A Short History of Russian "Fantastica"/Supplement to Part 5
Several speeches at the meeting in Kiev:
Academician K. M. Sitnik:
"In science we prize men who think non-standardly. Our society needs such fantasy, which forms a non-standard mentality. We have many problems. In the Ukraine 40% of the soil is subjected to erosion and many rivers are destroyed by drought. We must, not only in romance, stop this disaster and begin to restore the soil, rivers, etc. But fantasy can suggest many concrete things. Fantasy moves progress."
E. Parnov, the writer and chairman of the SF council attached to the Board of the Union of Writers of the USSR:
"Science fiction is more than literature. It is an exceptional phenomenon of the culture of the 20th Century. It is like an encyclopedia. Any questions which we consider today were formerly considered by science fiction. It concerns also ecological problems or moral improvement. Certainly, such SF (the brothers Strugatski's science fiction works, for instance) opened the way with difficulty, but everywhere fantasy spoke its pioneer works. Science developed its own way and it rarely makes use of science fiction writer's promptings although the works of K. Tsiolkovski were brought to the notice of the designers of space techniques <...> The essence is that SF surveys the problem more widely <...> China's authorities, not without reason, changed their attitude to SF right from the start of the economic reforms in that country. There are two sciencefiction newspapers in China (in Peking and in Shanghai) but there is no SF newspaper in the USSR."
V. Michailov (the writer):
"Fan clubs are in great need of any books... the All - Union publishing house (the fantasy literature) is essential for publishing SF books... <...> Serious criticism also is essential. But we haven't any SF magazines and science fiction novels, and stories are scattered in many magazines." A. Strugatski (the writer): "I didn't comprehend what you intended to do here. My brother and I didn't imagine the real scope of the fan clubs' movement. You are the clubs of professional readers, that's why I was enjoying myself when Academician K. M. Sitnik told you about photosynthesis <...> I understand that great work is going on...<...> The magazine URALSKI SLEDOPIT became an organ of fan clubs, and everything else forms around this magazine."