U S V A   I N T E R N A T I O N A L   2 0 0 6

In honour of the upcoming Finncon Usva puts out an issue (2/2006) both in Finnish and English. The purpose of Usva International 2006, our very first issue in English, is to present contemporary Finnish short stories to a wider international audience.

Load your issue here.

Love makes the world go ‘round – and many of our short stories as well. Juha-Pekka Koskinen’s The Bosom Friend offers the perfect solution to anyone who’s well and truly fed up with house cleaning: a cleaning robot. And busting dust isn’t the only personal service this mechanical maid provides. Sari Peltoniemi’s The Gift Boy acquaints us with a tattoo artist who certainly knows how to charm both his patrons as well as his employer.

In Natalia Laurila’s One itty-bitty-bit of Black Thread the central character of the story, a granny with a large family, holds in her hands the threads of their fate. Love, family and respect are key ingredients in this exotic story. Jenny Kangasvuo’s lycanthropic tale Riding Wolfhood moves eerily somewhere betwixt and between a fairy tale and a curse: this time around it is the wolf that walks off with our sympathy and even the curse may be a virtue. Th e story received an honorary mention in the Baltastica writing contest in 2003.

Petri Laine’s Shadow of the Earth has relocated mankind in space because the Earth is far too polluted to live on. Mariko and Eiko, from New Tokyo, get to go on a unique trip – and are soon on the scent of a great secret. J. K. Miettinen’s Forever and a Day is set in the early days of the Iraqi war. Young tykes Saddam and Abu explore the bombed ruins of their home town and come upon a surprise that may complicate their treasure hunt. Irma Hirsjärvi’s A weekend in the Country takes us on a country weekend, with a delightfully surprising twist.

Hannu Rajaniemi’s prose poem The Last Eurovision Contest is, as the name tells us, very fi rmly set in the world of that certain song contest that’s at the moment quite beloved by every Finn. But whoever will win this time around? Th e versatile cornucopia of stories that is Usva International 2006 is topped off by Petri Salin. His story The Third Woman is a heady mixture of twisted alternative history, fast paced action thriller, prions and prime meat.

The translations are by kind courtesy of Liisa Rantalaiho and Petri Salin.