Uusi romaani Tuhannen viillon kuolema ilmestyy 15.9.!

Uusin romaanini Tuhannen viillon kuolema ilmestyy 15.9.2017!

Trilogia maailmasta jossa ilmastonmuutos on väistämätön tosiasia

Aino on siivooja, jolta varakas asiakas pimittää viisi euroa. Aino saa tarpeekseen, joten jonkun on kuoltava. Cessi on töissä New Life Oy:ssä, joka auttaa äveriäitä ihmisiä varautumaan ilmastokatastrofiin. Hän unelmoi pääsystä osaksi yhteiskunnallista eliittiä. Jari on rikkaan perheen poika, joka haluaisi olla köyhä ja uskottava. Jokainen heistä yrittää elää elämäänsä ilmastonmuutoksen ja luokkasodan ristipaineessa.

Tuhannen viillon kuolema aloittaa Rikkaiden unelmat -trilogian, jossa merenpinta nousee, rikas varautuu ja köyhä elää elämäänsä miten parhaiten taitaa. Tuhannen viillon kuolema on yhteiskunnallinen romaani, jossa kukaan ei ole turvassa muuttuvalta maailmalta. Rikkaalla ihmisellä on varaa ostaa lahjoituksilla itselleen hyväntekijän status samalla kun hän ajaa kurjistavaa politiikkaa. Väkivalta ei ala poliittisena liikkeenä vaan tavallisen ihmisen tuskastumisena. Lopulta köyhälle ei jää käteen muuta kuin puukko.

Roleplaying Game Movie Night #27: Aamusydämellä

I and some friends have a project of trying to watch all movies, tv episodes and other stuff with moving pictures related to roleplaying games ever made. We’re pretty far along on this goal. I’ll write here about old and new things we’ve found and watched.

Aamusydämellä, the episode Isä poika ja roolipeli from 2008.

Aamusydämellä is a Finnish tv show in which guests are interviewed about topics such as depression in athletes or experiences with the prison system. In the 2008 episode Isä, poika ja roolipeli, the guests were a father and son who both larped.

Much of the episode is spent on pretty simple questions on what larp is. How characters work, who decides what happens and so on. In the end, they talk about having a shared hobby between father and son, and it’s interesting to see. The idea that parents and children have something they can enjoy on an equal level is not a given, and here the father says that you have to be able to be seen as silly if you want to do it.

All in all, it’s a pretty decent “slice of life” take on larp. More info here.

Roleplaying Game Movie Night #26: Vain elämää

I and some friends have a project of trying to watch all movies, tv episodes and other stuff with moving pictures related to roleplaying games ever made. We’re pretty far along on this goal. I’ll write here about old and new things we’ve found and watched.

(Apulanta singer Toni Wirtanen reflects on his episode in Vain elämää.)

Vain elämää is an extremely successful Finnish tv show in which famous singers perform versions of each other’s songs. Each season, there’s a group of artists, and each episode is built around one of them. In the middle of the episode, the artist leads the others in a fun activity.

In episode 5 of season 7, the featured artist is Toni Wirtanen of the band Apulanta. His fun activity of choice is larp, so he leads the other artists in a short mini-larp where he portrays an evil wizard and they his followers and enemies.

This was fun to watch. The approach to larp was cheerfully positive, and it was funny to see pop stars like Sanni or Jari Sillanpää get their larp on. Kaija Koo, who’s from an older generation of Finnish entertainers, really distinguished herself by jumping right into it, improvising pretty convincing fantasy jargon.

Research Blog Antarctica #161 – Quick Before It Melts (the movie)

Film: Delbert Mann: Quick Before It Melts (U.S.A. 1964)

This is the film adaptation of the novel Quick, Before It Melts. It’s a comedy about an American reporter sent to the Antarctic to find stories about oil, gold or Russian perfidy. Much of the story is built around the sexual frustration experienced by the protagonist who’s girlfriend refuses to sleep with him.

While the book is outdated, it had its moments. The movie is stale, although it retains some of the observational detail of the novel. Lots of bearded scientists and gruff military men, and much is made of having women on the ice.

Research Blog Antarctica #160 – Antarctic Edge: 70 South

Documentary: Dena Seidel: Antarctic Edge: 70 South (U.S.A. 2015)

This is a documentary about marine life in the Southern Ocean and the work of scientists on ships and islands on the Antarctic coast. Underlying the narrative is the effect of global warming on all aspects of Antarctic life, from krill to penguins.

It’s a solid, straightforward documentary with lots of good visualizations of climate phenomena and human material about the lives of people who work in Antarctic research. It also demonstrates how the story of Antarctica has shifted during the 10+ years I’ve been interested in the subject. When I read my first Antarctic books, the image of the continent was of unchanging, eternal ice. Now it’s a story of massive transformations caused by humanity.

Research Blog Antarctica #159 – the Icebreaker

Film: Nikolay Khomeriki: The Icebreaker (Russia, 2016)

The Icebreaker is a movie about a Russian ship picking up scientists from Antarctica. As it leaves the continent, it becomes mired in the ice in the Ross Sea. Tensions arise as the captain is replaced by the Soviet government and the crew starts to get restless in the face of dwindling supplies.

It’s interesting to see a movie from the Soviet perspective on Antarctica, even if it deals with Soviet Antarctic programs only peripherally. The main action is with the people on the ship, stuck in Antarctic waters.

The movie is slow in the middle as life on the ship starts to get increasingly difficult, but it still has its interesting parts because of the setting and the time period.

Research Blog Antarctica #158 – Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

Non-fiction: Alfred Lansing: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (1959)

Written by the American journalist Alfred Lansing and published in 1959, Endurance is an account of one of the most famous stories in the history of Antarctic exploration, the failed Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914. Shackleton attempted to traverse the Antarctic continent, but his ship was locked in ice before he got to shore, and was crushed. This forced him and his crew to move heavy small boats to the edge of the sea ice and then attempt to escape to safety in the stormiest seas in the world.

It’s a story told many times, but Lansing tells it very well, straightforwardly and simply, as if you were watching a movie of the events. Some of the quirkier details of the trip are missing, but Lansing has a good understanding of the minutiae and mistakes of daily expedition life. He interviewed surviving members of the expedition, giving his story a lot of human detail.

If you want to read an approachable and exciting account of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, this is a good choice.

Research Blog Antarctica #157 – Quick, Before It Melts (the novel)

Fiction: Philip Benjamin: Quick, Before It Melts (Random House, 1964)

Philip Benjamin was a New York Times reporter who had been to Antarctica twice when he published the novel Quick, Before It Melts, later made into a movie. The title is a joke based on the idea that the Antarctic is eternal, and that being worried about it melting is funny. In this regard, the world has changed.

It’s a comedy novel about a reporter who goes to the Antarctic as a guest of the U.S. operation there. In factual terms, it’s very faithful, with a lot of fun little detail. The story follows the broad pattern of many non-fiction Antarctic books, with the stop in New Zealand, arriving in the Antarctic, adventures there, and ending when the protagonist leaves.

The reporter and his friend contrive to get their girlfriends visit Antarctica, at that point pretty much a men-only continent. A Soviet scientist defects to New Zealand. The story is a product of its time and the tone of the book is laddish, but sometimes it’s still clever in a lighthearted way.

Research Blog Antarctica #156 – Penguins on Ice

Comic book: Sergio Salma: Penguins on Ice (ibooks, 2005)

Penguins on Ice is a collection of comic strips about Fred the Penguin and his compatriots. The jokes are based on simple ideas, such as how all penguins look the same.

The artist, Sergio Salma, is guilty of a sin so great that I can’t recommend this to any fan of Antarctica: He mixes the Arctic and the Antarctic. Penguins and Inuit. That’s just unforgivable. Even if some of the strips are funny.

Research Blog Antarctica #155 – The Antarctica Challenge


Documentary: Mark Terry: The Antarctica Challenge (Canada, 2009)

The Antarctica Challenge is a Canadian documentary about what’s happening in Antarctica in terms of climate change. It explains the effects of the changing temperatures on animal life, glaciers, and the planet as a whole.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the documentary in terms of how Antarctica is usually represented is that it presents the environment in a state of change. The typical view of Antarctica is eternal, unchanging, but this time there are glaciers falling into the sea, life taking a foothold on previously ice-covered land, melting ice formations and other phenomena of an environment in flux.

The documentary is a good example of how in Antarctica, the issue of climate change becomes much less abstract and much more immediately tangible.

Research Blog Antarctica #154 – Riding the Ice Wind


Non-fiction: Alastair Vere Nicoll: Riding the Ice Wind (I.B.Tauris 2010)

By now, books about moderns expeditions to Antarctica are a relatively big genre. Earlier examples on this blog can be found here, here and here. The challenge of this sort of book is that it’s always the same story.

1. Decide to go to Antarctica.

2. Engage in tedious fundraising.

3. Travel through the Antarctic continent, often in an attempt to do something new.

4. Gain important life lessons.

In Alastair Vere Nicoll’s book Riding the Ice Wind, there’s an added human element where Nicoll’s baby is going to be born roughly at the same time as he’s supposed to finish the expedition. Will he make it in time?

Nicoll is frustrating as a writer. He seems very honest and straightforward, and for much of the book, manhauling a sledge of provisions on Antarctica seems like hellish drudgery punctuated by moments of pure wonder. Yet Nicoll doesn’t really transcend the format of this type of a book, and in his more philosophical moments he’s very much on safe ground.

There’s one very interesting detail in the book. The route of Nicoll’s team goes through the South Pole and they stop at the American Amundsen-Scott station. They aren’t much impressed with it, and Nicoll mentions that the staff offhandedly says they’re using their scientific equipment to spy on the Chinese nuclear program by detecting the emissions that travel through the planet.

I’ve never read about this anywhere else, but it flies in the face of so much high-minded Antarctic rhetoric that I would very much like to know more.

Juhana @ Ropecon 2016

Ropecon on tulossa aivan pian, perjantaista 29.7. sunnuntaihin 31.7. Olen mukana kahdella ohjelmanumerolla:

Rakkautta säteilevässä maailmassa: Tšernobyl, rakastettuni -pelin julkaisu

Sali 201, perjantaina 18:00 – 19:00

Juhana Petterssonin uusi roolipeli Tšernobyl, rakastettuni ilmestyy Ropeconissa 2016. Esitelmässä käydään läpi pelin ideaa ja sitä, millaista on rakkaus Tšernobylin radioaktiivisella, suljetulla vyöhykkeellä. Hahmot ovat rikollisia jotka ovat paenneet esivaltaa radioaktiiviselle alueelle. Siellä he joutuvat aloittamaan uuden elämän, ja kenties löytämään uusia ihmisiä joita rakastaa. Samalla käydään läpi pelin taustalla olevia, hahmovetoisen pelaamisen periaatteita.

Blood, Sex and Techno Music: the New Vampire Larp

Sali 208, lauantaina 17:00 – 18:00

One of the designers of the first larp commissioned by the new White Wolf Publishing, explains why the new wave of Vampire: the Masquerade larp started in Helsinki and what’s going to happen in the future. All about End of the Line, the first larp commissioned by the new White Wolf Publishing, Convention of Thorns, the Polish castle game, and Enlightenment in Blood, a massive city game in Berlin 2017.

Research Blog Antarctica #152 – Shackleton’s Journey


Children’s book: William Grill: Shackleton’s Journey (2014, Flying Eye Books)

Ernest Shackleton’s failed attempt at crossing the Antarctic continent is one of the most famous stories of early Antarctic exploration. His ship was crushed by ice, and he and his crew had to travel vast distances over ice and then on lifeboats to reach safety.

The children’s book Shackleton’s Journey tell the story with beautiful, evocative illustrations. The book is defined by style and grace, and detail that’s fun to peruse. A highlight is a list of names of dogs taken on the expedition.

The book presents the whole expedition as a dangerous journey undertaken by a bunch of hardy chaps. It’s a straight narrative of a story that in other hands, including Shackleton’s own, has acquired spiritual, transformative qualities enforced by the horrifying privation the men experienced on the ice.

Still, the book is a triumph. It’s practically designed to be explored together with a parent and a child, looking at all the things that characterized the Antarctic travel of that era.

Meitsi aloittaa peliblogin Imagessa, ekana aiheena larppi Gertrudes möhippa

Kuva larpista Gertrudes möhippa. Kuva: Urban Wedin

Kuva larpista Gertrudes möhippa. Kuva: Urban Wedin

“Olin itse yksi Gertruden hyväntekeväisyysäätiön päättäjistä. Iso osa pelaajista ei ollut larpannut koskaan aikaisemmin, joten polttarit tarjosivat hyvän viitekehyksen: Tiedämme kaikki mitä niissä tapahtuu ja miten niissä käyttäydytään.” lisää