Ao que parece, tudo começou com um tweet que envolveu Neil Gaiman. Damien Walter, autor e colunista do The Guardian, esteve à conversa com Harlan Ellison, autor de alguns dos mais célebres contos de ficção
científica especulativa como I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, ou "Repent, Harlequin!", Said the Ticktockman, editor das irreverentes antologias Dangerous Visions, argumentista de episódios de séries como Star Trek, e vencedor de múltiplos prémios dentro e fora da ficção de género. A conversa incidiu sobre a ficção científica, a obra literária de Ellison, a sua visão da actividade de escritor e, naturalmente, as constantes polémicas em que se viu envolvido ao longo dos anos. A entrevista foi publicada na íntegra na passada Sexta-feira, e está disponível online. Alguns destaques:
DW: You must have seen and done as much in speculative fiction as anyone, so can you tell us just what is speculative fiction?
HE: I will give you the only answer that there is. It is the game of "what if?". You take that which is known, and you extrapolate – and you keep it within the bounds of logic, otherwise it becomes fantasy – and you say, "Well, what if?". That's what speculative fiction is, and at its very best, it is classic literature, on a level with Moby Dick and Colette and Edgar Allan Poe.
DW: So it's definitely not fantasy.
HE: Fantasy is a separate genre, and it allows you to go beyond the bounds of that which is acceptable, where all of a sudden people can fly, or the Loch Ness Monster does not have a scientific rationale, but is a mythic creature. It is in the grand tradition of the oldest forms of writing we know, all the way back to Gilgamesh, the very first fiction we know, and the gods. Fantasy is a noble endeavour. Science fiction is a contemporary subset that goes all the way back to Lucian of Samosata, and Verne and Wells, and Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.
DW: In many of your stories there is the oppressor or the bully, who wants to have their way with humanity, with whoever is in the story. The worst of these, I think for me, is I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, which is a story of –
HE: Oh, yes, God. God is a shit.
DW: Yeah. It's a story you wrote in a single night. I read it in my teens in a hallucinatory state over the course of a single night. Is there something about – you have to be in this state to find that oppressive being out there? You have to find it in the night?
HE: (...) When I talk about God, I talk about him not believing in him. If there were a God, and you believed in him, and then instead of saying something ridiculous like, well, God has these mysterious ways, we are not meant to know what it is he's doing, or she's doing, or it's doing, I say, in defiance of Albert Einstein, yes, the universe does shoot craps – God does shoot craps with the universe. One day you'll win £200m in the lottery and the next day you'll get colon cancer. So when I wrote I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, I put God in the form of a master computer, AM – cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am – and had him preserve these half a dozen human beings, after having destroyed the world, to keep them down there and torment them forever, for having created him but giving him no place to go. And I believe – much to the annoyance of my various fervid aficionados – they wish I had more faith.
A entrevista pode ser lida na íntegra no The Guardian.
Fonte: The Guardian