Finnish SFT: Johanna Sinisalo


Johanna Sinisalo is an internationally-known, award-winning Finnish author of science fiction and fantasy. She has also edited and co-edited anthologies of Finnish SFT. Possibly the most well-known Finnish speculative author in English, Sinisalo has been called the “Queen of Finnish Weird” because of how she translates her deep interest in plants, folk tales, and myth into stories about the animated natural world and the tension between it and human civilization.


Interview on Strange Horizons




Not Before Sundown (US title: Troll: A Love Story) (2000) by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Herbert Lomas (Peter Owen Publishers, 2003).

excerpts in The James Tiptree Award Anthology 2, 2006

excerpt in It Came From the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction, 2013

“Angel, a young photographer, comes home from a night of carousing to find a group of drunken teenagers in the courtyard of his apartment building, taunting a wounded, helpless young troll. He takes it in, not suspecting the dramatic consequences of this decision. What does one do with a troll in the city? As the troll’s presence influences Angel’s life in ways he could never have predicted, it becomes clear that the creature is the familiar of man’s most forbidden feelings. A novel of sparkling originality, “Troll” is a wry, beguiling story of nature and man’s relationship to wild things, and of the dark power of the wildness in ourselves.”


Birdbrain (2008) by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by David Hackston (Peter Owen Publishers, 2011).

“From the author of Not Before Sundown (Troll – A Love Story) comes an eco-thriller about a young Finnish couple who come up against the mysterious forces of nature during a hiking trip in Australasia.”






The Blood of Angels (2011) by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Lola Rogers (Peter Owen Publishers, 2014).

“The phenomenon of colony-collapse disorder, the sudden mass disappearance of bees, has spread across the world. Amateur beekeeper Orvo, devastated by the recent death of his eco-warrior son, finds two of his hives deserted and begins to fear that the ‘epidemic’ has reached Scandinavia. Then, in the attic of the old barn, he makes a mystical and frightening discovery: a pathway to a parallel world. Is it a hallucination stimulated by sorrow and loss? Or is it something very real and connected with the bees’ disappearance? His research teaches him that in practically every culture bees are viewed as half-supernatural messengers that can travel between worlds and are associated with resurrection and the afterlife. He begins to wonder if this portal could reunite him with his dead son and whether he can himself escape the ecological meltdown of this world.”



The Core of the Sun (2013) by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Lola Rogers (Grove Press, Black Cat, 2016).

“From the queen of “Finnish weird,” a captivating and witty speculative satire of a Handmaid’s Tale-esque welfare state where women are either breeders or outcasts, addicts chase the elusive high of super-hot chili peppers, and one woman is searching for her missing sister.”







“Transit” by Johanna Sinisalo (The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, 2006).

“Baby Doll,” translated by David Hackston (The SFWA European Hall of Fame, 2007).

“Bear’s Bride” translated by ?, (The Beastly Bride and Other Tales of the Animal People, 2010).

“The Hunter King,” translated by David Hackston (Books from Finland, 2012).

“The Kings with No Hands,” translated by J. Robert Tupasela (Finnish Weird 3, 2016 / Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume Four, 2017).

“Voiceless Voices” by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Lola Rogers (Giants at the End of the World, 2017).



The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, edited by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by David Hackston (Dedalus Limited, 2006).






Giants at the End of the World, edited by Johanna Sinisalo and Toni Jerrman, translated by ?? (Worldcon 75, 2017).








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