This year, Åcon was finally Ån. This post-pandemic(-restrictions…) year was special in that I was the Guest of Honor – along with all of the other congoers, of course, as no single GoH had been appointed to replace Tasha Suri, who bravely held on for postponement of one year, but not two. Thus a more egalitarian solution was introduced. I’ve been building my writing career based on technically correct (the best kind of correct) accolades with minimal actual backing anyway, so this will fit in just fine on the list of my achievements. (Not an actual one, though, just the one to laugh at privately, such as on one’s blog.)
I did have a small reading to go along with the title, alongside Nicklas Östervik and Sara Norja. For my part, I read the original English version of The Emissary, a short piece about cross-species communication and co-operation from the perspective of an intelligent marine creature. The story has seen publication thus far only in Finnish, in my collection Välähdyksiä ajasta / Flashes in time, but it seemed like an appropriate read here.
The Finnish audience may likewise now access my Hail Eris chapbook, a collection of 23 discordian drabbles of strife and chaos. I am considering if an English adaptation could be made at some point, though not as drabbles – Finnish is more forgiving with the word limits. Perhaps a generic flash collection with no such limitation would be more chaotic anyway (and lend itself to other kinds of numerological shenanigans, along with the ones already present in the collection).
And the “A.I.” part? Yet another one for the Finns, I’m afraid. Come tomorrow morning, 10 AM EET on Monday, June the 6th to be exact, I will be on Finnish talk radio discussing AI and the future of arts and literature with Jukka Aalho, the co-author of Aum Golly (alongside the GPT-3 language model). The live stream will be on Yle Radio 1, and an archival copy will be on Yle Areena (might only be accessible for Finns).
So yes, things are happening, though mostly locally. Next up, Finncon at the start of July.