Friday, May 20, 2016

Tähtivaeltaja Award 2016 to Margaret Atwood

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the recipient of the Tähtivaeltaja Award for best science fiction novel published in Finnish in 2015. The winner is Uusi maa (MaddAddam) by Margaret Atwood, translated into Finnish by Kristiina Drews and published by Otava.

The jury commended the novel for its commentary on questionable trends in the modern world. The author tackles important global themes with skill, and urges humankind to wake up and see the reality before it is too late. The novel also looks into the birth mechanisms of religions and the power of storytelling.

The jury comprised of critic Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tähtifantasia Nominees 2016

Cover of TV 1/2016 with blue-skinned pilot woman holding a futuristic handgun The nominees for the Tähtifantasia Award 2016 (for the best fantasy book translated into Finnish in 2015) have been announced. The nominees are:

  • Maailmanloppu ja ihmemaa (Sekai no owari to hadoboirudo wandarando) by Haruki Murakami (Tammi)
  • Odininlapsi (Odinsbarn) by Siri Pettersen (Jalava)
  • Viisaan miehen pelko (The Wise Man's Fear) by Patrick Rothfuss (Kirjava)
  • Wendigo ja muita yliluonnollisia kauhukertomuksia edited by Markku Sadelehto (Jalava)
  • Etäisten esikaupunkien asioita (Tales from Outer Suburbia) by Shaun Tan (Lasten Keskus)
The winner will be announced at Finncon in the beginning of July. The award jury comprises critic Jukka Halme, critic Aleksi Kuutio, writer and editor Anne Leinonen, and representative Osmo Määttä. The award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Boris Hurtta Awarded

Congratulations to Boris Hurtta for receiving the Union of Finnish Writers’ Suunta award for advancing Finnish literature! Boris was recognized for his decades of work benefitting marginal literature, especially horror, science fiction, and fantasy.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Zine Grants

The Ministry of Education and Culture has announced their annual cultural magazine grants. Unfortunately, from an sfnal perspective, the pickings look noticeably slimmer than in previous years. Neither Kosmoskynä nor Spin got a grant this year. The bigger zines, Portti and Tähtivaeltaja, received a 10 000 € grant each (same sum as last year) and the Finnish Comics Society zine Sarjainfo also got the same 18 000 € as last year.

Congrats to the lucky ones and commiserations to those left without!

Full list of grants (PDF)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Turku Hopeful for Finncon 2018

There are some folks in Turku who are looking into the possibility of organizing a Finncon in 2018; the main organizer would be the Science Fiction Culture Cabinet at the University of Turku (ie. Tutka, The Turku University sf club). If you are interested in taking part in the discussion, Tutka is organizing an open info event on Saturday, March 19 at Terrakoti, starting at 2 PM, so stop by to hear more and meet the people behind the project.

Finnish Cultural Foundation Grants

The Finnish Cultural Foundation has announced their annual grants, and there are some sf or fandom–related items on the list (and I may have missed some—the list is long).

First and foremost, I‘m of course very happy to see the Tampere Finncon receive a 6 000 € grant to help in organizing the event.

Another bit w00t: Irma Hirsjärvi and her The World Hobbit Project workgroup received 90 000 € for research of meanings of fantasy in Finland. Huge congrats!

Kaisa Kaukiainen‘s doctoral thesis research of religiousness in dystopic literature seems very interesting, and was supported with a 24 000 € grant.

Also congratulations to Juha-Pekka Koskinen, J. Pekka Mäkelä, and Antti Oikarinen who each received a 24 000 € grant (for writing or translation work), and to Iida Simes and Aino Torttila for a 12 000 € grant to improve the visibility of Nordic literature in the Helsinki Book Fair.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Finnish Fandom Chat

There’s a new Slack chat forum called ‘Suomen Fandom’ for discussing (in Finnish) sf and fandom and all such things—life, the universe, and everything. It’s set up by ESC, but everyone interested is invited—email Jarmo Vainionpää if you want to join the discussion.

If you’re new to Slack, check out this very short introduction to get the general gist of it.

(For those on Facebook, there‘s also a fandom group there that is rather active.)

Tähtivaeltaja Award 2015 Shortlist

The candidates for the Tähtivaeltaja Award (best science fiction book published in Finland last year) have been announced.

On the shortlist selected by the award jury are:

  • Uusi maa (MaddAddam) by Margaret Atwood (Otava)
  • Kudottujen kujien kaupunki by Emmi Itäranta (Teos)
  • Haikaran silmä (The Eye of the Heron) by Ursula K. Le Guin (Vaskikirjat)
  • Hävitys (Annihilation) by Jeff VanderMeer (Like)
  • Liktorin miekka (The Sword of the Lictor) by Gene Wolfe (Gummerus)

The award jury comprises journalist Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen. The award winner will be announced in May.


Monday, February 22, 2016

New Kosmoskynä Webzine

The website for Kosmoskynä (the zine of the Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association) has been renewed, and now features a brand new webzine that will publish new stuff not seen in the paper zine (which from now on is published only two times per year). Two new short stories have been published, and columns and non-fiction articles will be published in the future as well. Go check the spiffy new site out!

All’s not that great though—when creating the new website, they’ve made the rookie web design mistake of purging all the old content from the site, including a quite large archive of information about and texts from the zine’s history. A damn shame from a fanhistory perspective, but I’m hoping this was just a cleanup for getting the new zine published, and the historical information will be added to the new site as well.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, TSFS

It’s been 40 years today since the founding of the Turku Science Fiction Society, which also marked the beginning of organized Finnish Fandom. Happy Anniversary!