27 de março de 2014

Joe Haldeman: I looked at the two stories, and I thought, 'I can cross-fertilize these two and get an actual novel out of the situation'" (entrevista)

A propósito do seu mais recente romance, Work Done for Hire, Joe Haldeman foi entrevistado no podcast Geek's Guide to the Galaxy - e a entrevista foi transcrita e publicada online na Lightspeed Magazine. Haldeman, claro, dispensa apresentações - é o autor de The Forever War, um dos mais aclamados romances de ficção cientifica militar. A entrevista, longa e pormenorizada, incide não só sobre o novo romance, mas também sobre a publicação de uma antologia com os seus melhores contos, sobre a sua já longa carreira, e sobre as origens de The Forever War. Alguns excertos:
Geek's Guide to the Galaxy/ Lightspeed Magazine: You had another book that came out recently called The Best of Joe Haldeman, which was edited by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. Could you talk a bit about how that project came about? 
Joe Haldeman: Basically it’s the best short stories that I’ve written. I’m actually a novelist. I don’t write that many short stories, so I looked at the list of all the short stories I’ve ever published, and I found that their [selections] comprised almost exactly half of the stories, so there is room for another book which is “the worst of Joe Haldeman.” The mirror image of all those wonderful stories. But I haven’t actually proposed it to anybody. 
GGG/LM: But this Best of Joe Haldeman, it does include your story “Hero,” which was expanded into a novel, into The Forever War. (...) And I was just amazed by how much detail there is in this story, and how well worked-out everything is regarding the suits, and the environment on Charon and stuff. I was just wondering, did all that just come straight out of your head, or did you research and then go back and rewrite it or anything? 
JH: What I did was: I did research on the fly. Of course, that story was written before computers, and so I basically was going into the library every day and looking up stuff so that I could write about it tomorrow. That was my pattern in those days. I basically wrote my fiction during the morning hours, and in the afternoon I’d go out and do research, and so computers probably save me a certain amount of shoe leather, but I don’t get as much exercise as I did back in the day. 
GGG/LM: Another thing that really struck me about “Hero” is that it doesn’t feature what I think of as being the central conceit of The Forever War, which is the idea that the Earth is different every time the soldiers come back. Had you come up with that idea at that point or did that come later? 
JH: In fact, I came up with the idea before “Hero” came out. I wrote a short story for Amazing Science Fiction ["Timepiece"] which was exactly about that, about people who go out over the course of years, they go out to be soldiers, and they come back and years have passed on Earth when only months have passed in their own lives. That was the basic point and the plot logic of that short story. I looked at the two stories, and I thought, “I can cross-fertilize these two and get an actual novel out of the situation.” Although I don’t remember, there was never an “Ah-ha” moment saying, “Oh my god, I can make million dollars this way.” But it’s obvious if you look at the two stories that the end result is The Forever War.
A entrevista completa pode ser lida na Lightspeed Magazine, ou ouvida no Geek's Guide to the Galaxy.

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