Monday, January 31, 2005

Meet a Finnish Sf Book

Not many Finnish sf books get translated (not that there are that many to start with). Besides the most obvious choice, and probably easiest to find, Troll by Johanna Sinisalo, another one you should perhaps take a look at—should you be interested in Finnish sf—is Leena Krohn’s Tainaron.

Jeff VanderMeer speaks quite highly of Tainaron on his blog:
I recently read Leena Krohn’s Tainaron, a brilliant short novel in the form of a series of letters home from an anonymous narrator visiting a city populated by intelligent, human-sized insects. It’s Kafkaesque territory, although Krohn’s vision is somehow more emotional and evocative than most of Kafka.——I just flat-out love this novel.——This is an important author who should be more widely known in the United States.
If your local bookseller doesn’t carry the book, you can get it from Amazon (US or UK).

Update: Tainaron also appears on Jeff VanderMeer’s Best of the Year list on Locus online.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tutka Ten Years

Tutka celebrated its 10th anniversary today with good food and company at the Viking restaurant Harald which, appropriately, played such music as the soundtracks from The Return of the King and Conan the Barbarian. That prompted us to get creative and imagine what the sequel to The Lord of the Rings would be, done Hollywood style. The less said about that the better, probably. Here’s to another ten years!

Timo, Harri, Sven and Hanne sitting by the table. Tomi is taking a photo with his phonecam.
Dining and reminiscing (and taking photos).

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Brave New Babek Nabel

Babek Nabel, the news and discussion forum, had a significant facelift at the turn of the year. In addition to a much nicer web interface, you now get decent web feeds of the front page news and the discussion forum. There still are some kinks to be worked out, but overall, the system is working quite ok.

Babek Nabel is the place to go to if you want to reach the core Finnish fandom, with lively discussion on various topics, and quite good news coverage of interesting topics. The site is in Finnish, but since practically all Finnish fen speak English, you can just post a question in English too, if you need to ask something or contact someone in the Finnish fandom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Juhani Hinkkanen 50 Years

Juhani Hinkkanen, a long-time sf fan and fandom active (and I mean really long-time) celebrated his 50th birthday last weekend. Congrats to Juhani, and here’s to another fifty!

Juhani opening a bottle of wine
Juhani enjoying the finer things in life.

And, while we’re on the subject of birthdays, belated congratulations also to Toni Jerrman who turned 28 last October. He handled it with aplomb—as one would expect, since he’s celebrated his 28th a dozen times before…

(Photo by Uncle Pekka)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Trek Cruise Comes to Finland

Yes, apparently Cruise Trek 2005, dubbed “The Baltic Blast,” will come to these shores in the beginning of July. Or to Helsinki, anyway. I gather it’s some sort of a combined sight-seeing luxury cruise and fan idol worshipping event, which sails for ten days on the Baltic Sea, visits such littoral cities as Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm, and includes socializing with some Trek celebrities. To me, it doesn’t sound very appealing (except maybe the luxury cruise part) and I think it’s ridiculously expensive, but I guess if you are into that sort of thing, this might be a unique opportunity.

Friday, January 07, 2005

New Year, Old Faces

The year’s first mafia didn’t seem to get to a very good start—there were only Mika and I present. And the kitchen was closed due to the holidays, so there wouldn’t be any food. But then along came Ben, after him a couple of others, and soon there was a room full of sf people. Even Juha (Jalonen, an old fandom active from the beginning of the 90s) paid a visit. And they still served beer, so things were all right.

We talked a lot of horror movies (tried to find out if there are any good ones), the extra material on DVDs (it seems some people actually watch them), fanzines, too skinny women, etc. The girls in our table talked also about some girly stuff that none of the guys cared about, so I didn’t really listen (you know, cars and stuff).

Other things probably not worth mentioning: the ”stupid humanist editor-in-chief contest”. (I didn’t make up the name. Honestly! And I don’t know who won, so don’t ask.) Also somebody mentioned that pantyhose don’t taste very good. There’s probably a story behind that remark, but I really don’t want to know, thank you very much.

A somewhat productive evening, also. I got to deliver the history of Tutka, that I finally finished, to the editor. Expect a 10-year-celebration publication of the society in January. Also, it seems my column for Spin is still welcome under the new management. And there might even be some co-operation with the science fiction writers’ association in the future.