Of course, I cannot wait until Armadillocon to attend another convention, so this evening I’m off to Stockholm to catch the overnight cruise ship to Turku, the host city for this year’s Finncon. It’s just a two-day event this year, which suits me fine as TAFF will eat most of my holidays. For climate reasons, I am going there by ship. A small step; I am flying back because, as I wrote, TAFF eats all my holidays. Next year I hope to take the cruise ship in both directions.
I will be sharing a cabin with Mårten Svantesson, and I would be extremely surprised if we don’t try a beer or two, or three, before we go to bed. When we get up tomorrow we will probably have to show our national ID cards or passports to leave the ship. As an extra-ordinary measure, Finland has introduced an ID documents requirement to get into Finland the next five days, on account on the Trump–Putin summit in Helsinki. Otherwise, Finland and Sweden are in a passport union and no documents are required to travel between the two countries.
Turku is a nice city, I’ve attended Finncons there twice before in 2003 (my first Finncon) and in 2011. There are only three things that I have firm plans for doing this time, as I escaped being asked to conduct any interviews or moderate any panels:
- I will be the narrator in Vilgot Strömsholm’s weird pantomime of Lucian‘s “A true story”. To quote the director: “Swords will be replaced with cucumbers, oars with leeks.” Attend at your peril.
- I will buy Maria Turtschaninoff’s new novel Breven från Maresi, which will be pre-released just for Finncon. This is a real treat, I learned only yesterday that it will be for sale at the con, otherwise having an August release date.
- I will buy the new Moomin mug, sold exclusively in Finland. We have a few of these (fifty-something) and usually buy every new one that they sell.
Other than that? Having a generally good time with my Finnish friends, who are some of the best fans beer can buy.