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Classic sense of wonder sf from the author of THE ENGINES OF GOD.
We are alone in the universe. We have faster than light travel. We’ve been looking for over 1,000 years, and there is simply nothing out there.
The universe is a magnificent, but sterile, wilderness – and it all belongs to us. Maybe we’re lucky.
That’s the received wisdom, anyway.
A new expedition, investigating a mysteriously aborted mission 27 years earlier, is about to turn that wisdom on its head.
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Jack McDevitt's debut novel was The Hercules Text in 1986; since then he has published further thoughtful SF and the disaster blockbuster Moonfall (1998). Slow Lightning comes with an enthusiastic plug from Stephen King, but is still straight SF, exploring the ever-fascinating theme of alien contact and whether the universe is as empty as it seems.
It's early in the 31st century, life is good, humanity has reached the stars, there are thriving colonies on other worlds and the long, unsuccessful search for alien neighbours is faltering. The last hope, detonating suns as message beacons, is surrounded by both controversy and apathy. Perhaps we have reached our limits and are going into retreat?
But 27 years earlier--as indicated in the prologue--something extraordinary happened, since very carefully covered up. Everyone who returned from a four-person interstellar mission is dead or vanished, leaving only abandoned houses, rumours of ghosts and a model spacecraft of unfamiliar design. McDevitt's attractive heroine Dr Kim Brandywine scents something profoundly odd, and stubbornly investigates even though repeatedly told to stop making waves or lose her job as a fund-raiser for big science. She is enjoyably resourceful, finding talents for trespass, disguise, impersonation, fraud and burglary as she follows a trail leading to a bizarre massacre and to the star Alnitak--where contact with the unknown was shockingly but very humanly bungled.
Despite hair-raising sequences in which Brandywine barely escapes with her life, she still presses on to a satisfying resolution. A solid SF thriller with realistic underpinnings. Recommended. --David LangfordReview:
‘The heir to Asimov’
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Limited, 2000. Condition: Good. paperback / softback. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP105536102
Book Description Voyager, 2000. Condition: Very Good. 1588675078. Seller Inventory # U9780002247351
Book Description Voyager, 2000. Hardback. Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Seller Inventory # GOR001732243
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, London, 2000. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Classic sense of wonder sf from the author of THE ENGINES OF GOD. We are alone in the universe. We have faster than light travel. We've been looking for over 1,000 years, and there is simply nothing out there. The universe is a magnificent, but sterile, wilderness -- and it all belongs to us. Maybe we're lucky. That's the received wisdom, anyway. A new expedition, investigating a mysteriously aborted mission 27 years earlier, is about to turn that wisdom on its head. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR001199526
Book Description Voyager, 2000. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: Good. edges rubbed, light stain to edge of some pages. Seller Inventory # F00221
Book Description Harper Collins Publishers, 2000. Soft cover. Condition: Good. 1 Vol. de 435 pp. Size: In-8º (233x153). Book. Seller Inventory # 013036