Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Speculative Romance Roundtable

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly has published a roundtable discussion on Finnish sf/f, with Anne Leinonen, Magdalena Hai, and J.S. Meresmaa participating.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Blood of Angels Excerpt on Tor.com

The Blood of Angels, Johanna Sinisalo’s latest translation in English, was published earlier this year by Peter Owen. Tor.com has published an excerpt of this fine novel on their site, so you can head there and check it out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Skiffy & Fanty

The Skiffy and Fanty Show podcast is doing a lot of good work promoting sf from all around the world. For the latest episode of their sf world tour they invited Jukka Halme, Maria Turtschaninoff, Janos Honkonen, and myself to discuss the Finnish sf scene, our conventions (including, of course, the Helsinki Worldcon bid), authors, and such. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about hearing myself talk, but I don’t think we rambled too badly. Thanks for having us on the show!

Check out the show notes for a lot of links to Finnish sf recommendations. And by the way, earlier this month they posted an interview with Emmi Itäranta that you should also check out for more Finnish sf greatness.

PS For listening to podcasts, I can’t recommend the Overcast app highly enough. Its “smart speed” feature that intelligently shortens the pauses between words makes people like me who’re not used to talking on radio (esp. in a foreign language) sound much more eloquent.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sf Book Circle in Turku

The Turku Sf Society and the Turku library organize a book circle that gathers once a month to discuss a book recently published in Finnish. The schedule for the first half of next year has been published, and is as follows:
  • Jan 19 Ursula K. LeGuin: Neljä anteeksiantoa
  • Feb 16 Rebecca Alexander: Elämän ja kuoleman salaisuudet
  • Mar 16 Marko Hautala: Kuokkamummo
  • Apr 20 Maria Turtschaninoff: Maresi: Punaisen luostarin kronikoita
  • May 18 Margaret Atwood: Uusi Maa
  • Jun 15 Gillian Anderson, Jeff Rovin: Liekkien näkijät
More info from TSFS.

Hyperion Thesis

A master’s thesis in literature by Heidi Kyllönen titled “Unelmoija ja runoilija”: taiteilijakuvat ja John Keatsin ja Geoffrey Chaucerin subtekstit Dan Simmonsin romaanissa Hyperion (“‘Dreamer and Poet’: Artist depictions and the subtext of John Keats and Geoffrey Chaucer in Dan Simmons’s novel Hyperion”) was published in the University of Oulu earlier this month. The thesis (in Finnish) is available as a free PDF from the university.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Portti Competition 2014

The results of the annual Portti competition were announced in Tampere on Friday. The top 3 this year is:

  1. Didin historiat by Oskari Rantala
  2. Paha, maahasi pakene by Lotta Dufva
  3. (tie) Takaisin valoon by Inkeri Kontro
    (tie) Punainen professori by Maarit Leijon
photo: Markku Soikkeli
Markku Soikkeli has written a report of the awards ceremony and the current state of the competition (in Finnish). Unfortunately the city of Tampere is ending their support for short story competitions, but the Tampere Science Fiction Society promises that the competition—that celebrates its 30th anniversary next year—will continue nevertheless.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Dying Embers

The Dying Embers, a beautiful short story by Inkeri Kontro, is published on Strange Horizons. I bet you never knew you could fall in love with a sentient sauna, but go read the story and tell me you didn’t!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don Rosa Dissertation in Jyväskylä

On Friday, Katja Kontturi will be defending her doctoral dissertation in Contemporary Culture Studies. Her subject is Don Rosa’s Disney comics as postmodern fantasy.

Cheeky Frawg Story Bundle

StoryBundle is currently featuring a Weird Fiction Bundle that has some amazing fiction from Finland and abroad as pay-what-you-want ebooks. The selection includes Datura by Leena Krohn and The Explorer & Other Stories by Jyrki Vainonen as well as books by Jeff VanderMeer, Stepan Chapman, Michael Cisco, and Amos Tutuola. The excellent anthology ODD?—Volume 1, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer is also included.

Half of the profits from this bundle go to support the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. The bundle is available for two more weeks, so go check it out now!

Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize 2014

The Kalevi Jäntti Foundation gives an annual literary prize to support young writers. This year the prize was given to two writers, Miira Luhtavaara and Antti Salminen. Salminen’s work, Lomonosovin moottori (“The Lomonosov Engine”) is definitely sfnal: it’s been described as an experimental work of prose poetry that tells of a dreamlike word where a mystical Lomonosov Engine makes various naturistic beliefs and laws of nature switch places to influence the destiny of whole mankind.

The prize is worth 17.000 €. Lomonosovin moottori is published by Poesia.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Finlandia Prize to Jussi Valtonen

The Finlandia Prize (the major literary honor in Finland) was announced yesterday. This year’s award goes to Jussi Valtonen for his novel He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät (“They Know Not What They Do”), published in September by Tammi. The book is a contemporary novel that reaches to a speculative near future, exploring (among other things) the development of technology and its effects on privacy and morality.

The prize winner was selected by Professor Anne Brunila who said about the book:
They Know Not What They Do is a mind-blowing work. It illuminates modern life with a rare sense of perception, without pointing fingers or moralizing. The reader finds the moral in him-or-herself. Ecoterrorism, animal activism, academic research, new technology with its digital universes, and a future in which reality and behaviour can be altered with technology and medicine, are all put into the spotlight.
The Finlandia Prize is given by the Finnish Book Foundation and is worth 30 000 €. More info about the book and the author, and reading materials, is available from the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jääskeläinen Story on Tor.com

A very good Finnish short story Where the Trains Turn (Missä junat kääntyvät) by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen was published on Tor.com yesterday. The story won the first price in the Portti short story competition in 1997, and subsequently the Atorox award for the best Finnish sf short story of that year. Well worth a read!

(Tor.com illustration by Greg Ruth)

Finlandia Junior to Maria Turtschaninoff

This year’s Finlandia Junior award for best children’s or YA book was given to Maria Turtschaninoff for her fantasy novel Maresi: Punaisen luostarin kronikoita. Maresi tells the story of a young girl who faces a big adventure defending her right to make her own decisions in a world where men are trying to control the knowledge possessed by women.

The winner was decided this year by writer and director Johanna Vuoksenmaa who congratulated the novel on not following the gender conventions of typical fantasy literature. She also commended the indigenous and imaginative world Turtschaninoff has built, and said the book captures its reader and won’t let go easily. The prize is given by the Finnish Book Foundation and is worth 30,000 €.

Congratulations!

(PS If anybody in the publishing world is interested, there is an English manuscript of the book available from the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency in December.)

Update Dec 4: The German rights to Maresi have been sold to Random House Heyne, so the book will eventually be available in German as well.

Update Dec 16: The World English rights to Maresi and its two upcoming sequels have been acquired by Pushkin Press. The rights have also been sold for publication in Denmark, Romania, and Sweden.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fafnir #3 Is Out

The third issue of Fafnir—Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research has been published. Fafnir is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. The third issue celebrates fantasy, and you can read it online.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Turconen & Fantastik Next Weekend

Turconen is a one-day sf minicon held for the second time at the Turku main library. Turconen 2 takes place on Saturday, 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM at the library, and there will be evening program on Friday (Cosmic Comic Cafe at 7 PM) and also on Saturday (Brewery Restaurant Koulu, 7 PM). The GoH is author Magdalena Hai.

Fantastik is the Swedish-speaking sister convention of Turconen, held for the first time on Sunday, noon till 6 PM, also at the library. Fantastik’s GoH is the Fenno-Swedish author Maria Turtschaninoff.

Both events are free to attend and everybody is welcome!

Finnish Sf in German

Just in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair (where Finland is a Guest of Honour this year) there are some interesting sf releases in German. The first part of Salla Simukka’s Snow White Trilogy, So rot vie Blut (As Red As Blood), has been published by Arena. Emmi Itäranta’s acclaimed Der Geschmack von Wasser (Memory of Water) has also seen a German release by DTV/Reihe Hanser, and Johanna Sinisalo’s Finnisches Feuer (The Core of the Sun) was published earlier this year by Klett-Cotta. And in children’s literature Hanser has published Hannele Huovi’s award-winning fairy tale book Die Federkette (The Feather Chain).

In upcoming releases there will be Miina Supinen’s Drei ist keiner zu viel (Ray Girl) which isn’t sf but Miina is a writer who comes from fandom and is always worth a read. And in non-fiction, Tuula Karjalainen’s Tove Jansson – Die Biografie was also published this summer.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Hobbit play in Imatre

The Imatra theatre will put up a play based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The premiere is next January, and tickets are on sale now.

Monday, August 25, 2014

ESFS Award to Kersti Juva

The European Science Fiction Society’s awards were presented last weekend at Shamrokon in Dublin. Among the winners is Kersti Juva, who received the best translator award.

Juva is best known as the Finnish translator of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. Her first translation of a novel was The Lord of the Rings trilogy (parts I–II, 1973–75) with Eila Pennanen. She has translated nearly all of Tolkien’s works: The Silmarillion (1979), The Hobbit (1985), Unfinished Tales (1986), The Father Christmas Letters (2004) and The Children of Húrin (2007).

Other notable translations by Juva:

  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1998)
  • The Life and Adventured of Nicholas Nickleby (1992) and Bleak House (2006) by Charles Dickens
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (1975)
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams (1975)

She has also translated plays and radio dramas, e.g. the very popular The Men from the Ministry for The Finnish National Broadcasting Company. The translations of Kersti Juva make up the Finnish Tolkien canon and the Finnish subtitles for the Peter Jackson movies are based on her work.

Juva has received several awards for her translations, and has lectured in several universities on translating.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tove Jansson Lectures in Tampere

There will be a lecture series in the Tampere main library this autumn celebrating the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson’s birth. All the lectures in the series are free and open to the public; the first one is on Wednesday September 10.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

How to Vote for a Worldcon

Want to help bring Worldcon to Helsinki? There’s still a year until the site selection voting takes place, but Crystal Huff has written instructions on how the voting process works. And now the instructions are also available in Finnish, courtesy of Sarianna Silvonen.

International Fandom Visitors in Turku This Week

There are a couple of international visitors in Turku this week, and they’d like to meet local fandom. Regina Kanyu Wang visits from China (she came here last year as well), and Val Grimm and her hubby Mike from the US (they’ve also visited a few years back).

If you’d like to meet them (recommended: they are all very nice and interesting persons), you can start by visiting Varjomafia today at Terrakoti. Val and Mike will be there.

Tomorrow all three will pop by Cosmic Comic Cafe at six, so there’s a kind of an extra mafia pub meeting then.

Regina will also be present at the Terrakoti summer party on Saturday, starting at six.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Sherlock Turku Meetings

The Turku Sherlockian meetings continue after a summer break on Wednesday, August 20, 6 PM at Cosmic Comic Cafe. Everyone interested is welcome to attend.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Words Without Borders

The current issue of the online literature zine Words without Borders has a focus on Finland. The issue includes an introduction to Finnish literature, and fiction from Leena Krohn, Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (the 2012 Atorox-award-winning short story by the way), Shimo Suntila, and others. Go take a look!

(Also, a note to people interested in Finnish—many of the stories are available as bilingual versions, so you can also read the English and Finnish versions side by side if you like.)

Roadside Picnic & Jumble Sale in Tampere

On Saturday, August 9 is the traditional Roadside Picnic, an annual gathering of fandom in the Viikinsaari island in Tampere. The first people usually head for the island on the noon ferry. The gathering is at the picnic/barbecue site at the end of the island (bring our own picnic). After the picnic, the fandom gathering continues at Ruby & Fellas.


On the following Sunday, the Tampere fandom is going to put up a jumble sale in Sorsapuisto (there’s a free public jumble sale in the park on Sundays), so head there if you’re in town and want to find interesting sfnal items.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tove Jansson Commemorative Coin

To celebrate Tove Jansson’s 100th birthday, Mint of Finland is releasing a commemorative two euro coin designed after her self-portrait. It looks gorgeous.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Finnish Horror Con in the Works

From a seemingly innocuous Facebook conversation thread an idea was born: there are clearly people who would like to see a Finnish convention dedicated to horror. If you are one of these people, there’s a Facebook group for discussing the plans further.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gender in Finnish SF Awards, 2014 Edition

Back in 2009, I blogged about the gender distribution of Finnish short sf awards. Some years have passed, and the conversation popped up at this year’s Finncon, so I figured it was time to update the chart. Without further ado, here are the updated results of winners and top 3 in the major Finnish short sf awards.

 “m” and “w” indicate the winner, “t3m” and “t3w” how many men and women were in the top 3. A couple of top 3 results from the Portti competition are missing (will try to track them down later). For the winner, ½ means a woman–man team won, and ? signifies a pseudonym that haven’t publicly revealed their gender.


The Atorox Award is an annual popular award open to all members of fandom, and the winner is selected from all the Finnish sf short stories published in the previous year. The last time I noted that while there are almost an equal number of men and women who have won the award, the trend was towards more women winning. This situation seems to have swung back a bit, since four of the winners in the last five years were men, and men also have had a small majority of the top 3 positions.

In the juried Portti and Nova short story competitions, women continue to rule. Although after the last time there have been two male winners of Nova, the competition as a whole has been really strongly dominated by women. And looking at Portti in the 2000s, the winners are divided pretty equally, but there’s a clear majority of women in the top 3 placements. It may be worth noting that both competitions use pseudonymous entries, so the juries don’t know who the writer is (therefore a regocnizable gender or name isn’t an issue, except of course that some better–known writers have quite distinctive styles and because of that probably aren’t quite that anonymous).

I think the following points are also worth re-quoting from my original post: I don’t have any statistics about how many texts have been submitted to the competitions by men and by women, or what is the distribution of men and women of all published stories (eligible for Atorox). Also I don’t know the gender distribution of either the competition juries or the Atorox voters, so I can’t even venture a guess about if these are at all relevant. Another thing I haven’t looked at is whether the types of texts that win prizes have changed (between science fiction and fantasy, for example).

Itäranta in Spain

Emmi Itäranta’s novel Teemestarin kirja has been published in Spain as La Memoria del Agua. I’m hoping this helps the wonderful book find many new readers. There’s an interview with Emmi in El Periódico where (I presume) she talks a bit about the book.

The book has also been published in the U.S and UK, the Czech Republic, Estonia, and in the Arabic region.

Tähtifantasia & Tähtivaeltaja Awards 2014

The Tähtifantasia Award is given annually to the best translated fantasy book published in Finnish during the previous year. This year’s award was announced at Finncon.
The winner of the award was the short story collection Kanelipuodit ja muita kertomuksia by Bruno Schulz, published by Basam Books. The collection includes all the short stories written by Schulz.
The jury commended the poetic, metaphorical language of Schulz that creates a wondrous reality where the living merges with the inanimate, dreams with consciousness, the mind with the outside reality. Humans are a part of the whole that is constantly changing. Schulz was mentioned to be a predecessor of the weird fiction born in the early 20th century, a style of fantasy that also comes close to horror and science fiction. His influence can be seen in the works of many new weird writers.
The award jury comprised critic Jukka Halme, critic Aleksi Kuutio, author and editor Anne Leinonen and the Risingshadow.net representative Osmo Määttä.

Another Helsinki Science Fiction Society award, the Tähtivaeltaja Award for best science fiction book published in Finnish last year, was announced earlier this year. The winner was Sokeanäkö (Blindsight) by Peter Watts, published in Finland by Gummerus.
The jury described the book as having fascinatingly strange and diverse characters, and wondrous scientific inventions. Sokeanäkö is masterfully constructed and offers startling visions about the significance of consciousness, the forming of identity, the structures of awareness, and the evolution of the human race.
The award jury was: critic Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen.

Nova Competition 2014

The results of the Nova short story competition for new writers were announced at Finncon. The first prize went to Tuukka Tenhunen for his short story “Ugrilainen tapaus” (“The Ugric Incident”). The competition was organized for the 15th time this yeard, with a record amount of 198 short stories participating. The competition jury comprised author Magdalena Hai, last year’s winner Anna Malinen, book blogger Hanna Matilainen, sf writer Tarja Sipiläinen, and the editor of the Kosmoskynä zine Juri Timonen.

The top three this year was as follows:

  1. Tuukka Tenhunen: Ugrilainen tapaus (200 €)
  2. Anu Korpinen: Tähden hauta (100 €)
  3. Taru Hautala: Jo joutui armas eilinen (50 €)
photo: Magdalena Hai

Kosmoskynä Award to Pasi Karppanen

The Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association occasionally gives a Kosmoskynä (“Cosmos Pen”) award to a person who has benefited Finnish science fiction literature in a commendable way. This year at Finncon the award was given to Pasi Karppanen for his work in reinvigorating the association in the early 2000s. He had a hand in breathing new life to the association zine Kosmoskynä, and starting new competitions and other activities. He was also the editor of the Kosmoskynä zine for several years.

Congratulations!

Atorox Award 2014

The Atorox Award for best Finnish sf short story published last year was traditionally announced at Finncon this weekend. This year’s winner is Jussi Katajala for his short story Mare Nostrum, published in the Osuuskumma eco-sf anthology Huomenna tuulet voimistuvat.

The top three this year was:

  1. Jussi Katajala: Mare Nostrum (Huomenna tuulet voimistuvat, Osuuskumma)
  2. Shimo Suntila: Milla ja Meri (Portti 2/2013)
  3. Miikka Pörsti: Raportti. Mikä johti operaatio Tähtivaeltajan epäonnistumiseen? (Tähtivaeltaja 4/2013)

Two observations: this was the first year since 2000 with an all-male top three for Atorox. Also, this was the second year in a row that the winner was published in an Osuuskumma anthology. As Osuuskumma is only two years old, it remains to be seen whether the trend continues, but I think it’s obvious (not just from these results but when looking at published short fiction in Finland in general) that there’s been a major shift from publishing mostly in fanzines to getting a lot of new stories published in anthologies.

Congratulations to the winner and runner-ups!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Causal Angel Preorder

Hannu Rajaniemi’s new book The Causal Angel can be preordered from the Rosebud web store. If you want to be among the first to get the book, head to the Rosebud now.

And while you’re there you can browse their sf catalog which is 20 % off until July 3.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Archipelacon

As many of you probably already know, there won’t be a Finncon next year. (This is just a one-year breather—there are already initial plans for 2016 and even 2017.) But 2015 won’t still be a year without a big convention in Finland. Archipelacon takes place in exactly a year: June 25–28, 2015 in Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland islands.

Archipelacon is a joint venture put together by a bunch of experienced conrunners from Finland and Sweden (with staff also from Norway and Germany). The event venue is the brand new Alandica Culture & Congress Center, and the flavor of the convention is internationally Nordic. There will be programming in Finnish and Swedish, but the majority of the program items will be in English. The Guests of Honor announced so far are Johanna Sinisalo from Finland and Karin Tidbeck from Sweden.

The con site
Mariehamn is a beautiful city with gorgeous sights, interesting museums, great shopping opportunities, and several excellent restaurants. The town is small so everything is conveniently close, and the convention will organize excursions to interesting sites outside town. (For more information, see for example Cheryl’s con report from Åcon 7 which took place in Mariehamn this year, or Åcon GoH Karen Lord’s blog post about Åland.)

Åland is quite easy to get to via Finland and Sweden, and there will be an inexpensive group travel opportunity by cruise liner to the islands. We are hoping that all of you who said you still want to come to Finland in 2015 after Helsinki lost the Worldcon bid last year will give Archipelacon some serious consideration: the more international crowd we get to the convention, the merrier!

As Archipelacon steps into the boots of Finncon for one year, the program will be of high quality, mixing serious, fannish, and fun items. The convention will also host an academic conference of the Finnish SF and Fantasy Researchers Network. There will of course also be a vendors room and a good bar on site, and the midsummer weather in Åland is usually warm enough that the con hotel’s pool bar should be put into good use.

The Archipelacon membership is 30 €, and there is also a youth membership (10 €) for people under 26. Go sign up and join the con!

If you want to have updates about the convention, you can follow @archipelacon on Twitter or sign up for an info mailing list that will keep you up to date with con-related stuff. If you’d like to take part in making Archipelacon happen, contact the organizers and let us hear from you!

Itäranta in US

Emmi Itäranta’s marvellous novel Memory of Water was published in the US this month—go check it out, it is definitely worth a look!

The novel won the Teos science fiction competition in Finland a couple of years back, and the us edition got a favorable mention in Washington Post (among other places).

Itäranta says a couple of words about the book and the writing process on the Harper Voyager blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tähtivaeltaja Day 2014

The Tähtivaeltaja-päivä minicon took place in Helsinki yesterday. The venue was the familiar Dubrovnik lounge & lobby, “A public living room in the middle of Helsinki” which has hosted the con before, and is an excellent place for just this sort of an event.

My day started with a train trip with Shimo. We were joined by Sippo who also happened to be heading to Helsinki for the day. Many plans were hatched on the way, although Shimo didn’t quite promise to execute our ideas regarding Finncon, duel at dawn, and rubber chickens…

In Helsinki ran into Magdalena Hai who was also heading to the event, and went to grab a quick lunch before the programming started. We did lose Shimo for a while to the lure of second-hand bookshops, but in the end everyone got to Dubrovnik safely and in time.

Steampunk: Anne Leinonen, Magdalena Hai, Markus Harju, Shimo Suntila
…which was good, since the first item was a Finnish steampunk panel which both Shimo and Magdalena were on. The panel discussed the peculiarities of steampunk in Finnish context, and during the panel there was an idea from the audience about an anthology of “höyrypunkki” stories set during the Finnish civil war. I think it might have caught on and we haven’t seen the last of it.


If that project becomes a reality, there must of course be a sequel, set later in the times of the Soviet Union, handling the issues of Finland’s relations with the big neighbour in the steampunk world. The anthology should naturally be called “Höyrypunikki”.

(Just putting the pun back into Steampunk in Finnish here. Sorry.)

Hal Duncan interviewed by Toni Jerrman
The Guest of Honor of the event was the brilliant Hal Duncan. It was great to see him again after a couple of years. At his interview he was his usual talkative and bubbly self, and Toni had quite an easy task as an interview: not that many questions were needed during the hour of their talk.

A captive audience
My program item for the day was the small publisher panel I chaired. I think it went pretty well, and I hope at least some people in the audience were inspired to buy the books put out by the many fine small presses in Finland.

Books, zines, buttons, etc. were on sale
As these events often go, I missed quite a bit of the programming, due to sitting in the bar chatting with friends, going to dinner, chatting some more, etc. There were lots of interesting items, varying from Finnish Weird to shitty heroes; from moral panic caused by comics in the 1950s to why authors love writing; from a panel analyzing movies that don’t exist to dramatic readings to a hilarious quiz show. If you weren’t there, shame. You missed a lot. Also, Toni was awarded the Arimo Kaskelotti Foundation’s Enabling Stipend for Excellence at the event. Congrats, and totally deserved!

Why does the audience want their “heroes” to be shitheads?
Petri Hiltunen, Jukka Halme, Johanna Sinisalo, Jukka Laajarinne

Some things you just can’t escape…
Kristoffer Lawson’s presentation about the audiovisual gems of Doctor Who, and spinoffs and things inspired by it was quite popular. And the fan-made fake intro sequence for the upcoming season he showed was actually pretty impressive, so I’ll link it here as well:


Of course, in addition to the quality programming, the real reason to visit a fannish minicon is to meet all the friends old and new. There was plenty of opportunity for that here; people came and went but there was always someone to talk to. And that’s what really makes fandom worth it, isn’t it?


The event was small but excellently organized. Everything ran smoothly and I’m pretty sure all the attendees had fun. So a big thank you to the Helsinki Science Fiction Society and the people who made Tähtivaeltaja Day happen!

Linkage: Raija has also written a report of the event (in Finnish), and so have Katri Alatalo and “Salainen elämä”. Henry has taken lots of nice photos.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Finncon Program Announced

This year’s Finncon has published their program schedule. The programming starts on Friday, July 11 with the traditional Hugo discussion at Kirjailijatalo, and continues until late Sunday afternoon. As usual, there’s quite a bit of programming in English as well as in Finnish.

Friday, May 16, 2014

YA Awards to Peltoniemi, Hai

The annual Laivakello Award has been given to Sari Peltoniemi for her versatile children and YA career. The award is administered by the Väinö Riikkilä Society and Pekkas-akatemia. This year’s winner was chosen by critic and literature scholar Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen.

The Kirjava Kettu Award is given biannually by the Kaarina city library, and the award winner is chosen by local children and YA readers. This year the award goes to Kerjäläisprinsessa by Magdalena Hai (whom you can meet in September at Turconen where she is the Guest of Honor).

Congratulations!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Free Finnish Weird Publication

Finnish writers now create fiction that is a phenomenal mixture of sf, fantasy, horror, surrealism, magic realism—you name it. It’s highly original, fresh and surprising, sometimes it celebrates elements of our rich folklore and mythos, sometimes it soars sky-high in sf worlds, sometimes the stories are almost realistic, but have that little weirdness or twist that makes them something other than mimetic writing.

(quote from Johanna Sinisalo’s introduction)

Finnish Weird is a free one-off (at least for now) magazine published by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society. It introduces the concept of “Finnish Weird”, showcases a few writers and also includes two short stories. The printed version will be available on select occasions (come and look for us at Worldcon!), but you can also get an electronic version, either as a pdf or an ebook (epub).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maria Turtschaninoff in Denmark

The rights for Maria Turtschaninoff’s (who will be GoH at Fantastik in Turku in September) Maresi have been sold in Denmark (in addition to Sweden). Congrats!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Free E-book of Lovecraftian Fiction

Stepanin koodeksi is a very nice anthology of Finnish Lovecraftian short stories set in a shared corner of the world of Great Old Ones. And for the month of April, you can download it at the Aavetaajuus shop for the great price of free.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Pub Meeting & Terracon

This Friday is the first Friday of the month, and that means of course that it’s time for the Turku monthly pub meeting. So welcome to Cosmic Comic Café on Friday at six!

This month, I’m hoping to see some new faces there, as the pub meeting also serves as a pre-party for Saturday’s Terracon, a minicon organized by the societies that inhabit the Terrakoti club house. Terracon starts at 10 AM and continues until 4 PM, after which there will be a spring party at Terrakoti. There will be a few panel discussions, workshops, games, and a dealers zone at the convention. Terracon is free to attend.

Finncon Anthology Published

At last year’s Finncon there was a short story competition with the theme “opposing forces”. The top ten stories are now available as an ebook anthology.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Steampunk Alice

Ryhmäteatteri will put up a steampunk Alice in Wonderland play next summer. The premiere is on June 18, and the play will stay in production until the end of August.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fantasy Writing Course in Espoo

The Axxell community college in Espoo will organise a three-day fantasy writers workshop for young people (ages 15–20) in June. The instructors are Maria Turtschaninoff and Åsa Stenvall-Albjerg.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Atorox Nominees 2014

The Atorox Award longlist has been published. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Atorox is an annual award given by the Turku Science Fiction Society for the best Finnish sf short story published in the previous year, determined by a vote among the members of the Finnish fandom. If you want to participate, contact your local sf society or the organisers directly.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Finncon 2014 Online

This year’s Finncon has launched a proper website and will be updating information there regularly starting now (the English version will also launch soon). They are also on Twitter as @finncon2014, so you can follow that for updates as well.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

ESC 10-year Anniversary

The Espoo sf club ESC celebrates their 10-year anniversary on Saturday, March 29. Everyone is invited to join the festivities, which include the movie Tarzan Triumph, steampunk costuming, and a buffet banquet. The cost is 15 € (includes the banquet); RSVP deadline is March 11. More info on the Facebook event (no FB login required).

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...