11 de setembro de 2013

Lois McMaster Bujold: (...) the genre has gotten kind of stuck on the coming-of-age trope. (entrevista)

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, o mais recente livro da aclamada "Vorkosigan Saga" que Lois McMaster Bujold tem vindo a publicar desde 1986, esteve nomeado para o Prémio Hugo deste ano na categoria de "Best Novel" - a qual a autora norte-americana já venceu por quatro vezes, num feito apenas conseguido por Robert A. Heinlein. A propósito desta nomeação, e da sua presença na LoneStarCon 3 em San Antonio, no Texas, Bujold deu uma interessante entrevista à jornalista Amy Gentry, do jornal The Austin Chronicle, sobre o seu último romance e o vasto universo onde este se insere, sobre tecnologias reproductivas na ficção científica e sobre a mensagem política - ou falta dela - nos seus livros. Alguns excertos: 
Austin Chronicle: I notice that you were on the reproductive tech panel at the con. And before you became a writer, you worked –

Lois McMaster Bujold: I was a drug administration technician at Ohio State University Hospitals for a little less than a decade, which meant I was a nurse's aide who gave pills and shots on a nursing unit. I worked on all different kinds of nursing units, and saw lots of different patients. I didn't know at the time I was going to be a writer, so I didn't know I was doing all this observation. But it went into the bag. A lot of my science fiction ideas are medical or biological, genetic, because reproduction is sort of the core of what human beings do to be human. And a lot of science fiction tends to avoid that part. They avoid the women’s role – like, all their characters are born at age 22 out of their own foreheads without anyone ever having to put work into them. It's a very libertarian view. And I think that's false. Don't forget where people come from. Even if you had a uterine replicator, what you get at the end is a baby, who you still have to take care of. 

All the different things that you can do by changing the fundamental parameters of reproduction and its effect on society, is something that I explore, almost behind the scenes, as the series go forward. My third novel, Ethan of Athos, takes the idea of the uterine replicator, extra-uterine gestation – which is not a new idea, Aldous Huxley had it back in Brave New World. But he used it as a metaphor for the British class system, because he was British. And male. My idea was, how many different things could you do with this technology? You could cut women out of the reproductive loop. We've had the Amazon Planet stories, back in the Fifties and Sixties and Seventies. So okay, what if we flipped this around? What if it was a planet with no women and just guys? And they had to do all the housework themselves. The story developed from there. That’s one where the story started with the technology, and then I explored the setting made possible by this technology, and then the character came out of the setting. Finding the the most quintessential person for that world, somebody who would be technologically pregnant for his planet. He would be a squeaky clean guy who was really earnest, because that's the kind of person you'd put in charge of something so important. So we ended up with the plot of Ethan of Athos being sort of like The Man with One Red Shoe in space. He's the man who wanders into the situation with all these spies and is totally out of his depth, but he's got this personal integrity that carries him through. 

AC: I’m really interested in this idea of building a world and history around that kind of intimate technology. 

LMB: Well reproductive issues, that's what the future is. If we don't reproduce ourselves one way or another, there is no future. A lot of science fiction skips over that. Fiction does different psychological work for readers depending on what age they are, and what they need. There’s a lot of science fiction that comes out of the coming-of-age story, the story of the separation from the family and making yourself as a human being, as an independent, functional person with agency. And that's an important step, but it's not the only part of human behavior. We've also got romance, which is about putting the family back together – well, it's actually about negotiating the terms of a relationship, is what romance is really about. And there’s family dramas, and older characters dealing with other phases of their life. But the genre has gotten kind of stuck on the coming-of-age trope. It sells. It really sells well. And it sells to all ages.
A entrevista completa pode ser lida aqui.

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