Friday, November 28, 2014

Finlandia Prize to Jussi Valtonen

The Finlandia Prize (the major literary honor in Finland) was announced yesterday. This year’s award goes to Jussi Valtonen for his novel He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät (“They Know Not What They Do”), published in September by Tammi. The book is a contemporary novel that reaches to a speculative near future, exploring (among other things) the development of technology and its effects on privacy and morality.

The prize winner was selected by Professor Anne Brunila who said about the book:
They Know Not What They Do is a mind-blowing work. It illuminates modern life with a rare sense of perception, without pointing fingers or moralizing. The reader finds the moral in him-or-herself. Ecoterrorism, animal activism, academic research, new technology with its digital universes, and a future in which reality and behaviour can be altered with technology and medicine, are all put into the spotlight.
The Finlandia Prize is given by the Finnish Book Foundation and is worth 30 000 €. More info about the book and the author, and reading materials, is available from the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jääskeläinen Story on Tor.com

A very good Finnish short story Where the Trains Turn (Missä junat kääntyvät) by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen was published on Tor.com yesterday. The story won the first price in the Portti short story competition in 1997, and subsequently the Atorox award for the best Finnish sf short story of that year. Well worth a read!

(Tor.com illustration by Greg Ruth)

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Finlandia Junior to Maria Turtschaninoff

This year’s Finlandia Junior award for best children’s or YA book was given to Maria Turtschaninoff for her fantasy novel Maresi: Punaisen luostarin kronikoita. Maresi tells the story of a young girl who faces a big adventure defending her right to make her own decisions in a world where men are trying to control the knowledge possessed by women.

The winner was decided this year by writer and director Johanna Vuoksenmaa who congratulated the novel on not following the gender conventions of typical fantasy literature. She also commended the indigenous and imaginative world Turtschaninoff has built, and said the book captures its reader and won’t let go easily. The prize is given by the Finnish Book Foundation and is worth 30,000 €.

Congratulations!

(PS If anybody in the publishing world is interested, there is an English manuscript of the book available from the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency in December.)

Update Dec 4: The German rights to Maresi have been sold to Random House Heyne, so the book will eventually be available in German as well.

Update Dec 16: The World English rights to Maresi and its two upcoming sequels have been acquired by Pushkin Press. The rights have also been sold for publication in Denmark, Romania, and Sweden.

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