The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy: Johanna Sinisalo, Hannu Rajaniemi, and Moomins

Over at Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog, Jeff VanderMeer profiles Johanna Sinisalo, Hannu Rajaniemi, and interviews Jukka Halme. Here’s an excerpt:

Supported by that community, a number of unique Finnish writers are appearing on the scene—several of whom have been or will soon be translated into English. Two of the most prominent for readers in English this year are Johanna Sinisalo and Hannu Rajaniemi, both of whom, Halme notes, just happen to hail from the same village in Finland.

Sinisalo, whose Birdbrain was published this April in the U.S., is a well-known figure in Finland, where she’s written teleplays, screenplays, and been involved in a stunning number of different creative projects. Including Birdbrain on my top 10 fantasy novels list for Locus Online, I wrote, “This slow-burn of a novel relates the story of Finns Jyrki and Heidi as they hike through the wilderness of Tasmania and New Zealand. Sinisalo immerses the reader in the physicality of the trek, and the increasing isolation of the hikers…the atmosphere created is exciting and the trip fascinating to watch play out. When the fantastical element finally enters the story it’s all the more effective because of the careful way in which Sinisalo has brought the reader to that point.”

Rajaniemi is a new writer whose first novel The Quantum Thief has taken the United Kingdom by storm. Described as “a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence,” the novel is published this month by Tor, amid excited buzz. Halme told me that the novel has been just as popular in Finland as in the U.K., and gained a lot of legitimacy for science fiction in his country. Indeed, Rajaniemi wrote his novel in English, meaning it had to be translated into Finnish for publication in his home country. Although not many Finnish authors do self-translate, most do read in English, as it is a widely used language.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off on Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy: Johanna Sinisalo, Hannu Rajaniemi, and Moomins

Seiun Nominees

Science Fiction Awards Watch has the list of Seiun nominees:

Japanese – long form

  • Karyuu no Kyuu (Palace of Flower Dragons)
  • Kyoren wa Ii Nen ni Narudarou (Last Year Was Probably a Good Year)
  • Doronko Rondo
  • Fudou Karin wa Issai Douzezu
  • Endless Garden, Magic Mystery Tour, Kimi to (Endless Garden, Magic Mystery Tour, and You)
  • Penguin Highway
  • Swallowtail Jinkou Shoujo Kengeisho (The Swallowtail Artificial Girl Bazaar)

Japanese – short form

  • “allo,toi,toi”
  • “Arisuma-oo no Aishita Mamono” (“King Arisuma’s Beloved Demon”)
  • “Goshiki no Fune” (“Five Boats”)
  • “Shuujin no Ryuudourompo” (“Prisoner’s Dilemma”)
  • “Teremin-jou” (“Miss Teremin”)
  • “Magnefio”
  • “Agari” (“Rise”)

Foreign – long form

  • Eifelheim, Michael Flynn
  • World War Z, Max Brooks
  • Farthing trilogy, Jo Walton
  • El Mapa del Tiempo (The Map of Time), Félix J. Palma
  • Hunter’s Run, George R. R. Martin
  • Un Lun Dun, China Miéville
  • Genesis, Bernard Beckett

Foreign – short form

  • “Exhalation”, Ted Chiang
  • “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story”, James Alan Gardner
  • “Crystal Nights”, Greg Egan
  • “Pump Six”, Paolo Bacigalupi
  • “Man in the Mirror”, Geoffrey A. Landis
  • “Carry the Moon in My Pocket”, James Lovegrove
  • “The Beloved Time of Their Lives”, Ian Watson and Robert Quaglia


  • District 9
  • Yojou Han Shinwa Taikei (Tatami Galaxy)
  • Kamen Rider W
  • Uchuu Show e Youkoso (Welcome to the Space Show)
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenjaa (Samurai Squadron Shinkenjaa)
  • Toki o Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) (the live-action version)
  • Uchuu Inu Sakusen (Space Dog Strategy)


  • Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  • Wakusei no Samidare (Planet of Early-Summer Rain)
  • Natsu no Arashi (Arashi’s Summer)
  • Heikai Kyoku Hijoushikiki Zaikanren Kaihatsushitsu Wunderkammer (Wunderkammer: Weapons Bureau, Irrational Machine Materials Development Section)
  • SARU
  • Kick-Ass
  • Bentoraa-Bentoraa
  • SF Taishou Tokubetsuben Benbutsu Riron (SF Leader Special Edition: Theory of Everything)


  • Naoyuki Katou
  • Masaru Ohishi
  • Tsuyoshi Nakamura
  • Juuryoku Iwagou
  • Yuukyou Nakagawa
  • Katsuyuki Hoshino
  • Miho Takeoka


  • Bokura ga Yumemita Miraitoshi (The Future Cities of Which We Dream)
  • Sa wa Science no Sa
  • Nijuu Seiki kara Detekitatokoro Dakeredomu, Nandaka Ni Tayou na Kibun
  • Tokyo-sou Motoshu Bunko Kaisetsu Somokuroku
  • SF Anime no Karakusuru! Fukue-ryuu SF Anime to Kagaku to Bishoujo Rakushimikata
  • Kagaku to Shimpi no Aida (Between Science and Mystery)

Open category

  • Hayabusa (MUSES-C) space probe
  • IKAROS solar sail demonstration mission
  • “Robots and the fine arts” art exhibition
  • SF Magazine‘s 50th anniversary collection
  • Live feed of Hayabusa by Wakayama University
  • Introduction of the iPad to Japan

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment


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