What to do if you’re a geek in Oslo
New city, you’re here for a while, and you’ve exhausted all the major sightseeing spots. If you’re a geek in Oslo, where might you next go for a bite of the familiar? I head to Oslo to find out…
Oslo is the capital city of Norway, and the striking thing for a UK lass such as myself is the similarity with home. The city is like London, but emptier and more expensive. The language sounds similar to English, but with a thick-accented lilt, and personal space is valued highly so it is hard to make new friends.
If you want a bit of common ground between others, it makes sense to go to the kind of places a fellow geek may go. The main port of call is Outland, which is the main geek superstore in the city, akin to Forbidden Planet in London.
Two giant Lego superheroes guard the entrance and you know you’ve come to the right spot. Inside, it seems more expansive than it actually is (I was expecting something more along the Forbidden Planet scale) but it is exciting nonetheless; to your left are board games, trinkets and puzzles, to your right a massive selection of Legos, and further up and further in lie the books. Comics, sci-fi and fantasy novels, art books, manga and anthologies grace the shelves every which way you look. The only thing lacking are the weekly episodic comics – you can only find large volume editions, so don’t expect to catch up on the latest episode of your favourite current series here. This was the only area in which I was really disappointed, as there are a few recent series I am quite partial to (such as God Is Dead) which I am always eager to read the latest chapter of.
Outland made up for it though by having beautiful editions of famous books such as Dracula and Grimm’s Fairy Tales (think the Folio Society style bindings), and an entire downstairs section devoted to LARPing and tabletop games like Warhammer.
It was nice to have more common ground with folks here, and I hear that Outland also does evening events. It’s worth checking their website if you happen to be in the area.
The major bookshops in town (such as Ark) will have graphic novel sections if they are lucky, but those I have seen are very small, almost like afterthoughts, and they tend to cover the more independent comics from what I have seen so far. Outland was the more enjoyable place to go, so I would highly recommend it for any geeks visiting Oslo. If you guys know of anywhere else worth paying a visit, let us know in the comments!