Aos 70 anos, Christopher Priest ocupa um lugar destacado na literatura de ficção científica contemporânea. Autor de romances consagrados do género como The Inverted World (1974), The Affirmation (1981), The Separation (2002) e The Islanders (2011), Priest já conquistou por quatro vezes o British Science Fiction Award na categoria de romance; e a sua incursão no território da fantasia com The Prestige (2005) valeu-lhe o World Fantasy Award e foi adaptado ao cinema em 2006 por Christopher Nolan. Em entrevista a Dag Rambraut e Mark Yon para o portal SFFWorld, Priest fala do seu mais recente romance, The Adjacent, dos temas e motivos recorrentes na sua obra, sobre o seu célebre "Dream Archipelago" e sobre outros aspectos da sua já longa carreira literária. Dois excertos:
SFFWorld: You paint a pretty grim picture of the future although some would probably say that’s where we’re heading if we don’t take the environmentally issues seriously. Is this something you’ve wanted to set the focus on?
Christopher Priest: You can paint a grim picture of the present day. Or of Victorian England. Or of La Belle Epoque. Or of the Old West. Or you can instead celebrate it, relish it, enjoy it.
Just because a novel is set in an environmentally challenged future doesn’t mean it automatically acquires “seriousness”. As global warming really gets going, people will still make love, eat dinner, laugh at jokes. There’s nothing much that’s inherently “grim” in The Adjacent, although the background is a bit of a problem.
Here we are in the world of the present: with madmen fracturing the bedrock for a few extra years of “cheap” energy, of Russia rattling sabres at its neighbours, of extremists attacking children because they want to go to school, of big corporations polluting the world for the sake of a quick buck. Life goes on, seriously or unseriously. You make of it what you can.
SFFW: Have you ever struggled between what you would like to happen to a character and what you considered more sensible to occur? Can you tell us when and what did you do at last?
CP: When things are going well, books often feel as if they are writing themselves. Certainly that is true of characters. Once you have got a grip on what they are like, what their past is, what their present concerns or ambitions might be, then many scenes will develop naturally. You just turn them loose and see what happens.
The opposite is also true: if you try to force a character to do or say something that the story demands, quite often the scene will feel later as if it has gone wrong.
A entrevista completa pode ser lida aqui.