Poucos autores marcaram a história da ficção científica de forma tão revolucionária como o britânico Michael Moorcock: aos 17 anos já editava fanzines, e aos 24 tornou-se editor da revista New Worlds - que, na segunda metade dos anos 60, serviria de vanguarda da "New Wave", o movimento que viria a tornar a ficção científica mais literária, mais experimental e mais ousada tanto em termos formais como em termos temáticos. Numa longa e muito interessante entrevista a R. K. Troughton para o blogue da Amazing Stories, Moorcock fala sobre os seus primeiros passos no fandom, sobre o seu tempo na "New Wave" e sobre a revolução de que foi arauto, sobre o impacto que esse movimento teve no género e sobre o futuro da ficção científica - sem esquecer, claro, a sua obra literária, vasta e várias vezes premiada. Abaixo, dois destaques desta entrevista, sobre a New Worlds e a "New Wave":
R. K. Troughton / Amazing Stories: Before your 25th birthday you were named editor of the British magazine New Worlds. Since that day, science fiction has never been the same. Until that point the industry had predominantly held to the Campbellian blueprint. You, along with some of your contemporaries, decided it was time for change. Some might suggest that it wasn’t a conscious decision at all but rather an organic difference in artistic tastes and sensibilities. Together you incited a New Wave of science fiction. Please take us back to that first day on the job. What was going through your head, and what did you hope to accomplish?
Michael Moorcock: Yeah, it wasn’t long after my 24th birthday actually that Ted Carnell, the editor for whom I was writing (Elric, The Eternal Champion, The Sundered Worlds) told me the magazines were folding. I had already written several articles for Carnell in which I suggested where sf/fantasy could go, so when Science Fantasy and New Worlds were bought, by Compact Books, Carnell suggested I take over from him (because of my editorial experience). Meanwhile Kyril Bonfiglioli, a friend of Brian Aldiss and the new publisher, asked to become editor. He had no experience. I was allowed first choice and to some peoples’ surprise chose New Worlds. I felt there was more I could do with the title. I wanted a large size magazine on art paper so I could publish contemporary painting and sculpture as well as scientific features to produce a blend of art, science and fiction. Compact told me they couldn’t budget for anything more than a paperback size on fairly pulpy paper! It was probably for the best! My first editorial referred to William Burroughs, whose own fiction drew on SF, and whom I knew by that time. A New Fiction for the Space Age, I believe it was called. I got Ballard to write our first serial and a guest editorial. Barrington Bayley, who later became a sort of icon for cyberpunks, also contributed. I soon realised there were not many writers out there ready to produce the new kind of fiction I visualised. I had to proceed slowly to develop not only the fiction I wanted but also the kind of readership I needed. Much of the early work in my New Worlds was fairly conventional, if aspiring to a slightly more ambitious level of writing. Gradually new writers began to emerge an old ones became increasingly ambitious. I published a lot of young Americans who had been given their first breaks by Cele Goldsmith at Amazing and Fantastic.
Rather innocently, I had thought most SF readers would welcome the idea of a new kind of literary fiction coming out of science fiction! Fandom, at least, didn’t. Neither did the likes of Fred Pohl, then editing Galaxy, whom I admired.
RKT/AS: Famously, lines were drawn between the science fiction traditionalists and the revolutionaries. Editorials, reviews, and speeches were devised to both condemn and support the New Wave. What was life like in the trenches during the early years of the transformation?
Esta excelente entrevista pode e deve ser lida na íntegra no blogue da Amazing Stories.MM: Schizophrenic was what it was like! I thought SF readers, of all people, would be open-minded and welcome innovation! At first most of my support came from the non-fandom world of regular newspapers and journals. As I said, I was a little surprised. I received quite a lot of negative mail from ‘old guard’ SF readers who felt we were somehow attacking ‘their’ SF. At a big conference about what was being called ‘The New SF’ in 1968 attended by philosophers, poets and arts professionals as well as writers, Mike Kustow, the former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who had brought in innovations during his term there, said he called it the ‘anxious ownership’ syndrome. People somehow thought we were trying to ‘take away’ the SF they enjoyed. Of course this was not the case. What we were trying to do was broaden what could be done in fiction by using some SF conventions. I certainly didn’t want to see ‘old school’ SF writers, many of whom were my friends, put out of work and that of course didn’t happen. Far from it. In fact we were a bridge from conventional fiction to SF.
Fontes: SF Signal / Amazing Stories