|Bob Farley/The Washington Post|
Tal como foi aqui referido, Frederik Pohl, um dos grandes mestres da ficção científica, faleceu há dias aos 93 anos de idade. No Tor.com, Jo Walton assina uma excelente crónica sobre o autor, editor e fã. E no blogue da Amazing Stories, R . K. Troughton republicou a entrevista que fizera a Pohl no início de Agosto - e que terá sido uma das últimas, se não mesmo a última entrevista do autor. Foi uma conversa muito interessante sobre as origens da ficção científica enquanto género literário tal como a conhecemos hoje em dia, da Worldcon e do ambiente das convenções, e do vasto trabalho de editor que Pohl desenvolveu (foi a única pessoa a vencer um Hugo tanto como autor como com editor - e até como fã). Alguns excertos:
Amazing Stories Magazine: (...) What was it like being a science fiction fan when the greats of the industry were still just finding their way?
Frederik Pohl: It was wonderful. We kids who were living in that age didn’t know just how wonderful because they weren’t aware that some of the most exciting discoveries in science—the ones that inspired myriad sf stories—were incomplete, and thus gave both scientists and sf writers freedom to speculate. Venus was covered in clouds no telescope could see through, so stories could be written about the planet as a single great ocean, or an immense forest with the Venusians living in two-mile-high trees.
Unfortunately for our freedom to imagine, most of what scientists learn about the universe limits, rather than encourages our imagination. When Doc Smith wanted to go long distances in his Skylark of Space he just stepped on the gas and his ship went as fast as he liked to distant stars. He had no idea that the speed of light was a limiting factor.
ASM: (...) Please tell us how WorldCon was created and what transpired at the original event.
FP: Conventions were basically Don Wollheim’s idea, like many other fan innovations. (Someone should write a biography of Donald just to show in how many ways that is so.) In 1936 there was much emphasis on political conventions, probably because there was unusual interest in politics as a result of the Depression and the New Deal; that’s what gave Donald the idea to call the visit of half a dozen New York fans to Philadelphia fandom “the first sf convention.” Then he got the idea of taking advantage of New York’s upcoming World’s Fair for bigger game. The Fair would bring millions of visitors to NYC; some small fraction of them would be fans; why not tack on an sf world con with all that raw material floating by? All of New York’s fans got behind that idea, but then fan feuding messed things up.
ASM: For those not familiar with your novel Gateway, please tell us a little about the story and how you came to write such a masterpiece.
FP: I wish I could explain it. Then maybe I could do it often.
A entrevista completa pode e deve ser lida aqui.