The Helsinki University Science Fiction Club was founded on October 13th 1987. The club’s mission is to promote science fiction and fantasy at the university and to function as a meeting place for sci-fi and fantasy fans.
We hang out at the club every Thursday and some of our other activities include organizing movie and board game nights and publishing our own fanzine Marvin. Join us at Dirk Gently’s Holistic Picnic or our Night of Dreadful and Bizarre Music! The club also participates in organizing Finncon and other sci-fi and fantasy events that take place in Helsinki, such as the coming international science fiction and fantasy convention Worldcon.
The club has a library with a wide range of science fiction and fantasy publications (over 2000 items) in addition to which we also subscribe to a number of genre magazines. A list of items available at the library can be found at www.librarything.com/catalog/googoomuck.
You can read books at our club lounge and borrow books and magazines (except the latest publications) at Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor every Thursday between 5 and 7 PM. There is no lending time limit. New items are purchased with the club’s funds; however, we also accept book donations (hint hint).
Speculative fiction enthusiasts like to meet each other so much that they invented their own name for it: fandom. These days, all sorts of fandoms are popping up everywhere, but science fiction and fantasy fandom is the original and the oldest one – which is why it is called simply fandom. Science fiction fandom was born at the turn of the 1920’s and 1930’s in the USA through science fiction magazines’ readers’ letters. Finnish fandom began to form at the end of the 1970’s.
“Speculative fiction fandom” is a wide group of science fiction, fantasy and horror enthusiasts. We keep in touch via organizing various events, publishing magazines, chatting online and forming clubs. In Finland – the promised land of organizations and unions – there are close to twenty science fiction and fantasy clubs. However, you can also be a part of the fandom without joining any of the “official” branches.
There are as many different types of fandom events as there are clubs. Typical events are the so called “mafias”: monthly or even weekly meetings held in particular pubs or coffee shops. There, we meet old and new friends, share thoughts and opinions about anything and everything – sometimes even about fantasy and science fiction – and most important of all, we have fun.
Why all the hustle and organizing around one weird literary genre?
Science fiction and fantasy are unique. Even after a century they are still on the outskirts of “Literature”, and being an outsider connects people – including fans. Science fiction and fantasy explore the unknown reaches of reality and feed your wildest imaginations. This inspires fans to exchange thoughts and explore these wild ideas with other fans.
Autumn 2016 program
Club evenings every Thursday starting at 5 p.m. in the club room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor). People will be there at least until 7 p.m. and usually even after that. These meetups are a great way to spend quality time with HYSFK members. Come chat with us, check out the library, and play games.
On Thursdays in odd-numbered weeks, around 7-8 p.m., we move on to St. Urho’s Pub (Museokatu 10) for the general fandom meetup, known in Finnish as “Mafia”. Science fiction fans from around the greater Helsinki region gather in the pub to talk about anything and everything. Finnish and foreign writers may sometimes join the group.
Thursday, 8 September: Planning meeting for the autumn issue of the club magazine Marvin in the club room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor) in connection with the normal club evening. If you are interested in writing for the HYSFK magazine, this is your chance! Contributions in English are welcome. The upcoming issue has the working title “Super-Marvin” and deals with superheroes.
Thursday, 8 September: Reading group in the library room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor) in connection with the normal club evening. We will discuss E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic short story “The Sandman” (“Der Sandmann”, 1816). The story is available in English at https://germanstories.vcu.edu/hoffmann/sand_e.html
Thursday, 15 September: Newbie Night at 5 p.m. in the club room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor). This evening is meant for new people and those who are not yet very familiar with HYSFK. Get to know how the club works and meet like-minded fans. Welcome!
Saturday, 17 September: Board Game Saturday starting at 2 p.m. in the Cajsa meeting room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor). Let’s play board games and have fun! Some board games are available on behalf of HYSFK, but you are welcome to bring your own games too.
Thursday, 22 September: Reading group in the library room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor) in connection with the normal club evening. This time it’s all about sea monsters as described in Risto Isomäki’s Con rit (2011, only in Finnish).
Saturday, 1 October: Doctor Who Night at 5 p.m. As the autumn grows darker, we gather in the Cajsa meeting room to marvel at the Doctor’s adventures. The program will be published in more detail later, but it will include both old classics and more recent Doctors.
Thursday, 6 October: Reading group in the library room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor) in connection with the normal club evening. This time we will discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness (1969).
Sunday, 16 October: Freshmen’s party together with Alter Ego (AE), Assassins at the University of Helsinki (HYS), and Yama, the university’s anime and manga club. More information and instructions for signing up will be published later.
Thursday, 20 October: Reading group in the library room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor) in connection with the normal club evening. The book to be discussed will be decided upon in the September reading groups.
Saturday, 22 October: Board Game Saturday starting at 2 p.m. in the Cajsa meeting room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor). Let’s play board games and have fun! Some board games are available on behalf of HYSFK, but you are welcome to bring your own games too.
27 to 30 October: Helsinki Book Fair at the Messukeskus convention center. HYSFK is responsible for organizing a science fiction program track together with other science fiction clubs in the greater Helsinki region. The clubs and Worldcon 75 also have a joint convention stand (6h109), which is worth visiting.
Saturday, 12 November: Movie night at 4 p.m. in the Cajsa meeting room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor). Two or three movies will be shown, names to be revealed later.
Saturday, 26 November: Board Game Saturday starting at 2 p.m. in the Cajsa meeting room. Let’s play board games and have fun! Some board games are available on behalf of HYSFK, but you are welcome to bring your own games too.
Monday, 5 December: Pre-Christmas party in the Sivistys rooftop sauna (Leppäsuonkatu 11). All members and their significant others are welcome, as well as anyone interested in our activities. Let’s hang out, talk, play games, use the sauna, eat, drink, and make it a great party! More details to follow later.
More information on reading and writing groups
The reading group meets up approximately every other Thursday at 7 p.m. in the library room. The meetups for September and October have already been decided and can be found in the program above. Future meetups and books to be read will be decided in the reading group. This is a great chance to come discuss speculative literature. By joining the group, you can have a say in what books we will read in the future.
The writing group meets 1-2 times a month on sundays. Next meeting is on Sun 25th Sept. If you are interested in the writing group, please contact Inkeri (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Contact us by e-mail at email@example.com or come to the club room (Mannerheimintie 5 B, 4th floor) any Thursday starting from 5 p.m.
You can also find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/hysfk/), Twitter (@sfhysfk), and Instagram (hysfk).