Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jack McDevitt: Author GOH for OSFest 5

I was introduced to the writings of Jack McDevitt (born 1935) with the A Talent For War (1989). Despite the title this was more of a mystery story about past happening in a future universe. From there he took me on trips into a post-apocalyptic future earth, a journal through the halls of an ancient alien travel device, and the breakup of our moon. The last three are some of his stand alone novels; he also has a couple of long running series to his credit.
The Engines of God (1994), he introduced the idea of a universe that had once been teeming with intelligent life, but contains only their abandoned artifacts by the time humans arrive on the scene. Although it was initially written as a standalone novel, the main character of The Engines of God, pilot Priscilla Hutchins (Hutch), has since appeared in five more books, Deepsix (2001), Chindi (2002), Omega (2003), Odyssey (2006), and Cauldron (2007). These books became known as Jack's Academy Series of novels. The mystery surrounding the destructive "Omega Clouds" (which are introduced in The Engines of God) is left unexplored until Omega, but it is worth the wait.
His Alex Benedict series consists of the archaeology texts: A Talent for War (1989) (also published as part of Hello Out There), Polaris (2004), Seeker (2005) - winner of Nebula Award for Best Novel, The Devil's Eye (2008), Echo (2010) and Firebird (2011)
Jack went to La Salle University, where he won the annual Freshman Short Story Contest and was published in the school's literary magazine, Four Quarters. As McDevitt explained in an interview, "I was on my way. Then I read David Copperfield and realized I could never write at that level, and therefore I should find something else to do. I joined the Navy, drove a cab, became an English teacher, took a customs inspector's job on the northern border, and didn't write another word for a quarter-century." McDevitt received a Master's degree in literature from Wesleyan University in 1971. He returned to writing when his wife, Maureen, encouraged him to try his hand at it in 1980. Of course she was right.
Meet this entertaining author at OSFest 5 – July 27-29, 2012. And despite his self-described inability to write at David Copperfield's level, I know you find his writings intriguing and fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment