Sunday, May 12, 2019

Jack McDevitt

Jack McDevitt is an American science fiction author. He has won multiple awards including the International UPC Science Fiction award for Ships in the Night, a Nebula for Seeker, a Campbell Award for Omega, and the Robert Heinlein Lifetime Achievement Award. He has over 20 novels available in print, ebook and audio. He resides in Georgia with his lovely wife, Maureen.

McDevitt's new book is Octavia Gone, the latest Alex Benedict novel.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America caught my attention during one of the author’s appearances on “Morning Joe.” Meacham seems to have a clear perspective on what’s been happening in the United States. And he has won a Pulitzer Prize. In The Soul of America he discusses various dark times, some far worse than this current era, and argues that ultimately it’s up to the citizenry to stand up for what is right. If we can do that, we will get through into the daylight. It may take time, but it is essential that we refuse to despair.

The Churchill Factor, by Boris Johnson, moves into similar territory, using the former British prime minister to demonstrate that one man can move the world. When Churchill assumed office, in 1940, the Germans were winning everywhere. The French were surrendering, the Nazis were moving into Poland. Hitler was offering the British a deal. Back off, he was saying, and everything will be okay. Everyone in the upper levels of the British government wanted to accept his terms. Other than Churchill. He insisted they keep fighting, and he managed eventually to persuade FDR to bring the US into the war. Had he not accomplished all that, 1945 would have been a far darker year.

A Devil’s Chaplain, by Richard Dawkins. This is a collection of essays on assorted subjects by the famed evolutionary biologist. He argues that positions should be based on evidence. He goes in multiple directions. What does evolution actually mean? If every mother were to hold hands with her mother, and we took it back generations, allowing one yard for each mother, in less than 300 miles, we’ll be holding hands with chimpanzees.

I’m also reading H. L. Mencken’s Prejudices, the first volume in the Library of America collection. A brilliant journalist , Mencken took on conformity in American culture and any other target that annoyed him.

Finally I’ve dived into Harlan Ellison’s story collection, Strange Wine. I doubt there are any readers of this blog who aren’t familiar with Harlan’s dazzling fiction.
Visit Jack McDevitt's website.

My Book, The Movie: Octavia Gone.

The Page 69 Test: Octavia Gone.

--Marshal Zeringue