mandag den 22. maj 2006

Copenhagen report

Hello folks - and congratulations Sweden and Finland!
As most of you probably know by now, the 15th Glass key went to Sweden this year, just like last year (we really have to figure out how to beat the swedish mafia, folks, this just can't go on - even if we are a criminal organization...). But, anyway, Stieg Larsson's Man som hatar kvinnor (this should be men in plural, but I'm using a stupid computer right now that doesn't have the double dots at the ready on the keyboard, and I'm just too stupid and lazy to bother finding them somewhere else...) was the best nordic crime novel this time around, according to the juries of the five countries participating in this annual competition of nordic crime writers. The other candidates were, as you no doubt have heard, even if I've neglected publishing this here on the blog, Finlands Matti Yrjana Joensuu (I'll correct the spelling as soon as I get back to Iceland...) for his novel Harjunpaa ja pahan pappi (Harjunpaa och djavulens prest); Norways Frode Grytten for his novel Flytande björn and Denmarks Gretelise Holm for her novel; Under fuld bedövelse. Iceland did not have a candidate this year, for reasons previously explained.
Sadly, Stieg Larsson died of a heart attack before his first crime-novel was even published. He passed away in november 2004, a few months before Men som hatar kvinnor was published, only 50 years old.
This novel, however, was only the first one in a trilogy he called The millenium trilogy, which he had already written before his premature death. The second novel in this criminal trilogy; Flickan som lekte med elden, will be published shortly.

The AGM itself went better than anyone could hope for - or not nearly as well as some might have hoped... I'm not at all sure how to put it, to be honest. There were not many of us there, but representatives from all four remaining countries in the SKS as suc, i.e. Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, were present at the meeting, and Anders Koch Nielsen was present at the handing over of the Glass key on friday, representing Denmark.
In short, we can put it like this: The show will go on.

There was a compromise of sorts, regarding the premises for membership/partnership in the SKS/glass-key co-operation. There is no obligation to host a conference/AGM/glass-key ceremony on any host country. If some member-organization takes it up on itself to host a regular, full-blown meeting, the glass-key will be presented at that very meeting. Should this not be the case, however, it is up to the winner's home-country to do something in order to bring attention to the fact that she/he won the award.

Some more changes were made to SKS's rules in order to simplify things and secure the future participation of all five independent nordic countries in the glass-key co-operation, the details will be published here as soon as the minutes of the AGM are ready.

Let it suffice to say, that the 11 of us who were there left Copenhagen pretty optimistic as to the future of the Glass-key - at least I left Copenhagen in a much more optimistic mood than I was in before the AGM.

As to the meeting beyond the meeting - the informal meeting of minds and friends - it was, I think, quite successfull. We had some nice chats, the outer surroundings were a bit chilly, I admit (Copenhagen was not in it's sunniest of moods, this time around), but the Faroese house was as cozy as ever, their food, their hospitality and the general, laid-back atmosphere of this nice house made us all, I think, feel at home and welcome.

We also shared a nice dinner on friday night, but as there was no conference, the program ended early saturday afternoon, and the majority of attendees went their seperate ways after that. I freely admit that I quite regret having decided to spare myself the costs of another night in a hotel and going directly to visit my very best friend in the world instead. Ordinarily, this would not be a decision to regret, but as I sat there in front of the tv, with my very best friend in the world, his wife and a couple of their friends, cheering - along with everyone else at this small and informal party - for Lordi and their success as each and (almost) every country gave them 8 or 10 or 12 points that fateful saturday night, I must admit that I wished I'd stayed and went with Paula, Marja and Taavi to some pub or another to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. I almost jumped on a train back to Copenhagen, as the voting progressed and Lordi's victory seemed more and more of a certainty... But I decided to do the sensible, responsible thing, and just get drunk in their honour right where I was instead...
But I bet no-one had more fun in Copenhagen that night than Paula, Marja and Taavi. And I must say that Lordi's victory renews my hope in mankind...

Anyway, this years conference was short and to the point - and, I think, quite successfull. We managed to change the rules in a way that will hopefully secure the future of the Glass-key, and we had a good time together. What more can one ask for? Well, a full blown conference for one thing, some might say - and that's exactly what we're getting next year if everything goes according to plan - and that conference will be held in Finland.

So keep posted - if we stick with the tradition, the conference will be held on the same weekend as the Eurovision finals ... and that will surely be an extraordinary weekend in Finland next year.

And yes - alas - I was, under heavy protest, elected president again. So it's not all good news from Copenhagen - but most of it is.