Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Finnish Writers on the Net

Finnishwriters.com is a new site that showcases Finnish authors and their texts. The site was started by Juha-Pekka Koskinen, Anne Leinonen, and Sari Peltoniemi (who are the only featured authors at the moment, but more is to come).

On the site there are introductions of the authors in English, Swedish, and German, and also some sample texts (extracts from novels and short stories—mostly in English, less so in the other languages). Unfortunately they’ve chosen the less-screen-or-other-reading-device-friendly pdf format for the texts.

I think the site is a good idea, and suggest you go have a look. All the currently featured authors have written fantastic fiction, although the site isn’t limited to any specific genre or type of literature.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Atorox Nominees Wanted

TSFS is asking for nominations for the best Finnish sf short story of 2007. Every member of the Finnish fandom can send in their candidates (in addition to the preliminary jury), and the ones that get the most votes will end up on the final nominees list.

(There seems to be a slight change in the rules this year: there is no pre-set minimum amount of votes a story needs to get on the nominees list; instead the rules just say, “20 to 30 short stories will form the candidate list”. I guess this is to avoid a situation like last year where the amount of required votes needed to be adjusted on the fly to have at least some nominees.)

If you have trouble remembering which short stories are eligible, there’s a thread on the FSFWA forum where people have been listing stories published in 2007. (Update: or you could of course just go to the Atorox page where there is a list of stories too.)

Usva Camping Report

Anne is blogging the Usva writers’ horror camp. Sounds like loads of fun.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Finncon 2011 Initial Meeting

From time to time there have been musings about organizing another Finncon in Turku. Most of the active fen here haven’t been too interested to commit to such a project again though, having already done it at least once, many of them twice. But now a new generation is emerging, and some of them have expressed interest in conrunning. The proposed year is 2011, which is when Turku will also be a European Capital of Culture.

This Wednesday (January 30) there will be an open meeting to discuss the possible Finncon, what it would be like and who would be interested in participating. Everybody who is interested is welcome to attend. The place is Turku-sali, Yo-talo A (2nd floor), Rehtorinpellonkatu 4. The meeting starts at six.

An open e-mail discussion list has also been created for talking about the project, and is open to join if you’re interested. (Please fill in also your real name when joining the list.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Noviisi 2007 Competition Results

The first Noviisi short story competition for 13–17-year-olds is over. The first place was a tie between Vilhelmiina Palonen for her short story Karahka (“Lopped branch”—the translation does not do the title justice) and Klaus Maunuksela for Yö ei ole sinua varten (“The night is not for you”). There was no mention of the winners’ age in the announcement. The Winners split a 300 € cash prize, and in addition both got a scholarship for 55 € for a writing workshop this spring.

In addition, Sara Valta got an honorary mention for her story Sammalmestari (“Master of moss” perhaps—hard to translate without reading the story).

The jury commended the variety of different stories in the competition, and felt that the overall quality of the finalists was rather good, and also that there was quite a bit of humor in the stories. The structure of the texts often betrayed the inexperience of the writers, and the judges recommend wannabe future writers show their texts to someone before submitting it to a competition or for publication.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

To Do in Tampere

Some sfnal events coming up in Tampere in the near future:

Tracon III role playing convention February 16, Tampere University of Technology
Programming for rpg, larp, anime, manga and cosplay enthusiasts. Admittance 2 €.

Vampire Symposium II writers’ meeting February 23, “FSFWA Kaleva”
Meeting for writers by the Finnish Science Fiction Writers Association. Presentations about the application of modern vampire characters in stories, plus discussion about the participants’ vampire stories. Participation fee 5 € for members of the FSFWA, 10 € others.

Findom’s annual co-operation meeting March 1, Kaupinoja sauna
Meet & greet for fandom activist in Finland. Planning future activities, meeting friends. Discussing Important Things. (Smoking a cigar.) Participation fee 5 € (plus 4 € for the sauna)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Regime for Tutka

A new board was selected (a little belatedly) today for the Science Fiction Culture Cabinet at the University of Turku (“Tutka”) for the year 2008. There is a lot of new blood in the society: three of the five board members are new. The new board has a lot of ambitious plans for the coming year; I hope this will benefit the sf activities in the Turku area in general. Can’t be bad for the potential Turku Finncon 2011 that is lurking somewhere around the corner either.

I’ve been a member of the Tutka board since the founding of the society, but lately the activity in the society has been waning. A new group with a lot of new ideas is just what the doctor ordered; this feels like a bunch I’m happy to leave “my society” to for the foreseeable future.


The new board of Tutka. From the left: Kati Oksanen, Katimaria Mustajärvi, Mirka Ulanto (chair), Pasi Karppanen, Ari Takalo

Friday, January 04, 2008

Usva Horror Camp

The Usva zine will organize a weekend for writers and readers in Otava (near Mikkeli) at the end of January. The weekend theme is horror and ghosts.

The programming will include an introduction about ghost stories in the Finnish folklore from a writer’s point of view, story telling, and relaxing with food, movies, nature walks, etc.

The event has no admission fee; there is still room for a few more attendees.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Swedish-speaking Sf Society in Turku

Enhörningen reports that the “Society for strange interests” (Förening för underliga intressen vid Åbo Akademi) had their inaugural official meeting on December 12. The society has been active for over a year (some of their members have visited the Turku pub meetings), but now they’ve decided to become an official, registered society.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First Pub Meeting of the Year

It’s again time for the Turku area sf pub meeting. So welcome to Bar Bremer (we’re nowadays at the yard-side room of the bar) this Thursday (January 3rd) starting at 6 PM!

(A new issue of the Mafia Zine should be finished by then, and will of course be available to the attendees for free.)

Tähtivaeltaja Award to Lauren Beukes

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the winner of this year’s Tähtivaeltaja Award : the best science fiction book published i...