This month, Ace is proud to publish THE CASSANDRA PROJECT, the firstever collaborative novel by two of science fiction’s most honored writersour own Jack McDevitt and multiple-award winner, Mike Resnick. Read what they have to say about working together!
We’ve been friends for a quarter of a century, and have admired each other’s work for just as long. We had discussed collaborating over the years, but one or the other was always too busy. Then, about two years ago, we found that we both had a little room on the schedule, and the possibility of collaborating gained traction.
We knew we wanted to do a novel, which would be fresh ground for both of us. Mike has collaborated on screenplays and has written short stories with more than 40 different collaborators, but he’d never tried it with a novel. Jack had collaborated far less, and he also had never had a partner on a novel. Could we do it without getting in each other’s way? (The common wisdom is that a collaboration is twice as difficult as the novel you write alone.)
It seemed worth the effort. So the next question became: What do we collaborate on? We needed a narrative idea that we would both care seriously about. And one that would be a pleasure to write. That’s long been a requirement for both of us: Writing is supposed to be fun. The notion that writers have to keep whiskey in the bottom drawer is a myth put out by writers to keep the opposition at bay. That truism should go no farther.
We chose an expansion of Jack’s short story, “The Cassandra Project.”
With the pair of us working on it, it became something much more complex, with an expanded cast that included Mike’s brilliant, if eccentric, billionaire, Bucky Blackstone. There’s also a Moon landing and probably the most unlikely of heroes. We were also able to discover the real reason for the Watergate cover-up, which is finally being revealed to the world.
Jack wrote the first two chapters, and then we pretty much alternated, Jack doing most (but not all) of the chapters featuring Jerry, Mike doing most (but not all) of the chapters featuring Bucky. Each of us rewrote/revised the other’s work, and, oddly, we never had a single disagreement of any substance.
We’re very pleased with the early reception the book has received, so much so that we’re actually considering doing another.
Jack McDevitt & Mike Resnick