Q is for Quisling


Q is for Quisling: In the world of Gossamer Steel, the people of The Country (Scandinavia) are betrayed by people they once called friends, but now call Quislings.

A quisling is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. The word originates from the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling who was the head of a collaborationist regime in Norway during the Second World War.

The term quisling was coined by the British newspaper The Times in an editorial published on 19 April 1940, entitled “Quislings everywhere”, after the Norwegian Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany as it conquered his own country so that he could rule the collaborationist Norwegian government himself. The Daily Mail picked up the term, and the BBC then brought it into common use internationally. The Times’ editorial asserted: “To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor… they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous.”

[Photo: Quisling [centre] visits the German propaganda companies’ large exhibition ”Soldier and Correspondent” in the National Gallery in Oslo on August 15th 1944. The exhibition was about German war reporters.  ~ Courtesy of the Norwegian News Agency, Oslo]


Quisling [centre] visits the German propaganda companies’ large exhibition ”Soldier and Correspondent” in the National Gallery in Oslo on August 15th 1944. The exhibition was about German war reporters. ~ Courtesy of the Norwegian News Agency, Oslo

The term has been used in fiction to describe traitors and collaborators. In Kim Stanley Robinson’s Green Mars, the term is used to describe those early colonists who joined the side of Earth and the transnationals opposing the Martian faction in the conflict of 2061. In the novel World War Z by Max Brooks, quislings are those humans who after having a nervous breakdown have started behaving like zombies, often fooling fellow survivors but never the undead that they try to imitate.

Q is also for Quests, of which some are threads in Gossamer Steel, and for Qulin, a mythical hooved chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures.


A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts  ~ P is for Punk


The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)

13 thoughts on “Q is for Quisling

  1. Pingback: R is for Ragnarök | Writing Wings

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  10. Pingback: Welcome to the Gossamer World | Writing Wings

  11. Pingback: Q for Quisling | Writing Wings

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