All these and more I distributed more or less evenly on these four books. You just have to start somewhere, right? If I was to wait until I mastered all these skills before writing, I would never be able to write a single book.

Some authors, like Knut Hamsun, excel in their youth. I am more the hard worker, I am the Hokusai Man. Commas and prepositions, rhytm and allusion; the skills must be mastered.

So "Brent" is the conclusion of a period in my authorship, the grand exam, the end of my apprenticeship. In "Brent" I am supposed to master the Craft of the Novelist, I am supposed to be able to use all the tricks of the trade, the ones I have already mastered in my previous novels as well as the ones I had no chance whatsoever of expressing in my first novel.

My previous novel "Bank" is a small suite, a chamber drama. But for "Brent" I need the crass opposite, a HUGE canvas. Which is why I chose to write about the future, a space opera that is NOT science-fiction in the traditional sense, but still contains an element of the fantastic, I needed an adventure, a modern fable, in which I in principle can do and write whatever I like.

When I wrote my debut, I was fortunate enough to be one of the last trainees of the Old School of Publishers and Editors. The ones that had read the Greek classics and spoke latin, who quoted Shakespeare's sonettes. Today, the publishing house editor is a book-shaper, someone who in conjunction with the author shapes a book. The skills of the author is no longer their job.

So I have been my own teacher. Thus, I have sincerely and methodically tried to make "Brent" as difficult as possible to write. It is supposed to be an exam, not a walk-over.

One example: In my first novel "Sennepslegionen" (The Mustard Legion) I got away with six credible characters. My second novel, the sequel "King of Copenhagen", was all about one single person. The third was an inbetweenie; there were three main characters in "Bank". All acccording to my Skills Plan. In "Brent", however, there are about 50 main characters.

When I decided to write "Brent" in English, it seemed almost logical. To write a "big" novel in a language that is not my mother's tongue ... There is no such thing as the proverbial free lunch.

The composition of "Brent" is like a weight-lifter's manual: The athlete adds more and more kilos to the bar to achieve a greater weight-lifting result. Voluntarily.

My previous novels were based on what I mastered. This time around I have composed a novel that forces me to exceed myself. If I don't, "Brent" will simply suck. Major.

So, patience, my friends. This one might take time.

Monday, 17 August 2009


So far I have written appr. half of Volume 1 and maybe twenty percent of Volume 2. However, I shall have to rewrite at least 100 pages of Volume 1, and in order to complete "Brent", I shall have to travel extensively. Stoke-upon-Trent, Hamburg, London, Copenhagen and Amsterdam are primary destinations. How much travelling I will be able to afford within reasonable time, remains to be seen. But travels to the minor destinations is not crucial, not even essential. I'm pretty good at home-spun research as well.

Beijing, Libya and the Ukraine are the primary destinations for Volume 2. Brussel: Check!

When travelling, I shall be Tweeting.

October 1st I shall have another go at the manuscript. Until then, I will continue doing what I am doing right now: Reading books and files, thinking, solving problems.


I am writing "Brent" in English. It will later be translated into Norwegian.


"Brent" is not a science-fiction book, unless the definition of science fiction is "all fiction books about the future". One might maybe include "... that contains depictions of technology." But how is it possible, even remotely, to write about the future in our present days, unless the books in some sense depict technology?

So of course there is technology in "Brent", lots of it. But no more than there are vacuum cleaners and computers and refrigerators in any given contemporary novel.

The only tech thing I have done, is to nullify gravity in spacecrafts. But, my astronomy expert says, it can be done in a decade or two, so I just take it for granted. Wikipedia says exactly the same.

So Mac drinks his Lagavulin, and Kenny once owned a black Mercedes, and the news are on CNN. No Yoda, sorry.

I subscribe to the literary philosophy of naturalism, that the author should be as objective as possible. Thus, if anyone should look for "opinions" (mine) in "Brent", they will find none. I detest social realism. The technology and social relations in "Brent" are neither figments of my imagination nor the expression of my personal opinions, they are all based on what seems to be the prevailing concensus within the scientific community on any given matter, i.e. based on analysis, prediction and probability.

My publisher has equipped me with a number of experts in the form of university professors. I am already highly greatful for their advice and many wise insights.

"Brent" is quite simply a novel from the future. There are no laser swords, no aliens, no beam-me-ups. It is not a novel about space ships and electronic gadgets, it's a novel about people. And about the ancient battle between Good and Evil, two hundred years after the German philosopher genius Friederich Nietzsche wrote "Beyond good and evil".


There is Brent, the Norwegian entomologist, of course. But while my previous novels have contained up to six major characters ("Sennepslegionen"), "Brent" contains no less than somewhere between fifty and a hundred clearly identifiable characters. So I have been re-reading "War and Peace" to study the great Leo Tolstoy's technique: "War and Peace" contains appr. thirty main characters and a myriad of others.

In Volume 1 we meet among others The Wilderbeest or just Beast, a former Dutch Army Commando; Nil, the ex-prostitute astronaut; Doc or The Doctor that performs strange experiments on cats; The Gamers; Oatie the Skin, the Stoke FC hooligan; Slug, the SSV rider that is also the NE champion of MMORPG; Anya and her German spacewalking OxyGel-loving twins; Oskari, the Finnish mechanic; Mathias, the ex-gayskin gone pimp; Tuna, the boxer with the spider tattoo; Stu, the Swedish Pirate CEO; Wee Jim, the Provanmill car thief; Moira, the Irish mystic; Kenny, the sadistic Chief Engineer; Annika, the Swedish-American multiorgasmic porn star; Paul, the dying amphetamine king; Lenya, the world's first freestyler on spaceboard; Ten, the Australian sniper; the extremely dangerous Chef, that runs the Pirate restaurant, as well as the rest of the Space Pirates, including their notorious Highlander Captain, the elusive Mac.

But with so many nice people aboard, there must of course also be a villain or two to balance them. Or, they are actually quite many in "Brent". Among them is a Bulgarian serial killer who enjoys raping and torturing pre-teen girls; a NYC cannibal; a Latino gang leader that, due to religious delusions, eradicated all the chicas in his street gang; a schizofrenic Catholic mass murderer that claims to be an angel sent to Earth to kill "demons", plus a bunch of members of various American street gangs and a few members of The Aryan Nation.

That is all just Volume 1, where we also meet the daughter of the newly elected Chinese President; a Turkman grocer with a cockroach problem; a friendly Russian mobster with a gold samovar; a 77 kg Boelboer dog called Reaper (and a pug by the name of Lancelot Richmond Wellington III, come to think of it); a transparent ghost; a "grandfather" from a Chinese Triad; a Swedish-American guitar hero and a handful of members of the Brotherhood of Islam, the last Moslem jihadists ...

In "Brent", the reader will become familar with the Second Feminist Revolution as well as the Gay Riots in Nashville, and will also learn how Hell's Angels survived the global ban on petrol transport. "Brent" is a novel with many stories and detours.

In Volume 2 we shall among others meet the Madam General Secretary of the UN, a female detective, a priest and a very, very evil man. A traitor shall return, 3D child porn will be made, a killer drug appears on the market and Brent sets off on a very long journey, out to the outer boundaries for man's forthcoming quest into Inner Space.

THE STORY - VOLUME 1: "BRENT - Pirates!"

Sometime in the not so very distant future, in a time where there are, say, maybe 50 000 people living on the Moon, and mining on Near Earth Asteroids has begun, four Scotsmen and an Irishwoman decide to steal a spacecraft, gather a crew and become history's first Space Pirates. Glasgow isn't what it used to be and better organized and more ruthless criminal organisations are squeezing the Scots out of the local cocaine and designer drug market. It's either start shooting first or get out.

So they get out, and in a most spectacular fashion, one might say. You see, the big powers, China, India, Europe, Russia and the others, have not managed to get the Near Earth Treaty anywhere near a final draft, so Near Earth Space is not militarized and hardly policed. The floating space hotels, the farmaceutical plants and the metal cargo containers are being protected by private security companies. They prove to be no match for the hundred or so Space Pirates and unemployed astronauts and technicians that now have taken control over the NE drug market and also supply Luna City and the hotels and casinos that hang outside the satellite belt, with prostitutes, banned pets and illegal Mixed Martial Arts tournaments.

Their ship was originally designed for exploration and test mining and is actually like a floating space hotel itself. It is a comfortable place to live, as the new generation of rotating space crafts have normal gravity. It's cozy, it's home.

But when Chapter 1 of Volume 1 opens, the Space Pirates are at the height of their fame and glory. Like an MC crew of our days, they more or less rule the NE Space, at least noone manages to catch them, as our merry pirates empty the wine cellar of the Hotel Hilton NE Excelsior or snatch a MCC with asteroid diamonds or gold on its automated way from NE asteroids to the refineries on Luna.

These are the events that lead up to Chapter 1, where we meet a Norwegian entomologist called Brent, who is squatting in catatonic solitude in an abandoned factory area in Samara in Russia, where the Russian mob is producing heroin and designer drugs, his life in ruins after his pregnant wife Mariah dies in a meaningless traffic accident.

Somebody comes to pay him a visit, and thus Brent's epic adventure begins.


The two volumes have the same setting and mostly the same characters, but it is not a direct sequel. The events in Volume 2 take place quite a few years after we leave Brent in Volume 1.

The two volumes are also very different in nature. While Volume 1 is what we in Norwegian call en røverhistorie (a robber's story) with plenty of gung-ho action, blood and suspense, Volume 2 is a more slow-paced, rather eerie book that contains less violence. But on the other hand, Volume 1 is by far the most chilling of the two.


Volume 1: "Brent - Pirates!" (A yarn)

Volume 2: "Brent - The Journey" (A discourse in moral philosophy)


"Brent" is a two volume novel that takes place in the not so very far future. It may be called a crossbreed between a space opera and a road movie.

However, even though it takes place in the future, it is not a science fiction. It just takes place in the future, technology is not a participant, just props and surroundings for a story that in principle could have taken place several hundred years ago, say, aboard a pirate ship, on the high seas.

Another answer to the question "what", is that "Brent" signifies the end of my apprenticeship. So far, in all my books, I have been trying to grasp the craft of the novelist. Even my most popular books have never been shaped by content. I could in principle have written three novels, or five, for that matter, with totally different stories and characters. My novels have so far just me efforts.

Which is why I felt the need to close a chapter, so to speak, in my authorship. When I signed up in 1995 with Norway's largest publishing house Cappelen, or CappelenDamm as it now is called, I gave my publishers an apprenticeship plan, which ended with "Brent", having previously concluded the two first novels on my list.

"Brent" is thus my third novel for CappelenDamm and my fourth in all, and my book no. 6. It is my "exam", and I have included a maximum of factors that makes it extremely hard to write. I have done so on purpose, as "Brent" is designed to be as difficult to write as possible in every sense of the word. It has to be well-composed and well-written for even to function as a piece of reading.


So far five books by me have been published, but I have never taken on a more difficult task than "Brent". It is a mammoth that lives its own arrogant life: 1000 pages, 2 volumes.

And I shall have to travel. Most of what is happening in the two books, takes place in a totally fictious environment, but there are also scenes and chapters from e.g. Amsterdam, Hamburg, Stoke-On-Trent, London, Copenhagen, Beijing, the Ukraine, Libya ... So I will have to travel.

In addition, there is only one Norwegian guy in the book, and the story takes place on many locations, but nothing in the books take place in Norway, my home country. So I get very little for free this time.

It is an expensive book to write. The advance money from my publisher is all used up, and it goes without saying that my travel budget is pretty high this time around. So my finances may delay me.

I hope to see Volume 1 on sale in 2010, but more likely it will be autumn 2011. As I write both volumes simultanously, Volume 2 will hopefully manifest itself the following year.

My previous novel "Bank" ("Rache auf Raten") was written in six weeks. "Brent" is and has to be a slow mover, demanding of me more time spent on thinking than actually writing.

But don't worry, it will come along nicely. However, the question "when" is somewhat irrelevant for me. When you get to read it, you will see why.


This is the Dassault Vehra, a compact small spacecraft of great versalitity and flexibility. An impressive machine, indeed.