Thursday, March 31, 2011

BaCon IV

BaCon, “the meatiest con in Finland,” is organized this Sunday (April 3) in Terrakoti. The theme of the minicon is “men & women”—or possibly “women & men”.

The BaCon programming includes:
  • 2 PM movie: Some Like It Hot
  • 4 PM start of official programming: meaty music video
  • ~4 PM to 7 PM: eating bacon (vegetarian alternative also available), watching Star Trek, possibly other programming
  • 7 PM movies: Zardoz, Barbarella, plus possibly some Danish short films
The con is free to attend. Inexpensive food will be for sale, along with peculiar (and possible normal) soft drinks.

BaCon is arranged by FUI (Åbo Akademi’s society for peculiar interests) with the help of Tutka. For more information, contact Vilgot Strömsholm.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tähtivaeltaja Award Nominees 2011

The shortlist for the Tähtivaeltaja award for best science fiction book (original or translated) published in Finnish in 2010 have been announced. The nominees (with the jury’s comments) are:
  • Herran tarhurit (The Year of the Flood) by Margaret Atwood (Otava)
    Description of an apocalypse of biblical proportions that preaches against humankind’s endless greed and immorality
  • Mielenpeli (Mindplayers) by Pat Cadigan (Avain)
    Self and personality are written anew in a book that looks deep into the foundation of identity
  • Tohtori Veriraha (Dr. Bloodmoney) by Philip K. Dick (Like)
    Little people look for their place in a post–nuclear war described in a surprisingly warm and humane way
  • Muste (Ink) by Hal Duncan (Like)
    A metaphorical novel dives vigorously into a breathtaking network of myth and reality
  • Kirkkaan selkeää by Maarit Verronen (Tammi)
    A protagonist, fallen outside the society, witnesses the rising class distinction and destruction of nature in a wrenching vision of the near future
The jury for the award, given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society, comprises reporter Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Vesa Sisättö. The winner of the award will be announced this summer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sf Activity in Oulu?

A conversation has been going on in Risingshadow to find out if there is interest in rejuvenating the sf activities in the Oulu region—either by resurrecting the Oulu sf society, in cooperation with some other association (for example at the university), or by founding a new group. If you have an interest in the matter, pop over there and take part in the discussion!

Update: The new Oulu sf activities have a blog with more info.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Booking a Hotel for Finncon

Finncon 2011 has announced their hotel deals (only in Finnish, at least at the moment).

All the hotels (except for Caribia, which is the closest to the convention) are located in or very near the center of Turku, about a 20 minutes’ walk (or under a 10 minutes' bus ride) from the university campus area where the convention is held. The official con hotel (where the GoHs will be staying, unless I’m mistaken) is the Hamburger Börs, smack down in the city center (Note: see Mirka’s comment below—the official con hotel is still being negotiated).

Update: The reservation code for at least the Hamburger Börs (possibly for others as well) doesn’t work for internet reservations—to book with the special Finncon price, send the hotel e-mail or call them.

  • Hamburger Börs (reservation code BFIN110715): 90 €/double room, 75 €/single
  • City Börs (reservation code BFIN110715): 76 €/double, 61 €/single
    same hotel as Hamburger Börs, cheaper rooms across the street, services at the main hotel
  • Seurahuone (reservation code BFIN110715): 72 €/double, 57 €/single
  • Holiday Club Caribia (reservation code FCAC 2011): 143 €/double, 119 €/single
    spa hotel about 900 m from the con site; some Animecon programming at the hotel)
  • Radisson Blu Marina Palace (Reservation code FCAC): 125 €/double, 105 €/single, 157 €/double with extra bed
  • Scandic Plaza (reservation code FCAC150711): 99 €/double, 90 €/single, 135 €/3 persons’ room

The special Finncon prices are valid until June 14 (or until the room quota runs out). All prices include breakfast. Most Hamburger Börs and all City Börs, Seurahuone, Marina, and Plaza rooms have free wi-fi. Caribia rooms have free broadband (wi-fi not specified).

If you’re looking for something more special, there are a couple of other options I can recommend. (Free wi-fi included in the room price with all of these as well.)

  • Centro Hotel is a boutique hotel that is famous for its excellent breakfast. Double room during the summer is 96 €/night
  • Omena Hotel is the most inexpensive alternative outside of hostels. The self service hotel has no staff present, but the hotels are clean and modern. Rooms go for 68 €/night at the moment (the prices go up as the event draws nearer), but each room has beds for four persons. Omena prices don’t include breakfast.
  • Park Hotel is a very charming small art nouveau hotel built in 1902 as a private villa. Each room in the hotel is individual. Double rooms go from 125 to 145 €/night, but if you want something special, this is a good choice.

Turku is full of events this summer, so it is probably a good idea to reserve your rooms soon!

Grants For Sf Zines

The Ministry of Education has once again announced the cultural grants for magazines for “having a discussion in society about culture, science, arts, or religion”.

  • Kosmoskynä (FSFWA) 800 € (same as last year)
  • Portti (TaSFS) 15 000 € (same)
  • Sarjainfo (The Finnish Comics Society) 17 000 € (last year 17 500 €)
  • Spin (TSFS) 2 500 € (last year 3 000 €)
  • Tähtivaeltaja (HSFS) 15 000 € (last year 17 000 €)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Reading Circle at Turku Pub Meetings

At the mafia pub meeting this month, we agreed on starting a reading circle where those who want to participate can read an sf story and then discuss it at the next meeting. This might not go on every time, but at least occasionally.

The first story to read is Ted Chiang’s Nebula-nominated The Lifecycle of Software Objects. The text is available online, so everyone can read it before April’s meeting. Come join the discussion!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tähtivaeltaja Day 2011

The program for the Tähtivaeltaja Day minicon has been announced. The convention takes place in Domus Academica (Hietaniemenkatu 14 B) in Helsinki, on Saturday, April 16. The Guests of Honor are Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Admission is free.

The program (mostly in Finnish) covers such diverse topics as superheroines in comics, realfantastik vs. dystopias, translating sf, underwater nazi zombies, speculative books (i.e. books that don’t exist), and sci-fi comics karaoke (where the participants perform their favorite comics book page in front of the audience). These things are always great fun, and this year the GoHs are extraordinary—don’t miss this for the world!
  • 12.00 Ovet auki
  • 12.15 Supermimmit ja miehet, jotka haluavat saada heiltä turpiinsa
    Miksi sarjakuvien supernaiset ovat niin paljon parempia kuin oikeat?
    Rami Rautkorpi (pj), Petri Hiltunen, Toni Jerrman, Pekka Manninen, Otto Sinisalo
  • 13.15 Reaalifantasiaa vai dystopiaa? Kotimainen spekulatiivinen fiktio nyt.
    Millaista on suomalainen tieteis- ja fantasiakirjallisuus vuonna 2011?
    Vesa Sisättö (pj), Saara Henriksson, Eija Lappalainen, Tiina Raevaara, Petri Salin
  • 14.15 Cryo Couch Live (in English)
    And and Jeff VanderMeer bare their minds in front of a live audience!
    Toni Jerrman interviews
  • 15.30 Kuinka The Quantum Thiefistä tuli Kvanttivaras
    Spefin suomentajat keskustelevat ammattinsa erityispiirteistä
    Juha Tupasela (pj), Antti Autio, J. Pekka Mäkelä, Johanna Vainikainen-Uusitalo
  • 16.30 Vedenalaiset natsi-zombiet über alles!
    Miksi natsit ovat yhä hyviä vihollisia – tulivat he sitten Kuusta tai merenpohjasta?
    Toni Jerrman (pj), Petri Hiltunen, Ilja Rautsi, Syksy Räsänen sekä yllätysvieras
  • 17.30 Weird Fiction Today (in English)
    The panelists dig deep into strange genre literature
    Jukka Halme (pj), Hannu Blommila, Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer
  • 18.30 Profeettoja ja velhoja
    Miksi suosikkisarjakuvien tekijät muuttuvat tämän tästä mielipuoliksi?
    Otto Sinisalo kertoo ja näyttää mallia
  • 19.15 Pelimiehet avautuvat
    Tietokonepelit alfasta omegaan
    Petri Hiltunen (pj), Henri Hakkarainen, Jyrki J. J. Kasvi, Veikko Laeslehto, Mikko Rautalahti
  • 20.15 Nyhjää tyhjiöstä
    Spekulatiiviset kirjat
    Syksy Räsänen (pj), Hannu Blommila, Aleksi Kuutio, Tiina Raevaara, Ilja Rautsi
  • 21.15 Myy kirja -kisa
    Juuri sinä voit voittaa! Ota mukaan haluamasi kirja ja lue siitä pätkä lavalla niin haltioituneesti kuin mahdollista. Show-elkeet sallittu! Max 2–3 minuuttia per esitys. Voittajat palkitaan ruhtinaallisesti.
    Juontajana Vesa "Strippari" Sisättö
  • 22.00 Scifi-sarjakuvakaraoke
    Eläydy Hopeasurffariksi, Halo Jonesiksi, Teräsliljaksi tai Kapteeni Hyperventilaattorimieheksi. Valitse suosikkisarjakuvasivusi ja esitä se itse tai kaverisi kanssa. Halutessasi voit tuoda mukana myös oman sarjakuvasivusi. Parhaat suoritukset palkitaan hulppeasti!
    Juontajana Vesa Kataisto
  • 22.45 Tiedon väärti
    Turkasen totinen tieteistietovisa
    Vetäjänä Jukka Halme
  • 23.45 Kalkkunatrailereita
    Maistuvat einekset pitävät aivonnälän loitolla
  • 00.15 Ohjelma loppuu ja hupi alkaa
    Vapaata seurustelua avaruuden käymättömillä korpimailla
  • 02.00 Ovet kiinni

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tähtifantasia Award Nominees

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the shortlist for the Tähtifantasia award (for best translated fantasy book published in Finnish last year). The nominees are (accompanied by the jury’s comments):
  • Yövartiosto (Night Watch) by Terry Pratchett (Karisto)
    “One of the best tales by the master of humoristic fantasy deals with the essence of time and unjustice in society”
  • Tuulen nimi (The Name of the Wind) by Patrick Rothfuss (Kirjava)
    “A debut novel that honors the traditions of fantasy and is of high literary quality, deals with the magic in words and music”
  • Viimeinen toivomus (Ostatnie życzenie) by Andrzej Sapkowski (WSOY)
    “A thought-provoking short story collection that utilizes the eastern European fantasy tradition with skill”
  • Hiljaisuus soi H-mollissa (The Earth Hums In B-Flat) by Mari Strachan (Karisto)
    “A description of a family that transforms from a murder myster into a growth story; enchants with its magical realism”
  • Kuolemattomien kaarti (The Year of Our War) by Steph Swainston (Like)
    “An original, genre blending novel that doesn’t shy away from the brutal”
The Tähtifantasia award winner is decided by a jury of experts, comprising critic Jukka Halme, critic Aleksi Kuutio, writer and editor Anne Leinonen, and the representative of the Risingshadow fantasy fan forum Osmo Määttä.

Monday, March 07, 2011

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...