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Adam Roberts is the author of a growing number of science fiction novels, short stories, essays and other writings. This site contains not just his blog, but everything you could ever want to know about everything Adam has ever published. And more...

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Finncon 2009

By Adam Roberts | July 8, 2009
Categories: Events and Appearances

Tomorrow I get an early plane, no, wait, scrub that, a very early plane ... to fly to Finland for Finncon 2009. As you'll see from the link, that's 'Europe's largest science fiction & fantasy event'; and as you'll also see my status is somewhere between being a GoH and being some other manner of interloper ('Guests of Honour George R.R. Martin, Alastair Reynolds, and Special Guest at the Research Workshop Adam Roberts'). I'm there to talk about SFF criticism; but if you're attending the gig, in any capacity, do come up and say hello.
[Update, Sunday 12th July] I'm back, and what a splendid con it was: the Finns are hospitable and personable to almost parodic levels. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Special thanks to Merja for looking after me with such deft proficiency and charm; to Aleksi for some above-and-beyond driving and interviewing; and to Jukka for overall organisation and for just being so extraordinarily, I don't know, massy and sculpted and impressive-looking. And thanks to all the people with whom I had such interesting connish interactions. Aleksi's English is very good, by the way. When he suggested we take some time, during the car journey to the con, to 'fool around', I believe he knew what he was asking.

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21 Comments to-date;

21 Responses to “Finncon 2009”

  1. Jarmo Ruti Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    It was very interesting to listen your and Alaistair Reynolds discussion in the hotel lobby in friday night.

    I would like to insert there a photo of three of us, but it seems to be impossible.

    All good to you,

    Jarmo Ruti

  2. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    A pleasure to meet you, Jarmo.

  3. Jussi Valonen Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I had a great time listening to your interview on Friday and especially the speech you gave on Saturday. Aleksi Kuutio did a good job interviewing you and the two of you seemed to have a good chemistry going on (a case of testicular bonding perhaps?). With your charisma and jokes you managed to make literary theory very interesting. I've been studying English for a year now at the university of Joensuu (quite a ways north-west from Helsinki) but didn't feel I quite understood what exactly is the difference between metaphor and simile. Your explanation cleared things up a lot and will hopefully with my literature studies. Thanks for explaining metonymy as well.

    I'll be sure to check out your books (well, at least one of them) once the paycheck from my summer job arrives. I have to say that going to an interview of a person I've never heard about before turned out to be a rather good idea.

  4. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it, Jussi; good luck with your degree!

    "I have to say that going to an interview of a person I've never heard about before turned out to be a rather good idea."

    This is my favourite comment on this website so far.

  5. Sini Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    It was a pleasure to have you as a guest - unfortunately I didn't have the time to actually see the interview or any other program items you were in as organizing and my own program items kept me quite busy (I'm the one who had problems with words "beer" and "bear" in Uunisaari). Please come again any time!

  6. Markku Lappalainen Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Thank you for bringing a heavy dose of intellectually stimulating and entertaining program, charming personality as well as massive metaphysical testicles to Finncon, it was really good to have you here. I believe I caught every one of your program sessions and I think you ROCKED - in a good academic fashion, naturally.

  7. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I'm pleased, obviously, that you liked my testicles, Markku.

  8. Fionna O'Sullivan Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I too enjoyed your contribution to the con, it shook us all up and made us think and still entertained us - just like good con programming is supposed to do.

    Also, I'm so pleased to be introduced to deconstructionism. I'm going to use it everywhere just as soon as I understand it properly.

  9. Ipa Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Mr Massive

    Coud one add anything to the previous messages?

    Anyway, I hope to see you again here in Finland very very very soon. Never seen any academic gain such a fandon in such a short time, me included. But of course, keeping a half an hour lecture about metaphor and structuralism does a trick - easily. Oh yes.

  10. Aleksi Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    "Aleksi's English is very good, by the way. When he suggested we take some time, during the car journey to the con, to 'fool around', I believe he knew what he was asking."

    Haha. May I use that phrase in my job applications as a proof of my language skills? By the way, I have to add that it's not very difficult to interview a person who gives the most extensive (or was it excessive, I always seem to mix up those two) and intriguing answers whenever given the chance. :)

    The interview was a treat as well for me as it was for the audience. Thank you very much!

    I hope to see you again sometime - and I think the whole Finnish sff-fandom thinks that way. You charmer, you. What a testicular time we all had!

  11. Merja Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I'll add my voice to the choir and thank you for being such a superlative guest. Not once did you tell me to shove off and stop mothering! Much appreciated.

    I shall now attempt to return to my normal life and stop staring forlornly at the Western skies.

  12. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Fionna, Ipa: thank you!

    Aleksi: you're saying the interview was an Excession? But isn't that Iain M Banks?

    Merja: tell you to shove off? The very idea! It was brilliant to meet you ... hopefully will do so again some day.

  13. Katariina Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I would also like to thank you for your lecture. Having so far thought that deconstructionism is just literary wanking, (pardon my French, there's just no other way to put it, all that meta-this and meta-that)it was nice to get a different angle on the subject.

    Nevertheless, you might have been less humble and spoken about your own writing more. It just isn't in the Finnish nature to jump up and shout "would you please explain why all the headless people were such sheep in 'Land of the headless'", when you meekly said for the tenth time that you won't talk about your own books since nobody has read them and anyway everybody likes Alastair Reynolds better. No, we get drunk and mumble something incoherent in the afterparty, which I didn't go to because it was past my bedtime. Well, maybe next time you come to Finland...

  14. Cheryl’s Mewsings » Blog Archive » Finncon Wrap Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    [...] things stand out about the event. The first is that Adam Roberts totally charmed the Finns (see comments on his blog for examples). I have occasionally heard people say, “Oh, there’s no point in my going [...]

  15. Hannu Blommila Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Hey Adam!

    Meeting you was a real pleasure. Too bad we didn't have enough time to discuss all things science fictional (Or maybe that was actually fortunate, as I have a tendency to ramble on incoherently after few beers...)
    But maybe at next year's Eastercon?
    New Model Army, bring it on!


  16. Mika Loponen Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    And to add to the choir: many thanks for your participation in the research seminar - both your and Cheryl's comments were extremely helpful and opened up a dozen new directions towards which to go on with my work. Many, many thanks! :)


  17. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 18th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Katariina, Hannu, Mika: thanks, and great to meet you all.

    Katariina: 'nevertheless, you might have been less humble and spoken about your own writing more' You mean, 'Nevertheless, you might have been less English and spoken about your own writing more.' True, but tricky for me. Mumble mumble.

  18. Hnngh! Says:
    July 22nd, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Another finnish insta-fan sounding off. With the exception of messiers Pratchett and Gaiman can't think of another author I've enjoyed so much listening to in a con (or similar setting). Even tho i think discussion of the differences between metaphor and simile is bollocks.

  19. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    And may I reply, Hnngh!, that although they are often unusual-looking, to English eyes, I personally find Finnish names to be delightful.

  20. Massy Sculpted Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    May I also say thanks from the bottom of my heart to you, herr Doktor, herr Professor! It was a pleasure and a priviledge to have you as our Special Guest of Esteemable Honour, If Not a Proper One, But Pretty Important Still!

    You were brilliant and if I'm to understand the general concensus among the Finnish fandom, you're more than welcome to attend any future Finnish convention. Some say that you should be made a permanent guest!

  21. Adam Roberts Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 8:51 am

    It was great to meet you Jukka! Now, back to Easter Island with you, to commune with your fellow beings ...