Since I've been using this blog to review several werewolf-related novels and short stories, I hope the readers will excuse me for tooting my own horn when it comes to my very own werewolf short story. Last summer, I saw an advertisement about the biggest scifi and fantasy short story competition in Finland, one that was organised for the 29th time by Tampere Science Fiction Seura (~ Tampere Society of Science Fiction). I hesitated only for a moment before I started translating my unpublished werewolf story into Finnish in order to enter the competition.
I am now happy to say that the short story won accolades in the competition in the form of a honorary award. Yesterday, on the 12th of December, me and the family drove to Tampere to receive the award with other winners of the competition. The three judges described all the awarded stories with short quotations and descriptions and mine was as follows:
Gabriel kaatui maahan suden painon alla. Hän huusi tuskasta suden hampaiden purressa paksun talvitakin hihan läpi. Hänen rapiirinsa oli edelleen jumissa toisen suden sisuksissa.
Rakuunaupseeri Gabriel Sax on matkalla kotiinsa Karjalan korpien halki Stolbovan rauhan jälkeen, kun hän kohtaa poikkeuksellisen verenhimoisia susia. Novelli on perinteitä kunnioittava mutta modernisti ja yksityiskohtaisesti kerrottu historiallinen ihmissusitarina.
And the same in English (freely translated):
Gabriel fell under the wolf's weight. He cried out as the animal's teeth bit through the sleeve of his winter coat. His rapier was still stuck in the guts of the other wolf.
Dragoon officer Gabriel Sax is returning home after the treaty of Stolbovo when he runs into a pack of unusually bloodthirsty wolves. The historical werewolf story is respectful of traditions, but told in detail and with a modern bent.
The organisers also presented some interesting data about he competition. Overall, there were 162 short stories in the competition, averaging 18.6 pages in length. A total of 15 short stories ended up being awarded and their average length was 29.8 pages. The longest awarded story totalled 47 pages and the shortest story was eleven pages long. Incidentally, the longest story was my Susiveri. However, it was by no means a monster in comparison to the others: the next longest story was 46 pages long. The first prize - 2000 euros - went to a story called Didin historiat by Oskari Rantala.
All stories awarded in this competition will be published in the Portti magazine over the course of the next year or so, accompanied by professional illustrations. When the time comes, I'll make sure to post an announcement on my Facebook page. The story will naturally be in Finnish only at this point. However, if you are interested in reading my other short fiction, be sure to check out the "About Me" section for some useful links.