Swecon in a whisky. Isn't it always so? And then there's this:
Jepjep. I'm man enough to admit, that methinks ianmcdonald iz a gennious. But why or Urth should I stop cooking with jophan ?
And then there's still more of the same(ish):
Pass this on to 5 blogging friends.
Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56.
Write out the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that...
Michael H. Whitworth (2001: 50) has noted that this has much to do with the structure of narrative expected by readers, and that the story of the discovery has to end with suitably extensive pronouncements about the changes the new knowledge will bring:
Purchased Holly Phillips' first novel, Engine's Child. This should've come out two moths ago, so I might have included it to my Kutzpah in next Tähtivaeltaja, which looks into first novels by more short story -famed writers. Holly Phillips would've fitted the bil well and truly. And isn't Margo Lanagan about to pub her first novel, too?
OK. Three more hours to go today. This I can do. It's payday! Fillét Mignon and bottle of bubble in the evening. Truffels! Or perhaps a take-away sushi and something fizzy? Like Cherry Coke from Behnfords? Sounds like a plan.
Typepad seems to be really acting up, so I will post this to LJ as well. It's a report of sorts, of last weekends Parcon.
I’m back from
This year the gathering took place in
Yes, Parcon had Guests of Honour! Hal Duncan, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer (special guest), Ian R. MacLeod and Les Edwards/Edward Miller were all there, nicely fitting to the theme of the con: New Weird. Fancy me going to a con where focus is on new weird? What this really meant, was that every GoH had a presentation called “New Weird”, where they pretty much did what they wanted: read fiction, gave interviews, gave a speech and so on.
This was a good con. Not great, but interesting and fun. As always, Jeff, Ann and Hal were great Guests and we hanged a lot with the, maybe too much? If I’d been a Czech, I might’ve taken offense that the bloody foreigners come and steal Our GoH’s! But I might be wrong, too. It seemed like most of the Czechs were more than happy to be among themselves and get the autograph and listen to the GoH-interviews etc. They didn’t try to chat with Hal or Jeff, and Ghu knows, those guys are willing to talk to anyone, about anything!
Thanks Peter and all the rest of you guys& gals! Marta, Jolana, Tomas, Pagi, Lukas and the Unpronouncable (hope to see you some day at the Rally Finland)! I enjoyed this a great deal!
Trying to stay awake after last night's stag party for Vesa. Slept little, drank enough. Now, dead. Soon, asleep.
But not too asleep to notice that Chris "KeL" Adams made some perceptive remarks this week.
If you really and truly claim to be a Jedi master, you have to expect to come under attack by dark Sith Lords. It comes with the territory (and lightsaber).
Happy trails to my sister-in-law (and obviously Sari's sister...) Merja and her
boytoy boyfriend Teemu, who soon will tie the knot and finally register their relationship! This is truly a happy occasion and I believe ALL our readers will join Sari and me as we wish all the best for the happy couple!
Marriage is a big step in any relationship. It certainly was in our case. So big in fact that we needed to move all the way to those United States. I wonder if Merja nad Teemu will do the same, and move, say, to China? :)
Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!
Weeks like this are really, really nice. Last week wasn't bad either. I quite like working weeks that end by Thursday. Likewise, I'm more than fond of working weeks that begin Tuesday. Now, if only we'd get more of these.
It is an absolute delight to wake on mornings and realise: "Hey, I don't have to go to work! And the same goes for tomorrow, too. And Monday! Thanks Jesus!" Yet, somehow it feels like cheating. Easter is a four-day holiday because of the Passion of the Christ and as someone who doesn't Believe, I feel a bit guilty of taking advantage of this holiday.
But not guilty enough to actually do something about it. I'll take every single holiday I can get, regardless of the reason. Shouldn't we celebrate some muslim holidays, too? ...maybe not.
As said, I did little beside laid back during the holidays. I would dearly have been in Orbital, this years Eastercon, but as finances are what they are - alas, no. Apparently a good con (by the total sum of one (1) so far seen report, this one by Bellis) with interesting GoH's. Talking about Guests of Honours, Åcon 2 GoH Ian MacDonald's Brasyl just got yet another award, this time BSFA for the Best Novel. Can YOU pass this opportunity to see this multi-award-winning gentleman?
And again, laid-backing was the weekend for me. I painted the mural a bit, but I really need better brushes in order to finish it. I also ate some lamb. We had some family over and so forth, but many were the moments when I just put my feet up and zzzz'd. And you know what? Today I've been mostly awake at work! :)
The title is, of course, a Deep Thought by Jack Handey. But since it is too long, lj cuts out last four lettters. Which are "ther".
"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other."
I've been mostly thinking about the Åcon2 programming, book reviewing and murals. A mural, to be exact. I've been painting this big red cat, but I really need to get better brushes in order to finish the work. It looks good enough for now, but I'll be tweaking it for some time still. You'll see when you visit. Or I'll take a picture and post it here. Might do that tomorrow. Shadow knows.
Saw a sf-movie today. Alien cargo. I wasn't expecting much (nothing, really) and was pleasantly surprised by this little, entertaining and suspenseful tv-movie. Take some elements from Alien, add little bit of decent plot and suspense, hints of something sinister (but do not show it), rational explanation for irrational behaviour and genuinely coherent ending - et voilá! You have the makings of a very nice film.
Alien cargo is definitely no masterpiece: acting is OK, main characters are not that convincing as space truckers, exposition is dreadful when it happens (the bar scene, ouch!), dialogue gnaws more often than bites and your SFX isn't that much better than Babylon5 - but the film manages to entertain nevertheless. The two "heroes" are likable, especially after they are infected and start acting like it, surprisingly without anyone actually explaining it unnecessarily! And the ending is as it should be. Kudos.
This reminded me little bit about Outland, that MTV3 Scifi also showed few days ago. Gritty workers SF, these are. More of this, please. What kind of a movie could be achieved with little more grit, more eye for little everyday details and - for example - William Barton writing the story!
Incidentally, I see that Barton's last novel came out almost a decade ago. He is still writing short fiction, but no longer pieces. Shame, really.
I've been organising my cabinets today. As some of you may have gathered (especially from Sari's ongoing commentary here and there) I have few reams of paper products: fanzines, drawings, fiction, doodles, print-outs, crap, notebooks etc. Couple of cabinets, really.
I managed to get rid of couple of boxes, one of which (rather surprisingly) contained about twenty books. Some of which location I had been wondering a bit already, mainly the ones I had on my "To-be-read"-pile. Or the ones I was in the middle of, when we moved. Like Arthur C. Clarke's fiction autobiography Astounding Tales. That I've been searching for these past couple of days after the passing of ACC himself.
I thought of putting the book to the "powder room" ie. the WC (as opposed to the bathroom with sauna), but unfortunately we've been having bit of a problem with plumbing lately. Mainly the hose that leads from the hole in the sink that averts catastrophes if one leaves the water running (what do you call it? overflow-prevention device?) was not connected, meaning that water ran down to the cabinet under the sink.
Damages? Don't ask. I'll have to contact the NCC after Easter and ask what do they think is their responsibility in a situation like this and what do they think is the going rate of 1980's Conan comics. We're probably not going to see eye to eye there.
(Appropriately last.fm is playing Kings of the Wild Frontier right now. Which was preceded by Sunglasses After Dark and I Ran. That's Adam and the Ants, Corey Hart and Flock of Seagulls.)
Earlier today, when ice skating was still only a glimmer in the horizon, I was watching telly and eating brunch. There was this semi-sf series Jack and Bobby on. Somewhat interesting concept, but not that interesting in reality. Anyhoo, I googled the show and wasn't too surprised to notice that the show lasted only one season. What caught my interest was the other Finland connection (Christine Lahti is the lead in the series as the mother of the eponymous characters. I also note that she is married to Thomas Schlamme, one of the producers of the show), namely that the fictional president Adler, who was in power during the War of Americas, was later charged with war crimes, after being arrested by the president of Finland! Way to go, president Joku! (Now last.fm is playing Icehouse's Hey Little Girl. This is really good! Sounds a lot like Girls and Boys -era Bryan Ferry, which is great! OK, now we're back with Thompson Twins.)I mentioned that I found some twenty books from the cabinets. This finally broke the 4 900 mark at Librarything. Still some way to go for the full... Barth? Barnes? Bromley? What was that 5000+ size of a library?
Easter! The Redeemer! The Passion!
Or... four-day-weekend. I'll take that.
I was going to write something really spiffy about various Tähtivaeltaja Award nominees (that includes Tähtifantasia, the one I'm chairing this year), but I've mostly been reading and feeling very much relaxed. Good, innit?
"So, what is Parcon?", asks the uninitiated fan from Lesser Knowledge. Glad you asked, I'll try to answer.
Czechs are known as nearly-as-lucky-but-not-quite-as-lucky-
The most famous Czech speculative fiction author is a toss between two names: Karel Čapek and Franz Kafka. The first gave us newts, the second cockroaches. There was someone who gave Prague golems, too. Little is known about the fandom, but it exist and has been organising cconvetions for quite some time now.
The annual Czech (and Slovak, as they do things together, even if Czeckoslovakia is no more) SF-con is called PARCON, which probably takes its name from the first ever such convention, which was held in the city of PARdubice. Subsequent conventions have been called Parcons, which is quite OK, as otherwise there might've been cons like Olocon, Bracon, Košcon, Šumcon, Banská Byscon, Ústí nad Labcon, Spišská Nová Vescon and my personal favourite: Brandýs nad Labcon.
By using the same principle as the original 1987 con-organisers, this years ccould be called Plzcon. As in Plzeň, or if you like to call it by the German name, Pilsen. Which of course is the home of famous Pilsener, such as Urquell and Staropramen. Very nice.
But, I digress. Parcon 2008 will be held in Plzeň from 22nd to 24th of August and it looks like a very nice little convention indeed. Interesting topic (New Weird, fancy me liking this one...), interesting Guests of Honour (Jeff [and Ann] VanderMeer, Les Edwards and a list of others, who the organisers haven't confirmed yet (Ian R. MacLeod, China Miéville, Steph Swainston). In Czech Republic, where beer costs practically nothing, there are taps on your restaurant table and counters on the wall! Not to mention cheapo accomodation: 200 local
dollars korunas/night, which puts you back something like... €8. As said, cheap. Should be good and I'm sorely tempted.
Anyone else interested? Quick trip to former Eastern Europe (Plzeň is of course over ten longitudes west from Helsinki, while the most western part of Czech is more western than Sweden), few cool, refreshing draughts from the "horses mouth" (there could be a pub by that name somewhere, why not Plzeň?) and fun SF with local fen (who really do look like cross between Helsinki-fandom and TeroY) and Guests. Should be pretty cheap also. OK, has to be pretty cheap. My budget does not allow me to do anything other than Really Cheap Tripping, but then again, where does one spend money in a foreign con? Accomodation, some travel, food, beer and
cheap souveniers. All these more or less peanuts to us westerners.
I'm seriously considering this one.
We increased our television channel intake by getting a package deal from Elisa for about a dozen channels. Mainly so that Sari would be able watch Ice Skating (some Championships begin tomorrow). And since they were also very much interested in keeping us happy, they threw in three months worth of MTV3+ channels: Ava, Fakta, Max, This, That - and Scifi.
Which is OK, I guess. We've had it now for a week and during that time I've watched couple of episodes of B5 (yes, really! still not very good), some entertainingly bad direct--to-video films (like Chameleon2), few minutes of Andromeda, some Red Dwarf, couple of episodes of the First Doctor Who (Hartnell!) and the second episode of the Masters of
Well worth the price we're paying now, which is obviously €nil at the moment. So NOT worth paying the actual (€20?) list price. OK, you'd get all the Other Great channels they have, like Sub Junior and Leffa and Sarja, but still, no. Though I have to admit that I found an interesting series from Sarja: Reilly - vakoilijaässä (Reilly - Ace of Spies). Loosely based on the life and times of one Sidney Reilly, the world's first superspy. Cracking stuff! The episode I was had Reilly "saving" another spy from German factory, where the huns were making sikrit veapon, just in case there might be need for such a thing (this happened in 1905). Reilly actually goes and steals the blueprints and leaves the other guy (played by young Bill Nighy, as if there actually has ever been a young Bill Nighy!) to die. Realpolitik disguised as spy-stuff. Me liked.
And, no. Not even with Reilly - vakoilijaässä will the MTV3+ channel package be worth twenty åre. Not even with the Formula1 or David Letterman or Secret Army (Maanalainen armeija) or even 'Allo 'Allo (Maanalainen armeija iskee jälleen). Maybe if they would show Survivorman (Selviytyjä) but then again, Discovery is showing that and we got Discovery. What a show! This dude, Les, is dropped in the middle of nowhere, with just some bare essentials and couple of cameras (and some serious batteries!) for seven days, and he has to, well, just survive! Like in the middle of some bigass Ocean with only a rubberboat. Or Antartica, or the Amazon, or... Wherever! Les manages. Today he boiled water in a plastic bottle (his only method of carrying liquids!) with a fire he concoted up from dung, glycerin and potassium permanganate. Which basically meant that he picked up some wilderbeest poo, poured some antiseptics on top of it, which then had a chemical reaction - and hey presto: FIRE! Kool.
Television can be educational.
Took some time off from all that PeBloWriMoing. Missed me? Oh...
As some of you may already know, Finncon2009 (10th - 12th of July) takes place in Kaapelitehdas. It took some time to find a proper venue for the kind of convention we wanted to do: a joint Finncon/Animecon, where both can exist together, but still have their own space. Roughly translated as: massive happening room for the anime-kids and cosy mingling/beer-drinking space for the
It will take LOT of doing, not to mention HUGE amount of volunteer work, but I'm sure we'll manage. And that we'll do it together. I think I will address this thing later this week.
Which I will call PeBloWriWe, as in Personal Blog Writing Week. I have some things I like to write about and if I conjure this
And of course, congratulations to Mr. Koljonen for the BIG L!
No PeBloWriMo for karkauspäivä or Leap Day, as it is evidently called. Wasn't near computer that day. Very busy also. We went to Ikea, just for fun, since we actually had a lot to do last Friday, but... Went to Ikea and bought a table. Actually we had already collected the boxes (2) for the said table, when I noticed a peculiarily similar looking table(s) at the "Löytöjä"-corner. There were two tables for sale, the one that I noticed first (really battered for €45) and the one behind the other. Looking bad as well, but as I looked a bit more closely, swiped some of the grime away with me 'and, revealing fairly undamaged and only €89 priced table, I knew this was IT. After some negotiations, renting a van and all, the whole trip to Ikea ended up costing several tenners less than just the new table we were after. Brilliant!
But we did lose some time, which meant that we were in a bit of a hurry to get to railway station and to Turku, where we headed straight away to Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, and the St. Anna's Chapel which is the said religious place inside the museum. Really intimate and small place. And a very nice place to have one's sikrit wedding.
In this case the marriage between my bloodbrother Hannu Pajunen and the lovely bride, Kristiina Koljonen. Surrounded by some dozen relatives and close friends, we attended the ceremony. I had the honour of being the bestman, and while I had the urge to snap the ringbox on the reverend's fingers, I managed to control myself. Barely.
Stayed at Hannu's place for the night (while the happy couple were doing whatever people do in a undisclosed location) and headed to Tammere with Tomi and Tero, at Tero's car. I was already feeling the flu I'm currently having (the one Sari's been having for some time now) and felt somewhat drowsy. It's irritating fly, this one. Not really that bad (I'm going to go to work tomorrow, unless my temperature will rise significantly before morning), but bothersome, to say the least.
Ate a hearthy lunch at Ali Baba's (Turku-people's regular haunt for he Yhteistyökokous). I recommended the nearby Ragu's Malesian restaurant. Really good, you should try that one. Better food than Ali Baba's mediocre kebab. Nothing really that wrong with their kebab, well worth the €6 or so. Still, Ragu's. Better.
Yhteistyökokous was good, if a bit long. But then again, it was pretty much what it was supposed to be. Co-operation and information. Good stuff and it has been really excellent that SPEKTRE has organised this one now for six years in a row. I think we were wise when we asked whether the Tammere people would be willing to arrange this thing for the common good of Finndom.
After the Real Deal, we ate a bit, drank a bit, went to sauna (or some people did, as well as dipping into the frozen lake, I didn't as I was feeling the coming of the Cold), fried some sausages, smoked a few cigars and had a raffle. Eight tickets, one prize. Should've bought only two, probably would've won with both of them.
Unfortunately the DVD-player didn't recognize Atlantiksen jumala, which meant that the Rest of the Finland's Premiere is still yet to come. In hindsight, this may have been a blessing in disguise. The co-operation meeting was so long that we may have had to skip or really shorten the last event of the day, the NoFF-auction, which would've been simply terrible.
I acted as the auctioneer (which isn't the reason I think it'd been terrible to miss it) and together with the generosity of the fandom, we managed to raise well over 300 euroes (over €280 for the auction and some extra from anonymous donators) to this year's trip! Give yourself a round of applause, people! Well done.
We headed to train station in order to catch the 11Pm train, managed to do that, spent hour-and-half sitting uncomfortably at pendolino's chairs, while the two brats in front of us were behaving obnoxiously and were in Helsinki at 0.30AM. Which was covered in snow, and kept snowing. And I thought the spring was here already. Fat chance.
Today we've been mostly sleeping, trying to get better and fixing the flat up. Still plenty of stuff to do, but every day is looking more and more likely that we might be ready to hold a house-warming party. RSN.
OK, to bed. PeBloWriMo is over, rejoice!
OK, it's really Saturday, but I just got back from SF-mafia at St. Urho's Pub. If you're ever in the neighbourhood, feel free to drop in every other Thursday (odd weeks, like week number 1, 3, 5, 15, 37, 41 and so forth) starting from 6PM'ish.
Decent crowd today: some less seen figures like Päivi, out-of-towners like Juri and way-long-ago-last-seen like AnttiJ. Nice. Had a good discussion with Toni about Viivi Hyvönen's new novel Apina ja Täysikuu. Everybody should go and buy this book, and then read it. If you can't buy it, borrow, and read. Good, interesting, new, thought-provoking SF mixed with fantasy, detective stories and whatnot. I dare to call it very much New Weirdish. There, I've said it.
Tomorrow to Turku and then to Tammere on Saturday. Now: Sleep.
I wouldn't also mind some kind of a holiday. Next weekend I'll be busy travelling, three cities in two days. And there's still quite a number of things I'd like (and especially Sari would like to see me) so in our new flat. Like drilling holes to the walls in order to put art, shelves and various and sundry hanging objects to there. As well as paint my HIFK-mural. So my next three weekend (following this travelling wilbury -one) will be dedicated to homestead maintenance.
This is funny. Really funny. I wish someone would do this for real and in album form. I'd buy a copy.
"You maniacs! You blew it up! Oh, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
I'm thinking Åcon2 programming. I think we did pretty well last time with the proposed schedule, so I guess we might just continue with it. It looked like this. I think we might talk about translating, books (always a good plan), post colonialism in SF, forgotten authors, and perhaps BS.
65 days to go.
Oh, the bit from Planet of the Apes is answer to a question at a quiz at Åcon. Might be worth a few points.