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Partial Recall



Occasional fandom commentary, sometimes with pictures.



Updated: 2017-11-07T14:24:47.092+02:00

 



Tähtivaeltaja Award to Lauren Beukes

2017-06-01T23:09:31.177+03:00

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the winner of this year’s Tähtivaeltaja Award: the best science fiction book published in Finnish in 2016 is Zoo City – Eläinten valtakunta by Lauren Beukes. The novel is translated by Tytti Vitikainen and published by Aula & Co.

The award jury says Zoo City is a strong and unique science fiction novel, a detective story in an imaginative setting, with a story about xenophobia and commercialization. The polarized society is skilfully constructed and seamlessly joins together reality and fiction. The characters are varied, have many aspects and flaws to their personalities, and have their own motivations. There are no absolutely good or bad characters, only people trying to survive in their own ways.

The intriguing idea of animal familiars combines different mythologies, binds the book together, and brings forth themes of redemption, regret, and adaptation. The book also handles serious topics such as problems and conflicts in society. Beukes tells the story in her own, strong voice, with language that reels you in and keeps you turning the pages. Zoo City offers a refreshing alternative to the Anglo American culture that is prevalent in science fiction.

The award jury consisted of critic Hannu Blommila, editor-in-chief Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen.




Swecon 2017

2017-06-01T18:17:28.577+03:00

This weekend it was once again time for Swecon, Sweden‘s national science fiction convention. The convention was called Kontur and held at the Clarion Hotel Gillet in Uppsala—a very nice venue for a convention of 200–300 members (which category I estimate this one falls in), and a lovely city to visit.

Swecon was a three-day convention as usual, but since Thursday was a holiday (and it’s a Tradition to go to Åland on Ascension Day for an sf con), a bunch of us Finns started the journey already Thursday morning and went to Mariehamn for smÅcon 81/2, organized by Hanna Hakkarainen, and spent a one-night minicon there eating, drinking, playing games, and having Very Serious Panel Discussions. There were even a couple of members who came just for smÅcon and then returned to Finland.

(image)
A Finn, a Swede, a Dane, and a Norwegian walk into a bar… #swecon2017

May 29 01:18
The pubs close early in Sweden. The situation is desperate — Tommy is drinking a lager #swecon2017

May 29 01:39
💀 🐶 celebrated well and properly. Thank you organizers for another 👍Swecon! #swecon2017




Cultural Award to Turtschaninoff

2017-05-11T17:34:25.687+03:00

Maria Turtschaninoff has been awarded by The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. She received their 20 000 € “Big Cultural Prize” yesterday.

Turtschaninoff was commended for weaving stories that feature mythical worlds, nature, and strong women and girls. The English edition of Naondel (prequel to the excellent Maresi) was published just last month.




Sinisalo Interview in Europa SF

2017-04-27T13:26:15.284+03:00

Cristian Tamas interviews Johanna Sinisalo for the Europa SF portal.

(photo by Katja Lösönen)




R.U.R in Tukkateatteri

2017-04-27T13:18:02.276+03:00

Tukkateatteri in Tampere has produced a play of Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. The premiere was on April 21, and the performances continue until May 19.




Hugo Awards 2017 Finalists

2017-04-04T17:37:46.488+03:00

The finalists for this year’s Hugo Awards have been announced. This year’s Hugos are naturally significant for us Finns since the awards will be given in Helsinki in August. But also for a second reason: two Finns are nominated for Hugos! Huge congratulations to Ninni Aalto and Vesa Lehtimäki (both nominated in the Best Fan Artist category)!

You can also watch the announcements on YouTube if you prefer that format.




Sinisalo Nominated for Prometheus

2017-03-29T21:18:57.448+03:00

Saw this on Twitter a couple of days ago: The Libertarian Futurist Society has released the finalists for the Prometheus Award in the Best Novel category. Among the finalists is our own Johanna Sinisalo with The Core of the Sun. Congratulations!




Samovar

2017-03-29T21:13:08.060+03:00

Samovar is a new quarterly special issue of Strange Horizons that focuses on translated sf. They publish fiction and poetry in both the original language and an English translation.

The first issue of the magazine includes a short story Wither And Blossom (Oka ja kukinto) by a Finnish writer Suvi Kauppila. The magazine is free, so go take a look!

(Hat tip to Cheryl for posting about Samovar)




Finnish Weird #4

2017-03-29T17:25:07.222+03:00

Finnish Weird is a zine that showcases contemporary Finnish Weird fiction. Issue #4 is out, free to download as an ebook or a pdf.

This issue features introductions of three Finnish authors, Magdalena Hai, J.S. Meresmaa, and Viivi Hyvönen, and also a short story by each of them.

The previous issues are also available for download.




Lauren Beukes Comes to Finncon

2017-03-11T22:55:40.532+02:00

Finncon 2018 has announced its first Guest of Honor: South African writer Lauren Beukes.

Beukes has written novels, short-stories, and comics, and also worked as a journalist and a tv scriptwriter. Two of her novels have been translated into Finnish: a disturbingly chilling thriller about a time-traveling serial killer Säkenöivät tytöt (The Shining Girls) and an urban fantasy detective mystery Zoo City – Eläinten valtakunta (Zoo City)—which by the way is one of this year’s Tähtivaeltaja Award nominees.

I’ve enjoyed Beukes’s books and comics a lot, and am very excited to have her come to Turku!

(Also, if you’re not reading Lauren Beukes already, why the f*ck not?

(Also, pt. 2—unlike the author of the article linked above, who hadn’t read them, I can warmly recommend the comics in addition to the novels!)

(Also, pt. 3—Tähtivaeltaja published a very good article about Beukes a couple of years ago. You can still order the issue from them. Just saying.)




Tähtivaeltaja Award Nominees 2017

2017-03-09T10:49:17.581+02:00

Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced this year’s nominees for the Tähtivaeltaja Award for best science fiction book published in Finland last year. The winner will be announced in May.

The nominees are:

  • Zoo City – Eläinten valtakunta (Zoo City) by Lauren Beukes (published by Aula & co.)
  • Maailman lahjakkain tyttö (The Girl with All the Gifts) by M. R. Carey (Like)
  • Näkymättömät planeetat (Invisible Planets: Collected Fiction) by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gummerus)
  • Poseidonin lapset (Poseidon’s Wake) by Alastair Reynolds (Like)
  • Sotapuiston perikato (CivilWarLand in Bad Decline) by George Saunders (Siltala)

The award jury consists of journalist Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen.




Three Issues of Finnish Weird

2016-07-15T17:25:18.746+03:00

(image) This is already old news, but I didn’t mention it at the time, so I’ll fix that oversight now. The third issue of the Finnish Weird zine is out. It once again highlights contemporary Finnish weird fiction, translated into English. This issue’s stories are by Anne Leinonen, Johanna Sinisalo, Helena Waris, Leena Likitalo, and Magdalena Hai (the winner of this year’s Atorox Award). In addition there is an author spotlight on Helena Waris.

As always, the issue is available as a free download (epub and pdf), so go check it out! (Editor Toni Jerrman points out that an improved epub version of issue 2 is also available on the site.)



Big Book of Science Fiction

2016-07-14T17:31:31.984+03:00

(image) The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is an undertaking which makes the word ambitious seem woefully inadequate. The book contains no less than 105 short stories and strives to cover the history and themes of science fiction.

I’m mentioning the book here because it contains two stories by Finnish authors, Gorgonoids by Leena Krohn and Baby Doll by Johanna Sinisalo. And of course over a hundred other stories.

You can read more about the project in the Kirkus review of Ann and Jeff.



Leena Krohn a World Fantasy Award Finalist

2016-07-13T12:01:13.875+03:00

Leena Krohn’s Collected Fiction is a finalist in the 2016 World Fantasy Awards, in the best collection category.

The collection is published by the Cheeky Frawg Books, and is available both as a hardcover and an ebook.



Finnish Sf in Strange Horizons

2016-07-13T12:01:56.983+03:00

Strange Horizons has published a short story by Sara Norja, called Water, Birch, and Blood. The story is free to read, go check it out!

The story is also available as audio in the Strange Horizons podcast.

Illustration by O. Horvath



Kosmoskynä Award to Irma Hirsjärvi

2016-07-15T10:28:07.282+03:00

The Kosmoskynä Award is an achievement award occasionally given by the Finnish science fiction and fantasy writers association to a person or community for advancing Finnish science fiction literature. At Finncon this year, Irma Hirsjärvi received the award. Irma’s own fandom research is significant, and she has also actively influenced the development of Finnish science fiction and fantasy research. She has been active in the researchers’ network and later the Finnish Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research FINFAR.

(image)
FINFAR founding meeting

In addition to the research she has had a big influence in fandom in general. She was instrumental in starting to organize Finncons in other cities outside Helsinki (and has chaired a few), took part in starting the Finncon association, has taught writing, participated in writing guides, talked about science fiction, and been a good friend to people coming to fandom.

Congratulations, Ipa!

(image)
Photo: Jussi Vainikainen





Atorox Award to Magdalena Hai

2016-07-13T11:29:48.348+03:00

The winner of the Atorox award (for best Finnish sf short story published last year) was announced at Finncon. This year the award went to the short story Kaunis Ululian (“Beautiful Ululian”) by Magdalena Hai, published in the Osuuskumma anthology Kristallimeri.

(image)
Heikki Nevala, Jussi Katajala, Oskari Rantala, J.S. Meresmaa,
Janos Honkonen, and Magdalena Hai. Photo by Pasi Karppanen
The top 3 this year was:
  1. Magdalena Hai: Kaunis Ululian (Kristallimeri. Osuuskumma)
  2. Oskari Rantala: Didin historiat (Portti 4/14)
  3. Tuukka Tenhunen: Ugrilainen tapaus (Spin 4/14)
Osuuskumma continues to dominate the Finnish sf short fiction scene: no less than seven of the top 10 stories were published in their anthologies. The Portti and Spin fanzines published one story each, and one was published in Anne Leinonen’s collection Pienen rasian jumala.

There were 20 short stories in the short list (nominated by Finnish fandom; all published stories were eligible), and 62 persons participated in the voting. The award is given by the Turku Science Fiction Society.



Tähtifantasia Award 2016

2016-07-13T11:19:28.939+03:00

The Tähtifantasia Award for the best fantasy book translated into Finnish last year was announced at Finncon on July 2. The winner is Etäisten esikaupunkien asioita (Tales from outer suburbia) by Shaun Tan. The collection is translated by Jaana Kapari-Jatta and published by Lasten keskus.

The jury compared Tan’s stories to those of Leena Krohn and Tove Jansson and commended them as imaginative stories that give a lot to children, young adults, and adults alike. The stories talk about wanting to belong, the power of friendship, and the meaning of close relationships. There is always hope in the stories, even when the main characters are loners and outsiders.

The translation preserves the richness, the rhythm, and the atmosphere of the original exceptionally well. The jury recommends the Finnish version to all readers.

The award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society, and the jury comprised of critics Jukka Halme, Aleksi Kuutio, and Anne Leinonen, and the Risingshadow.net fantasy forum representative Osmo Määttä.



Tähtivaeltaja Award 2016 to Margaret Atwood

2016-05-20T11:17:17.018+03:00

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the recipient of the Tähtivaeltaja Award for best science fiction novel published in Finnish in 2015. The winner is Uusi maa (MaddAddam) by Margaret Atwood, translated into Finnish by Kristiina Drews and published by Otava.

The jury commended the novel for its commentary on questionable trends in the modern world. The author tackles important global themes with skill, and urges humankind to wake up and see the reality before it is too late. The novel also looks into the birth mechanisms of religions and the power of storytelling.

The jury comprised of critic Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Antti Oikarinen.



Tähtifantasia Nominees 2016

2016-04-08T06:46:11.425+03:00

(image) The nominees for the Tähtifantasia Award 2016 (for the best fantasy book translated into Finnish in 2015) have been announced. The nominees are:

  • Maailmanloppu ja ihmemaa (Sekai no owari to hadoboirudo wandarando) by Haruki Murakami (Tammi)
  • Odininlapsi (Odinsbarn) by Siri Pettersen (Jalava)
  • Viisaan miehen pelko (The Wise Man's Fear) by Patrick Rothfuss (Kirjava)
  • Wendigo ja muita yliluonnollisia kauhukertomuksia edited by Markku Sadelehto (Jalava)
  • Etäisten esikaupunkien asioita (Tales from Outer Suburbia) by Shaun Tan (Lasten Keskus)
The winner will be announced at Finncon in the beginning of July. The award jury comprises critic Jukka Halme, critic Aleksi Kuutio, writer and editor Anne Leinonen, and Risingshadow.net representative Osmo Määttä. The award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society.



Boris Hurtta Awarded

2016-03-19T12:09:51.091+02:00

Congratulations to Boris Hurtta for receiving the Union of Finnish Writers’ Suunta award for advancing Finnish literature! Boris was recognized for his decades of work benefitting marginal literature, especially horror, science fiction, and fantasy.



Zine Grants

2016-03-18T14:57:16.410+02:00

The Ministry of Education and Culture has announced their annual cultural magazine grants. Unfortunately, from an sfnal perspective, the pickings look noticeably slimmer than in previous years. Neither Kosmoskynä nor Spin got a grant this year. The bigger zines, Portti and Tähtivaeltaja, received a 10 000 € grant each (same sum as last year) and the Finnish Comics Society zine Sarjainfo also got the same 18 000 € as last year.

Congrats to the lucky ones and commiserations to those left without!

Full list of grants (PDF)




Turku Hopeful for Finncon 2018

2016-02-29T22:42:33.657+02:00

(image) There are some folks in Turku who are looking into the possibility of organizing a Finncon in 2018; the main organizer would be the Science Fiction Culture Cabinet at the University of Turku (ie. Tutka, The Turku University sf club). If you are interested in taking part in the discussion, Tutka is organizing an open info event on Saturday, March 19 at Terrakoti, starting at 2 PM, so stop by to hear more and meet the people behind the project.



Finnish Cultural Foundation Grants

2016-02-29T22:17:19.589+02:00

The Finnish Cultural Foundation has announced their annual grants, and there are some sf or fandom–related items on the list (and I may have missed some—the list is long).

First and foremost, I‘m of course very happy to see the Tampere Finncon receive a 6 000 € grant to help in organizing the event.

Another bit w00t: Irma Hirsjärvi and her The World Hobbit Project workgroup received 90 000 € for research of meanings of fantasy in Finland. Huge congrats!

Kaisa Kaukiainen‘s doctoral thesis research of religiousness in dystopic literature seems very interesting, and was supported with a 24 000 € grant.

Also congratulations to Juha-Pekka Koskinen, J. Pekka Mäkelä, and Antti Oikarinen who each received a 24 000 € grant (for writing or translation work), and to Iida Simes and Aino Torttila for a 12 000 € grant to improve the visibility of Nordic literature in the Helsinki Book Fair.




New Finnish Fandom Chat

2016-02-25T14:46:33.201+02:00

(image)

There’s a new Slack chat forum called ‘Suomen Fandom’ for discussing (in Finnish) sf and fandom and all such things—life, the universe, and everything. It’s set up by ESC, but everyone interested is invited—email Jarmo Vainionpää if you want to join the discussion.

If you’re new to Slack, check out this very short introduction to get the general gist of it.

(For those on Facebook, there‘s also a fandom group there that is rather active.)