SMOFs be SMOFfing

Today would usually be an accountability post day but since Worldcon and getting ready for Worldcon took whole chunk of my time this month, pretty much nothing has happened on my goals. Instead I am going to regale you all with my Worldcon adventure. After I got my Clarion rejections I realized that I couldn’t afford to go to Worldcon. I found out early on that there is no cheap and easy way to get to Spokane from Helsinki. I could get to Seattle on a direct flight no problem but then the problem became getting from Seattle to Spokane which, I quickly found out, wasn’t nearly as easy as getting from New York to Washington D.C. I abandoned my plan as economically unfeasible and left it at that. Then my extraordinary friend Crystal Huff came to visit Helsinki in the very early days of July and everything changed. “The Helsinki bid has these grants to help get Finns to Worldcon,” she said. “Come with us,” she said. “All you have to do is to commit to work on...

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WORLDCON IS COMING TO HELSINKI! The bid committee has been amazing and I have absolute faith in them being able to create an amazing con! I get to show off my home town to my friends! Being involved in the bid, however peripherally, has been an awesome experience for me. I’ve met so many new friends and people whose work I greatly admire. People like Shaun Duke, Elizabeth Bear and Mur Lafferty. Without the Helsinki bid and Crystal Huff, I doubt I would have been party to the Twitter conversation about cannibalistic Moomins, the magic of making people drink meat-tasting liquor not to mention getting to see behind the scenes of con-running. To quote from Wicked “I have been changed for good” Party on,...

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Retelling Stories

With the news that J.R.R. Tolkien is releasing a new book, The Story of Kullervo, doing the rounds, I’ve been thinking a lot about retelling stories. I’m one of the first people to lambast the current trend in Hollywood of rebooting every lame-ass story a thousand times in the name of making a quick buck. Retelling a story is very different from a remake. In my mind at least, a retelling needs to change something significant about the original while maintaining its spirit. It’s all about the familiar and the strange. This is how The Lion King can be a retelling of Hamlet just as Clueless retells Jane Austen’s Emma and Game of Thrones is War of the Roses set in a newly made fantasy world. There’s a saying that goes something along the lines that all the stories in the world have already been told. Whether or not that’s true is a matter for another time. Retellings evoke the feelings and associations of the original, often without us realizing it. Clueless may be recognizable as Emma retold but...

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