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Here in Helsinki

So we're here in Helsinki, me from Santa Fe and Phipps by way of Ireland. Grey skies and rain, but the people are warm and friendly. Yesterday we visited Sveaborg, the great island fortress that I've written two stories about. "Gibraltar of the North," it was dubbed by John Quincy Adams. I can only conclude that JQA had never actually seen the Gibraltar of the south, since the resemblence between the two is nonexistent. Sveaborg is pretty cool in its own right, however, and I'm glad to have seen it.

The con proper starts tomorrow. Some come to Finncon if you can. It's free!


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
Welcome to Helsinki. I hope you enjoy your visit to Finncon as well.
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:38 am (UTC)
You inspire me to travel, but alas, my pockets are not deep enough. I'll just pretend I'm there with the power of my imagination. ;)

Yes, just pretend I'm the girl standing in the back who won't stop gabbing on her cellphone. (I don't own a cellphone. I just want you to notice me. NOTICE ME.)

(SA Wild Cards forever!)
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
It's such a shame the weather's so bad at the moment, it was sunny and hot last week. Hope you have a nice Finncon, I'd come but I'm not in Helsinki at the moment.
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
Looking forward to hearing you speak in Finncon. I hope you have a good time, Finncons are a buzz!
Jul. 8th, 2009 08:50 am (UTC)
May you have a pleasant stay.
Jul. 8th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
=) Great you are in Europe.
Do visit Moscow or Kiev) You have a lot of fans in ex-USSR.
Jul. 8th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
Too bad I probably won't be able to make it to a con, but have fun while there~ *is Finnish*
Jul. 8th, 2009 10:12 am (UTC)
If we could, we'd be there. It's much closer than any US con.
Jul. 8th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
I am definitely coming to Finncon - I work there - and I'll be sure to attend some of your stuff. I hope you enjoy your stay and the convention. Welcome to Finland!
Jul. 8th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
:D I love those "It's the *someplace spectacular* of the North/South/East/West" comparisons, they're hilarious! Almost as funny as the claims you see a lot in Aus and NZ - "It's the biggest/tallest/longest whatever!!!" (...."in the Southern Hemisphere.")
Jul. 8th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
So near and yet so far
London calling,

Glad to hear you are my side of the pond, sad to see you are in Finland. Still it gladdens my heart for the Fins.

Just thought I would say that I think Andromeda in Birmingham has closed and maybe should be taken off your places to buy in the UK list. Unless it is still going as an internet concern? In which case ignore last bit.

There is , however, another place in Brum where your Green Ronin stuff can be bought.
The lovely chaps at Wayland's Forge stock the new Ice and Fire game and I also noticed "All In" on their shelves

Check them out at www.waylandsforge.co.uk
Jul. 8th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Well... So your flight went well, and you´re safely on the ground again, WELCOME, and I see, that you´ve enjoyed your visit so far! :o)

I just let you know, that I will be at Finncon this saturday after all, and I have a book for you to sign for... I actually hoped, that Les Dabel would have sent me the calendar, that he has promised long ago, and I should have brought it with me to Finconn to get your autograph to that, but obviously no answer from Dabels, and therefore no calendar! :o(

I´ll hopefully meet you in there anyway this saturday, as I have already bought my bus tickets to Helsinki! I´ll arrive to Finconn approximately 13.00 or 1.00 pm, and your Guest of Honour interview will begin 14.00 or 2.00 pm, so I´m there well before the start! :o)
Jul. 8th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
Hyvää päivää!


(ahem. yes, I still remember a few phrases from my junior year abroad...)
Jul. 8th, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
Return Trip Appearance
Any chance of a stop in NY on the way home? Also any chance of reviving that Pizza Crawl?
Jul. 8th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Sounds fantastic. I heard the pickled herring is great.
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
How long was your flight? Glad you made it safely.
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Sveaborg is awesome. The boat trip to get there is nice as well. :) I want to go to Finland again!
Jul. 8th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Cool place
I never knew I wanted to visit Helsinki! You just ate an hour of my life reading about Suomenlinna on wikipedia, and looking at the satellite images on google maps :-)

A bit like Pyke (although not actually built in the medieval period).
Jul. 9th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
George, remember to buy one of those "I went to Finncon, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" t-shirts.

Jul. 9th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
Finncon = free
Plane fare and hotel = not free.

I'll definitely remember Sveaborg when I plan my World Trip for my retirement...just 20 years away.
Jul. 9th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
I heard the end of Finncon comes to a nice Finnish
Jul. 9th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
School of European Swordsmanship
How cool that you're in Finland just when I happen to be here for a month. A couple of us from the Shool of European Swordsmanship, Helsinki (www.swordschool.com) will try to go in and see you on Sunday!
Jul. 9th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Helsinki? Hell, yeah!
Have a good time in Scandahoovia, George.
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Helsinki? Hell, yeah!

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe Finland is considered Scandanavia.

Jul. 13th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Helsinki? Hell, yeah!
Actually, Finland _is_ a part of Scandinavia.

(I'm a Finn, so I should know.:)
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Helsinki? Hell, yeah!
"While the term Scandinavia is most commonly used for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the term the Nordic countries is used unambiguously for Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroes, and Åland).[5] Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries."

From what I've researched, it seems Scandanvia was a term used to describe the southern portion of the penisula. But you live there, so if you say so, who am I to argue?

Hopefully some day I'll visit your country.

Jul. 9th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
If you can, get lunch at the outdoor market next to the harbor. Best fresh fish, plus lots of other yummy stuff.

For dinner I highly recommend 1 dinner at Zetor (not too far from the main train station).

Can you tell when I travel there is a focus on food. :-)

We really liked the open air living history museum if you have time. Check their webpage for when tours are in English (or another language you know...) I found I got more out of it by going on a tour of site, rather than just wandering around...

Heva Suomi! (Hurrah Finland!)
Jul. 9th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, for free cons here in CA.... it'll never happen. Glad to hear you're having fun, though. Happy conning! (Please take that word in context.)
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Probably as much resemblance between the two Gibraltars and your two stories about Sveaborg. The second is one of my favorite GRRM stories -- but then again, I have a lot of those. ; )
Jul. 10th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
I actually just got around to reading "The Fortress" in Dreamsongs vol. 1. Definitely sparked an interest in Scandinavian history!
Jul. 10th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
I think I remember reading that Sveaborg had a Vauban star shaped fort, or at least one done in that style. The Russians wouldn't have liked that very much. The forts are kind of ugly, but well designed.
Jul. 10th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)
Something to think about
First of all, have funny days in Finland. Had a few nice buddies there a few years of my boyhood. Playing hockey and did those crazy sauna sessions.
The land of a thousand lakes. I like it, have fun.

But I also have something for you all to think about. I leave it uncommented. It's your turn to deal with it:

"Hello everyone. I am writing this from a Blenz Cafe in North Vancouver. Tomorrow, early in the afternoon, I board a plane bound for Beijing, and then on to Ulan Bator. Why am I going to Mongolia? The thing with archaeology is one can never quite get it out of one's blood. I am joining a US/Russian/Japanese/Mongolian expedition, for a five week dig. With luck, I'll get a chance to do some riding once there, which is something I've wanted to do for years.

Now, before anyone panics regarding the timing of this, rest assured I do this in the best interests of the entire series in mind. Before I settle into writing the tenth and last novel, I need a period of time in which to take stock, review all that has gone before in the previous nine novels, and charge up the batteries. Five weeks in a primitive camp on the Asian steppes may not seem an ideal place in which to recharge, but for me it's the perfect place. I return to the UK on the 21st of August, hopefully in time to do some promotion for Dust of Dreams.

Today I wandered the Malazan site for a time, reading many of your comments. Always nice to see such lively debate on countless topics. Thank you all for investing so much in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. I suspect that in the months to come, plenty will be hitting the fan with Dust of Dreams (if Bill and Hazel's responses are anything to go by), and I will look in from time to time (though I found, with Toll the Hounds, that I would be wise to wait a month or two after launch. If precedent is anything to go by, responses mellow and opinions often reverse following the initial rush to comment: if I had taken to heart the predominantly negative reactions to Toll the Hounds in the days following its release, I might have been depressed for days. Curiously, this pattern seems pretty consistent, if I look back on the reactions to House of Chains, Midnight Tides, etc. As much as I meekly advise patience with my readers, so I must with myself). In any case, fare well for now.

Steven Erikson"
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
So glad to have you in Finland, enjoy your stay! I'm really looking forward to seeing you in Turku next Tuesday. Hope you get to visit our medieval castle also. :D
Jul. 11th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Wow, great GoH speech.

And I love your hat. :-D
Jul. 11th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for your great speach about travel yeasterday.

It was like listening to my own childhood in a small Island in Finland where I was living. It made me feel like I knew you a lot.

Hope You will enjoy your stay in Finland and that the weather will show you it´s best side through the whole stay.

Kenneth Lindholm
Jul. 12th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
Hope you'll enjoy your stay in Finland! My favourite author in my favourite country... and I cannot be there... Hope you'll come to Germany some day!
Jul. 12th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
I'm really looking forward to meeting you in Tallinn tomorrow! Your fans from Estonia will be there!
Enjoy your stay in Finland!
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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