Johanna Sinisalo

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Aila Johanna Sinisalo
Johanna Sinisalo in October 2008.
Johanna Sinisalo in October 2008.
BornAila Johanna Sinisalo
(1958-06-22) 22 June 1958 (age 65)
Sodankylä, Finland
Pen nameJohanna Sinisalo
Occupationscience fiction and fantasy writer.
GenreScience fiction, fantasy
Notable awardsAtorox Award, Finlandia Prize, The James Tiptree Jr. award, Prometheus Award
LiteratureXcange Festival in Aarhus (Denmark 2023)

Aila Johanna Sinisalo is a Finnish science fiction and fantasy writer.[1] She studied comparative literature and drama, amongst other subjects, at the University of Tampere.[2] Professionally she worked in the advertising business, rising to the level of marketing designer.

An important figure in the Finnish science fiction scene in the late 1980s and early '90s (winning a rare back-to-back collection of Atorox Awards for short fiction in the genre), she was also the first Finnish science fiction writer to make a mainstream breakthrough by breaking genre barriers.


Sinisalo was awarded the Finlandia Prize for literature in 2000 for her first novel, Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi (translated as Not Before Sundown in 2003 and again as Troll — A Love Story in 2004 for the American market).[3][4] The novel has been translated into several languages. Movie rights were acquired by Carter Smith in 2006.[5]

An English translation of Linnunaivot was published in 2010 by Peter Owen Publishers under the title Birdbrain (translated by David Hackston).

She has named the 1967 novel Friday, or, The Other Island by French writer Michel Tournier as a major influence on her career.[2]


She is also the screenwriter of Energia Productions Iron Sky movie, a sci-fi comedy set in 2018.[6]




  • Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi, (Tammi, 2000)
  • Sankarit, (Tammi 2003)
  • Kädettömät kuninkaat ja muita häiritseviä tarinoita, (Teos 2005), short story collection
  • Lasisilmä, (Teos 2006)
  • Linnunaivot, (Teos 2008)
    • In English as Birdbrain (Peter Owen Publishers, 2011)
  • Möbiuksen maa, (Teos 2010)
  • Enkelten verta, (Teos 2011).
    • In English as The Blood of Angels (Peter Owen Publishers 2014; ISBN 978-0-7206-1004-8)[8]
  • Auringon ydin, (Teos 2013)
  • Vieraat, (Karisto 2020).

Short fiction[edit]

She has published over 40 short stories, most of them fantasy and science fiction in various in sci fi magazines, journals and women's magazines. Her work has also appeared in the following anthologies:

  • Vuosirengas 74 (1974)
    • short stories Kilometripylväät and Jäinen kaupunki
  • Jäinen vaeltaja (1986)
    • short stories Tarina kuolleesta metsästä and Sorsapuisto
  • Atoroxin perilliset (1988)
    • short stories Hanna, Yövesi and Suklaalaput
  • Ensimmäinen yhteys (1988)
    • short story Transit
  • Illan tähti yksinäinen (1991) edited by Raija Hämäläinen
    • short story Illan tähti yksinäinen
  • Kultainen naamio (1993)
    • short story Me vakuutamme sinut
  • Onnellinen kuolema (1996)
    • mini novel Tango merellä
  • Linnées boreales (2001)
    • short story (French) Le Transit
  • Kärlek på finska (2002)
    • short story (Swedish) Låset
  • Intohimosta rikokseen (2002)
    • short story Baby Doll
  • Utopiae 2005 (2005)
    • novelli (French) Baby Doll


  • Anthology Verkon silmässä (Tammi, 2005)
    • Selection of short stories about the internet from several writers.
  • The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy (Dedalus Books, 2005)
    • Anthology in English, a selection of Finnish speculative fiction from the 19th century to the present day, translated by David Hackston.
  • co-edited with Toni Jerrman, Giants at the End of the World: A Showcase of the Finnish Weird (Worldcon-75, 2017)
    • Anthology in English, a selection of Finnish weird fiction



  • Tiskivuoro in Uusi Nainen -magazine ', art by Hannu Mänttäri
  • Scripts for Moomin related comics for Semic and ToTo-tuotanto, several artists
  • Pikku eläinpuoti in *Oma Ystävä -magazine, art by Hannu Mänttäri
  • Kimppakämppä in Trendi -magazine, art by Johanna Rojola
  • Several science fiction and fantasy themed comics from the year 1982 onwards, several artists


  1. ^ "Johanna Sinisalo / FILI". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Popular Finnish authors reveal the books that shaped their student years". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ Burns, John (2004) "Troll, by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Herbert Lomas",, 13 May 2004, retrieved 2010-01-20
  4. ^ Lehmann, Chris (2004) "After He Was Out of the Woods ", Washington Post, 18 May 2004, retrieved 2010-01-20
  5. ^ "Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi -romaanista elokuva". (in Finnish). 29 May 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  6. ^ Woerner, Meredith (2009) "Space Nazi Movie Finally Launches Into Production",, December 30, 2009, retrieved 2010-01-20
  7. ^ Payne, Marshall (2009) "Johanna Sinisalo 2009 Interview",, retrieved 20 January 2010
  8. ^ The Blood of Angels, Kirkus Reviews,: 1 November 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  9. ^ Natalie Zutter, "Replacing Handmaids With Elois: The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo", 4 January 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  10. ^ Jason Heller, "Finnish Authors Heat Up The Speculative Fiction World", NPR, 24 January 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2017.

External links[edit]