August 1, 2017

So a military attaché, a philosopher, and a couple writers went out on a boat . . . Sounds like the beginning of a joke, and maybe it was, but I assure you it actually happened. Friend of the blog Marcus Prest (author of Android, etc.) has been playing host to us in Turku for the […]

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July 27, 2017

This week we’ve been looked after by my Finnish friend Kari Salo, who I’ve known since he came to stay with my family when we were both fifteen. Kari and his lovely wife Anneli invited us to her lakeside summer cottage, where we enjoyed kicking back with a beer and a sauna after our busy […]

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No niin

July 24, 2017

For those of you planning on coming to the Helsinki Worldcon, or otherwise visiting Finland, here’s Ismo to tell you the single most important Finnish word.

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Drinking Your Beer in Finland

July 23, 2017

We’ve left Russia behind and are back in Finland for the next week or so. Finland has some of the most complex rules in the world for alcohol consumption.  Those of you coming to the Helsinki Worldcon might find them confusing, so here’s Ismo Leikola to give you a briefing.

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Nabokov’s Butterflies

July 22, 2017

At one point in my life, the author and lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov was my primary literary god.  He’s still a major influence, for all that I don’t write anything like him. There is a museum devoted to him in St. Petersburg, in his family’s old mansion.   (You can’t really describe it as “his” house, […]

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Scamming Scammers Scam Amazon With Scamming Scams

July 19, 2017

Kindle Unlimited, for those of you who don’t know, is an Amazon service where (if you’re an author) you upload your book exclusively to KU.  In return for this exclusivity, Amazon does . . . well, I’m not sure what they do for the author, but if you’re a reader, you can read, um, Unlimited numbers of […]

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Lessons of History

July 18, 2017

Let’s see now . . . Russia needed a revolution because . . . wait a minute . . . it slipped my mind.  Let me think.  I’m sure it will come to me any second . . .

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Mr. Jones

July 17, 2017

What is practically the first thing I see in St. Petersburg? A monument to American naval hero John Paul Jones, that’s what.

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In St Petersburg

July 16, 2017

100 years after Lenin’s arrival, l make my own appearance at the Finland Station. Let’s get this party started.

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Lost in Transition

July 15, 2017

All sorts of things happened en route to Finland, though none of them actually happened to us. The problem was that very little actually happened once we got into the little commuter mini-jet to fly to Chicago, which was the first leg of a long-distance triad that was supposed to continue to JFK, and from […]

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