Emmi Itäranta’s third novel The Moonday Letters (Kuunpäivän kirjeet) has won the Tähtivaeltaja Award for the best science fiction novel published in the Finnish language in 2020. The jury described the book as follows:
“The book, crisp and flowing in terms of style, is an epistolary novel consisting of the messages its main character, Finnish-born Lumi Salo, writes to her spouse who works far away. The accomplished narration blends several timelines and fragments of history, news material, research knowledge and even advertisements. These form a many-stranded, consistent picture of humanity that has spread out to the Moon, Mars, space stations and gas giant satellites. (…) The second theme running throughout the book, ecology, interweaves seamlessly with the themes of connection and belonging. Earth has been turned nearly uninhabitable by environmental destruction, and as their next step, the humankind that has escaped is grabbing resources from the surfaces of bare planets. The view into the collapsed ecosystem, an abandoned shell sucked dry by humans, is ominous and prophetic. It makes The Moonday Letters strictly topical. At the same time, the book reaches effortlessly into a future where the threshold of colonizing space has already been crossed.”
The Tähtivaeltaja Award is given annually by Helsinki Science Fiction Society to the best science fiction book published in Finland, including translations. In 2021 the other shortlisted novels were Rehab by Laura Gustafsson, The Grace Year by Kim Liggett, Death’s End by Liu Cixin and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.