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Jack McDevitt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Alex Benedict Books

Publication Order of The Academy Books

Publication Order of Ancient Shores Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Hercules Text (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eternity Road (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moonfall (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Infinity Beach / Slow Lightning (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hello Out There (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time Travelers Never Die (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cassandra Project (With: Mike Resnick) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Voice in the Night (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Return to Glory (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Fort Moxie Branch (in Full Spectrum 1) (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time Travelers Never Die (in Asimov's) (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doorway to the Stars (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Publication Order of Defending the Future Books

Dogs of War (By: Brenda Cooper,David Sherman,Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Mike McPhail) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of Defending the Future (With: Charles E. Gannon,Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Mike McPhail) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Man and Machine (By: James Chambers,Jennifer Brozek,Brenda Cooper,Aaron Rosenberg,Nancy Jane Moore,Bud Sparhawk,Jeff Young,Robert E. Waters,Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Patrick Thomas,Mike McPhail,Judi Fleming,Anton Kukal,Eric V. Hardenbrook,Ronald Garner) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Harm's Way (By: Mike McPhail) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Laid Plans (By: Jack Campbell,James Chambers,John L. French,Jack Campbell Jr.,Keith R.A. DeCandido,Jeff Youngquist,Nancy Jane Moore,Bud Sparhawk,David Sherman,Jeff Young,Maria V. Snyder,Jeff Young,Danielle Ackley-McPhail,Jeffrey Lyman,Judi Fleming,Eric V. Hardenbrook,Peter Prellwitz,Eric V. Hardenbrook) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Second Annual Collection(1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Full Spectrum 1(1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, October 1992(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Asimov's Science Fiction, May 1996(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time Machines(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Explorers(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nebula Awards Showcase 2007(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breach the Hull(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sideways In Crime(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fast Forward 2(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Year's Best SF 16(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Going Interstellar(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Other Half of the Sky(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Impossible Futures(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Carbide Tipped Pens(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Future Visions(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Shape the Dark(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beyond Watson(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of Defending the Future(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jack McDevitt is a renowned American science fiction novelist, who has written numerous novels over the years. Most of his novels are usually on the theme of xeno-archeology, archeology, and attempts at making contact with aliens. His two most popular series are the Priscilla Hutchins and the Alex Benedict series.

Born in 1935, McDevitt attended La Salle University, where his storytelling prowess soon became evident, after he won the annual Freshman Short Story Contest for a short story he wrote. He asserted that his winning of the contest and being published in the school’s literary magazine marked the turning point in his writing career. However, after reading the classic David Copperfield, doubts began to creep in, as he realized his writing could never match up, and maybe he should try his hand at something else. Now rudderless, he took on several jobs including, serving in the Navy, driving a cab, teaching English, being a customs officer but never wrote any literature for over 25 years. All this was to change when he attended Wesleyan University from where he graduated with master’s degree in literature in 1971. His passion for writing was back, and with the encouragement of his wife, he started writing again in 1980.

His first work was the short story “The Emerson Effect” that eventually was published in The Twilight Zone Magazine. He followed this with the publishing of the critically acclaimed novel The Hercules Text. The book marked the direction and thematic growth of Jack McDevitt. Many of the novels that followed his first focused on humans making first contact. Similar to the Hercules Text, many of the novels are about the discovery of an intelligent species that has been communicating with the earth through a yet to be decoded signal. The theme of first contact is many times interspersed with the sub themes of wonder at the working of the universe and trepidation of unknown extraterrestrial civilizations.

With his Priscilla Hutchins series, McDevitt explores the theory that the earth and the entire universe could have once had a vibrant civilization. However, most of the evidence of such intelligent life was the abandoned artifacts, most of which was gone by the time human beings came into being. Most of Jack McDevitt’s novels introduce mysteries and questions and mysteries that he does not attempt to answer. For instance, the highly mysterious Omega Cloud in the Priscilla Hutchins novels are never fully explained after their introduction in the first novel. It was only when he wrote Omega that he makes an attempt at demystifying the clouds.

McDevitt’s signature writing style is including a lot of ambiguities and mysteries that the reader is always trying to solve and make sense of. Writing in The SF Site, Steven H Silver asserts that what makes McDevitt so different from his contemporaries is that he seems to lead his readers to believe that the narrative will go one way, before introducing a twist that takes it in a completely new direction. Either that or he takes so much time fleshing out his minor characters, subplots and lines that the reader is left wanting more of them while McDevitt goes back to his main plot. While this trait can be quite frustrating, it shows his exceptional writing skills and depth of thought in the creation of the extraterrestrial narratives.

Jack McDevitt’s novels and short stories have been nominated and won many awards over the years. He has been in the running or won the Nebula award over for at least twelve times. His first novel won the Philip K. Dick Award, his novella Ships in the Night won the UPC International Prize, while he was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for the popular The Engines of God. He currently lives in Georgia with his wife and spends his time reading mysteries, and playing chess with his friends.

The Engines of God is one of the most popular of The Academy series of novels by Jack McDevitt. Going back two hundred centuries, human make spectacular discovery in the outer reaches of our solar system. A satellite finds a gigantic statue that seems to be of an alien with writings on its surface that did not correlate with any of the languages on Earth. As humans develop new technologies that enable them to explore the far reaches of other star systems, they start finding even more monuments and artefacts of a supposedly intelligent civilization. However, try as they might they are unable to find any trace of the remains of the people that once lived on these planets. Nonetheless, the scientists soon find that most of the images of the artefact makers seem to have certain similarities. With ecological disaster on Earth seemingly inevitable, the scientists know that the key to its survival lies with decrypting the nature of the intelligent civilization that had gone before. The survival of the human species now depends on a few men that are short of time to find answers.

Seeker of the Alex Benedict series is another very popular Sci fi novel by Jack McDevitt. 9000 years have passed since the Seeker an interstellar craft left the politically repressive and overpopulated Earth to go find a new civilization on a new planet. Two interstellar travelers find an ancient ceramic cup that they believe was on the Seeker. However, finding out how the artifact found its way from the legendary lost ship into the hands of two miscreants is proving a hard task. The search for clues see the two travelers travel across several star systems while pursued by an unknown assassin determined to ensure the details of the artefact remain a secret. However, before the assassin can finish them off, the two bold travelers find out the truth about the legendary colony established by the lost spaceship.

With storylines that remind one of the Nebula Award winning mysteries of the Heechee Saga or Frederik Pohl’s Hugo, McDevitt spins extraordinary science fiction novels. His novels will appeal to the adventure mystery fan seeking an explosive story as well as the hard-core science fiction enthusiast. Almost all of his novels come with an explosive ending that will simply leave the reader awestruck with their excellence.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jack McDevitt

3 Responses to “Jack McDevitt”

  1. Steve Williams: 1 year ago

    Moonfall remains one of my absolute favourite books, along with Earth Abides, by George R Stewart.
    I’ve read both books many times and never tire of them. Thank you for an amazing and believable story!
    Will there ever be a sequel, perhaps using the Mars trip?

  2. William B Meier: 2 years ago

    I am immensely enjoying the Alex Benedict series, having been introduced during the pandemic. The hard seience fiction in your work and that of James S A Corey, The Expanse eclipse any fantasy work for me. I just hope to see Alex Benedict on the wide screen or in a Net Flick or Amazon Prime series. It would work.

  3. Jane CL Kelly: 3 years ago

    Greetings! That was an excellent summation!
    Having been an enthusiast of science fiction for most of my life, it is odd that this amazing author escaped my notice!
    I am currently reading Deepsix. It is totally captivating and am overjoyed to learn there are more such entertaining tales to read!
    Thank you! Happy day.


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