In English

Jussi Katajala (b. 1974) writes science fiction, historical fiction, horror and speculative fiction. In 2014 he won the Atorox Award for the best Finnish science fiction short story with his environmental science fiction tale Mare Nostrum. In addition, Katajala has also won several honorary awards in short story competitions. Over 50 of his short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines. Katajala writes exciting and weird stories just like the ones he liked to read when he was younger. He likes to explore what has been, what could have been and what might be. The stories span from the ancient worlds to the distant future and from medieval cities to imaginary worlds in outer space.

Katajala has published three collections of short stories. His first collection Leonardon rasia (“Leonardo’s Box”, Osuuskumma 2013) contains historical fiction with a speculative twist. In the title story Leonardo da Vinci is hired by sultan Mehmed to design new weapons for his army. Another short story in the collection, Wilhelmus Lyypekkiläisen kuolema ("Death of Wilhelmus the Lübeckian", was the runner-up in the Atorox Awards in 2013 and tells about an inn-keeper who tries to bargain with the Grim Reaper.

Katajala’s second collection Korpin silmät kaiken näkevät ("All-seeing Eyes of the Raven", Osuuskumma 2015) contains horror stories. In the title story, strange and gruesome murders start happening when a Viking Age exhibition is opened in the National Museum of Finland. In the other stories horror dwells in subway tunnels, summer houses and even at the International Space Station.

His third collection Nollameridiaani (”Prime Meridian”, Osuuskumma 2017) contains science fiction stories, including the Atorox winner Mare Nostrum. In Mare Nostrum an unknown entity begins hijacking and dismantling the submarines of great powers. Two other short stories Presidentin elokuut (“Augusts of the President”) and Jotta taidat suomen kielen (“So that You Shall Know the Finnish Language”) were the joint winners in an alternate history short story competition.

Katajala has also published a novella Romuluksen pojat (”The Sons of Romulus”, Kuoriaiskirjat 2016), which is a historical detective story set in ancient Rome during the early reign of emperor Augustus.

Prizes


  • Atorox Award 2014 (short story Mare Nostrum)
  • Joint 1st price in alternate history short story competition organized by Turku university science fiction and fantasy club with two short stories
  • 2nd price in scifi short story competition organized by Tähtivaeltaja magazine
  • Honorary award in scifi short story competition organized by Portti magazine

Translations


  • "The Statement of Staff Sergeant Chambers", Boundaries and Other Horror Stories from Finland (Nysalor 2017)
  • ”Mare Nostrum”, Never Stop - Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (Osuuskumma 2017)
  • ”Water Song”, Usva International 2015

Publications in English


  • ”Escape from Helsinki”, editor-in-chief and co-author, Espoo Science Fiction and Fantasy Association ESC ry 2015 

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