Saturday, June 26, 2010

US Deal for Rajaniemi

Hannu Rajaniemi has made a three-novel deal for the US publishing rights with Tor. His debut novel, The Quantum Thief, will be published in hardcover in May 2011. Congratulations, Hannu!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Åcon Wins the Tentacle Award

As Kisu & Karo mention in their con report, The Tentacle Award was given out at Condense last weekend. The Tentacle is a Gothenburg-based award, given out for societies or persons who have actively bridged the gaps within fandom. This year the winner of the award is Åcon, the convention that strives to bring together fen from the Nordic countries. Much appreciated.

Guest Blog: Swecon Report

Unfortunately, due mainly to scheduling reasons, I couldn’t attend Swecon this year. But Kisu and Karo were there, and have written a report from the convention.

Condense—The Heavy Convention

Swecons always draw in (quite) a few Finns and Swecon 2010, Condense, in Gothenburg was no exception. Due to several reasons, this year the Finnish con-team consisted of only two members: Kisu & Karo from Tampere. Other members of Finnish fandom were sorely missed and everybody sent their best regards to all Finnish fans (especially those, who’d been to Gothenburg conventions before, you know who you are and we heard quite a few tales about your experiences).

The best way to travel to Gothenburg was by air and we arrived to Gothenburg in Friday afternoon. The convention begun in the evening and one of the first items was an interview with the guest of honor, the always interesting Justina Robson. After that it was time to socialise in the bar (and to check out the Alvarfonden books, which is always a costly mistake).

Saturday’s programming begun with book tips and breakfast (the convention offered breakfast to all members for free!). After that, Kisu took part in a panel, “Is there more SF than we see,” with the other guest of honor, Nene Ormes, and Per Åkerman. The three panelists had slightly different views on what the panel was supposed to be about (and the programming information gave a fourth interpretation), but in the end it seemed to be a success, ranging from manga to Swedish and Finnish science fiction and fantasy all the way to amateur films and radio plays (which there should be more of). After that it was time to do a bit of sight-seeing in Gothenburg.

In the evening Kisu attended the Banquet while Karo went out to be social and network with some other non-banquet attending members. The banquet included also speeches from the guests of honor, which were interesting to hear. As traditional in Swedish fandom, awards were also given (Alvar prize went to Helena Kiel, which was nice!). An extremely surprising turn of events took place when the winner of the Tentacle-award was announced. Tentacle is a Gothenburg-based award, given out for societies or persons who have actively bridged the gaps within the fandom. Much to everybody’s surprise, the winner of the Tentacle award was Åcon! The beautiful diploma will (hopefully) make its way to Finland a bit later on.

After the NoFF-auction (where they also auctioned off a few interesting beers, which sold for high prices) it was time for more relaxing discussions in the bar, outside the convention venue and in the Swecon 2011 bid party organised by Eurocon 2011. Sunday morning came way too soon, but we still managed to make our way to the convention to hear first about the future of fantasy, and then to take part in “How can conventions be improved” discussion, which highlighted some of the real successes of Condense. Breakfast for members!! After that, it was time to vote for Swecon 2011, and the Stockholm Eurocon gave a nice presentation about why they should also be Swecon. The other conventions of 2011 declined to run, and so the Eurocon 2011 won the vote and is now also Swecon. After the spirit of Swecon had once more been captured, and the tearful goodbyes said to the guests of honor, it was time to go back to the hotel to pack before the dead-dog party (where the Finns were the last to leave…).

Condense might’ve been the “heavy convention” but it all seemed very light and most especially friendly. We were warmly welcomed and will certainly come back some day! But first next year and Stockholm!

Kisu & Karo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free Comic Book Day in Sarjakuvakauppa

Turun sarjakuvakauppa will have a free comic book day on Thursday, June 17. On that day, for every purchase over 10 euros you get a free comic album.

Tähtivaeltaja Award to Vellum

The Tähtivaeltaja award for the best science fiction book published in Finnish in 2009 goes to Hal Duncan for his debut novel Vellum, published in Finland by Like.

The jury commended Vellum for being a rich and ambitious story that moves on many levels and binds together history, mythology, visions of the future and literary references. The stylistic, nonlinear structure is used effectively and the ideas and visions penetrate the subconscious. Vellum is a challenging read, but is written so eloquently and fluently that it keeps you turning the pages.

The Tähtivaeltaja award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society. On the jury were critic Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and journalist Vesa Sisättö.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sf Summer on Teema

The YLE Teema tv station has a “Kino Scifi” theme of classic science fiction movies on Wednesdays this summer. Kino Scifi starts with an “East and west” theme Saturday on June 12, when there will be two movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey (UK 1968), and Ikarie XB 1, made in Czechoslovakia in 1963.

The Wednesday films are: Metropolis (Germany 1926), Things to Come (UK 1936), The Thing from Another World (USA 1951), This Island Earth (USA 1955), Forbidden Planet (USA 1956), The Incredible Shrinking Man (USA 1957), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (USA 1956), Alphaville (France 1965), La Jetée (France 1962), Fahrenheit 451 (UK 1966), Silent Running (USA 1972), and Sleeper (USA 1973). That’s a mighty fine list of old classics, and there are some truly great films on it. Well worth watching!

(Nod to Ben on Babek nabel)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Rajaniemi Fiction Online

Subterranean Press has published a short story Elegy for a Young Elk by Hannu Rajaniemi on their web site. It’s been a while since I read that story, but I liked it a lot:
[…]my absolute favorite this year, Elegia nuorelle hirvelle by Hannu Rajaniemi. A splendid mix of post-singularity feel and traditional Finnish elements, this story would make an excellent representative of Finnish sf also abroad.
Isn’t it nice when one’s wishes come true?

The story came second in the Atorox vote for the best Finnish sf short story originally published in 2006. Go take a look!

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...