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  • Writer's pictureJack McDevitt

Blog #81

It’s been a busy year. I spent the first half of it writing Village in the Sky, and the rest of it doing short fiction for Nature, Asimov’s, and Galaxy’s Edge, and also helping assemble 31 stories for the Subterranean collection, Return To Glory, scheduled for release in October 2022.

One story has gotten lost. An artificial intelligence is brought into a seminary by a chaplain to portray –I believe—Thomas Aquinas, in question-and- answer meetings with the seminarians. The AI eventually informs the chaplain he has been overwhelmed by Christianity and wishes access to the sacraments. I don’t recall how it ended, but I remember asking Father Bob Carson, a brilliant history teacher I’d had at South Catholic High School in Philadelphia, whether he would have complied if he’d been in the chaplain’s place.

It’s gotten away from me. I’m pretty sure the story was published, but I don’t recall by whom, or the title. I’d wanted to turn it over to Subterranean for its collection but that’s obviously not going to happen.

In any case, life has become easier. I’ve taken a break from writing and am simply watching movies and the Phillies on TV, and reading. In case anyone’s wondering I’m rereading stories from Mike Bishop’s gripping collection, The Door Gunner. I’ve also finally gotten to two books that Maureen gave me for my April birthday, The Curse of Sherlock Holmes, which is a Basil Rathbone biography, and All My Best Friends, by George Burns and David Fisher. I’m also reading The Modern Mind, by Peter Watson; a Voltaire collection; the Library of America edition of James Thurber, whose “The Greatest Man in the World” is my all-time favorite story. I found out about Thurber when my father took me to see “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which was probably the funniest movie of my growing-up years. That was a time (1947) when I thought nothing could make me laugh more than Bud and Lou.

Somehow I’ve gotten even busier than I was when I was writing.

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