Sunday, October 01, 2006

At the Turku Book Fair

1. First, the very unprofessionally produced exhibition of the West Coast pulp fiction writers. I took most of the stuff to the place by bike and I took them away by bike - in the goddamnest rain I've seen this whole year! I was soaking when I'd ridden some 200 meters. I'd packed the books quite well and none got damaged - at least not thoroughly, that is. The exhibition was nice, but not a success. Ah well, we didn't pay anything for the site. I'd brought a nice sixties type writer to the exhibition and hacked away a page of a hardboiled crime story, with the hero being first doublecrossed by a gun-wielding dame and then being attacked by a horde of Chinese killers! My friend, Sami Myllymäki, continued the story at the site, but then the machine broke down!

2. Then the bars. I was drinking on Thursday with my journalist and book-making friend Ville Hänninen and a local SF fandom hero, Pasi Karppanen. We had nice time talking nonsense up to 02.00. I was again drinking last night, Saturday, that is, and had equally nice time: met some old friends I hadn't seen for a long, long time, may have made myself a deal on a book, got some nice ladies irritated by talking absolute nonsense, saw some celeb writers, such as Virpi Hämeen-Anttila and Anna-Leena Härkönen (who was just leaving with his boyfriend, Riku Korhonen, as I entered the bar; too bad since I would've liked to chat with Riku for a while), listened to boring stuff a certain Turku-based intellectual free-lance journalist was babbling, made a promise to give my VHS tape of the film version of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar to a friend of mine, etc. etc. The usual bar stuff.

3. The actual book fair. I was only at one panel and a marginal one at that, about the current state of Finnish pulp fiction writing. We had Pirkko Arhippa, a very nice lady who's been writing crime and romance since 1968, and Boris Hurtta, the leading Finnish pulpster now working (albeit doing most of his stuff on fanzines and self-publications), with us (Harri Kumpulainen, who some of you know under his Harri Erkki alias, was the chairman) and we talked a bit over 30 minutes. I met most of my author and publishing colleagues at the bar, not at the fair, with my friend Tapani Bagge being the most notable exception. Thanks for the books!

4. I bought some paperbacks from a Turku seller, with some vintage American paperbacks in the bunch. I may talk about these later on.

5. We had a short business discussion on the crime paperback line I'm going to edit. It seems now that it will hit the newstands some time next year! Yee-haa!

6. Now I'm going to shut this machine down and start reading James Sallis's Drive and I hope y'all do the same!

PS. On the left there's a vintage Turku paperback from 1947: Riku Rauta's aka Aake Jermo's Luodinreikä röntgenkuvassa/A Bullet Hole in an X-Ray. Jermo was working in a Turku newspaper at the time and later on he became a rather well-known journalist.

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