Tuesday, August 30, 2005

First Thursday

First Thursday of the month this week. And that means the Turku fandom’s pub gathering at Bar Bremer at 6. Welcome!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Worldcon: Friday

Part 1Thursday • Finally getting on with the Worldcon words and pictures…

On Friday, I somehow managed to be at the con site at 10 in the morning. Went to see people talk about taking care of their GoHs, hoping for juicy horror stories. Alas, the panel was quite civilized and contained no gossip. Had a nice lunch in a nearby restaurant, wandered around,

The Internet Lounge Finnish Fandom presentation in the Exhibits section

and popped back in the art show and dealers’ room (I’d decided on not buying many things this worldcon, but we still ended bidding on a couple of David Hardy paintings),

Yellow masquerade costume A big, green thing (masquerade) Scorpius costume, à la Farscape

and also saw a couple of other panels.

Panelists discussing ‘Care And Feeding of a GoH’ David Hardy giving a presentation, with slides Panelists sitting behind a table

Friday had a lot of candidates for best missed program item, like “What’s hot and what’s not” (on cool sf that misses the nominations or defies categorization), “Greg Pickersgill GoH Experience” (heard a lot of good things about this one) and “Secret history of Ansible” (ditto), but not one that would rise above others.

Best program item, however, is easy: in the evening there was a Reductio ad Absurdum play Lucas Back in Anger, an under-two-hours version of all six Star Wars movies. It was at times hilarious and most of the time at least moderately funny, with occasional strokes of genius. And an audience of thousands playing Imperial March on kazoos! I laughed more than I had in a long time (although I suspect Saturday managed to top that record; more on that later).

Lucas Back In Anger opening splash screen Guy on stage, starting the show Dalek, Cyberman and Luke (whining) Cardboard speeder, with C-3PO pushing Obi-Wan giving a stormtrooper the hand-waving The cast in an invisible Millennium Falcon Darth Vader and Obi-Wan standing Luke astonished, Vader with... sexy lingerie A makeshift jabba with a minion Obi-Wan singing, with cardboard accessories, words showing in the back The cast taking a final bow on stage

On to the parties. Friendly Norwegians had lots of beer. Chicago had hot dogs (eventually). Everybody had nice people.

Friendly Norwegians serving drinks at their party A couple of Chicago Party hosts standing behind a table Chicago Party at full gear Ipa & Martin sitting and resting

Wrecked

The Star Wreck on Wings tour kicked off this evening in Turku, the main attraction of course being the fan film Star Wreck 6: In the Pirkinning.

Hannu in the barAs I feared the worst about the movie (the previous episodes are totally unwatchable), I’d agreed to meet a couple of other members of Äksy in the pub for a couple of beers before watching the film. It might have benefitted from a couple more (although the puns in the pub were at least as bad).

We then proceeded to Klubi where the event was to be held. To our surprise, there was a huge crowd outside the club, waiting to get in. This thing is way more popular than I would have anticipated. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait in line to get in (there were a couple of guys among us that had played small parts in the film: Hannu, the engineer from Turku, and the Artist previously known as the Finnish Trekkie).

A long queue outside the club The queue crawling into the building

The club was packed. There was a brief introduction from the cast and crew present, and the film started (about half an hour late, probably because they tried to fit as many people in as possible).

Full audience waiting for the film to start Three guys from the cast and crew standing in front of the screen

And the film itself? Much better than I’d thought it would be (as I said, I’m no fan of the previous episodes). Mostly awful acting, not the least from the lead character, but not quite as bad as in episode 5 (or what I’ve been able to stomach of it—maybe it was because there were a lot more sfx scenes and less acting this time). Some quite funny parts (especially the Russian propaganda commercial, and some scenes on board the Babel 13 space station), and altogether I thought it was mildly amusing. (Most of the audience seemed to enjoy the humor quite a lot.) And with the best-looking officer on any Starfleet bridge so far to boot (and I’m not talking about captain Pirk here).

I’m certain that fans of the previous Star Wrecks will enjoy this film enormously, and for the rest of us, it is quite watchable and very interesting for the sheer scale of it. The production values are impressive for a fan film—and they even got Kari Väänänen to star in a minor role!

Screenshot from a propaganda commercial Captain Sherrypie, Commander Ivanovitsa of Babel 13 The bridge of CPP Kickstart Epic Space Battle

Afterwards, there was a performance by the band Roihu that has made music for the film. (Didn’t stay for that, though.)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

GUFF Trip Visits Turku

Spent the evening with GUFF delegates Juliette and Damien. They are great people and we had a wonderful time. We met them at the train station, had dinner in Viking Restaurant Harald, and continued in the Old Bank pub afterwards. Their European tour continues tomorrow to Sweden, which I’m sure is just as happy to receive them as we were.

Now I just really want to visit Australia someday. (And Kaisa warmly supports the idea. In addition to sf fen, there’d be flocks of cockatoos she’d like to see.) Maybe one day…

People sitting around a table at Harald

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Meet GUFFs Today

As said earlier, Juliette and Damien will be in Turku today to meet local fen. At the moment, the plan is to have dinner around 7, and continue in a pub afterwards.

Everyone is welcome to join us. For more information, call or send me an SMS (040 861 9326), or send e-mail to be kept up to date.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Worldcon: Thursday

First day of the convention. Wandered around the SECC (which looked quite different from ten years ago) soaking up the atmosphere. Met many Finns and some other friends, mainly from other Nordic countries, and had a chat with them. Missed most of the panels I’d carefully picked from the program book the previous night. Checked out the art show with Kaisa (we’d decided to go early to see if we’d like to actually bid on some items this time). Not the best art show I’ve seen, but there still were quite a few very nice pieces of art there.

Some notes on Thursday:
  • Catch of the day: Silverlock, by John Myers Myers. Found out there’s a shiny new hardback edition, but I’m perfectly happy with the paperback I found. It’s in good condition and was a much better deal.
  • Best program item: I didn’t really get to many items. The opening ceremony had some funny bits. Fan room opening, in contrast, was a bit too insider-oriented for me (but I guess that was the purpose).
  • Best missed program item: I heard many good things about Room 101 with the GoHs (which I tried to go to, but couldn’t get into the room because it was already full), so I think I’ll pick that one.
  • Best party: Thursday’s parties seemed to be relatively quiet. I’m going with hanging in the bar lobby, smoking a couple of cigars with Jukka and chatting with friends.
  • Somehow I forgot to eat anything on Thursday. Made up for it by drinking beer, but by the end of the day made a mental note to remember to eat every day from that point on…

Photos from Thursday include the opening ceremony,
The audience watching the opening ceremony Reading the safety announcement People demonstrating the safety announcement on stage Sign saying, smoking is permitted outside the airlocks only Captain Standlee wishing everyone welcome All GoHs sitting on stage

the reception after, provided by the city of Glasgow (there was quite a lot of wine—maybe it could have qualified as a “best party” candidate),
Ben and Toni at the reception Overview of the reception KJN at the reception

a couple of Moat House pictures,
Plokta cabal at Fan Lounge opening ceremony Toni Jerrman writing an article in the Fan lounge TC and Kummisetä sitting at the Moat House bar Vesa describing something, Jautero sitting by

and a couple of shots from the parties.
An overview of the Denver 2008 party, with sign showing Overview of the Denver 2008 party Denver 2008 advocates at the table Sari, Jukka, Tero, Marko, TC at bar lounge, some with cigars Ian Watson lifting Imants in the air

Tähtivaeltaja Award to Lauren Beukes

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the winner of this year’s Tähtivaeltaja Award : the best science fiction book published i...