Tihomir, please present yourself to the Romanian SF Fans.
Hello. My name is Tihomir Jovanović, I am the secretary of the SCI&FI science fiction association from Belgrade, Serbia. The president of the association is Svetislav Filipović. The association was founded 17 years ago.
Please tell us more details about the Regia Fantastica project.
The Regia Fantastica project was created ten years ago. The first issue did not have a given topic. Our goal was to gather authors from the former Yugoslavia, and we succeeded in that. There was a break from two years until the next issue, which had the theme of Herbert George Wells on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of his birth. And the idea for this topic came because I accidentally found out that one of my good friends was born on the same day, only many years later. This was followed by the annual release of Regie Fantastic, with thopic of Space Odyssey 2001, Blade Runner, Ray Bradbury. Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Alan Poe. In addition to the stories of authors from the region, each issue also includes an essay about the writer, which is the topic, as well as some of his stories that had not been published in Serbian until then.
What about Terra Magazine?
Terra magazine (fanzine) is a magazine that have almanac character and contains essays and SF stories. In each issue we also have a short SF comic. This magazine is published twice a year (usually May and December). Every fourth issue is a special issue and dedicated to one of the topics or areas of science fiction (for example: UFO, Horror, Fantasy, etc …) The editor of this magazine is Svetislav Filipović.
This project is produced unde the Science & Fiction Fan Association of Beograd. What other projects has this Association?
Apart from Terra fanzine magazine, we have another SF Portal fanzine, which is smaller and usually the whole issue is dedicated to one topic or one writer with a selection of his unpublished stories in Serbia, there are also several issues dedicated to SF comics, such as the influence of British SF comics. in former Yugoslavia, the history of SF comics in Serbia etc… At SF Postal, we tried to present writers from Russia, France and Germany, in addition to writers from the Anglo-Saxon area. SF Portal is edited by me and so far over thirty issues have been published.
At Refesticon Festival, this year, you have presented a number of books. Please tell us more about them.
At the Refesticon festival, I presented the latest editions of Regie Fantastica – no. 5 and 6, as well as a special edition „Proto & Classic Sciencefiction”, in which are given stories from the field of fiction from Lucian to Philip K. Dick, to gain insight into how fiction writing has evolved over the centuries. I also presented the author’s editions of writers from the SCI & FI association. These are my book „Grandma Manda’s Multiverse”, which belong into the subgenre of comic fiction, similar to the works of Terry Pratchett, and the basic idea is similar to the comic book Asterix & Obelix. Namely, it is a Serbian village that remained unconquered during the Turkish conquests. I also presented the book by Svetislav Filipović „ex Yu R.U.R.”, who processed the classic work of Karel Capek in a humorous way, and it was written in the form of a drama as well as the original work. There was also talk about Goran Ćurčić’s book – „Warrior and Curly”, a novel that is a mixture of fairy tales, fantasy and horror.
You are also a SF author. What type of books do you write and what is you latest book?
As I mentioned my last book is „Grandma Manda’s Multiverse”. It is the third book in a series about an unconquered Serbian village during the Ottoman conquests. The previous two books are „Palisades and Umbrella”s, as well as „Grandma Manda’s Circles”. In addition to these three books, there is another book of comic fiction, the collection of stories „Agency 51”, and it can be compared to some extent with the comic book „Alan Ford”. It is interesting that in one of the stories, set in the World War Second, I mentioned Nikolae and Elena Ceausescu. I also wrote a collection of stories, comics and songs -„27 lives”, in which are my published and unpublished stories from competitions in the region. I also used a part of Romanian folklore and a story about vampires in one of the stories in my book „Lun and the Kings of Midnight”. And in the next book about Lun, there will also be a story set in Romania, and this time it is visited by the Morlocs from Wells’ novel „Time Machine#. Speaking of Romania, I recently finished the story „Sibiu Manuscript”, set in World War II. And let me also mention that the illustrations for our and my books are done by one of the best Serbian illustrators and comic artists, Zeljko Pahek.
Why did you begin the collaboration with Romanian SF writers?
I started cooperation with writers from Romania after I met You at Refesticon festival (1919) and then via Facebook I acquaint a couple of other writers from Romania. I am very satisfied with the quality of the stories from Romanian writers, and what is especially interesting is that they deal with topics in a different way than writers from the West. I wanted regional cooperation to expand to other countries in the region, to present our readers writers from outside speaking area of former Yugoslavia. I also tried to get in touch with writers from Hungary and Bulgaria, so far without success. But non-regional writers such as Frank Roger from Belgium and Gaut Vel Hartmann from Argentina came forward and sent their stories for the next issue of Regie Fantastica, with themes of Dystopia and the film The Thing.
What is you oppinion about the Galaxy 42 special Serbian Issue?
Galaxy 42, Serbian Issue is a very well done magazine, with a good selection of stories and authors from Serbia. This is certainly the result of Your agreement with Miloš Petrik, who invited authors from Serbia and translated the stories into English and made them available for reading in Romania. In addition, there are plenty of illustrations and other interesting articles. There should be more magazines like this, and I think that something similar could be done in Serbia, to create a web magazine with stories dedicated to authors from neighboring countries, as well as Eastern European ones, to show the rest of the world that good stories are created here, often better than those in the English-speaking world. The online edition of the magazine is available to everyone and can be easily read and downloaded by anyone who wants to have it in the archive.
Tell us about your future plans in SF.
As for the next plans, that number 7, Regia Fantastica, is in preparation, then a special edition of Gotic & Horror, with selected stories of classics of this genre. I also started a new collection of stories about the adventures of Grandma Manda. Terra fanzine number 30 is also in preparation, with stories and essays in the field of science fiction. I also write stories for some competitions in the region. We are also working on a translation of the novel by the Spanish writer Enrique Gaspar – „El Anacronpete”, in which he mentioned Time Machine before H.G. Wells. The association is also working on the preparation of a collection of sf stories by authors from Slovenia. the printed edition of this book should appear simultaneously in Serbia in Serbian and in Slovenia in Slovenian at the beginning of next year. I hope that the situation around Covid 19 will improve and that I will be able to visit the FKK festivals in Pazin (Croatia) and Fantafest in Celje (Slovenia), which will held in the autumn.