For some time now, IÂ´ve been writing, with my friend Jacques Barcia, a blog written in English, the Post-Weird Thoughts. I created that blog not only to communicate with readers and writers from all over the world, but also because I donÂ´t think IÂ´m communicating very well with Brazilian writers.
A friend of mine interviewed Tim Powers in 1990 for a long-deceased SF magazine, the Brazilian version of Isaac AsimovÂ´s SF Magazine â€“ it was one of my first jobs as a translator; I translated for them short stories and novellas by James Patrick Kelly, George R. R. Martin, Frederik Pohl and Kim Stanley Robinson, among many others that, unfortunately, were never published again in Brazil, neither in short form, nor in novels.
Powers cautioned us against the danger of autophagism â€“ That is, if all you read is SF, you probably wonÂ´t write anything really good and new in the genre. This is not necessarily an absolute truth, but it made quite a sensation down here. Especially for starting writers like myself, who wanted very much to â€œmake it newâ€ (Ezra Pound sixty years late, go figure). Remember from the last post: I had just read Neuromancer, and I was thrilled at the possibilities the cyberpunks opened for science fiction in literature.
Alas, this was not to be. A few years after that interview, there was a series of schisms in the Brazilian SF fandom, and that created a gap so huge that only recently it began to be bridged. In the meantime, in what I call today the limbo years of the 1990s and half of the Oughts, fanzines shriveled and died with a whimper, not a bang; friendships were damaged beyond any chance of recovery; and many writers simply stopped writing.
Since 2005-6, this situation changed â€“ for the better. A new generation of writers is beginning to appear, and with a difference: instead of publish their first stories in fanzines, as we did back in the 1980s, they are now starting by publishing their first novels in small presses. ItÂ´s a great evolution, and a welcome one. It even encouraged some of the older writers-in-hiding (including this one here) to make a comeback, after a rather quiescent decade.
But I didnÂ´t stay very quiet for long: in the last half of the 1990s, I returned to acting and writing for the stage, and I produced (not very successfully, I must admit) two of my plays. In 1998, I wrote a short-short story collection inspired in the works of Raymond Queneau, Pequeno DicionÃ¡rio de ArquÃ©tipos de Massa (A Small Dictionary of Mass Archetypes), still unpublished in its original form but with several stories published in Brazilian and Portuguese paper and web magazines. I also wrote some stories in a shared universe, the Intempol Project, created by a good friend of mine, Octavio AragÃ£o.
Last March, in a meeting between the old and the new generation of writers, I officially announced that I was â€œcoming out of the closetâ€ and I could finally call myself a science fiction writer again. Proudly. Because the schisms are (finally!) over, and people are getting together again to talk, eat, drink, and be merry â€“ you all know the drill. It has being fun so far, and I bet it will be fun for a long time.
This is my last post as Guest Blogger. ItÂ´s been a short but very fine week blogging here on Ecstatic Days. Thank you very much, Jeff, for letting me share your personal writing space in the Web. Thanks also to you, Gentle Reader, for dropping by. If youâ€™ve enjoyed the posts, just let me know paying a visit to Post-Weird Thoughts. YouÂ´ll be very welcome. I hope that, in the near future, youÂ´ll also be able to read one of my English-written stories in a magazine or in an anthology.