Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Researching the Fantastic—Call for Papers

A seminar of science fiction and fantasy research will take place in connection with Finncon for the 10th time this year. The call for papers is enclosed:
RESEARCHING THE FANTASTIC—JOURNEYS AND METHODOLOGIES

The 10th Seminar of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research in Finland
Department of English, University of Helsinki
Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July, 2009

The 10th Seminar of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research in Finland will take place in Helsinki in connection with Finncon 2009. We wish to invite papers on the general theme of “journey”. Voyaging is one of the foundational motifs of science fiction and fantasy. What does a journey teach us, or what does it teach about us? Does the journey bring us face to face with otherness? This seminar invites proposals that explore, for example, the journey as a narrative and/or ideological model, inner journeys as well as external journeys, time-travels or travels represented at various times in the history of literature.

This year the seminar will also give special attention to questions of research methodology in general, as well as questions that concern research into genre literature in particular.

The proposed papers may be work towards a Pro Gradu or a PhD dissertation, or be drafts for articles or essays either in Finnish or in English. Proposals concerning issues other than our specified themes are also welcome and will be accommodated if at all possible.

The aim of the seminar is to promote Finnish multidisciplinary research on science fiction and fantasy and to enhance the international contacts of the Finnish research network.

Our international guest speaker is Professor Adam Roberts (Royal Holloway, University of London), author of Science Fiction (2000) in the Routledge New Critical Idioms series, and of Yellow Blue Tibia (2009), which is his latest novel. Also partaking in the seminar are Professor Bo Pettersson (University of Helsinki), Professor Liisa Rantalaiho (University of Tampere), Professor Frans Mäyrä (University of Tampere), Dr Irma Hirsjärvi (University of Jyväskylä), Dr Markku Soikkeli (University of Tampere) and Dr Merja Polvinen (University of Helsinki).

In addition to the two-day workshop the researchers’ meeting also includes plenty of academic programming over Saturday and Sunday during the Finncon event.

Please send a 500-word abstract in Word or RTF format to merja.polvinen@helsinki.fi by the 16th of April 2009. You will be notified of the outcome of your proposal by the 1st of May. For the seminar we wish to receive a research paper of c. 2000–3000 words.

Organizers: FINFAR – Finnish Network of Fantasy Research, University of Helsinki Department of English and Finncon 2009 (http://2009.finncon.org/).
Coordinator: Merja Polvinen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Helsinki Book Fair

Looks like I’m going to have to drag my butt to Helsinki next October—Hal Duncan announced today he will be attending the Helsinki Book Fair, courtesy of the good folks at Like Publishing. Looking forward to a rematch between Hal and Juha T…

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Sands of Sarasvati Wins Comics Finlandia

This was announced today: The Sands of Sarasvati, an sf graphic novel by Petri Tolppanen and Jussi Kaakinen, based on the Finlandia nominated novel by Risto Isomäki, was awarded the second annual Comics Finlandia award for best graphic novel/comics album published last year. Congratulations! I’m very happy about this since I think it is a great piece of work.

Sf Audio Drama on Sunday

Petri Salin’s sf audio drama Kryogenesis will be on Radio Vega on Sunday 9:30 9:03 (replay on Monday 18:03). The story is set after “the fifth climate war,” when the arctic glaciers are melting and the continents are drowning, and a possible solution for the problem may be worse than the problem itself.

via Enhörningen

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Finncon Gets Grants, Researcher Guest

Finncon 2009 has received funding from the Ministry of Education (6 000 €) and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland (1 500 €). Yay!

In addition, the University of Helsinki has decided to sponsor the researchers’ meeting, and with their support Finncon will be bringing author and critic Adam Roberts to Finland to participate in the research workshop (and naturally the rest of Finncon too). Congratulations, and looking forward to Finncon even more than before!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finnish NoFF Delegate Announced

Senja Hirsjärvi is this year’s Finnish NoFF (Nordic Fan Fund) delegate. Senja has been active in fandom for several years, and has had a hand in a few Finncons, including many in Jyväskylä and this year in Helsinki. Senja was also one of the people behind the Finnish room party at Interaction. Senja will be traveling to Imagicon 2 in Stockholm in October.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Atorox 2009 Nominees

The nominees for the Atorox award have been announced. There are 25 short stories in total, of which fandom votes the winner.

The short stories selected for the long list were published in:
  • Usva (10 nominations)
  • Portti (8 nominations)
  • Hekuman huipulla anthology (3 nominations)
  • Spin (2 nominations)
  • Taivaalta pudonnut eläintarha (1 nomination)
  • Alienisti (1 nomination)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tähtifantasia Award Nominees Announced

The Tähtifantasia award (for best fantasy translated in Finnish last year) nominees have been announced. They are:
The winner will be decided by a jury that comprises critic Jukka Halme, critic Aleksi Kuutio, author and editor Anne Leinonen and Risingshadow.net representative Osmo Määttä. The award will be given at Finncon in July.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

DarwinCon in Tampere in April

From the announcement on the FSFWA blog:

DarwinCon, a minicon in Tampere on Saturday, April 18. Topic: evolution theory in science fiction, how evolution is understood in sf, is there a similar conflict between nature and culture in fantastical and alternate histories, is there a better “winner species” than the Shrike? A movie (“Mongol” from Kazakhstan) will also be shown.

The Kosmospenaali fanzine will be published at the event and accepts submissions until April 14.

Free admission.

Terrakoti Spring Party

In case you’re not going to be in Jyväskylä next weekend, the Turku sf clubhouse Terrakoti has a spring party on Saturday, combined with the 4-year anniversary of the shadow mafia meetings. No admission, bring something for the party buffet (and your own drinks). Pajama party theme.

Details on the TSFS site

Monday, March 09, 2009

Dr. Fandom

Next Saturday, Irma Hirsjärvi will defend her PhD Dissertation at the University of Jyväskylä. The topic of the thesis is the Finnish sf fandom, called ”Faniuden siirtymiä” (“Mediations of Fandom”). Fandom is invited to witness the occasion in Villa Rana, the Blomstedt hall, at noon. There will be coffee and cake later. The opponent is professor emerita Liisa Rantalaiho.

Congratulations to Ipa for a mighty achievement!

(PS If anybody going from the Turku area needs a ride there and back on Sunday, contact me.)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sinisalo Interview

The Finnish sf site Risingshadow has published an interview with Johanna Sinisalo on their English site. Johanna talks about her Nebula nomination for Baby Doll:
It’s a tremendous honour, one of the top achievements of my whole life. When I was an aspiring writer and an active Worldcon-attending sf fan, I remember dreaming of a Nebula or Hugo nomination—but then I said to myself that it is futile to dream of something that far out and impossible…
Update 2009-04-26: There’s also a guest blog post by Johanna on the Nebula awards site.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Planetarium Excursion on Saturday

Some Turku fen are going to check out the new planetarium at the Tuorla Observatorium on Saturday, March 6. The planetarium show is at 4 PM, and the price is 5 € per person.

Everybody is welcome to come along. If you’re interested, contact Harri Miekka. Also, if you need a ride there or have questions, come to the Turku pub meeting tomorrow to discuss the trip.

Pub Meeting Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first Thursday of March, which means you’re all welcome to meet and chat about science fiction at Bar Bremer after six (the pub seems to be more crowded nowadays, so it’s advisable to be there not too late).

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Symposium on the Grotesque in Tampere

On Friday March 6 there will be a free seminar at the University of Tampere. From the description:
The symposium focuses on a common theme named in the title: How are ideas of the “grotesque” and the “unnatural” manifested in literary materials and visual representations from different ages, and how can these concepts be approached as phenomena of a particularly linguistic nature? What is the significance of this kind of work, and in what ways does it enhance our critical understanding? The initiative explores questions such as these and seeks to attract responses from a wide variety of theoretical angles:
  • the horrifying, mysterious, abnormal, or subversive in literature
  • horror, mystery, gothic, and sci-fi literatures as generic fictions
  • studying the form of strange or broken bodies and natures
  • the grotesque and the unnatural as aesthetic experience (and vice versa)
  • the grotesque and the unnatural as linguistic discourse (and vice versa)
  • tradition and change of the concepts in and as translation

Monday, March 02, 2009

Linkage: Make Co-operation Meeting Better

On the Babek Nabel co-operation meeting thread the organizers ask for opinions on what people would like to do at future meetings and what would the optimal scheduling be. So if you have an opinion, head there and let yourself be heard.

Irmelin Sandman Lilius GoH at Finncon

Finncon 2009’s Finnish Guest of Honor is the renowned fantasy author Irmelin Sandman Lilius. She’s written children’s books as well as books for aduls, and received numerous Swedish and Finnish literary awards. Her works have been translated into numerous languages.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Greetings from Tampere

The annual co-operation planning & smoffing event of the Finnish fandom was held on Saturday in Tampere. Despite the lack of sauna this year, the event was fun as always. This year there was extra smoffing: more people stayed for the evening, and today morning those of us that got out of bed in time met for a brunch and some additional smoffing—will have to make a habit of that in the future—before heading back home.

There was a lot of talk about the Finncon association, and some decisions were made to make the association more efficient in the future. I think (and others I talked to seemed to agree) that we’ll probably also have to change the association’s general meeting in the coming years: in the current format I think it took up too much time (that could have been used by watching more Horst videos—no, scratch that plan on second thought).

Some upcoming events announced at the meeting:

  • Terrakoti (Turku clubhouse) spring party, March 14 (will not necessarily be a pyjama party)
  • Usva winter camp (discussions about writing & sf, movies, etc.), Ristiina, March 20–22
  • Tampere kuplii comics convention in Tampere, March 27–29
  • Jyväskylä book fair, March 27–29
  • ESC (Espoo sf society) 5-year anniversary pub meeting, March 30
  • BaCon 2, a minicon organized by FUI (the Åbo Akademi society of peculiar interests), sometime in April; illegal fireworks will not be organized in conjunction with BaCon
  • Vappu party in Turku, April 30
  • Conklaavi role playing convention in Turku, May 9–10
  • Åcon 3, Mariehamn, May 21–24 (GoH: Steph Swainston)
  • HySFK table-top hockey championship games, some time in the spring in Helsinki
  • ESC summer picnic probably on June 6; possible themes include searching for world’s smallest giant monkeys or underwater nazi zombies
  • Helsinki Suomenlinna picnic some time in June; exact date not decided
  • Usva summer camp (a writers’ workshop, plus more general sf programming on the weekend), Ristiina, July 23–26
  • Fantasy Feast (pseudo-medieval weekend), Taivassalo, July 24–26
  • the roadside picnic in Tampere, August 8
  • TamFan, Smial Morel’s fantasy minicon, September 26
  • Turku book fair, October 2–4
  • Helsinki book fair, October 22–25
  • the 20th anniversary of the Jyväskylä sf society 42, December
Miscellaneous announcements:
  • Portti-kirjat will publish a R.E. Howard short story anthology this year
  • the Finnish Film Foundation seems to be enthusiastic about the prospect of a Finnish movie with nazis on the Moon
  • a Finnish ninja musical is being planned
  • The Nova short story competition is arranged for the 10th time this year
  • The Noviisi short story competition for young writers arranged for the second time, this time nationwide
  • Risingshadow.net advertized now more science fiction discussion than ever; the site wants to cooperate with everyone; the site has been visited 8 000 000 times since the relaunch a couple of years ago; there are about 400 active members (median age 20)
  • The Helsinki university sf club has moved to a new clubhouse, shared with (among others) the Helsinki university assasins’ society—so if you get an invitation to the housewarming party, I guess you’d better attend
  • The Finnish Tolkien Society’s zine Legolas is back on schedule; four issues will be published this year. New editor: Mixu Lauronen
  • The Finnish NOFF delegate for this year has been selected, but wasn’t announced yet, because the previous delegate Marianna was on a work trip; over 250 € was raised at the NOFF auction
  • The Finnish anime societies have also started regular cooperation meetings—this year they also held the meeting in Tampere, and actually on the same day as our meeting
  • Swecon comes to Stockholm again this year (Imagicon 2, October 16–18)—people were encouraged to attend because Swecons are fun. More info from agent Ben Roimola
  • Irma Hirsjärvi will defend her thesis on the Finnish fandom at the University of Jyväskylä in a couple of weeks (March 14). Congratulations, Ipa!

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...