Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Best of Isku out

The collection of short stories published originally in Finland's only crime fiction fanzine, Isku, is out. We had a launch party earlier today - okay, it was actually for the sea story book by Veikko Hannuniemi I mentioned earlier, and I got to talk about Isku only briefly.

The book sure feels and looks nice: it's classic paperback size and has only 99 pages. How's that for vintage cheap paperback feel? The cover by Jukka Murtosaari is a delight - you can spot some vintage Finnish pulp and other magazines in the racks, including the real Isku magazine, with the same masthead used in the book and (in black&white) in my fanzine.

The book consists of ten short stories, of which only one, Tarja Sipiläinen's chilling "The Collector", is over 3,000 words. Others are somewhere between 1,000 and 2,500. The best-known writer in the bunch is my friend, Tapani Bagge, with a nice short-short about a loser down on his luck, but aficionados (at least real ones) can recognize names like Petri Hirvonen, Helena Numminen, Petri Salin and Timo Surkka. Others include Teemu Paarlahti, Heikki-Antero Laurila and Sami Myllymäki.

I'm also there, with the first Joe Novak story published in Isku. I read the story earlier today and wasn't entirely satisfied with it (and I found a glaring error in there!), but I guess that's how it always turns out.

Mind you, there's also this, which is the actual first Joe Novak story. I wrote it in the late eighties, while still in school, and published it in a small pamphlet (eight pages, I think, covers included) with the same title (Joe Novak pinteessä in Finnish). It came out retrospectively in 1997. The other stories in the pamphlet had other private eye heroes for which I had developed cool names, like Sam Odessa. In one of the stories Sam Odessa meets the Finnish rocker Mike Monroe who's gone to Amsterdam... [This is a bit of inside joke amongst the Finnish people.]

[Edit: at Todd Mason's proposition I removed the word "pulpish" and replaced it with "cheap paperback". The small number of pages in the book makes one think of a sleazy sex paperback of the sixties. I also added the publishing year of the Joe Novak pamphlet. Now, that's a collector's item. I think the print run was 20 or 25. I seem to remember that I did a reprint two or three years back, but I'm not so sure about that.]

And hey, anyone wants the book, I sell it! Feel free to comment or e-mail me!


Todd Mason said...

Sounds a bit more like Gold Medalish feel. Congratulations! Hope it does well for you (and the other book, too).

Juri said...

Yeah, Todd, you're right - once again. And thanks. The print run is limited with only 150 copies, so there's at least the possibility of this becoming a collector's item.

(Just what does "inatify" mean? It's the negative of "atify", that's for certain.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Congrats. You are one hard-working publisher, translator, writer, entrepreneur, etc.

Juri said...

Thanks, Patti. I do what I can. I'd actually like to be more productive - at least right now, when my main project is beginning to bug me to no end. Later on that.