Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt

Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt

by Jack McDevitt
4.6 11

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Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt by Jack McDevitt

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596063228
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication date: 12/31/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 592,751
File size: 779 KB

About the Author

Jack McDevitt is a former naval officer, taxi driver, English teacher, customs officer, and motivational trainer who is now a full-time writer. He is the author of the Alex Benedict novels — including Firebird — and the Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins series of books — sometimes referred to as the Academy series. His novel Seeker won the 2006 Nebula Award for Best Novel.

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Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Scotman55 More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! The short stories cover a wide range of topics and all will make you think.
biomed More than 1 year ago
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.
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SusanVT More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of course ive been spelling my name wrong. Still single btw.