Posted by jukkahoo
My goodness! Where has the time gone? It's already the 19th of March and I'll be taking off in less than 10 hours! Kääk! I have so many things I need to do.
While I'm tripping the Australia fantastic, I'll try to be more active with this blog, my Facebook page and Twitter, but all that will depend on my chances of getting online. Here's hoping.
My Australian schedule looks something like this:
21.3. Arriving in Sydney at 6:50AM
Flight delayed due to broken windshield. Will miss my connecting flight from Singapore to Sydney. Everything will be revealed when we get to Chengi. I hope.
23.3 Leaving Sydney at 1:00PM
23.3. Arriving Brisbane at 1:30PM
29.3. Leaving Brisbane at 10:55AM
29.3. Arriving Adelaide at 2:10PM
2.4. Leaving Adelaide at 12:50AM
2.4. Arriving Perth at 1:40PM
4.4. Leaving Perth at 11:35PM
5.4. Arriving Melbourne at 5:05AM
8.4. Leaving Melbourne at 4:55PM
8.4. Arriving Canberra at 6:00PM
14.4. Leaving Australia at 3:35PM
Lots of miles to fly, but I'm certain all this will be well worth it all. I'm really looking forward meeting all those Australian fen I know AND all those I've never met before. I'll try to not let my Finnishness get too much in the way. I may speak more than few words. And grunt. Maybe, perhaps, a smile.
Where's me washboard?
Posted by jukkahoo
Far too tired to write anything constructive or sense-making, just a general WHEEEEE!!!!w00t!!! We did it! Worldcon 75 is reality.
Amazing race, astounding result. Thanks to everyone who has been involved so far. This is just one sector of a larger cake we need to prepare, bake and then, well, eat it. We'll be needing a LOT of help, in so many different forms. You're all invited to join in, any which way you want and can.
I'll try to write something coherent tomorrow, after I've done sleeping away all this tiredness and couple of jetlags. And I've been reunited with my luggage and some notes I did during the Sasquan. I'll be back.
Posted by jukkahoo
I'm arriving tomorrow, the 18th of August.
I will leave the following Monday, the 24th of August.
Between those days, I shall sit behind various tables: bid, site selection and parties. I may go and see a panel or two. Definitely going to check-out the Huckster's Room and attend the Hugo ceremony.
No actual programming, as you can see. I'm probably not Worldcon-program material. I may, however, do some impromptu quizzes at Helsinki-parties.
And... that's about it. My schedule. At Sasquan.
Posted by jukkahoo
Last weekend the annual Swecon took place in the luvverly medieval city of Linköping. This was my third Confuse (as they like to call their convention) and as the previous ones, this was a very good one. Nice location, good GoHs and pleasant atmosphere.
We took a morning flight to Arlanda on Friday and grouped with almost the whole of Finnish contingency for the train trip. Kennet and Jan came by boat and arrived earlier. Swedish trains are very comfortable and while we almost did jump to a wrong train, we eventually did manage to take the right one and arrive to our destination without losses.
Since we had time to kill before the con started, we decided to stroll the town a bit. It looked more or less the same, except Genghis Khan Mongolian Barbeque was no longer where it had been in 2008. Or 2002. Sad. Later, Sari managed to find the new location, past which we had actually walked when sightseeing. Very non-descriptively Mongolian their new look. I thought it was an upscale barbershop.
We had a lunch at Grekiskt och Gott, and it was Greek and good. Halloumi especially was tasty. Then the tragedy happened.
We went and bought few items of drinky&eaty from Hemköp and while I was marveling the efficiency of their self-service stations and the mechanics of exiting the store, I lost my credit card. My bad, I cannot blame anyone else, I just lost it. Which made he rest of the trip probably a bit less expensive (?) and traditional, as we had to use actual bills in order to pay for stuff. All this when we had actually talked about how easy it is to travel in Sweden, when you don't have to use cash or their equivalent Monopoly money.
Bit of dent this credit card business, and I was somewhat down about it, too. Hence the Friday night was an early one for us, though I did manage to have a nice chat with Britt-Louise and Wennerström and couple of other people at the lobby after I had closed the Bid's table. Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London -novels are really recommended.
All in all, Friday was a relaxed day of meeting old and new friends, having a few beers and chatting about trivial things. And witnessing the Spirit of Swecon - once again! - not-loosened upon the gathered congregation, as it was lost. Again.
Sari woke up at some god-forsaken hour, but somewhat surprisingly, I was also up before 7AM and headed for the brekkie-room, where only elderly Germans were making noises and stuffing their pockets with munchables. As I am not the most morning-person I know, pretty much the opposite, I took my own table, but Carolina had other ideas and brought with her this Ben-person. Nice chap, writes fiction.
Saturday was the big program day for me, four items of various seriousness levels. Before that, however, I went to see Sari's panel on Finding the Fantastic (Where do you find recommendations about what to read/see and information about fantastic literature, movies, tv?). Nice discussion, though I could see the trend of middle-aged men swapping stories, with a female moderator keeping them in some semblance of an order. Perhaps someone younger and of opposite sex might've given the panel a bit of variety.
The first of my own, What to read next? (It is not easy to find the good books) was (again) a nice book recommendation panel with Socialist-Simon leading the hers and Sini, Olov and yours truly telling a bit about the recent books we had read. I think it was a decent and varied selection, maybe a but thin on the SF-side (especially harder stuff), but other wise a very nice group of books.
After some loitering and book browsing (and possibly a beer), I talked about the Bid (A presentation of the work on the bid for a Worldcon in Helsinki 2017 and some thoughts about the politics involved) and how has it been trying to get the Worldcon to Helsinki. Well, tough and not always to my liking. But I hope this will be beginning of something new and interesting, not only for Finnish and Nordic fandom, but for the whole international field. If we win, of course. And even if we don't. That itself will speak volumes about the worldliness of fandom. Dozen people had lost their way and were listening my ranting. Some even asked questions. And chatted afterward!
I believe we went and had some delish sushi before my next program item Hugopanel with Puppygate (Panel discussion on the Hugo-nominated novels. Quality? Which one deserves to win and why? The nominations this year have been intensely discussed since two groups calling themselves the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies have succeeded in obtaining many nominations by telling people to nominate from a prepared list). Kisu took the lead, while we, four middle-aged men pontificated about the nominees and the sadness of puppies. Amicable chatter, which covered the bases and managed to talk about the novel nominees fairly thoroughly. Clearly too short a time and too large a topic, unlike at Archipelacon, where these two were given separate panels and more time.
The proper ending for the day was my Kuis?, which I hosted with my very own Osman, Fia Herself! People have said that the show was fun and since i was there and I had fun, I'm willing to believe them. And it was fun.
There is this BBC quiz show called Pointless, which I have for some time now thought about ripping off trying out myself and when I had this brilliant idea about outsourcing my research to outsiders at Archipelacon's Åmazing Race, I knew I had my Swecon-quiz. Pre-interviewed group of 60 people were asked a number of questions and then my quiz participants were asked these very same questions and if the contestants were able to answer correctly, with the least amount of answers by those 60 people, or better still, NO answers, they'd get little or no points. Which sort of is a good thing in a game called Pointless.
Dreaded Judge Fia was tough, but fair and the contestants smart and funny. Oh, Tobias, you sure know how to talk to a lady... If you're now damning yourself for not getting to Confuse and witnessing this spectacular, fear not, for I'm doing it again next year in Tammere. Suomeksi.
There may have been an actual evening party at De Klomp, but since I didn't hear about it, our late night was spent at the lobby with a ever larger group of people. And beer. Chatting away happily and enjoying the Swecon Spirit, which by now had found its way to the Frimuraren.
Sunday felt like an afterthought, I didn't see any programming, I bought only one book (!) and chatted with some of those I hadn't yet had time to do; Bellis, John-Henri, PatrickC osv. Then a train (thanks for the tip, Kennet!) trip to Arlanda, ribs at O'Learys and another 45 minutes in the air ("That can't be Åland already?" "Well, what else could it be?" "Yeah") and we were home. With one very happy Mogens.
Posted by jukkahoo
Tomorrow morning we'll hop to a Norwegian and fly to Arlanda, where we'll take a train to the beautiful medieval town of Linköping, in order to participate this years Swecon, Confuse.
Confuse promises to be a nice, smallish convention of two-three hundred fen, with a lineup of interesting guests with Madeline Ashby, Kristina Hård and Ben Aaronovitch. I've been to two previous Linköping Swecons, the very first one in 2002 was also my first ever Swecon. I was the NoFF (Nordic FanFund) representative then and I was well impressed by the lätt och lagom attitude of the arrangers, solid GoHs (China Miéville and Gwyneth Jones) and well-stocked beer pub.
This time the location of the con is a hotel. Uppsala's Kontrast was also at a hotel, but I wasn't staying on location, so who knows what infernal nightly bacchanalia I missed. This time, we have a room at the Frimuraren.
Sari is taking charge of the Helsinki in 2017 -bid table, together with Åcon 8. I'll probably be hanging around that table somewhat as well. I have all my programming on Saturday. At Noon I'll be lying What Books You Should Read Next, at 2PM I'll be spreading malicious rumours about the BID, at 6PM I'm participating on a Hugo/Puppy-panel, and at 9PM we'll be asking Pointless questions from unsuspecting participants with Fia.
Should be fun, and will be. Swecons are always a really nice little convention (unless they have huge, Big Name Guests like when Stockholm had the Eurocon), with some terrific programming, interesting guests, good talks, chats and enough beer. As you can see, I LIKE Swecon. The Swedish fandom is my other home fandom.
This week has been murder at work, with long days and a desperate attempt to clean up the table before Summer vacation. Which has now OFFICALLY STARTED! See you at a con!
Posted by jukkahoo
Who doesn't want to go to Australia? I know I do. I'd love to. But (there's often a "but" following thoughts similar to these) so far I haven't had the chance, time and/or money to do so. At presently, I might have the money, provided I'd stop doing this bidding business or various other fun stuff like arranging Åcon8 and being kindasorta active in Finnish fandom.
So, Australia, yes please, very much so.
However, now there is a Chance and the Means, all I have to do is provide the third part, the Time ("So, um, boss... I may need to have a long Easter holiday next year?"). I believe I'm good for that.
This wondrous opportunity is called GUFF, short for Going Under Fan Fund (when traveling the Australia/New Zealand way) and I'm an Official Candidate. It's one of those really cool things that fandom does, giving opportunities to realise a dream, to give back to the community and make the world more like a village than a series of interconnected tubes. Like the internet.
But why should you vote for me and not the other candidate? Well, I guess my main reasons for that would be:
- if you want to meet a genuine Finnish fan, who has been fanning for nigh 30 years, I'm your choice Numero Uno!
- if you'd like to see a program participant from somewhere a bit different at Contact 2016 in Brisbane, I sure would fit the bill!
- if you think that international fandom is cool recommended, choose me! (Choose me! Meee-e!)
- if GUFF sounds like a great idea (and it is!), then you definitely should consider voting for me!
- if you'd like to meet someone who loves to read, meet new people, doesn't shy away form an offered beer (or some other interesting beverage), why not give it a go and send/bring me to Australia?
- if you'd like to witness the world-renowned jollity of the Finns, you would see ALL THIS! And more.
That other candidate is a dour fellow, a tight-lipped and stingy chap, who would rather stay at home than travel to Australia. Sure, Mr. Hold Over Funds sounds like fun, but is really not someone you might have a chat or talk about fanzines, or New Weird, or creating programming for a con, or bidding a Worldcon, or talk about the finer points of cricket. Scratch that last one, I still have no idea how even the scoring system works.
Here's my official pitch:
Model 1967 recovering illustrator, editor, writer, reviewer, con runner, fanzine-fan etc, who is currently part of a bid to bring Worldcon to my hometown of Helsinki. Chaired three Finncons, been involved with a number of other conventions since 1989. Besides doing pretty much everything there is program-wise, does also mean quizzes at cons. Married, with two small dogs and an apartment filled with books. Never been to Australasia, but would love to see the place and meet the fandom. And have a pint or two with you. I might be persuaded NOT to bring Finnish candy with me!
Here is the actual ballot. I am running unopposed, which is sad, but I hope to run a great campaign nevertheless. I have great bunch of nominators: Bellis, Cheryl Morgan, James Shields, Damien Warman & Juliette Woods jointly, and Sue Ann Barber. Best of both worlds really and I want to make these people proud of my candidacy.
Where can you see me in the meanwhile? Well, I'll be in Linköping, Sweden in a week, at this years Swecon. Less than two weeks after that, I'll be in Sasquan, at the 73rd Worldcon, in sunny Spokane, USA. Then I'll come back to Helsinki and start hibernating for the Winter, since a) it IS coming and b) it's a long one in these latitudes. During that time, I may be reached via those marvels of modern technology: Facebook and Twitter. And this blog, of course.
I promise to not say mate too often and Bruce and Sheila even less. I'd love to see as much as Australia as possible, and who knows, budget and time permitting, the Hobbitland as well!
Vote early, vote often!
Posted by Sari
Meillä on ollut kovin tapahtumarikas kesä Martin kanssa, ollaan reissattu oikein kunnolla, esiinnytty näyttelyissä vaihtelevalla menestyksellä ja kokeiltu kaikenlaista uutta.
Posted by Sari
I have always had a great time at Åcon. That should not come as a great surprise, as I have been among the more vocal complainers about the way fandom aspect has been lost into the carnival of Finncon-Animecon, and so clearly have been on the market for a smaller fannish con experience. This year, I think I had my best Åcon ever, everything just gelled beautifully.This year other enterprising people took care of getting the GoH (the wonderful Geoff Ryman) safely to Turku for the ferry, so I Jukka and Kexy packed Jeeves (our black Nissan Note) with necessary stuff such as laminating machine, plush toys, knitting needles and yarn and Viivi the dog, and started driving towards Turku at the unholy hour of 5 a.m on Thursday morning. Despite Kexy’s efforts to navigate back towards Helsinki, we got on the boat without a hitch, and out of it early enough to avoid the check in queue at the hotel. We also bagged an excellent room from the top floor with a view across the harbour.
Posted by Sari
Olemme viimekesästä lähtien harrastaneet erikokoisilla porukoilla lähiseutumatkailua Länsi-Uusimaalla. Aloitimme klassisesti Billnäsin rakennusapteekista ja Fiskarista, seuraavaksi matkasimme tutustumaan Lohjaan ja Tytyrin kalkkikaivokseen (on muuten aivan mahtava paikka...) ja tänä viikonloppuna suuntasimme pakkasesta piittaamatta Vihtiin ja Kirkkonummelle. Kohteina olivat keskiaikaisen Pyhän Birgitan kirkon Rauniot Vihdin kirkonkylässä ja joukko Nummelan nähtävyyksiä (tyyliin Vihdin virastotalo, Nummelan harjun vesitorni, ja tietysti tavaratalo HongKong...)
Omituisia kun olemme, hauskaa oli kaikilla mutta illan kruunasi illallinen Kirkkonummella ravintola Arsené Flipossa. Kun ajaa Veikkolasta kilometritolkulla mutkittelevaa pikkutietä päätyy keskelle ei-mitään, jossa entiseen navettaan on rempattu kurssikeskus josta on rempattu ranskalainen ravintola. Ruoka oli taivaallista ja laatuun nähden hinnoittelu oli aivan kohdallaan. Alkuruuista testasimme Etanat yrttivoissa, Paistetun lohen avokadosalaatilla ja vuohenjuustosalaatin. Pääruuaksi nautimme Siikaa sitruunakatikkeessa ja Paahdettua Ankkaa. Kaikki annokset olivat erinomaisia. Erityinen kiitos Siian seurana olleelle sitruunavoikastikkeelle joka vei kielen mennessään. Ei köyhä humanisti stadista päivittäin suhaa Kirkkonummelle maksamaan 30 euron pintaan illallisesta, mutta silloin tällöin sopii hemmotella itseään. Yum.