As you may know, Worldcon will be in Finland this year, from August 9 to 13. With a real international guest of honour, it promises to be fantastic. We have Finish writer Johanna Sinisalo, Jamaican writer Nalo Hopkinson, French comics artist Claire Wendling, Swedish author John-Henri Holmberg and of course a North American one: Walter Jon Williams. We also have an academic program, a film festival, an art show and a masquerade. To give you a glimpse, I asked some of the organizers the following questions:
1.- What do you think will be the best thing at this Worldcon?
2.- What makes it different from others?
3 – What do you consider the thing nobody must miss?
4.- Anything else you suggest to do in Helsinki?
5.- Finally, something else to say?
Here are the answers:
Charlotte N. Laihonen, Project Manager
1 – The level of programming is going to be absolutely amazing.
2 – The international focus of making this truly a WORLDcon, from panels to performances to art and exhibits.
3 – Performances. There will be something for everyone.
4 – It will be summer, and it will be bright outside until very, very late. Get out and breathe some fresh air. Experience “terassi” culture — the joy of dining or drinking outside in the light summer evenings.
5 – Tervetuloa! Welcome to Helsinki!
Marianna “Kisu” Leikomaa, Division Head of Programming
1 – Internationality! We have so many people from so many different countries attending and creating the convention.
2 -The Finnish weirdness. A very good kind of weirdness, but some of the things being planned are…perhaps a bit unusual.
3 – In addition to the usual (Hugo ceremony, Masquerade), fandom meet-ups are definitely a great thing that’s happening! Also, check out the presentations on fandom in various countries, as there’s always something interesting happening elsewhere, too!
4 – If possible, take one of the lunch/dinner cruises from Senaatintori. They’re a great introduction to the history of Helsinki, you get to see some of the nearby islands and have a meal at the same time.
5 – If you do have the time, consider also visiting Tampere! It has a newly opened Finnish Game Museum as well as Moomin museum, which hosts the original artwork by the Moomin creator Tove Jansson (Moomin museum will open in June).
Anne Leinonen, member of the grants-team
1.- Sf/f enthusiasts from around the world.
2.- There will be more participants from Europe, so much more different voices.
3 – Nordic sf/f discussions. We have so much interesting happening here in Nordic countries, unique stories and ideas.
4.- Take a boat to Suomenlinna and have a picnic with good beverages there. Or maybe an art exhibition in Ateneum Museum or Finnish history Kansallismuseo?
5.- Finnish people are very friendly, although shy, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Sini Neuvonen, convention outreach & Finnish program
1.- I have enjoyed volunteering and I hope that it will show that this convention is put together with good crew who have had fun while being serious.
2 – It is in a country where English is not the main language. But don’t worry, most of the Finns speak good English.
3 – I hope you have time to try a sauna!
4.- Suomenlinna and a small cruise from the harbor.
5.- Come enjoy Worldcon 75 with us!
Irma Hirsjärvi, member of the grants-team
1.- That it is in northern Europe! It is amazing that Woldcon is in Helsinki. I really still cannot believe it.
2.- See the previous answer. Especially I am waiting to see the best academic stream ever.
3 – National gallery: see how Finland is forming; Kiasma: always great exhibitions; sea shore and its restaurants and sauna.
4.- Swimming in the sea. And Sauna. Walking in the center.
5.- Welcome, my friends! It is marvelous to see you in FInland!
Regina Kanyu Wang, Program Division-Fandom Program
1.- It will be a real “world” con, with participants and staff from all over the world. And what else can be better than a Nordic summer?
2.- It’s in Finland, lead by the awesome Finnish fandom! And Major Ursa is going to welcome us all!
3 SaunaKlatches! Where else can you get a SaunaKlatch?
4.- Umm,buy an entire suitcase of Fazer.
Jukka Halme. Chair. Been involved from the beginning of the bid.
1.- The idea of expanding the ‘world’ part of Worldcon, breaking new grounds and bringing new people to the idea of SF/F as a global phenomenon. To be as inclusive and open as possible.
2.- The simple fact that we are organising it in Finland, with a whole bunch of new people and (hopefully) ideas. I think we’re a bit younger fandom and possibly a bit less bent on our ways as to How to organise a Worldcon, which probably will have its pros and cons.
3 -You mean, which of my children I love the most? There’s going to be some really interesting items on Finnish culture, myths and fantasy which I think are going to be exceptional. I’m also rather keen to see our Fun programming.
4.- Go and have a taste. Take a cruise and see the archipelago. Stroll the streets, even without stars. Helsinki is a compact city, with a lot of good food, architecture, nature and other things to explore.
5.- Hope to see you in Helsinki!