Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Deadlines and Reminders

Finncon still wants you. So if you are going to the convention and think you might enjoy spending a couple of hours helping out (and possibly get a free lunch or t-shirt), go to the con site and let the organizers hear from you.

The bus trip to Finncon from Turku and Tampere doesn’t seem to be happening in the originally planned form, but if you still need transportation for visiting the con on Saturday, contact the organizers now, and something may be arranged.

The Tähtivaeltaja short story competition deadline is fast approaching, so if you were planning to send in an entry, remember to act by July 2 at the latest.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jeff VanderMeer on Europe

Jeff VanderMeer wrote an article for Locus about his travels in Europe last summer—including his stint as the guest of honor at Finncon 2006 in Helsinki. He has now posted that article (which originally appeared in Locus #552) on his recently moved and dashingly upgraded blog Ecstatic Days. Go read it, he says nice things about Finland (like for example, “I was impressed with how knowledgeable Finnish fantasy fans were; I have rarely if ever been confronted by readers who knew so much about what they loved, or about my books specifically”), and the rest of the travelogue is really good reading, too!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fantastic Publishing

Vaskikirjat (“Copper Books”) is a new small publishing house that aims to publish high-quality fantastic literature in Finnish. The company is founded by Tampere fan Erkka Leppänen.

Vaskikirjat starts by publishing translations—their first titles will be The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany, and Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber—but they are thinking about expanding to also publishing Finnish original works. In addition, they will be offering a critique service for novice writers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finncon Registered

A long-time project of Findom is finally finished: the National board of patents and registration accepted Finncon as a registered association (on June 13). The official name is Finncon-yhdistys (“the Finncon association”)—a bit redundant, but that’s the form the board (of registration; not the association) wanted.

This will make arranging Finncons as a continuum a bit easier, because the association will be able to handle the finances from one year to the next (and individual organizing societies won’t have to include Finncon in their normal operation budget, which is usually a fraction of the event’s budget).

The founding organizations are the Helsinki Science Fiction Society, the Jyväskylä Science Fiction Society 42, the Finnish Science Fiction Writers Association, and the Turku Science Fiction Society.

Finncon ry signing
Kirsi & Vesa signing the final round of official papers last winter in Tampere

Saturday, June 16, 2007

NoFFer Calling

Denmark’s NoFF delegate has been chosen. Tue Sørensen will visit Finncon in July. Tue writes the following greeting to Finns:

Hello! This is Tue Sørensen, duly designated NoFF representative from Denmark! I am 35 years old, and currently the president of the Danish sci-fi/fantasy/horror society “Fantastik”. Our society is pretty new; it was founded in 2003. I was vice-president for three years, and have been president since April 2006. We are a very social organization with café meetings, writing groups, movie nights, summer excursions, and lots of email discussion <http://news.fantastik.dk/>. We publish a quarterly magazine called “Himmelskibet” (The Sky Ship).

Personally I have been a complete science fiction and comics maniac since I was very little. I passionately collect comics and movies and of course science fiction novels. A few years ago I was an editor of the Danish online Comics Journal, and back in the late ’80s and ’90s I used to write a lot of letters of comment to the letter columns of Danish and American comics.

I am a bit of a classicist as far as SF goes; I still consider Asimov, Clarke & Heinlein to be the three greatest SF authors ever, and most of the really good and groundbreaking stuff was written in the 1940s–1960s. Of more contemporary names, my favorite SF authors are people like Joe Haldeman, David Brin, Iain M. Banks and Bruce Sterling. My favorite SF genre is space opera (galactic scale world-building, inter-stellar empires, etc.) and utopian SF, but unfortunately not many current writers are really doing proper space opera, nor utopian SF. I'm very open to recommendations, though. Always looking for interesting new stuff. Like the next Asimov! :-)

Other background details: I have previously studied Biology, English and History at university without finishing, but I plan to resume and finish my History education very soon. I currently work part-time as a postal worker at an International Post Center (night shift). I am an aspiring writer, very slowly working on both sci-fi stories and non-fiction (literary analysis).

My favorite movie of all time is Highlander. There Can Be Only One!! :-)

Fantastic regards!

– Tue

Friday, June 15, 2007

Suomenlinna Picnic 7.7.

Suokki-karttaSaturday, July 7 is the date of findom’s traditional picnic to the Suomenlinna island in Helsinki this year. You’ll find fen there from around noon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bus to Finncon

If you’re thinking about going to Finncon in July but don’t have a place to stay or otherwise can’t spend the whole weekend, TSFS is arranging a bus trip to the con on Saturday. The bus will leave from Turku early in the morning, and return the same evening. The bus stops in Tampere, so you can also join the trip there.

The trip needs around 20 people to happen, so if you’re interested, contact the organizers now, or before Midsummer at the latest. See the TSFS announcement for details and contact info.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

NoFF Guest from Denmark

The Danish fandom is having a vote to send a NoFF (The Nordic Fan Fund) delegate to Finncon at Jyväskylä in July. The candidates are Tue Sørensen, Knud Larn, and Klaus Æ. Mogensen. More about the candidates on the Fantastik site

(via Fanspan)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Summer Mafiathingy

Very warm weather today (when driving from work, the meter read 29°), so naturally we gathered inside a pub to talk sf. Quite a bit of talking about this year’s Atorox nominees. Quite a lot of different opinions too, but two short stories that seemed to be generally liked were Hannu Rajaniemi’s Elegia nuorelle hirvelle, and Kuvat eivät valehtele by Petri Laine and Anne Leinonen (curiously, both were published in the same issue of Portti, along with another favorite of many, Fyto ja Ygg by Carita Forsgren—so if you want to buy just one issue of one zine to read Finnish sf, I think Portti 2/06 would be a pretty safe bet).

The collective discussed also old covers of Spin (for the 30th anniversary exhibition at the International book fair next autumn) and travel plans to Finncon in July (among many other things, of course). Later a few of us went to visit the comics people at their pub meeting at Cosmic Comic Café. Some of them seemed a bit surprised about a bunch of loud sf fen that suddenly came to sit by them and started a vocal debate on philosophy…

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tomorrow Is Pub Night

Welcome everybody to Bar Bremer tomorrow at six for the traditional Turku sf pub meeting! Since the Atorox voting deadline is today, I suspect there might be some talking about last year’s Finnish sf short stories. But that won’t be the only topic of discussion, so if you haven’t read those, that doesn’t mean you should not come!

There will be a new issue of my zine tomorrow with an Åcon report plus the continuing travels of Juliette & Damien in Europe.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Giant Ape Hunt in Espoo

The Espoo sf club ESC arranges a summer picnic with a GIANT APE HUNT theme on Sunday June 10. The apes have been determined to most likely dwell on the Iso Vasikkasaari island off the Espoo coast. M/S Aurora will depart from Otasatama in Otaniemi at 20 minutes past noon; the ferry trip costs 4 €.

Recommended gear includes among others: a pith helmet, personal valet, binoculars, khaki outfit, anthropological and esoteric literature, a portrait of Her Majesty, gin, and giant ape bait. Survivors will gather at Café Merenneito after the trip.

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...