Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Go to Mafia

Just a reminder that the monthly pub meeting is this Thursday. At Six in Bar Bremer. Welcome!

Monday, January 30, 2006

200 Days to Finncon

200
days to Finncon.

The up-and-coming Finncon in Helsinki might well be the most interesting one to date guest-wise: Jeff VanderMeer, Justina Robson, Risto Isomäki, and—if everything goes well—even more (as if that roster wouldn’t be enough by itself).

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Fandom Birthday

There was a big party in Turku yesterday. The Turku Science Fiction Society turned 30, and around 40 persons gathered in the restaurant Turun Upseerikerho to celebrate.

Tytti Korhonen wishing the people welcome

After opening words by Tytti Korhonen, there was a dinner. The food was just ok, but there was plenty of wine and good company, so I’m sure everyone was happy.

People sitting at a long table, enjoying the food

After the formal dinner was over, the rest of the visitors arrived (not everybody wanted to eat a meal, so having a less expensive alternative of only participating afterwards was a very good idea). I was glad to see some acquaintances you don’t bump into very often, both from other parts of Finland, and also some who don’t participate often any more.

Nikodemus, Hanna, Saara and Markku Jouni, Jaana and Harri standing and talking Jaakko, Ben and Tomi standing and talking A lot of people sitting at a table talking

TSFS had collected assorted publications from the years past for all to see. Most were, naturally, issues of Spin, but there were also brochures for Finncons held in Turku, and material from book fairs. A new one, a brief history of the society, was released at the event. The leaflet contained essential facts about the society’s history. It is a good thing it was done, but I feel the occasion would have warranted a more thorough approach, with more content (and maybe contributions from people along the way). I know this would have been more than the resources permitted this time, but how about the 30th anniversary of Spin coming next year? An anniversary issue of Spin dedicated to this, perhaps?

Table full of issues of Spin and ofher publications of TSFS The short history of TSFS leaflet along with some flowers

Every birthday must of course have some speeches and presents. Pasi, Saara and I presented Tutka and STk’s gift to TSFS: a subscription of Interzone for the members of the society to enjoy (everybody will be able to visit Terrakoti to read the issues, when they start arriving). Others had nice things to say and give too.

Jaana Gustafsson speaking
Former chair of the society, Jaana Gustafsson, opened the floor with a congratulatory speed.

Elsa and Ipa giving the present from Jyväskylä fandom Johanna holding the big towel from Jyväskylä
The Jyväskylä society 42’s present was very appropriate.

Pasi, Ninni and Jukkahoo from Helsinki
Helsinki fandom gave the extremely generous gift of one free short story (rights and translation) for Spin.

People queuing to taste the birthday cake
Birthday cake was good.

There were a couple of program items later in the evening. One was a quiz printed on the back of the program leaflet: there was one book, movie or event for each year of TSFS’s existence, and we had to connect the items to the correct year. What a wonderful idea! I’m too modest to mention who took the first price with their superior knowledge of sf history trivia…

Jukkahoo and Ben sharing a trophy from the history quiz
Here are Jukkahoo and Ben sharing a prize in another quiz, also related to the history of TSFS.

Ipa giving the NOFF title to Ben
The next NOFF delegate was also announced. As you can tell, Ben didn’t see this one coming.

After the official party was over and the tired little birthday boys and girls of the TSFS board sent to bed, a few of us continued to Bar Bremer for a few more drinks and a lot of talk. I’m not sure, but I think plans to build an old sf folks’ retirement home might have been set in motion. The mind boggles…

All in all, I was very pleased with the evening. Things were planned out nicely, the restaurant was a perfect setting, and the whole event was very much fun. The only glitch was the advance advertising, which was nonexistent outside a couple of e-mail lists, and may have cost the event a few participants. But there’s always room for improvement—next time, an ad in Spin, please? But anyway, a big thanks from me to the organizers and also everyone who participated!

Pictures of the evening

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Next NOFF Delegate Announced

Finland’s next NOFF delegate was announced yesterday at the TSFS 30-year-anniversary party. The selection was again made by the previous delegate, in this case Irma Hirsjärvi from Jyväskylä. Ipa decided that the next delegate should be a person that already has stature in the Nordic countries, and one that will write his report promptly too (an aspect where the previous couple of candidates have been somewhat lacking).

So, it was announced that the next Finnish delegate will be Ben Roimola, editor of Enhörningen and one of the minds behind the whole Nordic fan fund thing (as well as the Nordic smofcon, Snorfcon). Congratulations to Ben!

Ben hears about his NOFF nomination

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Fandom

Today marks the 30th anniversary of organized . That’s when the Turku Science Fiction Society was founded.

Picture: Jukka Halme on a morning talk show today. Talking about fandom. On national tv. So there.
Jukkahoo and talk show host talking on a sofa

I thought it was an excellent interview, both Jukka and the interviewer did very well. The tone was relaxed, and the interviewer seemed genuinely interested in the subject (instead of trying to look down her nose at the freaks). They talked about what gets people into fandom, the nature of science fiction and fantasy, what kinds of people are involved (all kinds), the TSFS anniversary, and the friendliness of the people in fandom. Notice also the setup: including the very stylish Finncon 2006 t-shirt (so the con was kinda part of the show, even if Jukka lamented not talking about the con), the Finnish sf zines on the table and Jukka’s “Live long and prosper” quilt on the sofa. Well done!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Findom on TV on Friday

Heard from Vesa Sisättö: either him or Jukkahoo will probably be on tv this Friday talking about fandom.

(MTV3, Ihana aamu, Friday sometime between 8:35 and 9:30, probably after 9)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Espoo Mafia Moves

The Espoo mafia is moving this month. The new place for pub meetings is Harakanpesä in Leppävaara. The new place is less expensive, and should also be more conveniently located for many fen. The next meeting is January 30 at 7 PM.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Usva 4/2005 Is Out

The quarterly sf e-zine Usva has published last year’s fourth number. After the previous issue’s slightly bigger emphasis on articles, this issue returns to fiction. There are five short stories from new Finnish writers: Tiina Raevaara, Tarja Sipiläinen, Saara Henriksson, Aleksi Kuutio and Heikki Nevala. As always, the issue can be downloaded from the zine’s site.

TSFS 30 Years

The Turku Science Fiction Society is 30 years this January. The oldest sf society in Finland celebrates the event on January 28 at the Turun Upseerikerho restaurant with a dinner. Everyone is invited to the occasion.

Here is the information, since I could find no mention of the event on the TSFS web page (nor in their fanzine Spin—an oversight that is certain to cost them several attendees, especially from the older crowd who doesn’t hang around on their e-mail list):
  • January 28, at 17.00
  • Place: Turun Upseerikerho, Kaivokatu 12
  • A formal (or semi-formal) outfit, or some kind of an sf costume suitable for the occasion
  • Price is 40 euros, including a three-course dinner, drinks during the meal, a starting drink, plus coffee and cake
You can also skip the dinner and arrive during the coffee for the rest of the evening. The price in that case is 5 euros.

There are three menu options to choose from (inquire from the organizers). The deadline for signing up for the dinner is already January 9, but I heard it’s possible to sign up a bit later also. Pre-registration is required also for only attending the after-dinner part of the festivities.

You can sign up or inquire more about the menu and payment details by sending an e-mail to the TSFS board.

Friday, January 06, 2006

What We Talked About

The first mafia of the year. The turnout was pretty good—there were 16 persons present. As usual, there was food and drink, and conversations on various topics, including:
  • various happenings in people’s LiveJournals
  • the TSFS 30-year-anniversary at the end of the month (see next post)
  • organizing parties in general
  • how everyone came into fandom
  • politics (especially the coming presidential election)
  • the nuclear holocaust literature of the 80s
  • science fiction “predictions” and the development of personal technology
  • retroactive alternate histories
Not a bad start for a year, I think. Have a good 2006, everyone!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2006 Pub Meetings Begin

This Thursday is the traditional pub meeting for Turku area sf fen. Everybody is welcome to come to Bar Bremer (starting at 6) to have a few beers in good company and have sfnal conversations.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Finnish Fan Film Eligible for Hugo

The Hugo Award nominations are open, and this year there is a Finnish movie that is eligible for Best dramatic presentation (long form)—Star Wrek: In the Pirkinning. It’s a feature-length fan-made spoof of Star Trek, Babylon 5 and other things. According to news sources, it has also become the most watched Finnish film of all time, no doubt because of the distribution method: in addition to being available on dvd, you can also download the film yourself (for free, and with English subtitles so you don’t have to learn Finnish to watch it).

I don’t see Star Wreck having a real chance of winning, but it’d be great to have it on the shortlist. If you are interested, go take a look, and if you think the movie has merit and want to support an alternative to the big productions, send in a nomination vote.

Update: On a slightly smaller scale, Radio 957 (local radio station in Tampere, where Star Wreck was made) has a “vuoden tamperelainen” poll (“Tampere ‘citizen’ of the year”) and Star Wreck is one of the nominees. So, if you’d rather see a sf film than a sportsman win the title, you know what to do…

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