Finnish SFT: Leena Krohn


Leena Krohn is an award-winning Finnish author (including the Finlandia Prize for literature in 1992) of science fiction and fantasy. Her numerous books and stories—written both for children and adults—explore questions of reality and illusion, artificial intelligence, and the power of the natural world.

Profile in The New Yorker




Datura, or A Delusion We All See (2001) (translated by David Hackston, The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, 2006 / translated by Anna Volmari and Juha Tupasela, Cheeky Frawg Books, 2013 / Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, 2015).

“The narrator works as an editor and writer for a magazine specializing in bringing oddities to light, a job that sends her exploring through a city that becomes by degrees ever less familiar. From a sunrise of automated cars working in silent precision to a possible vampire, she discovers that reality may not be as logical as you think—and that people are both odder and more ordinary as they might seem. Especially if you’re eating datura seeds. Especially when the legendary Voynich Manuscript is involved. Where will it all end? Pushed by the mysterious owner of the magazine, our narrator may wind up somewhere very strange indeed.”- Publishers Weekly

excerpt:  “The Trepanist,” translated by Anna Volmari and J. Robert Tupasela (Weird Fiction Review, 2015).

Review:  Locus



Doña Quixote and Gold of Ophir (1983) by Leena Krohn, translated by Hildi Hawkins (Carcanet Press, 1996).

Doña Quixote published alone in Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, ed. Jeff VanderMeer (Cheeky Frawg Books, 2015).

“These are tales from cities in which life is lived under threat of great disaster. Dona Quixote’s reality, that of a modern city, is built up out of a series of portraits centering on the mysterious main character, whose presence is like a flame, drawing the dispossessed of the city to her. Gold of Ophir, with its rich fusion of the language and imagery of science, alchemy and the Old Testament, makes a more mythic approach to the city.”- publisher’s copy

excerpt:  “Eyelids That Spatter Blood” (excerpt from Gold of Ophir), translated by Hildi Hawkins (Weird Fiction Review, 2015).




Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, edited by Jeff VanderMeer, translations by Hildi Hawkins, Anna Volmari, J. Robert Tupasela, Viivi Hyvonen, Anselm Hollo, Leena Likitalo, and Eva Buchwald (Cheeky Frawg Books, 2015).

“From cities of giant insects to a mysterious woman claiming to be the female Don Quixote, Leena Krohn’s fiction has fascinated and intrigued readers for over forty years. Within these covers you will discover a pelican that can talk and a city of gold. You will find yourself exploring a future of intelligence both artificial and biotech, along with a mysterious plant that induces strange visions. Krohn writes eloquently, passionately, about the nature of reality, the nature of Nature, and what it means to be human.”- publisher’s copy

stories included:

Doña Quixote and Other Citizens (1983) translated by Hildi Hawkins
Tainaron: Mail From Another City (1985) – translated by Hildi Hawkins
Gold of Ophir (1987) translated by Hildi Hawkins
Pereat Mundis: A Novel of Sorts (1998) translated by Hildi Hawkins
Datura, or A Figment Seen By Everyone (2001) translated by Anna Volmari & J. Robert Tupasela
The Pelican’s New Clothes (1976) translated by Bethany Fox
Selection from Umbra (1990): “The Paradox Archive,” translated by Hildi Hawkins
Three selections from Mathematical Creatures, or Shared Dreams (1992): “Gorgonoids,” translated by Hildi Hawkins; “The Lord of My Death” and “Lucilia Illustris” translated by Viivi Hyvonen
A selection from Dreamdeath (2004): “To Sleep, to Die,” “Fear of the Dark” and “Fit and Unfit for Death” translated by Hildi Hawkins
A selection from The Bee Pavilion (2006): “Really Existing,” “So Sorry,” and “The Three Buddhas” translated by Anselm Hollo
Four selections from False Window (2009): “The Divider,” “Picture Book,” “Filemon or the Wooden Man,” and “The Queen of the Night and Other Strangers” translated by Leena Likitalo
A selection from Hotel Sapiens (2012):“Me and My Shadow” translated by Hildi Hawkins
“Final Appearance” (2014), translated by Eva Buchwald

Review:  LA Times


Pereat Mundus: A Novel of Sorts (1998) (translated by David Hackston, The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, 2006 / translated by ?, Omnidawn Publishing, 2010 / translated by Hildi Hawkins, Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, 2015).

“About the Henbane City,” translated by Helena Darnell (ParaSpheres, 2006).
“The Ice Cream Vendor,” translated by Anselm Hollo (ParaSpheres, 2006).
“The Son of Chimera,” translated by Hildi Hawkins (ParaSpheres, 2006).
“A Heart Clothed in Black,” translated by Hildi Hawkins (It Came From the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction, 2013).





Tainaron: Mail from Another City (1985) by Leena Krohn, translated by Hildi Hawkins (Prime Books, 2004 / The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, 2011 / Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, 2015).

“Consists of a series of letters sent beyond the sea from a city of insects. Nominated for the prestigious Finlandia prize, this is a book of changes that speaks of metamorphoses that test all of nature from a flea to a star, from stone and grass to a human.”- publisher’s copy

“The Bystander” (Weird Fiction Review, 2015).
“Letters from Tainaron” (The New Weird, 2008).
“Their Mother’s Tears: The Fourth Letter” (Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, 2015).

Weird Fiction Review
SF Site




“Gorgonoids” (excerpt from Mathematical Creatures or Shared Dreams), translated by Hildi Hawkins (Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, 2015 / Lightspeed, 2016 / The Big Book of Science Fiction, 2016).

“In the Quiet of the Gardens,” translated by Eva Buchwald (Other Aliens, 2016).

“The Light in the Guest Room,” translated by Eva Buchwald (Other Aliens, 2016).

“The Night of the Normal Distribution Curve,” translated by Anna Volmari and J. Robert Tupasela (ODD?, 2011).


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