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Deepsix
Jack McDevitt
HarperCollins EOS, 448 pages

Deepsix
Jack McDevitt
Jack McDevitt won the Philip K. Dick Award for his first novel, The Hercules Text, and the first UPC prize for his novella, "Ships in the Night." He has been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo. McDevitt has been a taxi driver, a naval officer, an English teacher, a customs officer, and a motivational trainer. Currently, he lives with his wife and three children in Brunswick, GA.

Jack McDevitt Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Reading List: Jack McDevitt
SF Site Review: Infinity Beach
SF Site Review: Infinity Beach
SF Site Review: Moonfall
SF Site Review: Eternity Road
Jack McDevitt Reviews
Engines of God Review
Ancient Shores Review

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Hank Luttrell

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Jack McDevitt is creating an impressive body of work, solid science fiction with a profound range of scientific extrapolation. Novels that use faster-than-light travel are probably a kind of fantasy. In McDevitt's books, they wave their magic wand, or engage the warp clutch, and bang into another solar system. Once there, however, the science becomes much more plausible and believable. And hey, the experts have been wrong before, right? They once proved that heavier than air manned flight would be impossible. It still seems hard to believe your eyes as huge jets circle over Cook County waiting to land at Chicago O'Hare.

Deepsix is a pressure cooker of a novel. Intense popular and scientific interest is focused on a planet destined to be destroyed by a collision with a gas giant. Teams of scientists and tourists have gathered in starships to watch the fireworks. At the last minute archaeological remains are discovered on the planet. While a far flung interstellar human empire has discovered a few traces of sentience, this is still the rarest of phenomena. A make-shift, emergency team is sent to the surface to study and collect everything it can grab. Of course disaster strikes and the team is marooned.

The narrative structure of the book tips off part of the climax: some of the team survive, since there are excerpts from a book written about the adventure. None the less, the odyssey of their escape is a tense, exciting, nerve-wracking reading experience.

Copyright © 2001 Hank Luttrell

Hank Luttrell has reviewed science fiction for newspapers, magazines and web sites. He was nominated for the Best Fanzine Hugo Award and is currently a bookseller in Madison, Wisconsin.


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