The winner of the 2022 Tähtivaeltaja (“Star Rover”) Award was announced May 11. The award, sponsored by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society, goes to the best science fiction book published in Finland in the previous year which the judges have determined to be —.
- Kazuo Ishiguro: Klara ja aurinko (Klara and the Sun; Translated into Finnish by Helene Bützow.) (Tammi)
Klara is one of the Artificial Friends peddled as companions for children and young people to support the development of their social skills in a competitive world.
The award citation says of Ishiguro’s novel —
…Beneath the elaborate, subtle narrative lurks tragic, at times laconically cruel tones. The creepiness of the surrounding society emerges from small cues and fragments of knowledge that the reader must be able to extract from the observations of a very different creature. In all its humanity, Klara is an object, an asset in the world of the book; at the same time, the obsession with success drives the human characters in the novel to treat each other in an instrumental manner, including their own children.
Ishiguro captures the reader with certainty and also manages to surprise. The levels of the novel support each other from small linguistic solutions to the plot. The ensemble plays together like a symphony orchestra and forms a more distinctive world that is disturbingly reminiscent of our own than the number of pages. Every detail is considered, no sentence is in vain or in the wrong place. Helene Bützow’s nuanced translation completes the reading experience.
The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has been presenting the “Star Rover” award since 1986. This year’s winner was selected by a jury composed of journalist Hannu Blommila, editor Toni Jerrman, critic Elli Leppä, and critic Kaisa Ranta.