Last night we had a little event at Jukka’s place, during which much sushi was consumed. Then this morning we packed up and lit out for Turku. These days there is a fine, modern freeway between the cites, complete with several very impressive tunnels, so it was a very easy drive. Huge thanks to Jari Käkelä for making a large Volvo available and driving us over. Apparently the car is the usual transport for Jari and his band, so it had plenty of room.
This afternoon we had the first day of the academic conference, including my good friends Irma Hirsjärvi, Merja Polvinen and Liisa Rantalaiho. Jari talked about his PhD on Asimov and American expansionism, while Mika Loponen talked about the use of stereotyped “evil” races such as orcs in fantasy novels as stand-ins for real-world groups that the author wants to other. They had a couple of last minute cancellations, so Merja and I filled in the gaps. She talked about teaching SF (including her forthcoming sojourn in Shanghai), while I read my Trans characters in SF&F paper.
This evening we ate and then headed to a local bar called The Old Bank. (UK readers please note it was a very nice pub, not a trendy wine bar.) Then it was back to the (very nice) hotel to check email and blog. Sleep next, as I have a breakfast meeting with a literary agency about publishing translated fiction.
Richard and Nalo have been out amongst the islands, and if all went to plan have been to the local Harald restaurant. Those of you who have been guests at Finncon before will know what that means.