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André Carneiro


Marco A. M. Bourguignon


Science fiction's importance lies in its ability to allow us thought-experiments for both society and the individual. We can try on different futures, extrapolate trends, test for destruction, and find out what it might be like if this, that, or the other things happens.

It's not important at all to the majority of readers, and to the bigger majority of postliterates, except in the way its thinking influences their lives in countless ways.

As a literary genre, science fiction exists because it must, as a response to technological and scientific change. In attempting to encompass these changes, it lets us begin to inhabit a world we no longer can fully understand. It lets us find a place in complexity.


Ray Bradbury has said that the ability to fantasize is the ability to survive, and doing so as realistically as possible, which some forms of science fiction seek to do, is a step toward making this ability into a skill.


Finally, I would quote André Carneiro, Brazilian poet, writer, film-maker, photographer, and critic: Science fiction is not an escapist literature, but a way for placing man inside the fantastic reality of technological progress.


Again, a way of colonizing the future. If that's not important, then we have given up on ourselves entirely.

Gene Stewart


Well known as a poet, André Cameiro writes Brazil's best and most original science fiction. He doesn't like the science fiction classification and prefers to call his works literature and to have them judge on that basis.

His life style reflets a fierce desire for independence from all superficially imposed values and limitations. He has entered a number of artistic fields and has achivied sucess and recognition in all of them. His experimental films have won prizes in Brazil and other countries, and his artistic photographs have received awards in intemacional exhibitions.

His stories and poems have been translated into Sweden, English, French, ltalian, German, Spanish, Japonese etc. Recently his SF writings have shown an intense interest in sexuality. He has written two novels dealing with futuristic societies in which sexual arts are taught, practiced and perfected as life's most precious and rewarding activity.

In spite of his rejection of the term, Andrk Cameiro uses science fiction to alter man's circumstances and thus provide a more adequate laboratory for the study of the multifaceted dimensions of humanity. Although he does have space ships and people living on other planets, he often changes only one basic factor or element.

In "Darkness" a story appeared in Putnam's "BEST S-F- OF 72" and other anthologies and college texts, André turns the light and energy rheostat down and over a period of days plunges the world into darkness. What happens to men and women under these altered circumstances reveals a great deal about mankind, the fragility of his values and his carehlly ordered universe. Quite naturally, within this altered reality, blind people become the heroes and their leadership saves a number of lives. When light retums the survivors rejoice in the simple fact of being alive and grat1ttlde towards their blind benefators fades quickly into oblivion. "Darkness" represents one of the classic short stories of our times and illustrates André Cameiro's special use of science fiction.


André Cameiro essay on science fiction, "Introdução ao Estudo da Science-Fiction" stresses three basic points:

I) Science Fiction is not an escapist literature, but a way for placing man inside the fantastic reality oftechnological progress.

2) Science Fiction is above all literature and must be judged as such.

3) The worst thing that happened to this genre was to call it "science-fiction". The

prejudice that surround it may well come from the fear that man fears toward science. Man loves stability and science is constantly changing ourworld and our way oflife.

Anyone interested in the uniqueness of Cameiro's science fiction should consult David Dunbar's doctoral dissertation, "Uniqiue Motifs In Brazilian Science Fiction", University of Arizona.


(Leo L. Barrow)



Leia da Também

Um pequeno resgate da Ficção Científica brasileira


Outros Artigos:


Philip K. Dick

Frederick Pohl


Sobre Meninos e Lobos (Mystic River)

O dia das Lobas

Minority Report (Crítica do livro)

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