Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Writing About Writing

The “Kirjoita kirjoittamisesta” writing competition (“Write about writing”) results have been announced. The competition had two categories, short stories and columns.

The short story category had a total of four winners: Kirjoituskilpailu (“Writing competition”, a story about two neighbors who challenge each other to a writing competition) by Mira Karppelin, Todellinen kirjoittaminen (“True writing”, a futuristic tale of a world where the writer and the writing equipment have merged) by Jaana Lehtiö, Luuranko (“Skeleton”, a Poe-style pastiche about a writer) by Klaus Ollikainen, and Niin oli kirjoitettu (“So it was written”, a short story about a young man who, while writing an essay about a famous writer, starts writing poetry to impress the opposite sex.) by Niko Peltonen.

The column category winner was Vesa A. Korhonen for his text, Kolumnin kirjoittamisen sietämätön keveys (“The unbearable lightness of writing a column”, a humoristic pondering on writing a good column).

While I think the idea for the competition was a good one, especially the winner of the non-fiction category sounds a bit off-putting. Columns about writing columns almost always tend to be irritating navel gazing with no substance, and the awful, clichéd title doesn’t make things any better. That said, since the text was deemed the best by the judges, I have to admit I look forward to reading it and having my preconceptions proved wrong!

The competition was organized by the Finnish Science Fiction Writers Association and the Usva web zine. The judges were Kosmoskynä editor Pasi Karppanen and Usva Editor Anne Leinonen. The winners were awarded cash prizes of 50 euros, and the texts will be published in future issues of Kosmoskynä and Usva.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Iron Sky Gets British Stealth Money

On their blog the good folks behind Star Wreck and Iron Sky let us know the British Stealth Media Group will be handling the world sales of Iron Sky so the guys making the movie can concentrate on, well, making the movie. Currently there are distribution deals in place for Finland, UK, Norway and Poland. Stealth will also be funding the film with a sum between a half million and one million euros. This brings the budget over 5 million euros, making it one of the most expensive Finnish film productions. Quite a leap from making Star Wreck on a shoestring budget!

Two Fantasy Books Nominated for Finlandia Junior

The nominees for the Finlandia Junior award for best Finnish children’s or YA book have been announced. Two of the nominees are fantastic fiction: Omenmean vallanhaltija (“The ruler of Omenmea”) by Siiri Enoranta tells a tale of morality, friendship, and a dangerous trip on a six-legged steed. Arra. Legender från Lavora (“Arra. Legends from Lavora”) by Maria Turtschaninoff is a story of a young girl that can only speak with water, fire, and wind, who learns to control the nature and finds out that power can be abused.

The Finlandia Junior award comes with a cash prize of 30 000 euros. The winner will be announced on November 24.

Pub Meeting on Thursday

The second-to-last pub meeting of the year is tomorrow, in Kultainen Hirvi at six. Come meet other fen in the Turku area and discuss all things sf over a beer (or cider, or soda, or coffee)!

There will be fanzines and if you’re interested to see what a Worldcon program book looks like, I’ll bring the latest one over. There will also be a new issue of my free fanzine. This issue contains news and reports of recent and upcoming fandom events, as well as book reviews, the start of a fictional travel guide, plus an excellent article about the movie District 9. You get a copy by showing up.

Kuvastaja Award 2009

This is a bit late, but better late than never, I guess. The 2009 Kuvastaja award for the best Finnish fantasy book was announced October 25 at the Helsinki book fair. The winner is Nainen ja Kuningas (“The Womand and The King”) by Anni Nupponen. The jury lauded the original, beautiful language of the book and the colorful world the story is set in. The story handles the theme of responsibility that comes with power and asks if you can avoid it by declining the power.

This was the first time a self-published book has won the award. The availability of the book is not good, but the Vaskikirjat small press has announced their intention of bringing the winner back in print.

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...