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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Jack McDevitt loves a good mystery. And he enjoys baffling his readers with enigmas like why, after so many years of listening with no results, would a SETI director hear an artificial signal and keep it quiet? Why might an astronomer at a space station, facing imminent death from a solar radiation blast, send off a frantic message that he had discovered a Clyde Tombaugh S ...more
ebook, 450 pages
Published December 31st 2010 by Subterranean Press (first published February 27th 2009)
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Jack McDevitt is at his best in ruins. I first encountered him in The Engines of God, the first of a series in which humans seem to constantly stumble across alien ruins created by the Monument Makers. I went on to Eternity Road, in which post-apocalyptic humans look for the mysteries behind vast ruins. Even his other series, starting with A Talent for War and Polaris, is about a tomb-raider. These novels have generally been intriguing from start to finish. McDevitt is an expert at creating and ...more
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 Prim
Riju Ganguly
Science Fiction, like many other genres, have die-hard supporters as well as vociferous critics. The critics too often criticise the stories for having wooden characters, absurd science, and excessive fascination with spaceships & stars (is it co-incidental that these two components make up the logo of the Galactic Empire conceived by Isaac Asimov, in his "Foundation"-saga?). The supporters, with equal vehemence, emphasise the action-driven plots, the sense of wonder conveyed by the scenario ...more
Kerry Nietz
I’ve been a Jack McDevitt fan for some time now. I’ve read many of his novels, and at least one earlier collection of his short stories. So I couldn’t resist this collection when I saw it was available. (And at under 5 bucks to boot!)

“Cryptic” has nearly forty stories, covering everything from time travel to space exploration to galactic conflict. Some of the stories, like “The Fort Moxi Branch” and “Auld Lang Boom” have a genuine Bradbury feel, while others, like “Lighthouse” and “Melville on I
Patrick Gibson
Thank you ‘e’ scanning people for making this collection of short stories available to those of us who can not find a hard copy of this book anywhere.

The stories range from ‘oh wow’ to ‘what the hell was that?’

They are all worth reading even though some of them seem like his note pad for the novels.

Here is part of what I wrote on the novel ‘Echo.’ It applies here.

“Even though his recent books are sort of boring, give me a minute to tell you why I still like this author: First of all he is a clo
Please note: This should be CrypTic (with a T).

For the McDevitt fans, this is a great place to find his short stories collected together in one place. What a nice tribute.

I am not a huge short story fan, but these were all enjoyable. It was more even than many collections I've read lately. And it was interesting to see the scope of sci fi written over a lengthy period of time. A nice range.

I wish that the characterization (especially in the females) had been stronger. (But that's just me. Most r
Robert H
If you like Jack McDevitt, then you'll very likely enjoy this book, which contains 38 short stories by the author written between 1983 and 2007. Some of these are only about the length of a chapter in a regular book, but others are much longer. Regardless of length, the stories are uniformly well written, and span some of the different universes in which McDevitt has written. While I've only read the Alex Benedict stories and hence recognised those set in that universe, including the short story ...more
Soul consuming desolation and bleak isolation on the edge of a human future.
T Dale
Jack McDevitt is in my list of top ten hard SciFi authors alive today. This book of short stories contains some real gems. Such as, 'Cruising Through Deuteronomy' where a time machine tests the faith of a Born-a-gin Pastor, was the absolute best 4 page short story I have ever read until I read the story that followed it, 'The Candidate' where AI machines with historical minds imbedded in them can run for office. And there were more. All delightful and original.
Daniel Cooksey
Love the themes he explores here, and the short doses are just as enjoyable as his novels. A word of caution--many of these ideas became his novels, so there are some "spoilers" if you have a McDevitt reading plan.
Cynthia Frazer
Pre cyber-punk, blast from the past, but still pertinent, as the best sci-fi explores what it means to be human...
Steve G
Jack McDevitt, what else is there to say.
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Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC Internation ...more
More about Jack McDevitt...
The Engines of God (The Academy, #1) Seeker (Alex Benedict, #3) Eternity Road A Talent for War (Alex Benedict, #1) Chindi (The Academy, #3)

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