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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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