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It Came from the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  34 reviews
This anthology of Finnish fantasy edited by Desirina Boskovich features fiction from Carita Forsgren, Mari Saario, Johanna Sinisalo, Hannu Rajaniemi, Anne Leinonen, Marko Hautala, Maarit Verronen, Olli Jalonen, Leena Likitalo, Tuomas Kilpi, Tiina Raevaara, Jyrki Vainonen, Sari Peltoniemi, Leena Krohn, and Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen—author of the critically acclaimed The Rabb ...more
Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published December 13th 2013 by Cheeky Frawg Books
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  213 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Richard
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
So what exactly is 'Speculative Fiction'?

A lot of readers find this term confusing, and I can see why. The word 'speculate' suggests conjecture, supposition - trying to understand something from incomplete information. It also hints at predicting the future and in terms of fiction (to me anyway) 'speculative' calls to mind straight-down-the-middle sci-fi, the Arthur C. Clarke kind built around ideas which, though invented, are realistic enough that they could easily come true. In other words, it
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Mathew Walls
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
It's hard to give an accurate rating for this book, because it's very inconsistent. I really liked A Heart Clothed in Black (Leena Krohn) and a few of the others were pretty good, but then there were ones like Hairball (Carita Forsgren) or The Garden (Jyrki Vainonen) that I didn't care for at all. The majority of the stories were OK, nothing special, but they were at least all fairly interesting in their premises and settings. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the book on its own merits, but if y ...more
Meredith
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good. 3/4 of the stories were excellent. Not a bad one on the bunch.Really unusual concepts and conceits. The last story, "Delina" really packed an emotional punch. I shouldn't have finished it in public, because I was commenting out loud. >.<

The reader doesn't have to be familiar with Finnish culture to enjoy the books, but there are a few stories where it helps to know a bit about folk culture, the Kalevala and the vagaries of the Finnish temperament.
...more
Morgan Dhu
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of stories from Finnish sff authors. After having recently read Johanna Sinisalo's Birdbrain, I was perhaps primed to notice how strong a role that nature plays in many of these stories. Landscapes, geology, animals, organic growth, ecology - use of these elements seemed to be more prevalent than in collection that tend to be more focused on American and occasionally British writers.

Very much worth reading.
Elle Maruska
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall a decent collection. Some of the stories were fairly weak or long-winded but the overall quality is definitely worth a look! Rating anthologies is always difficult because there are always going to be some stories that work and some that don't, but I feel like this collection does provide a very interesting introduction to speculative Finnish literature
Jamie Bradway
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
A couple of eerie or trippy selections with lots of padding. For safe shipping, I guess.
Sal
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While this collection maintained a good quality throughout and introduced me to several intriguing authors that I intend to explore further, I found Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen's "Those Were The Days" to be the kind of beautiful, lasting story that sticks with you for a lifetime. Incredibly well worth the read.
Denise
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Collection of spec fic from Finnish authors. Most of the tales rate at least an 'interesting' or 'good', two in particular (Those Were the Days and Elegy For a Young Elk) I found to be fantastic. Definitely worth a read.
Sue Chant
Nothing new jumped out at me but not bad overall.

1.“Hairball” by Carita Forsgren (trans. by Anna Volmari and J. Robert Tupasela) - good
2.“The Horseshoe Nail” By Mari Saario (trans. by Liisa Rantalaiho)
3.Not Before Sundown (excerpt) By Johanna Sinisalo (trans. by Herbert Lomas) - very good
4.“Elegy for a Young Elk” by Hannu Rajaniemi - excellent
5.“White Threads” by Anne Leinonen (trans. byLiisa Rantalaiho)- ok
6.“The Laughing Doll” by Marko Hautala (trans. by Jyri Luoma) - dull
7.“Delina” by Maarit
...more
Reuben Robert
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's rather rare for an anthology to have a completely stellar collection - but this one is an exception by far.

I was particularly enthralled by Those Were the Days where the author manages to easily convey a shocking story despite an insanely convoluted timeline within a temporally messed up world. This story should have been impossible, but the author delivered anyway. Must read.
Brian
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun book! I loved reading various takes on speculative realities, some of which included Finnish culture, history, and mythology. There were some visionary stories here.
Brittney
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Some good, some not so good stories.
Stephani
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, storybundle
It is hard to give a good star rating on an anthology. Like most anthologies, some of the stories were 5 stars and some were 2.
Elise Rogers
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This anthology is inconsistent. The stories, in quality, range from brilliant to ok. The brilliant ones I never wanted to end, and I was sad when they did.
Agata Nowicka
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very intelligent

Refreshingly original and intelligent collection. I hope there will be more! It shows what a well educated nation is able for.
Charles Taylor
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
A mixed bag

Most of the stories In this anthology are worth reading - all of them really, but some are of the sort that don't appeal to me personally - extracts from novels, for instance.

It was enjoyable getting to know something of the Finnish SF scene - plenty of variety and inventiveness!

The opening and closing stories were for me the best - taking off beat ideas and developing them in unexpected directions - a hair ball that comes to life, and a flood of time respectively.
Alex
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I wanted to check this anthology out as there is a lot of rich culture and mythology in the Nordic regions that doesn’t get the time in the spotlight it deserves. I have a couple other anthologies coming around and behind this so I can get a broader exposure to what is available right now. Also, since WorldCon is going to be in Helsinki in 2017, I figured now would be a good time to explore.

A lot of the stories in this collection are intensely weird, and not at all what I expected. I didn’t have
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Christian
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Really not for me. Although there was a good story here and there too many of them were simply too weird, even for me. The reading experience of this anthology was a real struggle, sadly.
The Sample Reader
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy-list
The splendid weirdness of the first story and the swords-and-sorcery chops of the second bode well, suggesting that It Came from the North is a collection of stories with real variety and promise.

Read the full ebook Sample Reader review here.
...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
Oh gosh I loved this. I loved it so much. Not every story equally, no, but it's becoming clear to me that I have a weakness for stories that are gentle and strange and that's an apt description for my favourites. The last story in particular just broke me right down.
Philip
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, anthologies
The first and the last stories are easily the best. As for the others, maybe something was just lost in translation since Finnish is a notoriously difficult language for native English speakers to learn.
Peter
Hairball - 3*
Weird, but not like creepy, more a bit cooky.

The Horseshoe Nail - 2*
Predictable, and a bit dated: felt very 80s/90s standard fantasy

Not Before Sundown - 1*
Excerpt not inviting to read more.

A mixed bag. Did not care for the excerpts.
Sanne
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very nice story collection. I particularly enjoyed The Horseshoe nail, Elegy for a Young Elk, Ospreys, and Those Were the Days. My favourite was White Threads by Anne Leinonen.
Alexander Yakovlev
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: bizarro
A coupling of bizarre weird short foreign fiction. It's exactly as unconventional as it can be.
Andrey Shchekin
The stories are of different quality, so it's hard to give a single rating.
But I do think it's worth reading.
Outlawchild
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was AWESEOME, until the last two stories. Which were boring, not part of the theme and should have never been included. But before that, awesome.
Monica T.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Those were the days by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and Hairball by Carita Nail were my favourite.
Leslie Ordal
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A few unremarkable stories, but enough amazing ones that it was worth it if only to discover new authors. Now if only I could read Finnish so I could read their other works...
Rebecca
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This anthology is inconsistent. The stories, in quality, range from brilliant to ok. The brilliant ones I never wanted to end, and I was sad when they did.
Yvonne
The last story, Those Were the Days, merited four stars. The Gift Boy, three.
The rest of it? That's where the two comes in.
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