Sunday, 17 April 2011

So long and thanks for all this!

...and then they were gone.

It has been a most excellent week of Vandercon-related happenings. A week of traveling and new cities almost every single day. Meetings and workshops and panels and presentations and whatnot.

First we were graciously hosted by the lovely people of Rosebud Books on Saturday. On Sunday, Vandercon moved to Turku, via Raasepori. The Village! In Turku: Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova. And Logomo, not to mention International Institute of Popular Culture, Cosmic Comic Cafe and Harald!

Tuesday meant the long trek to Jyväskylä, where more people than able chairs were available wanted to participate the movable feast. Next day and Moominvalley! And more people.

Thursday the shebang came back to Helsinki, visiting University and local sf-meeting at St Urho's Pub. Followed by an interesting day-long workshop at WeeGee with Escon.

Saturday had the honour of serving the main course: Tähtivaeltaja Day, with 12 hours of continuous programming of entertainment, both thought-provoking and occasionally somewhat less. Great fun!

And now it is Sunday and the Great VanderMeers have left these shores. Goodbye, it was really a lot of fun while it lasted.

Thank you, Ann & Jeff. Thank you also to FILI, HSFS, GooGooMuck, ESC, Finncon, STk, 42, Turku and Tampere! As well as every single welcoming host, minder, driver, cupbearer and caretaker, THANK YOU. This would not have happened without some serious amount of gratuitous work for free.

Could this happen again? Should it?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Last chance to see!

Don't be stoopid, be a smartie! Come and join the Tähtivaeltaja Day partie!

Today, the 16th of April, kicks in the final leg of the mahvellous Vandercon! In Pohjanhovi-sali (Hietaniemenkatu 14B) at 12.00 o'clock starts the brilliant Tähtivaeltaja Day with genuine world-class superstar-supremo Guests of Honours: Ann and Jeff VanderMeer! Thou shalt not miss this one! Excellent programming, entertaining guests and cold beer (and cider) for your viewing and listening pleasure.

See THIS for more details.

This is it! For when cruel tomorrow arriveth, our guests will be flown away to the western lands of mead and hunny, and sage and saffron. To faraway lands, nevertheless. Be there and fret not, for VanderMeers have fretted for you! Like it says in the Good Book:

"Whenever I write first drafts, I like to maximize the possibility of f-ups, mistakes, mis-written words, digressions, crazy changes in tone, etc. This is why I don't use outlining software or even a computer and why I spread pages and images and research materials kinda crazy across the table. Never know what'll happen."

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Vandercon ante portas!

VanderMeers are coming back to Helsinki! Thus begins the Gretater Metropolitan part of the frabjous Vandercon: today Helsinki, tomorrow Espoo and on Saturday: Tähtivaeltaja Day!

The Uses of Fantasy: Imaginative Play and Real-World Relevance
14th April, 16.15
Metsätalo sali 9 (Unioninkatu 40 B)

Join Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer and World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer for a far-ranging lecture, both serious and seriously amusing, on the uses of fantasy, including the interconnection between the fantastical and the real. What happens when fantasy enters *our* world, and how does it transform our world? Why is the fantastical a necessary, even vital, way of trying to understand, and enter into dialog with, terrible events in the modern era of failed cities and failing governments? We will also discuss the issues of cross-genre writing, and the importance of rejecting boundaries or artificial walls between modes of fiction.

Ann VanderMeer is the editor of the magazine Weird Tales, and the founder of Buzzcity Press. Jeff VanderMeer s fiction includes several surreal/magic realist novels and story collections, including City of Saints & Madmen (2001) and Finch (2009). His nonfiction includes Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer (2009). Together they have edited the collection New Weird (2008), Best American Fantasy anthologies (2007, 2008) and Steampunk (2008).

For more information, please contact merja.polvinen (at)

This event is organised in cooperation with Tähtivaeltajapäivä and Escon, and it is made possible with the funding of Suomen käännöskirjallisuuden keskus (FILI) and various Finnish science fiction societies.

Vandercon goes Moominvalley

Reports from various locations tell us, that the traveling VanderMeers are enjoying their time in Finland and that the local populus is going wild over them. Today's menu offers excellent opportunities to meet our illustrious guests in Tampere, the home of Mikko Alatalo, Raimo Helminen and Johanna Sinisalo!

Yesterday's event in Jyväskylä was a rousing success, with Kirjailijatalo full of interested participants, so much so that extra chairs were apparently needed! Good going, folks!

Don't forget the Thursday's University gig ("The Uses of Fantasy: Imaginative Play and Real World Relevance" at the Metsätalo building), Friday's Escon or Saturday's Tähtivaeltaja Day! Lots of great opportunities to meet and greet this wonderful couple of fantastical knowledge and erudite professionalism.

You really cannot afford to miss these opportunities!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Vandercon i Västnyland

On Sunday, en route to Turku, we stopped by the historical Fiskars Village for a cup of coffee, some sights, and a chat with Kenneth who blogged about the visit in the YLE Swedish-language site. Nice buildings, good coffee, an eccentric little book shop, very cool (and quite expensive) Finnish design, a delicious chocolaterie, and a strange cryogenic outhouse. A lovely place, that Fiskars Village!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Vandercon in Turku

Do not forget today's interesting meet & greet with the VanderMeers at Cafe Art! Or the spectacular adio visual presentation at Janus auditorium! Not to mention the relaxing end for the evening at Cosmic Comic Cafe!

More info

Saturday, 9 April 2011

VanderGuests have arrived

Our intrepid travellers arrived safe and sound to these wintry latitudes, bringing with them the first semblance of spring. Despite adamantly promising, that this a normal spring day in April in Finland, VanderGuests were somewhat underwhelmed. No Florida this place, no sirree!

After a quick lunch, destination Rosebud Books and an enjoyable evening with some choice guests and merriment. Good wine, great food and delightful company, and too soon it was midnight and time to go get some zzzzz's.

But tomorrow is another day! Sunday in Turku, be there!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Vandercon Jyväskylä

April 12, 2011

Workshop: genre writing and getting published abroad at Keski-Suomen kirjailijatalo, Tuesday April 12, 18:00–20:00.

Informal gettogether 20:00–22.30.

Organized by the Jyväskylä Science Fiction Society 42 and the Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. All writers are welcomed to join in!

Sign up & request information: <>.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Vandercon Tampere

Wednesday, April 13, Tampere

15.30-18.00 Metso, Luentosali 2:
Your Booklife: A Conversation with Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
--Ann & Jeff will talk about the current publishing scene, trends, new opportunities and pitfalls for writers, in the context of a sustainable career and sustainable creativity. There will then be a chance for each writer who attends to ask general questions as well as specific questions about their own writing and careers. Both Ann & Jeff have been involved in the publishing world for over 20 years, and have, together, seen books from almost every possible perspective, including, of course, as editor and writer. Consider it an opportunity to have a personal consult, in an informal and fun setting.

Coffee & tea will be served! No admission charge.
Sign-up in advance: marianna.leikomaa (at)

18.15 (about) -> ?
Dinner & drinks at restaurant Plevna. Come and meet the VanderMeers! Enjoy a pint!

For more information about activities in Tampere, please contact
marianna.leikomaa (at)

Vandercon Turku

Monday, April 11, Turku

Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer and World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer visit Turku. The VanderMeers have recently co-edited anthologies such as Steampunk Reloaded, The New Weird, and The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Fiction. Jeff’s latest books are the novel Finch, the story collection The Third Bear, and the writing strategy guide Booklife. His work has been adapted by Playstation Europe, Halo, and the Predator franchise. Ann is the editor-in-chief of Weird Tales magazine and has a regular art column on the popular SF/fantasy website io9. Together, they have been profiled by American National Public Radio and the New York Times’ Papercuts blog.

14:00–15:30 Meet & Greet, CaféArt, Läntinen Rantakatu 5
Come meet the author and the editor over an informal cup of coffee and a group discussion about anything and everything! Sign up in advance: <>.
16:00–18:00 Janus Auditorium, 1st floor, Kaivokatu 12
Ann and Jeff VanderMeer present a visual presentation of exciting new projects that blur genres and media, including The Steampunk Bible and The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. Amazing visuals from artists from all over the world. Followed by discussion, interview session, and Q&A—on fiction, popular culture, literature, movies, and art.
The presentation is organized together with the International Institute for Popular Culture.
20:00 (about)
Another chance to meet the VanderMeers and have a chat over a beer at Cosmic Comic Café (Kauppiaskatu 4)

More information: <> or by e-mail: <>.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Where To Go? Where To Be?

General Ignorance: Where is everything happening?

Radio Jerevan: Good question, sir! As I'm unfortunately unable to give answers to simply EVERYTHING and its happening place, could you be a little bit more specific?

General I: I fear you're mocking me, but I'll let that one fly. I mean, where is this Vandercon taking place? And no mock answers to this one, or I'll brake your legs and smite you with comfy chairs.

Radio Jerevan: Right-O! No funny business here, sir! As you may know, Vandercon is a moveable feast, some even say beast! (G.I.: "Watch it...!").

Ahem... this means that we'll start our scheduled programming in Turku (10th to 11th of April), where our resplendent guests will spend two fun-filled days. There will be a speech at the University, a more relaxed coffee-shop meet & greet and one very relaxed bar evening at a local tavern. We expect our local correspondent to inform us on the locale rsn.

More fun for our adroit guests will take place in Jyväskylä (12th of April) at Kirjailijatalo, where we'll be mixing genres. Common wisdom dictates that Sohwi will see a number of science fiction fans at some point.

Next day (13th of April) sees our intrepid and perspicacious guests in Tampere, where the main objective is the Moomin Valley and Metso.

Thursday (14th of April) returns our sagacious vanderers to Metropolitan area, where various jolly things will happen! Brainy people will enjoy Thursday's lecture on "The Uses of Fantasy: Imaginative Play and Real World Relevance" at the University Metsätalo building, while perhaps the less hip and more hop-oriented people might enjoy the veritable cornucopia of beer selection available at St. Urho's Pub later in the evening.

Next Day (15th of April) all the action and excitement takes place in wilds of Espoo. Escon is located in Exhibition center WeeGee in Tapiola. There will be talks! And writing!

Finally(!) on Saturday (16th of April) sparkling WonderMeers will return to Helsinki and guestofhonour the Tähtivaeltaja Day. Location is Pohjanhovi in Hietaniemenkatu 14 in the same building as Domus Academica. There will be Signs!

Phew, that was a mouthful! Anything else you'd like to know?

General Ignorance: I think I may need to lay down for a while and digest this for a moment. I'll be back.