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Deepsix by Jack McDevitt

Deepsix (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Jack McDevitt

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7721611,991 (3.81)29
Authors:Jack McDevitt
Info:London : Voyager, 2001.
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction

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Deepsix by Jack McDevitt (2001)



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I’ve read several of the “Hutchins” series of novels by Jack McDevitt. What strikes me about them has to do with a strong female lead, “Hutch”, her adventures as a pilot for the Academy as they explore the ruins of what was once a thriving civilization across the galaxy but faded out when humans arrived.

“Are we next” is kinda the question the books imply in this series.

In “Deepsix”, Nightingale (“Randy”) leads a exploratory colony to the planet Deepsix. The life on this planet is deadly and soon makes short work of the people there. In typical overreacting, the place is shut down and quarantined for twenty years. Randy is despondent and blames himself for the disaster, and so does everyone else!

Several of the characters I really liked, such as “McAllister.” If you want to see a Rush Limbaugh knock-off, it’s McAllister. Opinionated and abrupt, writes for galactic news (I guess some things will never change in our future).

The other is Priscilla Hutchins, who is ordered to Deepsix to do some reconnaissance before the planet is met with a gas giant, the planet Morgan. She is strong, regrets not meeting her mom’s goals and realizes she should make a few of her own. Some minor flashback from earlier books is briefly mentioned.

The book shifts drastically from archeology to planetary destruction, what despair and desperation will do to one, and how greed and power trump life any day. Quite a story.

Hutch finds herself stranded on the planet, with only a few people, as an earthquake destroys one lander and an inept “pilot”, newswoman, destroys another and gets herself killed in the process. The rest of the book deals with the deadline, some not wanting them rescued, and the deux ex machina of an alien device that just might help them get off the rock before it is wiped out.

Bottom Line: I did not care for some characters, several needed fleshing out. The captain that allowed passengers to go to the surface just before the disaster, several and sundry crewmen and women, and a few die that I did not care for. The book builds suspense well and the pacing is decent.

Kindle Edition: The Kindle edition has several spelling errors that are really distracting. Clearly the scan did not go well from text to electronic font. Clean it up!


( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
A classic old-style, science fiction, (mostly) planetary adventure, as a handful of human, stranded on a planet within days of collision with a gas giant, trek through uncharted lands to an abandoned lander that might enable them to escape in time. There are no big surprises here, but neither are there any major reasons to throw this book against the opposite wall. If my opening sentence sounds like something you want to read, then you read it. You won't be disappointed. This is the second Priscilla Hutchins novel, after The Engines of God. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | Feb 14, 2014 |
Deepsix by Jack McDevitt is the second novel in McDevitt’s academy series (or Priscilla Hutchens series, whichever you choose to name it). Maleiva III is a planet that is headed for a catastrophic collision with a huge gas giant named Morgan's World. Within weeks before the collision will occur, Priscilla Hutchens (Hutch) is recruited by the Academy of Science and Technology to lead a team to explore, record, photograph, and even collect artifacts of former civilizations (especially from advanced technological civilizations). An attempt to explore the planet about twenty years earlier had ended in disaster when several team members were killed by vicious indigenous creatures. Hutch and her hastily- assembled team are well aware of the danger, but there isn’t time to bring in a well prepared team of experts, a well-armed protective force, or the equipment that would ordinarily be used, before the planet and everything on it will be swallowed by the gas giant. Hutch and her motley team, including a wealthy writer, a reporter, and others discover some ruins that suggest a nontechnical and unscientific society once inhabited the planet. However, they also encounter a very malicious environment, which is exacerbated by the effects of the approaching gas giant, and distinctly unfriendly wildlife. Both the members of the group and their equipment suffer casualties and survival quickly becomes a constant desperate struggle to get off the planet before it is exploded by the approaching giant. As is usual, McDevitt includes a large number of very diverse and interesting characters in this novel. His characters on the planet endure a punishing struggle, hopeless fear, and the numbing loss of their team members. In addition, a large group of mostly untrained volunteers guided by a few knowledgeable and skilled leaders takes desperate actions in an attempt to rescue Hutch and her group. However, it is difficult and dangerous to attempt to control chaos. McDevitt also provides very interesting doses of future scientific accomplishments to satisfy the reader’s desire for science in their fiction. This is a very rich and enjoyable science fiction novel and I recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction and/or adventure/suspense novels. ( )
  clark.hallman | Nov 22, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book and have liked reading Jack McDevitt's stuff since i discovered Engines of God at my local Library.

If i have one criticisim of the book like in a movie (and with a minor spoiler) as soon as Plan B was mooted as a "Just in Case" the main plan was unsuccessful you knew that it was going to be used. In saying that the way that it was used was very clever and in the style of a movie reviewer a "Thrill ride"

I would recommend it and am looking forward to reading the other books in the Engines of God series. ( )
  Jim.Finn | Aug 10, 2013 |
Planet Deepsix is going to be smashed to smithereens in about three weeks by a gas giant slamming through the system.... it is a life supporting and attractive planet, however an expedition twenty years earlier ran into immediate disaster with aggressive alien life forms and the 'Academy' deemed it too dangerous to explore..... now suddenly with obliteration imminent it is decided to send a qualified party (sort of) that is in the area to take a last look. Hutch is the leader and among them are one Nightingale who was in the first disastrous exploration party and was blamed for all that went wrong. To everyone's amazement and excitement they find evidence of previous sentient cultures..... but..... then their own disasters begin, landers get wrecked or conveniently (to some) 'lost' , several of the group die, an (almost) elderly but obnoxious sexist/cynic of a big shot writer (oh yeah!) gets stuck with them and their only chance is to get 200 kilometers distant to where a lander was abandoned 20 years earlier.... and the trek begins. They find more archaeological mysteries, culminating in the biggest one of all .... meanwhile up on the 'superluminals' a fantastic rescue operation is being mounted using a sky hook made of the incredible materials found floating in orbit around the planet. Murphy's Law dominates every second of Deepsix, in a most relentless way, but after the first bunch are knocked off, mercifully before we get to know them, things settle and (almost) all the rest make it. A spoiler maybe, but a helpful one. It was an absorbing read very well done of its kind. It is very poignant and sad, seeing a whole world get smashed, but McDevitt did a good job making it bearable. Close but not too close, if you know what I mean. Apparently this is the second in a series...... uh oh. Although I have it on good authority Deepsix is the best. **** sf ( )
1 vote sibyx | Apr 26, 2013 |
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Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061020060, Mass Market Paperback)

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 Gitig

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:55 -0400)

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