Sunday, April 29, 2018

Five top stories that celebrate the everyday in science fiction

Jack McDevitt is the Nebula Award–winning author of The Academy series, including The Long Sunset. He went to La Salle University, then 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. He 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. Along with winning the Nebula Award in 2006, he has also been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award. In 2015 he was awarded the Robert A. Heinlein Award for Lifetime Achievement.

At McDevitt tagged "five stories, from the heart, about science fiction and everyday life," including:
Michael Bishop delivers “Rattlesnakes and Men.” It’s a tale of a family that, after being hammered by a tornado, moves from Arkansas to Georgia, where they settle in the small town of Nokuse. It’s a pleasant village, with a friendly population. But they do have an unsettling characteristic: Every citizen is required by law to own a rattlesnake. The rattlesnake is primed to protect its owner, and other members of the family, from intruders.

Much of the town’s sense of community arises from the Nokuse Rattlesnake Alliance, which has a long and illustrious history. Annually for fifty years, they’ve hosted Nokuse County’s Rattlesnake Rodeo and Roundup in Wriggly County. And they are part of the community life in every way.

It’s hard to believe people would engage in activities that are inherently dangerous, but we’ve a long history of alcoholism and tobacco, which do kill considerable damage. And for anyone who wishes to stay with animals, there’ve been occasional stories about someone attacked by a pet wildcat.
Read about another entry on the list.

Writers Read: Jack McDevitt (April 2018).

--Marshal Zeringue