Friday, July 15, 2016

Three Issues of Finnish Weird

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.)


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Big Book of Science Fiction

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.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Leena Krohn a World Fantasy Award Finalist

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.

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Finnish Sf in Strange Horizons

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

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.

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!

Photo: Jussi Vainikainen


Atorox Award to Magdalena Hai

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.

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

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 fantasy forum representative Osmo Määttä.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Tähtivaeltaja Award 2016 to Margaret Atwood

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.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tähtifantasia Nominees 2016

Cover of TV 1/2016 with blue-skinned pilot woman holding a futuristic handgun 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 representative Osmo Määttä. The award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Boris Hurtta Awarded

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.