Funny story. I wrote this in July last year, saved the draft... and then pretty much forgot it. Well. Better late than never, eh?
Posted by jukkahoo
I have to admit that I do not remember when I was originally asked to be the GoH of Finncon 2014. I reckon it was via email and by one of the Saijas. I was, and still am, really flattered. Chuffed. Happy. Honoured. Taken.
Guest of Honour is something special. Not just cool, fun, exciting and great, but special. I tried to explain it in my Helsingin Sanomat -interview, but it bears repeating. To me the Fan GoH is like the Golde Helmet -award in Finnish Elite League, where the players vote for the best player of the season. Hyperbola perhaps, but to me it feels like I'm getting respect from my peers, the fandom as a whole. And I like that feeling.
The past year has been very busy, with all the hassle and bustle of the failed (but magnificiently so) Helsinki in 2015 bid and my promotion at work, followed by the mad and passionate Return of the Bid. Occasionally I've been remainded that "there is this Jyväskylä Finncon coming up, have you prepared your stuff for it?". Oh yes, had I ever.
And then it was Time. Out of the blue, Coming round the corner, Without notice, and Without warning. It was JUST there. Unannounced.
Today I have mostly been GoH. It's brilliant. You get a nice room, by the lake, with your very own sauna.
You get your personal assistant, a "call-whenever-you-need-a-car"-person, and a schedule, that tells you where you neef to be when. And occasionally, a quick change of plans, but all taken care of.
Had leisurely breakfast, did some research before being quickly interviewed on the Jyväskylän Kesä stage in midtown with Elizabeth Bear. No singing, apparently there was no time for it. Sad, we were thinking of doinh Gangnam Style a la Jari Sillanpää.
Saw the exhibition at U library, nice one. I especially liked the movie posters. Chuffing to see my own books on display as well.
Hugo-panel was really good, great minds think unlike. Things went bit blurry after that. There was Hannu and a bunch of others talking smart. A book was published by STk. Beer was had. Archipelacon meeting was held. People were met. Plenty many. Late dinner arrived finally! Pasi won Finnconkampen, of course.
Eput laulaa njet njet. Juuri nyt. Kaukaa toiselta rannalta kuultuna kyseessä on kelpo versio.
Today saturday, I have mostly been GoHing. Again. I know, a bit repetative, but this is just soooo-o much fun. I would recommend this to everyone. In fact, I DO recommend it to everyone. Best gig in town.
We carried a fair number of book to the scifi-fleamarket before the opening ceremony. Someone claimed that it was supposed to start late, so I strolled a bit before and managed to showup just in time for our introductions. Eemeli is a terrible translator. Tsk.
My first proper program item was the panel on "likable characters in genre fiction". Tough proposition and we may have wandered off from that quite a bit. Chris Bell had a godd suggestion later on, that we should've talked about symphatetic characters instead. Probly, this was a bit vague and while my fellow panelists had good points, I don't think think this was our brightest day.
Luckily, my long-suffering better half Sari did an excellent job interviewing fellow GoH, The Bear. Great anecdotes and relaxed chatting, kudos.
After we, the Tähtifantasia Award jury, managed to yet again obfuscate our loyal followers and especially the Shaow jury, thw prize for Best Translated Fantasy Novel was given to Bruno Schulz's new Finnish book, that includes the master's entire known and available ouvre. Incredible collection of brilliant fiction, a true celebration of slow reading. You need to check this out. Seriously.
I moderated an extremely lively and joyous debate on Fact and Fiction (mainly fact, but hey...) with Johanna. sinisalo, Tiina Raevaara and Fellow GoH Hannu Rajaniemi. A LOT of fun. I believe the audience liked this one as well. They sounded like they did.
The Masquerade was filled with lots of fine costumes, and some truly great ones. Some of the entries were, shall we say, sensuous than others. The twitterverse has ample evidence of this all. Us judges were under a lot of stress and our deliberation took time, which nearly caused a riot, but crisis was averted by that man Särkijärvi, who entertained the restless audience with song and dance. With aplomb. And gusto. And a little help from bunny-tailed manflesh.
Us GoHs were whisked away to Harald for some excellent Viking-food and mead (well, beer, though I wouldn't have said no to mead). Apologies for arriving late for the party an Musta Könsikäs, but. Food. Beer. Horned helmets. Sword skewers. Tar ice cream. Yum.
Party had some delightful programming, giving the writing competition award away' Senor Humidor's Sciencifiktional Cigar Clubs meeting and the Filks. NOW I am truly a Finncon GoH! I have been immortalized in a filk. "Mä seuduilla näillä oon tunnettu scifi-mies..." Thank you ever so much, Filky Freakies. I truly appreciate this.
When evening turned into Sunday, I realised I was the last GoH left and since my bones were aching, I called my trusty chauffer, and headed back to the lull of our hotel room. Now there is no more Eppu Normaali playing, just them dinosaurs squaaking. Go to sleep, I'm gonna!