A week ago, the amazing Vandercon landed in Finland. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer visited us for a tour of lectures, workshops, and fan meetings.
On the way from Helsinki to Turku we stopped at the Fiskars Village for a quick tour of the place, a cup of coffee with Kenneth, an eclectic book shop, and some gourmet chocolate. Plus a very weird (and a bit scary) cryogenic toilet…
Sunday was a rest day in the middle of all the traveling, so there wasn’t any official programming then. After arriving in Turku we had lunch, visited a museum, and had a quiet evening with a couple of friends. The plan was for the travelers to get a decent night’s sleep before spending the whole week hopping from city to city.
On Monday, before the programming started, there was time for some local activities, including a quick visit to a gym with Jeff, and visiting the Logomo exhibition center, where the guests were subjected, among other things, to the fire exhibition.
The first official programming item was a kaffeeklatch-style meet & greet at CaféArt, an excellent art café in the center of the town. A dozen local sf people were present, among them the renowned sf, horror and pulp author Boris Hurtta. The guests were interesting (as always), and the conversation flowed very easily between them and the locals. The cakes and coffee were extremely tasty.
The main event was a talk / multimedia show / interview, organized together with the International Institute of Popular Culture of the University of Turku. Ann and Jeff discussed their projects, and showed a lot of interesting material (many of their works are very visual, for example the Steampunk Bible, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, and of course the Weird Tales magazine, so this kind of a presentation was very well suited for the occasion), followed by an interview and a Q&A session.
At dinner, at the viking restaurant Harald. Plenty of food, all of it good. The honey beer wasn’t bad either.
The evening continued at Cosmic Comic Café with beers and lots of itneresting and fun discussion.
On Tuesday, it was time to say goodbye (for a while), as Ann and Jeff contined their tour to Jyväskylä.