Helsinki Worldcon 75


Noticed that Choice of Games is giving out free stuff to Worldcon Helsinki visitors.

I like this development, since it certainly is a step towards “legitimizing” interactive fiction in the literary world.

On another note, anyone else going there?


Oh how the world is an unfair place. For once there’s an event in Finland / the Nordic countries in general that might be interesting and useful to attend I probably won’t be able to attend. I am just a tiny bit pissed off that I probably won’t be able to make it. Unless some kind of miracle happens, that is.

I know some of the staff are going (Part of the reason why I’m pissed about probably missing it. I wanted to introduce everyone to quirky Finnish foods.) and hope that plenty of you readers will be attending as well.


What’s up with the 75 number, does Finland still think it’s 1975?


Well that depends on where in Finland you are and who you talk to. Fairly sure some still believe it to be 1875 going by their political stances.

But that’s neither here nor there.

I believe it’s the 75th Worldcon. Nice of them to hold it in Helsinki on the Finnish centennial, actually.


Like Mämmi? :stuck_out_tongue:


Unlikely to find that since it’s not Easter season. It would be great fun, but likely not worth it.

I was more thinking about luring them into a lovely little restaurant in Helsinki and maybe introducing the CoG folks very intimately to Dasher, Prancer, and Vixen.


No eating Santa’s transportation! Besides there’s so much more crazier stuff to eat than reindeer/moose (which are delicious btw).


Teo! I’m really upset that you’re not coming! I’d love for you to introduce me to quirky Finnish foods!

But, yes, Becky, Mary, and I will all be there. And they’ve even found room for all three of us on various panels. Though, I feel a little weird that the “Writing for Video Games” panel is Becky, me, and then an author we just contracted with, and one other person (and a moderator). Like, what are we going to talk about other than “rah rah video games”?

I’m also on a panel to discuss “Classic White Wolf,” like, why it was such a big deal twenty years ago. Which, considering their current…political direction…is going to be interesting.


I know! Although, I’d stay in Helsinki only to meet you folks anyhow even if I had managed to arrange a trip to Finland around the right time, not to attend WorldCon itself.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook regarding the foods! If you have the inclination to roam around the city itself while you are there, there is one place you absolutely must go. It’s like anything I could personally guide you to, except that it’s all in one compact location.
@Mary_Duffy will no doubt adore the spread of breads on offer, knowing how her twitter feed can be on occasion. :wink:


I can’t get away to go either, but just out of curiosity how friendly to the gluten-free like me are quirky Finnish foods exactly?


Depends on where you go and exactly what kind of foodstuffs you have issues with. It might take some hunting in certain cases, but in general you’ll be able to find most everything has some kind of variation made for those with dietary issues.
Last year when we visited Finland my IBS-suffering fiancee called it a “promised land” for people with food allergies or other such trouble. Not sure if that is true or not, but compared to Norway it’s definitely a better state of affairs.

As far as gluten-free products at restaurants go, most places have alternatives or can whip something up that fits your diet based on what you tell them.
When it comes to prepackaged stuff, most stores have entire aisles dedicated to allergy foods, including gluten-free stuff. Especially larger supermarkets definitely have selections. A fair amount of especially the smaller bakeries also tend to take pride in having selections that fit more uncommon diets.


Heh, for most of my youth I was misdiagnosed as IBS, and that’s only because mom wouldn’t take the “it’s all in his head” answers for granted, fortunately. Finland does sound better than the Dutch state of affairs, where it is beer and bread and thus gluten everywhere.

I always tend to worry about cross-contamination in restaurants, unless it is one of the very few gluten-free places or they are, very, very favourably and recently reviewed.


Finnish foods I’m looking forward to trying:
-sea buckthorn
-bear meat
-lots of rye bread
-any beverage served at the ICE BAR
-cloudberries? idk


Of that list I can guarantee you reindeer, rye bread, and cloudberries. I’ve heard great things about Lappi Ravintola which will give you already two thirds of that.
The market I linked to earlier will definitely cover the rye bread, as will most any of the grocery stores. Hell, you can go to Hesburger and get a rye bread hamburger if you wanted to.

Bear meat I have no idea about where you might find any of that. Most of the bear meat that gets sold after the annual hunting season goes to restaurants that make good use of it. It is quite the rare and expensive choice as far as meats go.

As for the Ice Bar… I’m sorry to say that I think the one in Helsinki closed down a few years ago.


Alas, no ice bar and perhaps no bear. One thing regularly on the menu here (home on the range) is bison–made some bison chili last night.

I am looking forward to the bread, for sure, and possibly buying some local rye flour to bring home for my own bread baking :slight_smile:


I think you can find bear meat at Saslik, but it’s a Russian restaurant, not a Finnish one. No idea if it’s available year-around.


I dont think even saslik has bear outside of hunting season. The only place I can think of is tourist shops in Lapland that sell bear in tin cans (mm, delicious).


Maybe a comparative analysis on how writing for (video) games is not the same as novel or fiction writing… how games (even if they aren’t CYOA games) intrinsically have choices… a little bit on the purpose of games, and the different audiences who play games… then probably how CYOA stories fill a unique space between games and fiction; they allow you to do things which you cannot do in other places.

Edit: I’d probably also familiarize myself with the guests of honor and their works. Additionally, I’d also be prepared to talk about this quote in particular from the science guest.

“Writing for a different audience makes you rethink everything – often you find that as you try to explain things to an audience who do not understand things perfectly well, you realise you don’t understand it as well as you thought. And so you get feedback in both directions.”


Well, in addition to Helsinki, my partner and I are going over to St Petersburg and Moscow for about ten days prior to WorldCon.

So…who do we know in Russia?


Im not from Russia. I just wanted to say that if you see a group of people all wearing adidas tracksuit, swatting in a circle, eating sunflower seeds and drinking cheap beer, then do not make eye contact and keep walking. If they say something to you just ignore it and keep walking. Those are the fabled gopniks.