Science Fiction in Romania since the 1990 revolution
Our friends at the Concatenation web site have recently posted Science Fiction in Romania since the 1990 revolution, a continuation of an earlier article, A brief history of Science Fiction in Romania up to 1990:
The fall of the Iron Wall (Curtain) across Europe in 1990, which included the Romania revolution, affected all of Romanian society including its SF community.
The main trends of the Romanian SF community in the last decade of the 20th and the first of the 21st centuries was that a number of the fans within the SF movement gradually gafiated (gafia: got-away-from-it-all), while the writers became editors in publishing houses, or worked in radio and TV stations and also on mainstream cultural periodicals where they started promoting SF, or turned professional and became members of the Romanian Writers Union. Meanwhile the fall of the Iron Wall also enabled Eastern and Western European writers and fans to travel.
Forging international links after 1990
And so, in 1993 a major, largely state-sponsored expedition of some 75 fans and writers made the long journey to Jersey (Channel Isles) for the 1993 Eurocon. This was the largest group of the Romanian community to travel to a foreign SF convention and is a Romanian record that remains unbroken to this day. This visit also served to promote the following year’s Eurocon that was to be held in Timisoara, Romania.
Romania first Eurocon in Timisoara, was held 26th-29th of May, 1994. It was a significant event, attended by several hundreds of people. Guests of Honour (GoHs) included John Brunner (UK), Herbert Franke (Austria), Joe Haldeman (US), Moebius (France), Norman Spinrad (US), Peter Cuczka (Hungary). Special guests were Jack Cohen (UK), Jonathan Cowie (UK), Gay Haldeman (US), Bridget Wilkinson (UK), Lee Wood (US) and Science Fact & Science Fiction Concatenation a Eurocon Award); two ((1995 and 2000) sponsored visits of Romanian fans to major SF events in Great Britain, two visits (1996 and 1997) of British fans to Romania; and two International Weeks of Science and Science Fiction held in Timisoara (1999 and 2003) complete with internationally renowned GoHs, nationally known writers and fan GoHs.
Both International Weeks of Science and Science Fiction were organised in cooperation with H. G. Wells Society (Timisoara) as well as by those (in both the UK and Romania) involved in the aforementioned Anglo-Romanian Exchange. The first (1999) International Week coincided with a solar eclipse. Robert Sheckley (US) was the Guest of Honour, Tony Chester (England) was Fan Guest. The second, in May 2003, was even more international with fans from Hungary as well as Spain and, as previously, the Great Britain. Writer Istvan Nemere (Hungary) was meant to be the Eastern European Guest of Honour but, sadly, ill health prevented his attending (he was represented instead by the Fortean academic Mandic Gyorgy). Danut Ungureanu (Romania) was the host nation Guest of Honour. Ian Watson (Great Britain) was the western Guest of Honour who also adopted the role of H. G. Wells as the event’s Ghost of Honour. Scot and Worldcon organiser Vince Docherty was the Fan GoH while writer Roberto Quaglia (Italy) reprised his 1999 role as Toastmaster. This 2003 event also attracted significant coverage in regional and national newspapers, radio and TV. Both International Weeks included a day and an open public event in the nearby town of Jimbolia and a reception by its mayor. – continue reading!
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