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Vankina sanatehtaassa Posts

Exploring Pendulum Passage

The team rigging the Crevasse, two days before our trip. (C) Taina Nyman, 2017

Even though writers are all notorious liars, the following is something resembling a true account of a caving trip I took on my New Year vacation. This is the kind of stuff that inspires my caving-related fiction.

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu: Top Entrance to the Crevasse

Shortly after noon Duncan, Tor and I crawl in through the top entrance hatch of OFD. Tor is tasked with navigation at first; I’ll back him up should he need it. We clamber over the boulders making up the first part of the cave, and in ten minutes we have reached the point, where a blocky climb called the Corkscrew heads down. Instead of down, we go up – up a slippery, muddy set of steps that’s almost unnoticeable if you go the way people usually go. The climb is unsecured and scary – a harbinger of what to expect today.

Sixty Years of the Rocket

Hugo Winners in my bookshelf
The only Hugo Best Novel winners I own as physical books. Hooray for libraries and ebooks!

In early 2013, about the same time I was developing my present delusions of literacy, I realised that as an aspiring writer of speculative fiction, I was hopelessly unaware of what was going on in my genre. Sure, I was reading lots of science fiction, but it was all within my comfort zone, and I didn’t really pay attention to interesting new stuff. I couldn’t even claim to be aware of all the interesting old stuff outside my particular tastes. Since this felt like a major oversight for someone fancying themselves a sci-fi writer, I figured that one way to fix this might be by catching up on the Hugo Award winners. Specifically, winners of the Best Novel award — I don’t really read or write short fiction, and anyway including more than one category of awards would have felt like a huge load of work. But novels? I like science fiction novels. Reading them would be fun!