2020 Tähtifantasia Award

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the winner of the 2020 Tähtifantasia Award, given for the best fantasy book published in Finnish during the previous year.

The award has been presented for 14 years. Previously, only fantasy books translated into Finnish were considered but this year for the first time novels originally written in Finnish also were eligible, and the winner is one of those works.

  • Juhani KarilaPienen hauen pyydystys (Siltala)

From the citation, via Google Translate:

Catching a little pike is an absurd adventure, a development story and a love story that elegantly combines realistic storytelling and fantasy. Juhani Karila’s modern Lapland marsh, forest and village landscape is filled with mystical creatures, but they are treated like any other everyday phenomenon. Karila does not explain why or how the creatures of northern mythology have returned to the other side of the Arctic Circle, but sucks the reader directly into the middle of the events.

…Along with the joyfully advancing story, Karila makes accurate observations of the way the world is going and creates a picture of human life as part of a larger whole. Catching a small pike also describes the human – often negative – impact on its environment.

The book is a touching description of human choices, love, rejection, the difficulty of self-acceptance, and forgiveness. With the help of her two different protagonists, Karila successfully rhythms her text, ranging from more humorous to more thoughtful or sad. Karila’s ability to change mood and style from one chapter to another can only be admired.

The award jury is composed of critics Jukka Halme and Aleksi Kuutio, and Osmo Määttä of Risingshadow.net.