Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kuvastaja Award 2008

The Kuvastaja award for the best Finnish fantasy book published last year was announced on Sunday at the Helsinki Book Fair. The winner is Viides tuuli (“The Fifth Wind”) by Päivi Honkapää. From the jury’s description of the book, “The idea about the winds and their world was great; the world felt thought out, but the book only told what was necessary—sense of wonder rarely seen in fantasy”.

Viides tuuli is Päivi Honkapää’s debut novel. It also won the 2007 Tiiliskivi (“Brick”) award: a book award by the literature students of the Tampere University meant to bring to public awareness good books that have been ignored by the mainstream media. The book was published by WSOY.

The shortlist consisted also of Hyinen hauta by Ilkka Auer, Suomu by Sari Peltoniemi, and Tuulihevonen by Ulla Viertola. This was the eight time the award was given by the Finnish Tolkien Society.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Helsinki Book Fair

The Helsinki book fair is this weekend. The traditional Science Fiction Sunday will be there as usual, but there are interesting items to see on other days too. Some excerpts from the program below.
  • Anne Leinonen talks with readers, Fri 14:00
  • Takauma (“Flashback”), Fri 15:30
    A discussion between Mirjam Lohi and Tiina Raevaara
  • Jani Saxell at the sf booth, Sat 14:00
  • J. Pekka Mäkelä at the sf booth, Sat 15:00
  • Tiina Raevaara at the sf booth, Sun 14:00
  • Petri Hiltunen at the sf booth, Sun 15:00
  • Eräänä päivänä tyhjä taivas, Sun 15:30
    Tiina Raevaara interviewed about her debut novel
  • Tieteis- ja fantasiakirjallisuuden monet maailmat (“The many worlds of science fiction and fantasy”), Sun 16:00
    Panel discussion: Hannu Blommila, Jani Saxell, Viivi Hyvänen, J. Pekka Mäkelä
  • The Kuvastaja award, Sun 16:50
    The award for best Finnish fantasy book published in 2007
  • Velhon uskontunnustus (“The creed of a wizard”), Sun 17:00
    Esko Miettinen talks about the common themes in fantasy and the Bible
The Helsinki science fiction fandom has a booth at the fair (1b20). Go visit them if you attend the fair!

There’s also a lot of comics programming at the fair, and the Comics Society of Finland has a booth. Kvaak has details.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New TSFS Board Elected

There’s been no official announcement yet, but the Turku sf society meeting minutes have been published, and from them you can see that the board of TSFS for next year was elected yesterday.

The new chairman is Kati Oksanen, and with her on the board are Aino Artell, Shimo Suntila, Henri Miettinen, Pasi Karppanen, Leila Paananen, Maria Rossi, Antti Oksanen, and Katja Rosvall. What is notable is that many of the people holding key positions this year (chair, treasurer, editor of Spin, web & tech, book fair, ads+printing) aren’t on the board next year, and actually the majority of the board will change. This will certainly pose a challenge for the society next year, but I understand a few persons will continue in their roles even if they’re not on the board (most importantly, the editor of Spin), so hopefully the transition will go smoothly.

Another challenge will be that at least a couple of persons on the new board are active also on the boards of Tutka and STk—this kind of convergence always has the risk of some societies suffering because people don’t have enough time to do everything properly. Of course, it is also a chance to increase co-operation between the different societies.

The membership fee for the society was increased to 12 € for 2009.

And lastly, welcome back to active fandom, Shimo!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

KrimiCon Minicon on Saturday

The very active Tampere subdivision of the Finnish SF Writers Association will organize KrimiCon, a minicon with the theme “bandit romance in fantasy and speculative crime” this Saturday. There will be an opening speech about science fiction & criminology, a new issue of the Kosmospenaali fanzine, and a movie (Clive Barker’s Nightbreed). Everybody welcome.

More information from Markku.T.Soikkeli (e-mail him at

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hannu Rajaniemi’s Book Deal

The Finnish (although living in Scotland) writer Hannu Rajaniemi today announced a three book deal with Gollancz. This is very impressive for a debut novelist, and what makes it even more impressive is that it was based on one sample chapter of Hannu’s writing.

Says Simon Spanton from Gollancz,

“Hannu’s first chapter was entirely enticing; yes, it was brimful of energy, originality and fascinating science but these were bonuses. What caught me and left me desperate for more was the masterful way he set up the characters, created relationships between them based on intrigue and need and suggested a rich past and a dangerous future for all concerned. I haven’t been this excited after reading just one chapter in a long, long time and consequently I’m delighted to be able to welcome Hannu to Gollancz.”

This is wonderful news! Congratulations, Hannu!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pub Meeting + Book Fair

Just a quick reminder that the October pub meeting in Turku is today. Bar Bremer at six, as usual.

Also the Turku International Book Fair begins tomorrow. The Turku sf societies have a booth (A93) at the fair, go there to meet people, get info about sf fandom in the Turku area, in Finland in general, and to some extent in the Nordic countries too.

Some excerpts of the weekend’s programming:
  • Mike Pohjola talks about his YA fantasy book Kadonneet kyyneleet on Friday at 11
  • The comics scene in Turku presents itself on Friday at 12:20
  • A panel discussion about publishing fanzines on Saturday at 11 (represented in the panel are Spin, Kosmoskynä, and Enhörningen)
  • A “Comics-morning” on Saturday at 11 (Milla Paloniemi, Juba Tuomola, Pentti Jarla, Tarmo Koivisto, Vesa Kataisto)
  • M short story collection series on Saturday at 2 (Harri Kumpulainen, Juri Nummelin, Kirsti Ellilä, Boris Hurtta, Tapani Bagge, Totti Karpela)
  • Myths in fantasy on Saturday at 3 (Boris Hurtta, Mike Pohjola, Anne Leinonen, Mari Saario)
  • The Simpsons! on Sunday at 12:40 (Jouni Paakkinen)
On Saturday, the Turku sf societies will organize a party at Kirjakahvila, starting at 8 PM. At the Cosmic Comics Café there will be the opening party of a comics exhibition by Reetta Laitinen on Friday at 7 PM.

See you at the fair (and of course at the pub meeting tonight)!

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...