Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sandman Lilius Cancels Finncon Appearance

Finncon 2009 reports that unfortunately Irmelin Sandman Lilius is unable to appear as a GoH due to family reasons. Sad news indeed.

Åcon Punch Out and Play

A while ago, a package arrived from Jeff. “Your mission—should you choose to accept it—is to take this Star Wars: Punch Out and Play! book and play around with it.” As I was about to leave for Åcon I decided to take the book along.

The characters in a tight formation (on a bar table)

So, besides drinking beer and talking to friends about science fiction I spent parts of the convention walking around with a bunch of paper dolls cardboard action figures, looking even sillier than usual trying to arrange them in interesting positions while explaining to passers-by that Jeff made me do it.

Yoda standing on Marianna’s laptop keyboard, trying to decipher information on the screen

On the last day of the convention I visited the museum ship Pommern that was conveniently docked nearby. The con Guest of Honor Steph Swainston was also there, and got to play too.

Steph sitting on the Pommern deck putting together the Yoda figure

The Jedi seemed to take to the ship like naturals. I had a hard time convincing them that it was time to go because the con was over and it was time to go home.

The Leia figure behind a thick rope in the front, the deck stretching out behind her

Without further ado, I present to you the Star Wars: Punch Out and Play Åland Adventure, a photo journey of various Jedi, Sith, and other assorted folks in Åland.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back from Åcon

Åcon 3 is succesfully over and I’m back home. Despite the very sparse programming, there really wasn’t much down time at the convention for blogging and such stuff, so there haven’t been regular updates. Will try to post some thought on the convention later. Meanwhile, here are the things I posted on Twitter on Friday and Saturday:

These are the ongoing twitterings of the sf convention Åcon, its four-day mission to drink strange new bheers. To seek out new books and sfnal conversations. To boldly smof where no one has smoffed before.


  • 08:34 At breakfast. #
  • 09:50 Åbout to go on a tour to Stållhågen Brewery. #
  • 13:02 Back from the brewery. Burp. #
  • 14:15 Today's surprise hit is the ice cream the lobby bar sells. #
  • 18:00 The Gothenburg fen arrived and presented Åcon with Tentakelpriset for bridging caps in fandom, awarded in June 2010. #
  • 18:49 The state of Swedish science fiction (or rather the lack of it) is being lamented. #
  • 19:10 Marianna waxing lyrical about current sf & f in Finland. #
  • 19:45 3 panelists with laptops - I wonder if anyone notices me mentioning they abandoned the topic quite a while ago, talking about how to start writing instead
  • 19:50 As soon as I had tweeted the previous comment, Ben (not with a laptop) got the panel a bit more back on track. #
  • 22:23 Jukka's quiz show starting by designating the volunteers to compete and delivering various instruments that make noise. #
  • 03:09 Bar closed a while ago; crowd migrated to room party. Nobody painted green yet but there's always tomorrow. #


  • 14:42 The Finncon association meeting v. productive. #
  • 15:17 The copyright panel got much more interesting after getting the mandatory Mickey Mouse and copyright companies gripe over with. #
  • 16:09 GoH is doing wonderful things. #
  • 21:33 Will find out what "Sci Fi Babble" means. #
  • 21:34 Skipped the banquet, but the alternative meal was very good, and accompanied by very entertaining conversation. #
  • 21:35 Hmm, seems to be "Sci Fi Babbel," actually. No wiser yet, though. #
  • 21:51 In scifi båbbel the audience gets to vote whether the competitors are being boring. Should be included in regular panels as well! #
  • 01:57 Great game show, good chats in the bar. Room party. @JohanJ being painted green. There are pictures. #
  • 02:32 The post-midnight Incredible Hulk photo shoot. #
  • 03:41 Need... sleep... must... leave... room... party... #

Friday, May 22, 2009

Eurocon 2011 Announces Fan GoH

This just in here at Åcon: Eurocon 2011, held in Stockholm, announced that their fan Guest of Honor is none other than Jukka Halme from Helsinki, Finland. Congratulations, Jukka! (I think it’s safe to guess we’ll be hearing more of this from him. And more. And then some more…)

Åcon Twittering

Twitterings from yesterday:
  • 07:19 On the way to #åcon3 #fb #
  • 09:54 Dissecting Star Trek at Ölcon. #åcon3 #
  • 16:35 Arrived in Mariehamn. In true relaxcon manner there are no badges. Some promised for tomorrow though. #åcon3 #fb #
  • 18:38 The convention is åpen. #åcon3 #
  • 18:40 People were instructed to use the hash tag #åcon3 when tweeting about the con. #
  • 18:53 Innovative sf panel with Steph Swainston & others is about to begin. #åcon3 #
  • 21:47 Tragic setback - seems nobody remembered to make sure the bar stays open later the first night. Lobby bar to the rescue! #åcon3 #
  • 23:41 Only Finns left, hanging out in the bar. #åcon3 #
  • 23:47 Found the Swedes. Lots of conversations going on all around. #åcon3 #
See what others are saying on Twitter. Risingshadow also has a topic abot Åcon (in Finnish, though).

Åcon 3 Is Go

Once again we’re here in Mariehamn for Åcon. The convention is traditionally relaxed—the program book doesn’t have starting times for the program items (which were announced at the beginning but changed several times on later occasions), and so on. The con started about half an hour late, but considering the boat was over an hour behind schedule you could say we started early. And everyone is having fun as usual. The GoH Steph Swainston is very nice (and has good taste in whisky), the weather is fine (so far; the forecast is not all that promising), the new Adlon terrace is very comfy, and of course there are many fen to see and talk to.

There were some minor setbacks (no badges until tomorrow, the bar didn’t get the message of staying open late already today), but nothing serious. And this time we’re prepared for the very early cleaning staff at the hotel (last year they started knocking on doors, wanting to clean the rooms around 8 in the morning): there was a workshop where people could customize their own “Do not disturb” signs (the rooms don’t have those). So we should be all set for tomorrow.

Åcon 3 Opening Panel
The only real program item for today: a panel discussion of innovation in sf. From the left: Jesper, Jarmo, Dr. Pasinen and Steph Swainston

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rajaniemi Sturgeon Finalist

Hannu Rajaniemi’s short story His Master’s Voice, published in Interzone 218, is a finalist for this year’s Sturgeon award for best short story of last year. Congratulations, Hannu!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Finncon Accommodation

Need a room for Finncon? The con site has accommodation information including a link you can use to book a room in the official con hotel (Holiday Inn Helsinki City West, only a few hundred meters from the con site) for a special price of 70 €/night. (If you don’t care about breakfast, you can book the room directly, although that only saves you a couple of euros per night so probably not worth it.)

Another very good hotel within walking distance (about 1 km) is the Radisson SAS Seaside. There’s currently a special price for “S-kortti” (a Finnish store chain membership card) holders: you can book a room online for just 55 €/night at the hotel (Offer expires on May 15).

A good inexpensive alternative are the two Omena hotels in Helsinki. The rooms are about 60 €/night, but up to four people can stay in the same room (if you don’t mind it being a little cramped, of course) with no extra cost, so it’s a very good deal.

There are also links to a couple of nearby hostels on the Finncon accommodation page.

I’ve put together a map where you can see the location of these hotels in relation to the con site.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Migrating Mafia

This week’s Turku fandom pub meeting (which is tomorrow) takes place in a different location than normally. We decided to change the venue for the summer (Bremer has been quite full lately), and so the venue varies for the next three times. This month we’re going to the pub/restaurant Kultainen Hirvi (Itäinen pitkäkatu 12–14).

Hope to see you there tomorrow at six!

Finlandia Award Nominees 2018

The Finlandia Award nominees for this year have been announced, and there are a couple of familiar sfnal names in the mix. Magdalena Hai’s K...