Cristian Tamas : ”Let’s recognize, Poland has never been so rich, safe and free ! Poland is one of Europe’s shining successes. Alone in the European Union, Poland did not suffer a recession after the financial crisis. Its economy has grown by 33% since 2007, compared with 2% for the euro zone.” – The Economist ; But which is the main problem that Poland faces ? The societal fault between traditionalists&ultra- conservatives and progressives, the economic issue (high unemployment, rising food prices, dependence on coal – serious air pollution because of sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, the resulting acid rain causing forest damage – and imported gas), the bureaucracy, the aging population & the very low birth rate & rising divorce rates & depopulation, the emigration that is exacerbating the demographic crisis ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : There are many issues here in Poland, but in my opinion the one huge problem that the others grow out from is the image of Polish political scene. We have two main political parties (and some smaller ones) which strongly polarize the society and are practically unable not even to cooperate for greater good but even discuss issues in civilized manner. People who share the beliefs of one of these parties are despised by the other one and vice versa. Because of them, because of this need to monopolize the truth, people are forgetting how to discuss things constructively, how to find common ground.
What is worse, I believe that all of it is just smoke and mirrors — the way of ruling the society by the ancient motto „divide and conquer”. None of these parties – not only the biggest two but the smaller ones as well — don’t have any good solutions to offer. They just want to stay on top and to achieve this goal they made people believe that the only political choices are among them.
Cristian Tamas : ”Since 1990 almost every country in Central and Eastern Europe – with the exception of Belarus, a communist bantustan and the russian occupation zone of Trans-Dniester (Transnistria) – has experienced dramatic political, social, cultural and economic transformations. Most observers have viewed these changes through a lens distorted by their own cultural and social situations. Some see „New Europe” as chance to witness capitalism’s victory over communism. An idealized image of democracy emerged in the eastern european societies. However, the ideal and the reality did not match. Many of those who expected a democratic and economic paradise after 1990 were deeply disappointed by the day-to-day reality of the emerging democratic regimes. All eastern-european countries are still facing problems related to consolidating democracy and free market economies.” – Jeffrey K.Johnson ; After 25 years of born-again capitalism, we witness permanent economic crisis and recession, social differentiation, economic polarization and alienation, exploitation and uncertainty, aged and aging european populations everywhere in the east and the west, brain&muscle drain towards west, xenophobia and euroscepticism linked with insecurity, conservatorism and religiosity (verging on bigotry), the specter of the “islamization of Europe”, life as the economic survival of the fittest, desperate struggle to cope with the global turbo-capitalism crazes, social darwinism expressed as the fault between the citizens expectations and possibilities and the cleptocracies’ sole objectives : power & wealth&total control. What is your opinion about the present period and the near future ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Well, it’s just human nature. We tend to idealize present times because we have all this amazing technology which improves our lives. But still, under this — quite fragile, as I’m afraid – shell, we are just the same species, driven by the same urges as millenia ago. The only thing very different is the quantity – of people living on our planet, of information that we get every day and of the stimuli that play on our needs.
But let’s go back to Eastern and Central Europe. I’m not very old, but old enough to remember the time of communism. I remember the stores with empty shelves, the inflation index gone mad so the central bank had to release the banknotes with more and more zeroes on them, the martial law imposed in Poland, the brutal murder of priest Jerzy Popieluszko, the omnipresent censorship, tapping the telephones, the living in the long shadow of Soviet Union… And your country, Romania, had it even worse, because you had also a bloody tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu and Securitate forces. If you recall all of it (and there’s much, much more), suddenly you get a proper perspective and you realize that even if nowadays our lives are far from perfect, they aren’t really that bad.
So why we feel unhappy? Because, we always want more. Because we feel the need to compare to the others and if they seem to live better than we do, we feel inferior and we envy them. Because the marketing experts make us believe that we need all the stuff that they are selling. Our priorities are often distorted. The times change faster and faster, the technology changes faster and faster, the ways of communication change faster and faster – but mankind is still the same as it ever was. It’s all about the human nature and what use we make of our humanity.
And when I think about the future – the ideas of transhumanism or posthumanism – I believe we should work hard to be possibly the best human beings before moving forward to any next step of evolution. If we do otherwise, we’ll bring all our flaws on higher level too.
Cristian Tamas : Is Poland “the suffering Christ among nations raising the torch of liberty and independence for themselves and others” ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Well, one thing is for sure: Poland suffered a lot during it’s course of history.
There are many praiseworthy episodes in our history and many times when Polish people fought for other nations’ safety and liberties.
The Battle of Vienna in 1683, Polish generals in American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Warsaw in 1920, the heroism of Polish people during the World War II, the Solidarity movement… these are just some of the highlights. And then we were betrayed by our allies, over and over again; forgotten, defrauded of our deeds.
We stood alone when Germany and then USSR invaded our country in 1939, then we were practically handed to Stalin in Yalta, 1945.
During WWII, Poland was the only country in which the Nazis made any kind of help for Jews punishable by death – yet it didn’t stop Polish people from saving them; there are more Poles awarded with the title of Righteous Among the Nations than any other nation.
But instead of gratitude, nowadays we keep hearing the lies about “Polish concentration camps” and Poland is being made an accomplice in the Holocaust – with a quiet approval of other countries, probably in the name of their good business partnerships with Germany.
We had the Pope John Paul II, Lech Wałęsa and Solidarity, but now it’s the destruction of Berlin Wall that symbolizes the fall of communism.
“The suffering Christ” metaphore seems over-the-top, but when you think about it, Poles had always been in the “good guys team” and they were kicked around for it, over and over again.
Cristian Tamas : Who you will choose between Tadeusz Kościuszko, Maria Skłodowska Curie, Wisława Szymborska, Józef Piłsudski, Bronisław Malinowski, Andrzej Wajda, Alfred Korzybski, Zdzisław Beksiński, Witold Gombrowicz, Czesław Miłosz, Stanisław Lem, Sławomir Mrożek, Lech Wałęsa and Karol Wojtyła ? Who is the most romantic, proud, spirited, and devout ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Of this list I can relate to Karol Wojtyła more than to the others, but regardless of it, I think that I shouldn’t choose any single person of these, even if some of them are more inspiring than the rest. Each of them teaches us a valuable lesson – some are more practical and intellectual, the others more spiritual.
Cristian Tamas : Why is the Polish culture universally unknown but with absolutely no justification ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : I think, that Polish culture has far too few good ambassadors and not enough promotion worldwide – it’s a huge system negligence. We have a lot to offer, but we lack the impact. If you see things like „Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema”, you are happy that the famous director organizes this event and he appreciates these movies but on the other hand you are aware that it should be Polish government taking care of this kind of things.
The other thing is, obviously, the language barrier. In order to make Polish culture universally known, you need to translate it to the more universal languages first.
Cristian Tamas : “I do think that our perception of reality is fragmentary, and in 20th-century literature, it’s totally normal to not describe reality as something whole and completely transportable and explicable. That’s been accepted in novels. But genre productions always pretend that reality is transportable, which means that it is explicable.” – Michael Haneke What is your opinion ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : The perception of reality is always fragmentary, set in our knowledge and filtered through our personal experiences. It is always subjective. In a way, culture is a process of sharing these subjective points of view and by participating in the culture – reading books, watching movies, listening to the music, etc. – you are collecting the pieces of a puzzle and trying to figure out the bigger, more objective picture.
As for the genre productions – the choice of the genre is the choice of the way of narration; how you want to make your piece of the puzzle to look like, when you show it to the rest of the world.
Cristian Tamas : “The model I’ve chosen would be closer to the picture of a neuron or a star: a massive center of global culture and separate clusters of local cultures connected to the center by dendrites or plasma jets. These clusters have no connection between one another – except the one going through the center. Our cluster of SF-F literature consists of Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Czech Republic. Relations here are not symmetrical: Polish-Czech translations happen both ways, but we translate much more from Russian language than into Russian.
What goes on in other clusters, we only get to know when a certain book, certain author succeeds in the center: in the American/English market. For nowadays the pressure of global culture is just too enormous. It’s like standing under the waterfall and trying to spit upstream – that’s the appropriate image of cultural exchange between any given cluster and the center, I think.” – Jacek Dukaj, SF Signal’s Mind Meld International.
The image is vivid and clear, is the European speculative fiction just ”a separate cluster of local clusters connected to the massive center of global culture by dendrites or plasma jets” ? Is the European popular culture derivative to the anglo-saxon, subservient, subordinate and servile to it ? Or the European pop culture is just an appendix of the AngloSFere ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : I think the answer to this question is directly connected to the thing I wrote earlier, about the language barrier. The global culture depends on the availability, so the more some language spreads worldwide, the more people it can influence. What is important – the language is not necessarily paired with a single culture.
For example: „The Secret History of Moscow” by Ekaterina Sedia is a novel very strongly set in the Russian tradition and mentality but written in English. It can influence any English-reading person, but with the Russian, not the Anglo-Saxon, culture. There are Chinese writers that are promoted by Ken Liu – he translates their short stories from Chinese to English to make them more available worldwide, because even though China has the biggest population, its language doesn’t spread much further. When we publish some of these short stories in „Nowa Fantastyka”, they are translated from English, not Chinese. So the Chinese culture reaches Polish readers via translation from English language.
Cristian Tamas : ”In the last years, there has been a fundamental shift in the constraints faced by artists who are free politically but have fewer resources and the main constraint is economical, based on what the public will buy. Theater and movies have a special potency in Polish society. People tend to see their own life and history as filled with drama and romance, and they love theater. Attending a performance, whether a play, a movie, a concert or ballet, is an important social activity, and people tend to see it as a serious and edifying experience rather than mere entertainment”. So, what if the status, if any, of the Polish Fantastyka ? Is it „an important social activity” ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Polish fantastic literature is doing very well. What is important, we have quite a lot of writers who show their own, individual approach to the genre rather than create a classical SF, fantasy or horror novels. Of course, we have these too, but the diversity of Polish writings is uplifting. The same thing applies to the attitude – you can find some committed, moralizing writers who are treating their writing very seriously and the others who are writing for pure entertainment purpose.
Cristian Tamas : Would you agree with the definition of Józef Borzyszkowski, „The Polish culture is a community of people of one language, one religion, at the same time tolerant, loving liberty, ready for limitless self-denial and sacrifices, committed above all to the value of honor, having their particular mission in the history of the neighboring group of nations, and accumulating in their culture many unique elements, attractive for the others.” ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Yes, there is a lot of truth in this definition and if you think that these two parts are contradictory, you can find the reason for it above, in the part where I wrote about Polish history and bad experiences with supposed allies. When you keep being backstabbed, you kind of start to get nervous around the people with the knives or scissors. And after being backstabbed by a friend, you simply start to get nervous around any people and look for the hidden knives.
You could say that Poland is a „dog country”: I am the dog; I am a loyal, caring friend. If you hurt me, I become distrustful – I may bristle, bark, perhaps even bite your hand, but when convinced of your good intentions, I’ll show you my loyalty and all my virtues again – and you can hurt me again.
Instead, Poland should be a „cat country”: I am the cat. We can be friends, but if you do anything that I dislike, I will piss on your pillow to give you a lesson and you’ll just have to deal with it, because I’m fucking awesome.
Cristian Tamas : „I am proud to be born a Pole, proud that I have been nourished with values and ideals that so often seem to be impractical, but that still allow you to hold your head high and to look straight into the stars. I thanked God that he did not let me be born in some welfare state and that he did not let me avoid bitter and sometimes tragic experiences. Those who did not have these experiences are somehow unidimensional. They lack depth. They do not have any experience of tragedy. Without this ultimate experience of what the human condition does mean you are not able to understand who is man. I thanked God that he did not allow me to be born in the American culture that is so buoyant and so optimistic, but at the same time so shallow. Culture means values. I thanked God that I was not born into the American, but into the Polish system of values. And I often wondered which of Polish values are the most precious and which of them have a universal character.” – Henryk Skolimowski ; Do you agree ?
To know something about the polish culture is to be able to pronounce “W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie” and to endure the „Żubrówka Bruderszaft” ? „A good Polish cook is one who can make gourmet soup from the rusty nail” ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : See? It all fits perfectly in what I’ve wrote about the „good guys team” and how it didn’t work that well for Poland. Yes, we have all these values and ideals and we sacrificed a lot to defend them, not only for ourselves but for other nations as well. We understand, better than many other nations, that these values come with a great price.
As for the second paragraph, I think it is rather anecdotal. But the fact is that Polish people can be proud of being the nation of survivors. We survived all these ages placed right between two stronger, hostile countries — Germany and Russia. We survived 123 years of partitions, when Poland was wiped out from the maps of Europe. We survived World War II and communism. We have one of the most difficult languages of the world with tongue-twisting pronounciation, mad ortography and insane grammar. We can adapt to any situation. And we have better vodka than Russians.
Cristian Tamas : ”The High Altitude Dream’s Collapse, here’s one of many syntagms as touching as partial that the Eastern European political&economic transition can be globally labelled. The science fiction having the distant future or the distant cosmos as framework no longer interests the majority of authors or readers.”, said Cristian Tudor Popescu, a relevant romanian SF writer and journalist. Why so few polish speculative fiction writers are still interested by science fiction, the distant future and the distant space? What could be the reason ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : I think it was not only Polish case, but a global trend.
There was a time when the world sort of turned its back on classical space SF because there was lots of disillusionment with the poor results of the real space projects (and the catastrophies like Challenger or Columbia).
People wanted to see the science fiction visions of space conquest becoming the truth and when it didn’t work, they considered this genre obsolete and irrelevant. For last couple of years, the tide turned because the space programs started to succeed again – Rosetta, Curiosity, New Horizons… People started to believe in mankind’s future among the stars again, so the space SF, fueled by the hopes, is alive again – you can see it in the cinema, where after many years of drought, now you have „Gravity”, „Interstellar”, „Europa Project”, „The Martian” and many other movies coming one after another. And I think the writers will follow this trend.
Cristian Tamas : „More than in the scientific discovery itself, Polish science fiction was interested in the invention’s effect on society. Narrative and plot are used to present certain political and social views.” – Tomasz Kołodziejczak. Was this the specific feature of Polish science fiction ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : I think it is a feature of any good SF, not only Polish one, that if there is some kind of breakthrough invention or scientific discovery shown, there is more to it than just treating it as a cool gadget. The fantastic is a laboratory of the reality – we can use it to speculate „what if…”, to ask about the consequences of any change in our world – how it could affect the society, the people. It prepares us for the changes and warns us about possible dangers. But the truth is that Poland has a long tradition of social science fiction. And I think it resonates in hard SF as well.
Cristian Tamas :Is the polish speculative fiction syncronized with the polish mainstream and the polish culture, sharing the same characteristics – mythology, symbolism, social and political issues – or is just subserviently following the anglo-saxon commercial and escapist trends (fantasy, steampunk, weird, slipstream, young adult dystopies, etc.) ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Polish speculative fiction is very diverse. We have authors who write the novels and short stories of all kinds of popular, popcultural subgenres, as well as the authors who create stories inseparably rooted in Polish culture, history and tradition. There is also a subgenre called „clerical fiction” which is Polish distinctive feature – the SF strongly referring to religion. But even though Polish speculative fiction shares some characteristics with mainstream literature, they rarely interfere. There are only few Polish speculative fiction writers endorsed by mainstream, because fantastic is still considered something inferior by many critics.
Cristian Tamas : ”You can easily see many anglophone bestsellers or even less known books translated into other languages but it doesn’t work very often the other way. Therefore, readers from non-anglophone countries are more likely to know both anglophone and their native sf/f books.
Also, the anglophone authors and publishers (supported by the Hollywood machine) work very much as the literary trend-setters. These trends spread all over the world resulting in flood of second-hand-George-R-R-Martins, Terry-Pratchett-impostors or Neil-Gaiman-wannabes.
So again — fresh, original ideas included in non-anglophone books don’t have many opportunities to become known in countries dominated by English language.
Perhaps it has something to do with a phenomenon which I call “Mamoń-syndrome”, named from a character in Polish comedy Rejs. Close minded and lazy engineer Mamoń used to say “I like the songs that I’ve already heard”.
I think the same syndrome causes anglophone viewers to ignore many great foreign movies and wait for their Hollywood remakes, well-suited for their habits. I wonder if the same thing may happen with the best non-anglophone novels – rather than publish translated originals, publishing houses could hire the popular authors to write the remakes, filtered through anglophone culture and ribbed for readers’ pleasure. I hope, it won’t happen, but who knows?
Back to the subject: I think, anglophone readers are simply devoid of fresh and unfiltered ideas flowing from other cultures and marked by foreign ways of thinking….” – Jerzy Rzymowski, editor of Nowa Fantastyka magazine. What is your opinion ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : It’s a quote from my interview for „SF Signal” six years ago. And it is mostly still true, except I think that people are slowly starting to get bored with the endless recycling of culture and they begin to look for fresh ideas in many different places. If we find a way to show them other cultures, it’s a win.
Cristian Tamas : ”So we have the same trends, the same bestsellers, the same niches – and in SF-F, firmly rooted in pop-culture, it’s even more evident. Our local versions can differ in scenery and historical references…” ; „I’m not sure there is such thing as an “international sf/f scene”. The question implies the existence of a second, independent bloodstream of culture, parallel to the English one. Although it can look like this from the US perspective, it is a false simplification (I’m still baffled by the category “foreign films” being used in American cinemas. It reminds me of categories from a Chinese Encyclopedia described by Borges, like “all animals that belong to the emperor” or “innumerable animals”).”– Jacek Dukaj
Isn’it the accurate portrait of the cultural colonization of Europe with the anglo mass-produced subcultural consumeristic products, pulp sci-fi and fantasy included ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : As I mentioned before, it’s all about the language. In order for something to become an element of popculture or mass culture it needs to become available and understandable for the masses. And the language with the widest reach is English.
Cristian Tamas : ”Western literature, and particularly Anglo-Saxon literature, is rather hermetic, not willing to open itself to other markets. The publishing policy, focused only on authors writing in English leads to the Western readers being devoid of ability to acquaint themselves with valuable books created by writers from other regions of the world. Meanwhile, interesting things happen everywhere. For example, in Poland..” – Rafał Dębski ; What are the interesting things happening in Poland ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : In Poland we have quite a lot of historical fantasy and alternative history novels. We have clerical fiction which I mentioned above, now it is less popular than before; I think, its best years were ’90s. And there are many writers who just follow their own ways which makes them valuable for the readers because each of them is one of the kind.
Cristian Tamas : What is the status in Poland of the Polish SF&F writer and of the Polish editor and scholar interested by the local domain of the imaginary ? What is the status, if any, of the Polish Science Fiction & Fantasy within the Polish culture ? Is it considered just genre junk as in the rest of the european continental countries ?Are there in Poland, literary critics and theoreticians focused on SF&F, or only reviewers ? Do you have a literary canon in Poland ? Who is establishing the literary canon ? The Polish Academy or some influent literary critic/s ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : Unfortunately, yes. Science fiction and fantasy is basically marginalized by cultural institutions and by mainstream. There are critics and theoreticians focused on SF&F but they emerge rather from inside of the SF&F fandom than come from outside. The writers are appreciated in SF&F community but it rarely goes any further.
As for the literary canon – we can speak of one in terms of the list of school obligatory readings. I don’t think any other canon is established in Poland.
Cristian Tamas : Who are the main actual Polish SF&F writers and which are their relevant works (novels and short stories)? What do you recommend from the Polish SF&F to the EUROPA SF readers ?
Jerzy Rzymowki : In Poland we have Jacek Dukaj – the most important and inventive SF writer since Stanisław Lem. He debuted when he was 16 years old, he is a winner of six Zajdel Awards (most prestigious Polish fantastic award) and European Union Prize for Literature. An Academy Award nominated film „The Cathedral” (Katedra) is based on his shirt story. Each of his new works is a big event.
Krzysztof Piskorski is a brilliant worldbuilder and his novel „Cienioryt” (which can be translated as „Shadow Engraving”) should be not only translated but also made into a movie. Robert M. Wegner is a top quality fantasy writer, often compared to Steven Erikson.
We have also Łukasz Orbitowski, a highly respected writer of horror novels but drifting towards mainstream.
And Anna Kańtoch with her New Weird novels „Przedksiężycowi”, and Michał Cholewa, who gains popularity very fats with his military SF and many, many more – the new writers as well as the well known ones. It is hard to list all of them and I don’t want to omit anyone.
Cristian Tamas : How would you describe the Polish SF&F scene between 2000-2014 ? Writers, titles, publishers, magazines, fanzines, anthologies, collections, sites, clubs, self publishing, digital format, etc. ? In average how many Polish SF&F titles are published yearly ? What’s the average print run ? And how many translated SF&F titles ? What’s the average print run ? Are the translations form english dominating the local SF&F market ? Is any printed SF&F magazine still existing ? What about the online SF&F magazines ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : It is a huge question to answer. I think SF&F has lots of fans here in Poland, there are very active clubs and great conventions (including Pyrkon, currently the biggest European convention), but it doesn’t necessary find its reflection in the book market.
My magazine, „Nowa Fantastyka”, is currently the only printed monthly magazine left in Poland and many publishing houses are struggling.
Of course, there are some bestselling authors with tens of thousands copies sold, but usually, if you sell 3000-5000 copies of a novel, you consider it a very good result. There are few fanzines and online magazines as well as some self-publishing, but self-publishing is more a way to con aspiring writers out of their money than anything else.
I think the average number of Polish titles published yearly is about 80 and there are many more translated titles, although I’m not sure about the proportions between the Polish and foreign books.
Cristian Tamas : What do you know about the neighbours SFFs, russian, ukrainian, baltic, scandinavian, german, czech, slovak, hungarian, romanian, etc., speculative fictions ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : I know some of the names but, honestly speaking, I haven’t read much of them.
From Russia there are Strugatski brothers, Kir Bulychov, Nik Perumov, Sergei Lukyanenko as well as Dmitry Glukhovsky and Ekaterina Sedia.
From Ukraine – Marina and Sergei Diachenko.
From Slovakia – Juraj Cervenak, who got some very good reviews in Poland for his fantasy novels.
From Czech Republic – Karel Capek and Miroslav Zamboch. From Germany – Michael Ende, Andreas Eschbach, Wolfgang Jeschke, Cornelia Funke. Unfortunately, I don’t know any Hungarian or Romanian speculative fiction writers – I’m sorry.
Cristian Tamas : ”The Ageing of Europe, also known as the greying of Europe, is a demographic phenomenon in Europe characterised by a decrease in fertility, a decrease in mortality rate, and a higher life expectancy among European populations …
Poland is aging rapidly. In 1950, the median age was 25.8: half of the Polish population was younger, half older.
Today it is 39.5 (male: 37.9 years ; female: 41.3 years). If current trends continue, it will be 51 by 2050.
As the population is aging, it has also started to decline mainly due to low birth rates and continued emigration which is impacting the economy. The number of children born in Polish families (Total Fertility Rate of 1.31, down from 2 in 1990) is one of the lowest in Eastern Europe… The World Bank estimates the population of 65 or older citizens in Poland will increase from 13% to 21% between 2015 and 2025...”.– Demographics of Poland
This is not a surprise, all the European nations are aging, Germany and Italy being the world’s most aged countries (together with Japan). Isn’it ironic that all three former totalitarian reichs that wanted to conquer the world, are sharing the same fate, dying slowly of consenescence ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : The whole situation with demographics is ironic in many ways. On one hand we are worried with Europe getting older and dying out — and on the other there is this growing problem with global overpopulation. So, here in Europe, we are safe from being overpopulated by our own nations but we can be flooded with people from other regions of the world that are, by contrast, overcrowded and constantly growing. The current migration crisis in Europe may be a symptom of it.
Cristian Tamas : What do you think about the „vernacular” languages and „vernacular” literatures’ future ? Will they resist to the mcdonaldization of the world ?
Jerzy Rzymowski : I think we need to take care of our languages and literature if we want them to survive in further perspective. We need to be active and work hard because nobody else will do it for us.
Cristian Tamas : Kindly address some words to the EUROPA SF readers ! Thank you very much for your time and solicitude !
Jerzy Rzymowski : I am very honoured with this interview and honestly surprised that anyone is interested in my opinions. Thank you very much. I hope the Polish fantastic literature will become popular in your country and I’ll have the opportunity to know the other European speculative fictions and the Romanian literature too.
©Cristian Tamas & Jerzy Rzymowski
Jerzy Rzymowski, alias JeRzy (b. 1975), journalist, editor, writer, translator, editor in chief of the Polish SFF print magazine Nowa Fantastyka, the oldest and main Polish speculative fiction publication, founded in October 1982 as Fantastyka.
On the October 29th, 2007, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Fantastyka, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage awarded the silver medal “Gloria Artis” to the Nowa Fantastyka SFF magazine.
Jerzy Rzymowski studied library science, journalism and marketing. In 1996 he co-founded the TVP1 series of programs for children, “Łowcy przygód” (Adventure Hunters). Member of the literary club Tfurców. He edited the magazine “Kruk” (The Crow), “Magia i Miecz” (Magic and Sword), and “Gamestar”. Between 2000-2002, he co-led radio role-playing game “Dzikie Pola” (Wild Fields). Jerzy Rzymowski is a founding member of the Polish Association of the Writers of Fantastic Literature (Asocjacji Polskich Pisarzy Fantastycznych) and of the Polish Association of Gaming Research.
Since 2006, at Nowa Fantastyka, from 2013 he is the editor-in-chief of the magazine.
“Mój ulubiony morderca” (My Favorite Murderer), (collection of short stories), 1997
“Stephen Russbult, Ogry” (Stephen Russbult, Ogre), (novel), 2011
Short Stories :
“Dobry uczynek” (Good Deed, “Fenix” 7/1997)
“Cena spokoju” (The Peace Price, Legenda 1/98
“Grieg“, Legenda 1/98
“Starzy znajomi” (Old Friends), Legenda 2/98
“Ratownicy świata” (Rescuers of the World), Legenda 3/98
“Assassin” (Robimy Rewolucję/We’re Doing the Revolution Anthology, 2000)
“Gdzie diabeł mówi dobranoc” (Where the Devil Says, “Click! Fantasy”, 1/2002)
“Konflikt pokoleń” (Conflict of Generations, Fahrenheit, 1/2003)
“Lustro dla niewidzialnego człowieka” (Mirror for Invisible Man) (Niech żyje Polska, hura/Long Live Poland, Hurray Anthology, Vol. 2, 2007)
“Lekko nawiedzony dom” (Slightly Haunted House, Wizje alternatywne/Alternative Visions Anthology 6, 2007)
Nowa Fantastyka no.10/October 2015 issue