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Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jack McDevitt loves a good mystery. And he enjoys baffling his readers with enigmas like why, after so many years of listening with no results, would a SETI director hear an artificial signal and keep it quiet? Why might an astronomer at a space station, facing imminent death from a solar radiation blast, send off a frantic message that he had discovered a Clyde Tombaugh Special? Tombaugh, of course, was the discoverer of Pluto.

What really ...
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Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt

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Overview

Jack McDevitt loves a good mystery. And he enjoys baffling his readers with enigmas like why, after so many years of listening with no results, would a SETI director hear an artificial signal and keep it quiet? Why might an astronomer at a space station, facing imminent death from a solar radiation blast, send off a frantic message that he had discovered a Clyde Tombaugh Special? Tombaugh, of course, was the discoverer of Pluto.

What really happened to Christopher Sim, the George Washington of the war against the Ashiyyur? Why had a beloved artist at the top of his profession, with everything to live for, killed himself? Why had a brilliant young biologist discovered how life got started on Earth, but neglected to tell anyone?

And there are of course other anomalies to be encountered in McDevitt's work: A computer threatens the literary world, while a time traveler worries the churches. One artificial intelligence runs for president, and another claims to be a Catholic and demands access to the sacraments. Two friends discover that whenever they get together, shuttles crash, wars break out, or tidal waves hammer a coastline.

A researcher watches endless fighting on another world and finally rebels against the Academy's hands-off doctrine. Meantime, a crewman stranded light-years from Earth, entertains himself by intercepting radio broadcasts from home, originally transmitted during World War II.

Among other questions these tales will answer: What might happen when people in a research lab literally try to play God. Why you don't ever, ever, want to turn out the lights at Bolton's Tower in the Dakotas. Why someone might want to blow up a star. And why it would be a really good idea if Hatch kept his hands off the mallet. These, and twenty-three other cosmic rides, await the reader.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596063228
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 167,264
  • File size: 761 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I really like Jack's novels but I thought I'd take a shot at his

    I really like Jack's novels but I thought I'd take a shot at his short fiction works.

    I especially liked his time travel stories, including Times Arrow and Time Travellers Never Die (from which he expanded it into a novel).

    He also told several stories from the Priscilla Hutch universe which was fun and insightful. A man decides to get involved with the Nok's civil war. He's tired of just being an observer and takes an active role in messing up the battles and saving lives, much against the Prime Directive (remember that one, Trek fans?). Hutch gets involved and the story leaves the reader with a complex plot with a simple answer. Nicely done.

    Other stories in the mix were pretty good, some not so much, it's a matter of taste. Took me a long time to get through the book as there are so many stories.

    'Henry James, This One's For You' about a computer who can write the perfect novel, threatening to put regular writers and editors out of business. What would you do? Crazy ending.

    There's more:

    Part I: Unlikely Connections

    Cryptic
    The Fort Moxie Branch
    Nothing Ever Happens in Rock City
    Tweak
    Melville on Iapetus
    Lighthouse (with Michael Shara)
    Cool Neighbor (with Michael Shara)
    Whistle
    In the Tower

    Part II: Lost Treasures

    Ignition
    Indomitable
    Last Contact
    Never Despair
    Windows
    Dutchman
    The Tomb
    Promises to Keep
    To Hell with the Stars
    The Mission

    Part III: Out There

    Report from the Rear
    Black to Move
    The Far Shore
    Sunrise
    Kaminsky at War

    Part IV: Touching the Infinite

    Fifth Day
    Deus Tex
    Gus
    Welcome to Valhalla (with Kathryn Lance)
    Tyger
    Auld Lang Boom

    Part V: Inventions and Fallout

    Cruising through Deuteronomy
    The Candidate
    Act of God
    Ellie
    Time's Arrow
    Dead in the Water
    Henry James, This One's for You
    Time Travellers Never Die

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Cryaotic

    Of course ive been spelling my name wrong. Still single btw.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    Excellent book! The short stories cover a wide range of topics and all will make you think.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Interesting short stories.

    If you like Jack McDevitt you will find this collection interesting. Many of the stories have evolved into full books such as Eternity Road and others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    THIS BOOK OF SHORT STORIES IS BRILLIANT!!!!!

    Jack McDevitt does it all over again. These short stories will work your imagination like no other - from space travel, time travel, mind travel to brown dwarfs, Fort Moxie Branch (which is brilliant). This book belongs on every SF reader's shelf. Take an afternoon off, sit in your favorite easy chair and let Jack transport you to several of his most favorite places. You will not be sorry. If you are like me, you will read slow to make the book last longer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

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    Posted February 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

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