Une interview de John Sladek


Une interview de John Sladek, l'auteur de Méchasme, datant de 1982 a été mise en ligne ces derniers jours.

Petit extrait.

"Langford: I, and I suppose SF fans in general, think of you as primarily a science fiction household name. Do these same deep-seated urges drive you to write SF in particular?

Sladek: Not guilty. Oh, all right. I do write a little SF in my spare time. I have a kind of standard explanation why, which goes like this: Science fiction is one way of making sense out of a senseless world. I think people are often bewildered by the world they find themselves in, where Russia puts up a special satellite to watch the Falkland Islands War, while in Britain the Queen Mother visits a meat market and is given a 40-pound slab of beef. Today I turned on the radio to hear some recipes for water flea, a delicacy of tomorrow. Anyway, people find themselves in this world, and they say `It's like science fiction,' as though they expected it to be like anything else. SF has at least the advantage of not depending on preconceptions. In a science fiction story, anything can happen. God can walk in halfway through and erase the universe and replace it with a 30-second commercial for Singapore Airlines. Or the world turns out to be nothing but a big doner kebab, and we're the salmonella. Why am I telling you this? You must have read some science fiction yourself. You know this is true.

Langford: Yes, but --

Sladek: Anything can happen in SF. And the fact that nothing ever does happen in SF is only due to the poverty of our imaginations, we who write it or edit it or read it. But SF can in principle deal with anything.

Of course, that leads people into the error of believing that SF has all the answers, that it's prescriptive or predictive. They want to use it to get a peek at the way the world really will be or really ought to be. Very dangerous, because the predictions of SF are almost always too simple-minded. It's not futurology -- though futurology is too simple-minded too -- and it's not a recipe book for cooking up tomorrows. To my mind, the best SF addresses itself to problems of the here and now, or even to problems which have never been solved and never will be solved -- I'm thinking of Philip K. Dick's work here, dealing with questions of reality, for example. Suppose one were to tackle one of his themes in a conventional novel, the question of the reality of other people. Do other people have thoughts and feelings as I do? In a conventional novel, the question can only be tackled by having a mad character or a philosopher, or a mad philosopher, in the story. But there has to be a framework of conventional reality, a world full of real people enveloping this local madness. In most conventional novels, God is not allowed to be nuts. Nor are nuts allowed to be God."

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