Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Seeker sounds very interesting. Anyone read McDevitt?

Nebula-nominated SF writer Jack McDevitt, whose novel Seeker just won the 2006 Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Award for best novel, told SCI FI Wire that the book was in part inspired by his childhood fascination with Atlantis. "When I was 12, Amazing began publishing [Richard S. Shaver's] 'I Remember Lemuria,'" McDevitt said in an interview. "Later I discovered there were other lost places. So it was probably inevitable that eventually I'd take the subject on."

Seeker follows the far-future adventures of antiquities dealer Alex Benedict, McDevitt said. "One of the legends of his age is that, in ancient times, a group of colonists escaped a theocratic America and headed out in two starships to found a free colony 'so far from here that even God won't be able to find us,'" McDevitt said. "The ships and the colony disappeared and were never heard from again. In Alex's time, the story has become legend. No one knows how much, if any, of it is true. The colony was to be called Margolia, and it is the Atlantis of Alex's time. Over the centuries books have been written about it; expeditions have gone to look for it; it is the subject of the far-future equivalent of cinema. Then one day, a cup, apparently from [one of the lost ships], falls into his hands. And Alex, aided by his very competent assistant Chase Kolpath, begins a search for the truth."

The character of Alex Benedict was inspired by a famous literary detective, McDevitt said. "And, no, it's not Sherlock Holmes. It's [G.K.] Chesterton's Father Brown, whose mysteries were not so much a matter of figuring out who the killer was as how a given inexplicable event could have happened," he said. "[For instance,] why did a general, always known for a cautious approach to battle, recklessly charge a hill and lose most of his command?"


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