Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Åcon 5 Filling Up

Åcon 5 (an English-speaking sf convention in Mariehamn in May, GoH Cat Valente) is going to be the biggest yet. So far, 85 people have signed up for the convention. Åcon has a membership cap of 100 which might be filled for the first time. So if you’ve been thinking of attending but haven’t done anything about it yet, you should sign up now.

Also, the hotel room quota is all but gone. We’re looking into getting the rest of the hotel included in our quote, and also checking out alternative accommodation options (including Kaptensgårdarna across the street), but if you want to secure a room at the convention hotel, acting quickly wouldn’t really be a bad idea.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Sf Con in Turku

J. Pekka Mäkelä
Next September there will be a new science fiction convention in Turku: Turconen. The date of the con is Saturday, September 22, and the venue is the Turku main library.

The Guest of Honor of Turconen will be author and translator J. Pekka Mäkelä. We’re planning to have a dinner + pub night on Friday, and the programming will run from Saturday morning until some time in the afternoon. There will be some evening program on Saturday as well.

The Turconen committee are Harri Kiiskinen, Pasi Karppanen, Harri Miekka, and myself. The Turku Science Fiction Society is also involved in organizing the event.

Welcome to Turku in September!

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Finncon 2013 Announced

The preliminary website for Finncon 2013 was unveiled this weekend at Finnsmofcon. Next year’s convention will take place in Helsinki, at Kaapelitehdas (same location as in 2009), July 5 to 7, 2013.

Two Guests of Honor have been announced (more to be announced later): the freshly Nebula-nominated author Aliette de Bodard from France, and the Finnish science fiction and realfantastik author and translator J. Pekka Mäkelä.

There will once again be a Finfar research seminar at Finncon, and their guest scholar will be Stefan Ekman from the University of Lund in Sweden. Stefan will also be present at Finncon.

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Fan Fund News

At the Finnsmofcon (the co-operation event of the Finnish sf people) this weekend a new fan fund was founded. We’ve had NoFF (the Nordic Fan Fund) for a few years to send Finnish fen to Nordic conventions, and it has been a success. Now it was decided to expand this a bit. So NoFF became OFF (with people). The NoFF delegate selection will continue to exist within OFF mostly unchanged, but in addition OFF will—if enough money has been raised—help fen travel to other conventions abroad. Funds can also be used for domestic purposes (such as sponsoring less expensive accommodation for Åcon, etc.). OFF will operate officially under the wing of the Finncon association.

NoFF 2012At the meeting it was announced that the Finnish NoFF delegate for 2012 is Tomi “bgt” Mäntylä from Turku. Tomi will be traveling to a Nordic convention (which one, will be announced later) this year. Tomi has already been active and created a Facebook page where you can follow his NoFF activities. Congrats, Tomi!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Tähtifantasia 2012 Shortlist

The shortlist for the Tähtifantasia Award has been announced. Nominated for the best fantasy book translated into Finnish last year are:
Notable about this year’s shortlist is that for the first time, one book (The City and the City) has been shortlisted for both the Tähtifantasia Award and it’s science fiction sister the Tähtivaeltaja Award.

The Tähtifantasia winner will be decided by the jury that is: critic Jukka Halme, critic Aleksi Kuutio, writer and editor Anne Leinonen, and Risingshadow.net representative Osmo Määttä. The winner will be announced at Finncon in July.

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Tähtivaeltaja Award Shortlist 2012

The shortlist for this year’s Tähtivaeltaja Award (for best science fiction book published in Finnish last year) has been announced. What is remarkable about this list is that three out of five novels are written by Finnish writers (even if one of them is a translation). Go Finnish sf!

The shortlist, with the jury’s comments, is as follows:
  • Routasisarukset by Eija Lappalainen and Anne Leinonen (WSOY)
    “An engaging vision of the future full of fascinating detail, tight narrative, and conflicts between very human hopes and wishes.”
  • Toiset (The City and the City) by China Miéville (Karisto)
    “A detective story full of sense of wonder. Detective Tyador Borlú tries to solve a difficult murder mystery in a quantum entangled, impossible double city.”
  • Kvanttivaras (The Quantum Thief) by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gummerus)
    “The international breakthrough debut of a Finnish author. A vibrantly imaginative sf opera about a charismatic master thief.”
  • Pääteasema (Terminal World) by Alastair Reynolds (Like)
    “An idea rich vision of a distant future society divided into zones of varying technological advancement.”
  • Enkelten verta by Johanna Sinisalo (Teos)
    “A chilling dystopia about the power balance between humans and animals full of topical ecological thematic and deep mythological thinking.”
The Tähtivaeltaja Award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society. The jury of the award comprises journalist Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen. The winner will be announced in late spring.

* * *

That is an impressive list, to say the least! Traditionally I’m terrible with award predictions, but still I’d guess the final choice from five good candidates will be decided between Toiset and Kvanttivaras (haven’t read Pääteasema, but there doesn’t seem to be similar buzz for it as with the other four nominees). Of these two, I’d perhaps sway on the side of Kvanttivaras as to which will win.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sisättö on Sf

A good article on Kiiltomato by Vesa Sisättö on Finnish sf (also available in Swedish).