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Fantastic Time at Finfar and Finncon 2013

juli 7, 2013

First an apology: this spring turned out rather more hectic than expected, so I have let the blog slip somewhat. For that, I’m sorry! I’ll try to make amends.

Now the main topic of this blog. For the past few days, I have been the guest scholar of Finfar and Finncon in Helsinki. It has been a fabulous experience!

For two days, I attended the Finfar seminar, where young scholars discussed their submitted work with each other and with senior researchers in the field. The texts spanned the entire width and length of fantastic scholarship, ranging from studies of Donald Duck to William Gibson, of fantasy names to fanfic, of Tolkienian evil to vampire boyfriends and much more. And I can safely say that Finnish research into the fantastic is in very good shape indeed, leagues ahead of Sweden.

20130707-173141.jpgThe con itself was also superb. All program items that I attended, in the audience or as participant, were well organized. I could invariably leave them feeling enlightened, entertained, or both. (Entertainment was also provided by all the wonderful people in wonderful costumes that floated around in the halls. Although the dwarf party that won the masquerade were great, my personal favourite is still the dinosaur that made an appearance during yesterday morning.)

The most moment for me was when I found myself filked at by the Filk Freaks from Tampere, however. Drawing on some ideas about urban fantasy that I had presented in the program booklet, they had written lyrics to go with an ABBA song. As I think it is brilliant (and as it is the first time someone has turned my fantasy thoughts into song), I reproduce it below, with permission.

Opposing Forces

(Lyrics by Marianna Leikomaa. Music: Mamma Mia!)

I’ve read fantasy books since I don’t know when
Getting into their worlds time and time again
Sometimes it feels they’re not credible
All these ordeals, but the world itself makes no sense
It is all just a big pretense.
Give me realistic worlds with two sides
Not just good or bad but let me decide, w-o-o-o-oh

Opposing forces, urban fantasies
My my, how can I resist you?
Opposing forces, in best fantasies
My my, just how much I miss you!
Yes, I’ve read crappy fiction
Where there is no conviction
Why, why are there no more things unseen?
Opposing forces, in best fantasies,
Oh oh, help me shape realities.

(All rights are probably reserved by the author.)

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