onsdag den 3. juni 2009

What a Crime wave it was...

Dear partners in crime.
I want to thank all of you, who attended and participated in the double AGM's of AIEP and SKS in Reykjavík this last weekend, and the accompanying conference/series of lectures and panels: The Nordic Crime Wave.

The members of the Icelandic GK-jury told me this was an unusually good year in a row of many good years of nordic crime, and this manifested itself in, amongst other things, the fact that an extra-round of voting was needed to get to the final result. I congratulate, once more, Johan Theorin on his Glass-key prize; he is a worthy winner amongst worthy competitors.

Although many of those attending this weekend of crime kept congratulating and profusely thanking me, personally, for a brilliant conference (and it was brilliant, there's no arguing about that) I want to state it for the record that it was by no means all my doing, far from it.

On the contrary, a lot of people put in a lot of effort to make this work as well as it did.

Eiríkur Brynjólfsson, the Don/Gangleader of The Icelandic Crime Syndicate is the first amongst equals in a long line of people you have to thank for this successful meeting of criminal minds from all over the world.

Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, a long-suffering board-member of the ICS, is another.

We, in the ICS and the SKS/CWS, also owe a huge debt to Max Dager, the manager of the Nordic house, and Ásta G. Rögnvaldsdóttir, the Nordic house's chief librarian, for their hospitality, generosity and all-round helpfulness during these merry days and nights of crime.

Three major, icelandic publishing-houses also deserve a big, fat thank you from us: Forlagið, Uppheimar and Bjartur-Veröld, for their support and for making their respective authors participation in the saturday-panel possible: Diane Wei Liang, Jo Nesbö and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. And of course, our gratitude extends to these three masters of crime themselves as well.

Special thanks go to the Icelandic Writers Union, its president Pétur Gunnarsson and its manager Ragnheiður Tryggvadóttir for their generous contribution, without which you would have had to pay for your own drinks on thursday and eat outside in the rain on friday...
And to our second host on thursday evening, of course, the GrandRokk-pub.

I also want to thank the Glass-key candidates, all six of them, for showing up and participating in our panel, deciding to come to Iceland and/or participating in the panel without anyone of them knowing beforehand who was going to win.
They all had the option of getting to know who the winner was, some half an hour before it was announced, and all of them graciously decided to wait for the official announcement. Arnaldur, Lene & Agnete, Vidar, Marko and Johan - thank you all.

And, of course, Kristján Jóhann Jónsson, who introduced the candidates and their works, as well as interrogating them afterwards, is yet another person we have to thank for a criminally good weekend, as is our minister of culture, education and science - and long-time member of The Icelandic Crime Syndicate - Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who not only presented the Glass Key, but also made this conference possible in the first place.

You and I also owe a big thank-you to Halldór Guðmundsson, Rannveig Þórisdóttir and Ólafur Ísleifsson for their invaluable input, and, of course, to Bob Cornwell, the only "foot-soldier" amongst the conference-guests burdened with a heavy task outside the business-meetings, a task he executed brilliantly as everyone who was present can vouch for.

Hótel Loftleidir, the Teitur Jónasson bus-service, the Saffran-restaurant (catering on friday), the Dill-restaurant (caterers in the Nordic house) all put in their two-cents worth, and quite a bit more, actually, by giving us great deals and great value.

Last, but by no means least I want to thank all of you who came here, to enjoy this weekend with us - without you lot, there would have been no conference.

So - to you delegates from Japan, the USA, Bulgaria, Switzerland/Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium/Spain, Sweden, Finland, the UK, Italy and Iceland - many, many thanks for joining us and making The Nordic Crime Wave the success that it truly was, if I say so myself...

ævar örn.