Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Tähtivaeltaja Award 2013
The Tähtivaeltaja Award, given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction book published in Finnish in 2012, was announced yesterday. The winner is Kiduttajan Varjo (The Shadow of the Torturer) by Gene Wolfe, published by Gummerus and translated by Johanna Vainikainen-Uusitalo.
The jury praises both the clarity of vision and the literary quality of the book; the far future world encompasses deep philosophical thinking, allegorical storytelling, and visions with great sense of wonder. The whole is original and extremely imaginative. The translation is excellent, and with all the neologisms invented for it manages to support the richness of the original.
The jury consisted of critic Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppänen, and critic Antti Oikarinen.
The shortlist for the award was:
- Pintakuvio (Surface Detail) by Iain M. Banks
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Teemestarin kirja by Emmi Itäranta
- Muistoissa sininen Maa (Blue Remembered Earth) by Alastair Reynolds
- Kiduttajan varjo (The Shadow of the Torturer) by Gene Wolfe
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Åcon 6, Day 2
Friday, May 10, 2013
Åcon 6, Day 1
First day of Åcon went pretty much as expected (that is, it was great as usual). Morning started at too early o’clock at the ferry (actually, quite a few people had started already yesterday with Åbocon in Turku). Joe’s Place didn’t open early enough, so the traditional Ölcon took place at the piano bar. Not as nice a place, but they served beverages, so good enough.
Hotel Adlon is… well, hotel Adlon. We felt right at home. The program for today was actually very good. The first panel, a discussion about body and mind, was very interesting. I don’t remember if we’ve had a serious discussion to start the convention before, but it worked well. Then there was a trivia quiz with chocolate rewards. That was entertaining, and of course you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
The rest of the evening was reserved for either socialising with other members or watching the mad Australian tv series Danger 5 (which is still ongoing in the program room). The Señor Humidor’s Amazingly Sciencefictional Cigar Club gathered at the terrace. Nice Åland weather, beer, and good cigars in good company. An excellent way to spend an evening.
I won’t go into detail about the evening’s discussions. What happens in Åcon stays in Åcon (unless somebody posts about it on Facebook, of course). Although I’m sure everybody within a mile of the hotel now knows about Hiltunen’s enthusiastic admiration of the male body, but enough said about that…
Tomorrow starts with excursions, two of them: a chocolate tasting (once again, but well worth repeating) or a trip to a book collector’s private bookstore. Something for enthusiasts, definitely. Then, more good program items and hanging out with fellow Åconites.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
The Cosmonaut in Helsinki May 15
From Timo Vuorensola:
Premiere screening of The Cosmonaut + DJ Taphead. A science fiction themed evening celebrating the release of a modern indie scifi film The Cosmonaut, which tells a story of a cosmonaut who returns back to Earth after a successful mission, only to find out he’s the only living being on the planet.
This is the only possibility to see the film on big screen in Finland, so don’t miss this opportunity.
The evening will be topped with spaced out vibes provided by magnificent DJ Taphead.
The event takes place in Kino Adams in Helsinki on May 15, starting at 7 PM. If you’re nearby, head over there!
More info on Facebook (FB account required).
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Sinisalo Visits Minnesota
Author Johanna Sinisalo is currently visiting the Gustavus Adoplhus College in Minnesota, as this year’s Out of Scandinavia Artist in Residence. Her week includes visiting classes and engaging with students and faculty. She will present a free public lecture titled “Finding Fresh Perspectives—The Breakthrough of Non-realistic Genres in Finnish Contemporary Fiction” tomorrow (May 8). So if you happen to be nearby, go visit!
Labels: finnish sf
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
New Management at ESFS
The European Science Fiction Society has gone through a generational shift at the Kiev Eurocon last weekend. It’s not always easy to find people to run organisations like this, and the same familiar faces have manned the posts of the organisation for quite a few years. So it’s probably a very good thing to get some fresh blood in the organisation, and this time there’s also a representative of Finland among the names.
The new board of ESFS is:
- Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf (Sweden), chair
- Saija Kyllönen (Finland), vice chair
- Vanja Kranjcevic (Croatia), treasurer
- Gareth Kavanaugh (Ireland), secretary
- Bridget Wilkinson (UK), award administrator
The new board has promised to streamline the workings of the organisation, especially the General Meetings of ESFS (hooray!), and to develop the website (a very good thing, since the current one seems to be down altogether). I wish the new board success in their endeavours!
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Finnish Sf 210 Years Old
Today marks the 210th anniversary of the first Finnish science fiction story, En dröm (“A Dream”) by Gabriel Israel Hartman, published in Åbo Tidning April 6, 1803. The story is set almost a hundred years in the future (in the year 1899 that is), and in it, scientists in the Paris National Institute discover microscopic universes when studying drops of blood with a cool new contraption, the microscope.
Labels: finnish sf
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Turku Pub Meeting Tomorrow
Tomorrow is once again the first Thursday of the month, and that means a pub meeting in Teerenpeli. Hope to see you there at six!
(Also, I’m thinking of checking out the burgers at Rokbar before the meeting. Feel free to join me there—Aurakatu 14—around five.)
Åcon Hotel Booking Deadline Extended
The deadline for booking a room at Adlon for Åcon 6 was yesterday, but since quite a few of the attendees missed that, the hotel has agreed to extend the booking deadline by a week. So go ahead and book your hotel room now if you haven't done so yet!
(And of course, if you haven't already signed up and paid your membership fee, you should also do that ASAP.)