Jun 102014
 
Just when I finished my book on British crime paperbackers, I was notified that another book was ready to be picked from the printers. It's Patricia Abbott's Merenneidot (meaning "Mermaids") short story collection I edited and published with a small print run. The book collects six of Abbott's insightful, clever, cruel and empathetic crime stories, most of them are in the flash fiction length, but the longest story in the book is about ten pages long.

The stories are: "Mermaids", "My Hero", "How to Launder a Shirt", "Johnny Jinx", "Hole in the Wall" and "Initiation". Most of these were originally published in the web, but some were print publications. Most of the stories came out in Finnish in my magazines Isku and Ässä, but "Mermaids" and "How to Launder a Shirt" were translated for this book and were never before published in Finnish. "Johnny Jinx" and "Hole in the Wall" were translated by my friend Lotta Sonninen and I'm sure their translations are better than my attempts!

The cover is by Aapo Kukko as are my usual mini books. See the Ray Banks book here and the Ed Gorman book here. (Seems like I haven't blogged about the Gorman book, but it's a translation of his "Scream Queen".)

Most of the copies I'm selling are going to the libraries here in Finland, but this is also available through me for a measly three euros!
Oct 242012
 
I just picked these new publications earlier today from the publisher and the printers. From the left: a small collection of Olavi Karjaliini's really weird stories from the 1830's, the new issue of Seikkailukertomuksia / Adventure Stories and the small booklet containing my translation of Ray Banks's hilarious PI story "Dirty Barry".

The Karjaliini book is a true oddity. I was going to publish it myself, but then it came to me to ask my regular publisher Turbator if they wanted to do it. And they did. These are very crudely written stories in dated vernacular, published in Elias Lönnrot's (the guy who did Kalevala) magazine Mehiläinen / Bee. None of them have ever been published in antiqua font, so I typed them up and wrote a short foreword. Turbator did a print run of 100.

The issue of Seikkailukertomuksia is the fifth and it will be the last one as I simply don't have enough time or energy to do these things or to broaden the reader base. The issue contains six stories:

Jussi Katajala: Hämäys (a new western short story by a good writer)

H. de Vere Stacpoole: Ihmeellinen muisti (published originally in Finnish Kiki 12/1929, translation by unknown, a mystery story by classic of the adventure genre, but I've been unable to locate the original title)

Iisakki Evä: Bora-Boran valkeapää: kertomus Etelämeren saarelta (published in Lukemista Kaikille 23/1934, originally probably a Swedish story, based on the fact that the story is accompanied by illos by a Swedish illustrator, Gunnar Ljungdahl - nevertheless the first real zombie story in Finnish I've encountered!)

Eino Leino: Laulu Vuorilammella (published in the book called Päiväperhoja, 1903), a weird, somewhat horrorish short story and a political allegory from the classic writer whose short fiction I've earlier published in Isku and Ässä

Juri Nummelin: Valkoisten jättiläisten valtakunta (the last installation of my sword and sorcery serial with the last Bjarmian in the lead, facing some white giants and their squid-like leader; will publish the serial later on as a paperback, fully edited and rewritten)

Hannu Väisänen: Mannerheim vignettes (some short-short stories about Marshal Mannerheim and his encounters with the classic adventure fiction heroes)

As for Ray Banks - well, he's Ray Banks. Go read the original story in English, it'll do you good. Both of my publications have very limited print runs. 
 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Jun 202012
 
This one-shot magazine that I've been trying to compile and edit for some years now is finally out. The title means "The Heaven of Adventures" and the magazine features for old-style aviation stories, two old and two new. The new ones are by me (writing as "Jaakko Ensio", the story features dragons and zeppelins) and Petri Laine whose story is also retroish science fiction. The old ones are an old pulp story by Joe Archibald, translated by me, and a Finnish story from during the WWII, by Antero Aulamo, whose relatives have been very kind - this is already a third publication I'm doing with a story by Aulamo! I think there's more to come at some point.

The illustrations throughout the magazine are by Anssi Rauhala who did a marvellous job!

I've been thinking of compiling a whole book of old and new Finnish aviation stories. One of these days...
 Posted by at 11:14 am
Mar 252012
 
Earlier I put the shades on my crime fiction webzine Isku, today I did the same for my non-fiction webzine, Pulp. Here you can read the latest issue that will also remain the last. It's a large issue, with almost 20 articles and reviews. I wrote all of them, save for one review...

Pulp was published in paper from 2003 to 2009, it moved to the web in 2010, but I couldn't find time anymore to do it, so I decided to pull it off. How then could I write almost 20 articles for it? I happen to have a good grant at the moment, but it's entirely for something else, so I'm walking on thin ice here...

So, it's bye-bye, Pulp. (Here you can read my farewell to the printed Pulp from two years back. Seems like I didn't think of going the web-version at the time!) I'm thinking of compiling a collection of articles and essays that were mainly published in Pulp, so all this work wasn't for nothing!
 Posted by at 2:57 pm
Jan 012012
 
I wouldn't be me, if I didn't hurry up a new issue of a magazine just hours before the New Year. Here's the cover for the new issue of my self-published flash fiction mag, called Ässä (Ace). I've done three issues of Ässä earlier in 2007, 2008 and 2009. I missed 2010 for some reason or another, and I was going to make an issue for 2011, but time kept running out. I noticed, though, that I had an almost finished issue by Christmas, so I asked around in Facebook if any of my writer friends had something to fill this up. I wound up getting three short-shorts from good writers, so late last night, just before heading to a party, I did the final edits and finished the layout and made the PDF file and sent it off to the printers at six p.m.

The cover illo of the issue is something I found somewhere - can't actually remember where. Hope no one gets offended... The translated writers in the issue are Sandra Seamans, Allan Guthrie, Ray Banks, Peter Farris and Michael Kechula, and the Finnish writers are Johanna Sinisalo, Vesa Kataisto, Jukka Laajarinne, Juha-Matti Heikkinen and me, with the added bonus of an ancient crime story by Eino Leino, one of the most revered classics of Finnish literature. He had some crime-related short-shorts in one of his early books and one of them already found its place at the last issue of Isku here.

Speaking of last issues, this also marks the last issue of Ässä. I mentioned the possible anthology of the translated stories I've published during all these years, and I was thinking I could very well include the best of the flash stories I published in Ässä. (Or then I could do a mini-anthology of the flash stories. I am doing a Finnish flash anthology some time in the near future, but that's stritcly for Finnish stories.) I'm still developing the fifth issue of yet another mag, Seikkailukertomuksia (Adventure Stories) and it's also gonna be the last one. I had some good stories there as well, but not enough to fill an anthology. But these are only ideas, we'll have to see what actually comes of them.

Happy New Year to everyone, no matter what anthologies I'm gonna make!
 Posted by at 4:09 pm
Dec 302011
 
I've been going through my stacks and boxes of paper (the memory boxes, as we say with Elina) as I'm making a donation to the county archive here in Turku, Finland. I found the first newspaper article I ever sold: it was to the magazine my father was working at, the small Leftist newspaper called Satakunnan Työ (The Satakunta Labour News or something to that effect). I was only 14 at the time and I think I pretty much ripped the piece straight out of a mechanics journal as it was about the new car models being developed at the time in the Soviet Union! There's much to laugh about this, but then again I noticed that this was almost exactly 25 years ago, as the article was published in the mid-December 1986!

Later on I started writing movie reviews for the same newspaper (under the moniker Umberto D.*) and honestly I think that was better suited to me than writing about cars, since I still don't have a driver's license!

* Umberto D. being of course the famous neorealist movie by Vittorio de Sica. My dad thought I should use a pseudonym so that noe one could argue they favour relatives in any way. I must've been the last movie critic in Finland to use a pseudonym! They were pretty much in use in the fifties and in the sixties, but by the eighties they were gone - except for me. This car-related clip was published anonymously. 
 Posted by at 8:49 pm
Dec 212011
 
Here's the link to the fifteenth issue of Isku, the crime zine I've been publishing from 2004. This is also the last issue of the magazine - just can't find the time and energy to do it anymore. The line-up is impressive: I've got Allan Guthrie, James Reasoner, Keith Rawson, Lawrence Schimel and Michael A. Kechula, with some very good Finnish writers thrown in for good measure: Tapani Bagge (with two vintage stories, the other previously unpublished), Tarja Sipiläinen, Tuomas Saloranta, Henry Aho and one writer who wanted to use a pseudonym to go along with his rather risqué story. There's also the Finnish classic Eino Leino with a story from 1903 that might even now be classified as flash fiction!

There's also a short history of Isku (the title means "punch"), but sorry, in Finnish only. Suffice to say that this has been good training for anthologies! And practicing my own writing, as I've published my own stories in Isku as well. (Only in the printed Iskus, though.)

One more point: every issue of Isku has had a translated story, usually from American writers, but occasionally from some British and Scottish as well. I've been dreaming of doing an anthology of those stories. Some of you guys reading this blog: beware, I'll come asking for rights once again!
 Posted by at 11:51 am