Tag: science fiction


Issue 1/1993 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

From Matemaattisia olioita tai jaettuja unia (‘Mathematical creatures, or shared dreams’, WSOY, 1992). Introduction by Soila Lehtonen

The egg of the gorgonoid is, of course, not smooth. Unlike a hen’s egg, its surface texture is noticeably uneven. Under its reddish, leather skin bulge what look like thick cords, distantly reminiscent of fingers. Flexible, multiply jointed fingers, entwined – or, rather, squeezed into a fist.

But what can those ‘fingers’ be?

None other than embryo of the gorgonoid itself.

For the gorgonoid is made up of two ‘cables’. One forms itself into a ring; the other wraps round it in a spiral, as if combining with itself. Young gorgonoids that have just broken out of their shells are pale and striped with red. Their colouring is like the peppermint candies you can buy at any city kiosk. More…

Invisible cities

Issue 4/1992 | Archives online, Essays

Extracts from Leena Krohn’s collection of essays, Rapina ja muita papereita (‘Rustle, and other papers’, WSOY, 1989).

Past me hurries a man in a rustling anorak. He pushes a card into a crack in the wall. There is a whirring noise, a door opens and, shoulder first, he pushes his way into a cramped room. At eye-level is a black screen, and under it a group of buttons. On the buttons is printed: Cash. Statement. Balance. On an empty button someone has written: Holdup. A question appears on the screen, and deserves our undivided attention: Do you wish to continue with another transaction?

We do! We certainly do. The mild warmth that suffuses the automatic bank pleases me, too. Why shouldn’t it? The warmth of the machine, the heat of money, is itself one of the forms of human energy secreted by the city, however stunted and primitive it may seem as it oozes from the depths of the metal cabinet. More…

The Paradox Archive

Issue 3/1991 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Umbra (WSOY, 1990). Introduction by Soila Lehtonen

The Paradox Archive

Umbra was a man of order. His profession alone made him that, for sickness was a disorder, and death chaos.

But life demands disorder, since it calls for energy, for warmth – which is disorder. Abnormal effort did perhaps enhance order within a small and carefully defined area, but it squandered considerable energy, and ultimately the disorder in the environment was only intensified.

Umbra saw that apparent order concealed latent chaos and collapse, but he knew too that apparent chaos contained its own order. More…

After thirty years

Issue 1/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

This, the very first Finnish science fiction story, is an extract from Viktor Pettersson’s (1849-1919) Efter trettio år (‘After thirty years’), published in 1886. Introduction by Matti Apunen

On 31 August 1916 father and daughter went up on the ‘deck’ of the air balloon Atlantic. Atlantic was just one of the comfortably furnished air vehicles that plied the regular route between the New and Old Worlds. Pleasure trips between these continents were now made, preferably, by air balloon rather than by ship, because the journey took half the time – a mere three days; and this despite the fact that the standards of comfort in ships were now excellent, since they were made of cardboard and furnished with electric motors. In addition, air balloon travellers avoided sea-sickness and the associated unpleasantnesses. Of course, they did suffer from ‘air­sickness’, but the symptoms of this disease made themselves felt in a much more bearable form. For they actually made the sufferer happy, enthusiastic and friendly, so that he wanted to embrace the Lord and the whole world. Dried-up and creaky old bachelors became as lovable and sympathetic as confessors who have made their vow of celibacy; spiteful and pompous wives and spice-selling madames smelling of wormwood became in a second as devoted and sweet-natured as a mademoiselle in a shop selling drinking water. It was like being under the influence of some wonderful aphrodisiac. More…

In the starry heavens

Issue 1/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from Tähtien tarhoissa (‘In the starry heavens’, 1912). Introduction by Matti Apunen

The sun sank and the evening began to draw in. It was a Wednesday towards the end of October, 2140. At Teuvo’s house the electric lights were being switched on.

Teuvo lived in Helsinki on what had once been Korkeavuori Street. Now it had no particular name. It was just Street No 311, for during the course of time there had been so many new streets that it had become impossible to name them all and numbering became necessary.

Teuvo’s home was on the thirtieth storey. But of course it was not important how high up you lived, because no one used stairs. Lifts had replaced the old flights of stairs, and even they were only seldom necessary.

Every storey had an airship stop, and since everyone, even the smallest children, had a pair of wings made of fine aluminium, it was very easy to go from one floor to another without using stairs.

Teuvo looked out of the window. There was a wide space between houses. On the right hand side of the road traffic was flying towards the centre of town, on the left in the opposite direction. What a lot of people there were! He could hear the even whisper of their wings. All kinds of people, old and young, were flying along. More…

Science facts, science fiction

Issue 1/1987 | Archives online, Articles, Authors, Non-fiction

Science fiction has never been one of the great success stories of the Finnish book business. But interest in the genre is nevertheless undoubtedly greater than the sales figures give us to understand. And there are other pointers: at present, for instance, five magazines entirely devoted to the subject are published in Finland.

In 1986 the astronomical society Ursa organised a science fiction writing competition, in connection with which a preliminary bibliography of Finnish science fiction was put together.

That bibliography revealed some surprising science fiction enthusiasts: some of the best-known names in Finnish literature, such as Mika Waltari and Toivo Pekkanen, turned out to have given their imaginations a holiday at some point in their careers and turned their hands to a couple of colourful pieces of science fiction. More…