Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Of Trolls and Moon Nazis


I was going to post something serious and sensitive and literary today.  I didn't plan on blogging about a movie I haven't yet seen.  And I certainly didn't intend to blog about a movie about Nazis on the Moon.

But then I ran across the above clip of the first four minutes of Iron Sky.   I'd seen the trailer (click here) and was hoping that it would be the kind of guilty pleasure you don't tell your dissertation advisor about.  Now, I'm convinced that it is.

I've just put in an order at Netflix.

What convinced me to blog about the movie, though, was a credit visible at the very end:  Based on Story by Johanna Sinisalo

Sinisalo is a Finnish writer who won the Finlandia Prize for literature in 2000 for her first novel, Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi.  This was published in England as Not Before Sunset and in America as Troll: A Love Story, received glowing reviews, and never got the attention it deserved.

The novel begins when a young gay man chances upon a group of hooligans torturing an animal --a dog, he thinks -- and chases them away.  He finds himself the guardian of an injured troll.  One which, as it heals, exudes pheromones that can make pretty much anyone sexually irresistible.  There ensues a graceful (and slim!) novel of eros and alienation. 

As a work of mainstream literature, Troll is pretty much everything you want from a novel.  As a science fiction novel . . . ditto.  Sinisalo creates a convincing parallel evolution for her trolls, documented in excerpts from created texts and (I think) real ones as well.  All of which is, by evidence of a top-notch translation, written in a lovely and lucid prose style.  I'd recommend this book for pretty much anybody.

And, as it turns out, she can write trash as well!  Good trash.  That's a talent every bit as rare as being able to write good serious literature.

 I'll let you know how the movie turns out.  Pretty awesome, I'm betting.



Frank Böhmert said...

IRON SKY is indeed a guilty pleasure. And I just bought the TROLL novel. I think, we will both have fun.

SF in SF Events said...

No?! Really? I loved TROLL, and BIRDBRAIN. Keep waiting for her to break out in a big way here in the States. Did you know she's also done comic books?

Anubis said...

Troll sounds cool, I just ordered a copy of the German edition. I liked Iron Sky, but the end kinda ruined it for me. Not a good idea to go from satirizing fascism to a general "human beings are idiots" message. I still enjoy the Laibach score though.

Michael Swanwick said...

Rina! No, I didn't know. What comic books? Inquiring minds want to know.