Jack McDevitt is an American science fiction novelist. He has over 20 novels available in print, ebook, and audio, stories that frequently deal with attempts to make contact with alien races, and with archaeology or xenoarchaeology.
McDevitt 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.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in South Philadelphia. Was a boy scout. Today I’m still in touch with the scoutmaster’s family, which is scattered all over the USA. My mom encouraged me to read, and provided books. Discovered Superman & Dick Tracy on the radio when I was about five. Enjoyed baseball. Couldn’t have had a better time during those early years.
While a great deal of science fiction involves gloom, doom, and cynicism about humanity’s fate (Apocalypse! Dystopia! Grimdark!), there are bright spots of optimism within the genre.
Meet solarpunk.What Is Solarpunk?
The overall vibe of the solarpunk genre is often described as inspired by Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Afrofuturist motifs. Illustrations of solarpunk landscapes often look hypermodern, light, airy, and colorful, but can also be rich in elegant detail.
Most of all, everything is so, so green. Just covered in leaves. Like Ewoks moved into the Watergate. Along with this visual style, the spirit of solarpunk is one of craftsmanship, egalitarianism, and optimism where technology can be put to work to solve our greatest problems.
Editor’s Note: Includes mention of classic solarpunk novels, and some newer ones.
Does sci-fi serve a purpose beyond that of entertainment or escapism?
Why do we write, read, and love sci-fi?
Arthur Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey) once said,
“There’s no real objection to escapism, in the right places… We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality… It’s a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can’t think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.”
Here are some thoughts on the important role sci-fi plays in our culture:
1. Sci-fi makes us think, wonder, and ask what if and why.
Dune | In Theaters and HBO Max on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021
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