The ISF is proud to present a series of articles by Cătălin Badea-Gheracostea called “Short (Hi)Story of Romanian Speculative Fiction”.
This great pamphlet of Romanian Speculative Fiction was presented in Croatia, during the Eurocon 2012, and aims to “raise awareness, to inform and to be liked”. Starting off today, we will present the full pamphlet in a series of chapters, published once a week.
ISF Editor in Chief
Short (Hi)Story of
Romanian Speculative Fiction
told for strangers,
aliens and secluded scholars
The Reassess before The Start
It is the Romanian way of doing things, or at least we like to consider it so, to ponder right at the beginning of an endeavour, in the very moment when others would say “Go!”. In other words, we shall start this run through Romanian Speculative Fiction with a “Stop!”. I believe it is not only a matter of style, of national identity, but this will help the reader enter the right frame of mind for the journey he or she will take with us.
There are three purposes of this pamphlet and all can be better fulfilled if all are taken simultaneously into consideration. The first is to raise awareness, the second is to inform, the third is to be liked. A pamphlet has some liberties that an academic paper has not and in these liberties lies sometimes a faster comprehension. One of these liberties will be the lighter writing, prone to bring smiles on the readers’ lips. Another might be the fast-forward (fast-backward, in this very case) approach, which is suggested primarily by the almost non-existing translations of Romanian writings with “speculative fiction/SF” label on them. To present 200 years of literature, no matter how thin the niche might be, is a work for a storyteller, because there is the need to summarize subjects, novels, tendencies. That storyteller better brace himself and I, in his role, have to ask my reader for tolerance, promising I will not give away too many of an abstract term and judgement, letting the entry Romania from The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction by John Clute, to end that mission (www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/romania).
One, two more things before we actually start storytelling about Romanian SF: unlike the “normal” history of a literature which starts at the beginning of the beginning, this pamphlet gives a fall back approach, considering that the present is more important than the past, without diminishing the causalities in all their extra- and intra-literary forms and without disrespecting any of the “Founding Fathers”, or Mothers, whomever they might have been. Also, unlike other (hi)stories, this would bring in the front line/front pages the other historians, critics and theorisers: without them to have fun storytelling the Romanian speculative fiction would be a multi-layered superficial attempt.
Download the PDF. Version:
12 pages long