THE END IS NIGH Author Interview: Jack McDevitt

Tell us a bit about your story.  What’s it about?

Being careful what you wish for.

Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?

No. In fact, I enjoyed writing it. Once I knew what I wanted to do, the pieces all fell into place.

Most authors say all their stories are personal.  If that’s true for you, in what way was this story personal to you?

It conveys the assorted difficulties when one tries to leave a mark. To do something that people will remember.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I called a physicist friend to get some information on brown dwarfs, especially as regards gravity.

What is the appeal—either as a writer or a reader—of stories that take place BEFORE an apocalypse?

They give us a sense of what really matters. Of the importance of living for the moment.

What are some of your favorite examples of pre-apocalyptic fiction, and what makes them your favorites?

I’d never thought of it as pre-apocalyptic (in fact, I’ve never thought in those terms about any story), but if we can categorize it that way, Isaac Asimov’s “Nightfall” would be a hands-down winner.