Deepsix (Priscilla

Deepsix (Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins Series #2)

by Jack McDevitt

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Overview

Deepsix (Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins Series #2) by Jack McDevitt

In the year 2204, tragedy and terror forced a scientific team to prematurely evacuate Maleiva III. Nineteen years later, a rogue moon hurtling through space is about to obliterate the last opportunity to study this rare, life-supporting planet. With less than three weeks left before the disaster, superluminal pilot Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins — the only even remotely qualified professional within lightyears of the ill-fated planet — must lead a small scientific team to the surface to glean whatever they can about its lifeforms and lost civilizations before time runs out. But catastrophe awaits when they are stranded on this strange and complex world of puzzles and impossibilities. And now Hutch and her people must somehow survive on a hostile world going rapidly mad — as the clock ticks toward apocalypse for a doomed enigma now called...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061020063
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/08/2002
Series: Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins Series , #2
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 238,588
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.32(d)

About the Author

Jack McDevitt is the author of A Talent for War, The Engines of God, Ancient Shores, Eternity Road, Moonfall, and numerous prize-winning short stories. He has served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, taught English and literature, and worked for the U.S. Customs Service in North Dakota and Georgia.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The impending collision out there somewhere in the great dark between a gas giant and a world very much like our own has some parallels to the eternal collision between religion and common sense. One is bloated and full of gas, and the other is measurable and solid. One engulfs everything around it, and the other simply provides a place to stand. One is a rogue destroyer that has come in out of the night, and the other is a warm well-lighted place vulnerable to the sainted mobs.
— Gregory MacAllister, Have Your Money Ready

They came back to Maleiva III to watch the end of the world.

Researchers had been looking forward to it since its imminence was proclaimed almost twenty years earlier by Jeremy Benchwater Morgan, an ill-tempered combustible astrophysicist who, according to colleagues, had been born old. Even today Morgan is the subject of all kinds of dark rumors, that he had driven one child to tranks and another to suicide, that he'd forced his first wife into an early grave, that he'd relentlessly destroyed careers of persons less talented than he even though he gained nothing by doing so, that he'd consistently taken credit for the work of others. How much of this is true, no one really knows. What is on the record, however, is that Morgan had been both hated and feared by his colleagues and apparently by a deranged brother-in-law who made at least two attempts to kill him. When he'd died, finally, of heart failure, his onetime friend and longtime antagonist, Gunther Beekman, commented privately that he had beaten his second wife to the punch. In accordance with his instructions, no memorial wasconducted. It was, some said, his last act of vindictiveness, denying his family and associates the satisfaction of staying home.

Because he had done the orbital work and predicted the coming collision, the Academy had given his name to the rogue world that had invaded the Maleiva system. Although that was a gesture required by tradition in any case, many felt that the Academy directors had taken grim pleasure in their action.

Morgan's World approached Jovian dimensions. Its mass was 296 times that of Earth. Diameter at the equator was 131,600 kilometers, at the poles about five percent less. This oblateness resulted from a rotational period of just over nine hours. It had a rocky core a dozen times as massive as the Earth. It was otherwise composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.

It was tilted almost ninety degrees to its own plane of movement, and half as much to the system plane. It was a gray-blue world, its atmosphere apparently placid and untroubled, with neither rings nor satellites.

"Do we know where it came from?" Marcel asked.

Gunther Beekman, small, bearded, overweight, was seated beside him on the bridge. He nodded and brought up a fuzzy patch on the auxiliary display, closed in on it, and enhanced. "Here's the suspect," he said. "It's a section of the Chippewa Cloud, and if we're right, Morgan's been traveling half a billion years."

In approximately three weeks, on Saturday, December 9, at 1756 hours GMT, the intruder would collide head-on with Maleiva 111.

Maleiva was the infant daughter of the senator who'd chaired the science funding committee when the initial survey was done, two decades earlier. There were eleven planets in the system, but only the doomed third world had received a name to go with its Roman numeral: From the beginning they called it Deepsix. In the often malicious nature of things, it was also one of the very few worlds known to harbor life. Even though locked in a three-thousand-year-old ice age, it would have made, in time, an exquisite new outpost for the human race.

"The collision here is only the beginning of the process," Beekman said. "We can't predict precisely what's going to happen afterward, but within a few thousand years Morgan will have made a complete shambles of this system." He leaned back, folded his hands behind his head, and adopted an expression of complacency. "It's going to be an interesting show to watch."

Beekman was the head of the Morgan Project, a planetologist who had twice won the Nobel, a lifelong bachelor, and a onetime New York State chess champion. He routinely referred to the coming Event as "the collision," but Marcel was struck by the relative sizes of the two worlds. It would most certainly not be a collision. Deepsix would fall into Morgan's clouds, like a coin casually dropped into a pool.

"Why doesn't it have any moons?" he asked Beekman.

Beekman considered the question. "Probably all part of the same catastrophe. Whatever ejected it from its home system would have taken off all the enhancements. We may see something like that here in a few centuries."

"In what way?"

"Morgan's going to stay in the neighborhood. At least for a while. It's going into a highly unstable orbit." He brought up a graphic of Maleiva and its planetary system. One gas giant was so close to the sun that it was actually skimming through the corona. The rest of the system resembled Earth's own, terrestrial worlds in close, gas giants farther out. There was even an asteroid belt, where a world had failed to form because of the nearby presence of a jovian. "It'll eventually mangle everything," he said, sounding almost wistful. "Some of these worlds will get dragged out of their orbits into new ones, which will be irregular and probably unstable. One or two may spiral into the sun. Others will get ejected from the system altogether."

"Not a place," said Marcel, "where you'd want to invest in real estate."

"I wouldn't think," agreed Beekman.

Marcel Clairveau was captain of the Wendy Jay, which was carrying the Morgan research team that would...

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Deepsix 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
St_e_ve More than 1 year ago
How do you take a great story by Jack McDevitt and completely ruin it? Simple: Let Harper Collins scan it, OCR it, and turn it into an ebook without checking for errors. The misspellings, inaccurate or misplaced punctuation marks and quotations, and words shifting from straight to italics and back, throughout the novel, are too numerous to count, and totally distracting from enjoying an otherwise great story. And should I mention that THE ENDING IS MISSING? No kidding... the last chapter ends in the middle of an incomplete sentence. Don't spend your money on this... and in fact, if you're looking at any Harper Collins books, I'd put 'em back, and save yourself a stroke in anger. B&N: I want my money back. You ought to be ashamed for letting drek like this pass through your system!
MorHavok on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Deepsix follows Hutch as she is thrown onto a dying planet. Like McDevitt's previous novels this book is wholly engrossing. The mix of xenoarcheology, lost civilizations, human conflicts makes this an exciting read. My only problems are that it¿s annoying how things always go wrong in a cliché way. You always feel like things will get better for at least the main character, which kills a lot of the suspense the reader should feel. McDevitt's ingenuity with science fiction and fact has created a series of books that I can¿t help but reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jack McDevitt's works are always good, and this one is great. A grand adventure, yet also people centric. Bravo! Always fun to read about 'Hutch' and her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent writing.
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Shil_Andrachis More than 1 year ago
I received this book as a gift and it sat on my shelf for about a year before I got around to reading it. I'd never heard of the author and it just didn't look interesting. Boy was I wrong. McDevitt is now one of my favorite authors and this is one of his best books. It doesn't have rampaging alien hoards or anything like that. It mixes an interesting sci-fi premise (two planets colliding) with a tried and true tale of a stranded group of people trying to find a way off the planet. McDevitt develops the characters in great depth and variety, from the cable news inspired pundit everyone loves to hate to a fearful scientist in need of redemption. I couldn't put this book down and it drew me into the entire series. Thankfully, you don't need to read the preceding books to understand this one, as it stands completely on its own. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in search of an interesting read.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Jack McDevitt is by far the best science fiction writer to come along in a long, long time. DEEPSIX is a book you will not put down until you know what has happened to the ground crew on Deepsix. And when you do know, what a fantastic tale it is. My advice is to read anything and everything that Jack McDevitt writes - you cannot go wrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
McDevitt is so keen to get his plot worked out that he gets lazy with too many details, from the alien life that's essentially terrestrial with more aggression, to an almost complete lack of effective characterisation, to the ridiculous idea that people on a planet that's breaking up are regularly going to embark on detours for discovery rather than trying to get to a rescuing craft without eating into a margin of safety. Unconvincing, but fun nonetheless. Comparing this to the book I read just before, Redemption Ark, is like comparing a fast food burger with a really good steak. (I confess I'm staggered that it was so well reviewed.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deepsix is that most rare find in Science Fiction literature--the novel that rekindles the sense of grand adventure that Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury gave to us when we were kids, but yet combines all the new science that has exploded onto the scene and vastly changed our view of the cosmos. In this epic tale of planets colliding, civilizations lost, McDevitt keeps his focus on the courage and determination of the individual in space who must make the final difference.It is a soaring magnificent adventure full of wonder and joy.