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

by Jack McDevitt

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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
( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
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A 200,000 word gathering of the best short fiction by Jack McDevitt.

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