A spellbinding epic adventure of discovery, catastrophe, and survival from one of the most masterful storytellers in speculative fiction.
In the year 2204, tragedy and terror forced a scientific team to prematurely evacuate Maleiva III. Twenty-one years later, the opportunity for scientists to study this galactic rarity -- a life-supporting planet -- is about to vanish forever, as a rogue gas giant has invaded the planetary system on a deadly collision course with the world they are now calling Deepsix.
A superluminal pilot for the Academy of Science and Technology, Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins is the only even remotely qualified professional within lightyears of Deepsix. With less than three weeks left before the disaster, she and a small scientific team -- including Randall Nightingale, a survivor of the original expedition who was made the scapegoat for its failure -- must descend to the surface, and glean whatever they can about the doomed planet's lifeforms and lost civilizations.
There is more to this strange and complex world, however, than anyone could have imagined: hidden predators; stone cities under the ice; remnants of a warlike, primitive society, yet with inexplicable hints of an impossible technology buried in the rubble ... and in orbit around the soon to be demolished planet. The deeper Hutch and her team delve, the more puzzles are revealed within puzzles, and startling discoveries lead only to greater and more perplexing questions.
But then the unthinkable occurs. An earthquake destroys the explorers' only means of escape. As scientists and sightseers who have come to witness the spectacular end of Deepsix watch helplessly from miles above, Hutch and her people must survive somehow on a hostile planet going rapidly mad. And with the clock ticking relentlessly toward an unavoidable apocalypse, they must find some way, any way, to get off before Deepsix plunges like a pebble into the limitless depths of the rampaging gas giant.
From the acclaimed author of Infinity Beach comes the ultimate survival adventure -- a riveting, relentlessly suspenseful, awesomely possible tale with a firm foundation in hard science which showcases the best and the worst aspects of complex human nature. It is yet another stunning achievement by Jack McDevitt, proving without a doubt that he is indeed the true heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.
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Deepsix is concerned with the motivating force that drives all scientists--the quest for truth, for expanding the limits of human knowledge. How much are we willing to risk for that moment of discovery, of knowing what no other soul yet knows? Our time? Our reputations? Our careers? Our lives?
The premise is this: just weeks before the planet Deepsix will be destroyed by a collision with a gas giant, ruins are detected on its surface, suggesting the presence of civilization. The Academy diverts scientists from the nearest spaceship to go down and explore, and they are joined by their century's Ellsworth Toohey: a misogynistic, sanctimonious gadfly who has never before been off of Earth's surface. The party's landers are destroyed in an earthquake induced by the approaching gas giant, so now they must find a way to get off of Deepsix before it is destroyed by the collision. Needless to say, their excavations are placed on the back burner.
The physics describing the space travel and the archeology used to reconstruct the lost culture of Deepsix are interesting and explained well. There is plenty of action and suspense--will the party survive? And the evolving characters and group dynamics are more complex than those usually found in science fiction books, making Deepsix a worthwhile read. --Diana GitigAbout 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.
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