Jack McDevitt

en: Jack McDevitt American science fiction aut...

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Jack McDevitt is the author of comfortable science fiction. The first book I read is probably his best, Infinity Beach. It is set in the distant future and relates man’s first encounter with an alien race, who resemble tiny butterflies. I have read the book at least three times and I will read it again.

McDevitt writes individual books not part of a series, and he also writes two series, both set in the distant future. One series involves a woman spaceship captain, Priscilla Hutchins, and the other series involves a dealer in antiquities, Alex Benedict, and his assistant, Chase Kolpath. My second favorite book by McDevitt is Chindi, Navajo for wandering ghost, which is also an alien encounter with a hollow asteroid on auto-pilot that wanders the galaxy collecting specimens.

I have not read all of McDevitt’s books, but I can recommend all that I have read save for Time Travelers Never Die. It is about time travel and is a perfect example of why I avoid time travel books.

I have just finished reading his latest book, Firebird, in the Alex Benedict series, and I recommend it highly. It has two interlocking themes, finding ships lost in space due to a warping of space-time, and the possibility of consciousness in the artificial intelligences that serve humanity. I think that he developed both themes very well. For me as a limited french speaker, the only jarring note in the book was the claim that french was no longer spoken or understood in the distant future.