The cutting edge HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION cracks bestseller list


Photo: Uránia Filmszínház

The sold out HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION premiered at #7 on the recent bestseller list for San Francisco’s famed Borderlands Books.

June Bestsellers Hardcovers
1. TRIGGER WARNING by Neil Gaiman
2. SEVENEVES by Neal Stephenson
3. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
4. THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi
5. NEMESIS GAMES by James S.A. Corey
6. THE FOLD by Peter Clines
7. COLLECTED FICTION by Hannu Rajaniemi
8. UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
9. A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER by Alex Marshall
10. LONG BLACK CURL by Alex Bledsoe


In the latest issue of INTERZONE (#259), Paul F. Cockburn reviews the HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION.

There are many things which make Rajaniemi unusual, even in the world of English-languag science fiction and fantasy. For one thing, he’s Finnish by birth, and has already received that country’s highest SF honour, the Tähtivaeltaja Award. Unlike most SF authors, he has also completed a PhD in string theory (at the University of Edinburgh) while his “other” day job – as a technology entrepreneur – has now taken him to California. In both fact and fiction, it’s fair to say, Rajaniemi is without doubt on the cutting edge.


And the man has ideas: oh boy does he have ideas. About how nanotechnology, and ever-evolving software, might go rogue and start reshaping the basic hardware we call reality. About vast AIs sown across the cosmos.


Yet, for all the sense of wonder from seeing the potential in some of the worlds he creates, Rajaniemi is not afraid to twist science fiction’s famed “wow” factor into a shiver of fear. Some of his ideas genuinely horrify: “Babies bonded with the godplague. Babies are cruel. Babies know what they want: food, sleep, for all pain to go away. And that’s what the godplague gives them.”


It’s interesting, of course, to learn that one of Rajaniemi’s favourite stories of all time is Augusto Monterroso’s ‘The Dinosaur’: “When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.” As he points out (in an introduction to the samples of his micro fiction which conclude the collection and perhaps hints of a future fiction form), Rajaniemi loves the fact “that most of the story happens outside the frame of those nine words, in the reader’s head.” That rather aptly sums up the core strength of this collection.

For more info on HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Lius Lasahido

Design by Elizabeth Story