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The Cassandra Project

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,405 ratings  ·  231 reviews
Jerry Culpepper was proud to be NASA's public affairs director, long after the first moon landing, budget cutbacks, and public disinterest. Now a 50-year old secret about the Apollo XI mission embroils him in controversy and tests his willingness to spin the truth about a conspiracy of reality-altering proportions. ...more
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Ace
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  1,405 ratings  ·  231 reviews

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aPriL does feral sometimes
The biggest issue I have with this well-written, but dull, novel is it should have been a novella.

There is a SHOCK ending, which caused me to guffaw tea out of my nose and choke for ten minutes. As I am writing this I am sniffling and breathing through raw tissues still occasionally dripping out tea.

The story, if you can call it that, reads more like a 400-pages long New Yorker article describing how professional publicity agents and media consultants manage the news process for politicians, de
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
What if Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin weren't the first astronauts to walk on the moon? Why would the US cover up earlier landings? What's on the moon to cause them to do so?

I stopped reading Jack McDevitt's work years ago because he starts with a tremendous premise and then fails to follow through. I felt that most of his books simply don't have endings. Despite the collaboration with Mike Resnick, this book has the same problem. The answer to the above questions are mind-blowingly awesome...
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
McDevitt and Resnick are two of my favorite writers, so maybe I was expecting too much from this one. Based on a shorter piece by McDevitt, but with a very different ending, it's a sort of alternate version of the Apollo program, but somehow just didn't grab me. I wasn't convinced by the science or the characters, and the X-Files-like twist didn't work for me, either. I kind of liked it and enjoyed the read while I was turning the pages, but felt let down when I reached the end. Sometimes it goe ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
While this book started out great, the ending messed things up big time. Even longtime McDevitt fans--of which I am one--are bound to be disappointed.
Mårten Ericson
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I honestly do not know how to rate this book. The dust cover classifies it as a thriller, but it's nothing thrilling about this story what so ever. At its best it's a pleasant conversation. I haven't read much of Mike Resnick - though i read Santiago many years ago and loved it. As for McDevitt I usually read his books from cover to cover in a few days. The cooperation, well, it does not deliver - and then again co-writing seldom does.

"The Cassandra Project" could really have been a dense intrig
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
My favorite thing about Jack McDevitt's books is their firm grounding in reality despite the fantastical things that happen in them. McDevitt has long since established himself as the go to sci-fi author for books that pack an emotional punch and really examine the repercussions of man's hubris in our never ending attempts to discover the secrets of life and the universe.

With "The Cassandra Project" McDevitt and his co-writer the equally talented Mike Resnick delves again into the pitfalls and
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I REALLY liked this book! For me it has a great hook, and I could not wait to finish it.
It takes the NASA "Moon landing conspiracy theories" and flips them on their ears. What if we did indeed land on the moon, but it turned out to be BEFORE the July 1969 mission? Why would NASA hide that fact? Why did the President agree, when we were racing the Russians to the moon???
I LOVED the hook, and for me it does not disappoint.
It jumps right in,and gets to the pont. I was drawn in right away.
A good r
Olivia Waite
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff, science, space
Would have been three stars, as the premise was compelling, but the ending was kind of a letdown. There was also some mockery of people who read or write vampire romances, which was tossed in just for laughs and wasn't nearly as funny as the authors obviously thought it was. I don't write vampire romances -- or at least, I haven't yet -- but given the current conversations in SFF about sci-fi and fantasy romance's place in the genre, I found these passages to be disappointing and disengaging. ...more
Julie Czerneda
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Love to wonder what it will take to get us back to the moon? These two fine sf authors have taken a new approach. They've wrapped this question within an exceptionally well done, fast-paced political who-knows-what worthy of the X-files at its best. What if NASA -- or someone -- knew something about the lunar landings no one else was to know? What if that secret was so explosive, it would change the world. The main protagonist, Jerry Culpepper is a particularly enjoyable character. He's NASA's s ...more
Basically the DaVinci Code but replace Jesus with NASA and the Knights Templar with astronauts. Entertaining airplane read, but not much beyond that. . . Full review after the link.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: jack-mcdevitt

Floating between two and three stars here... I will read anything written by Jack McDevitt. I know that he can really end a story. In fact, it sets him apart. Otherwise, I probably would never have finished the book. This book dragged on way too long, but the hook was great, and the payoff was better. I worried as I closed in on the final pages that I would end up throwing this book against the wall. I'm glad that wasn't the case. Thank god the payoff was good because I was ge
D.L. Morrese
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up this book mainly because Jack McDevitt was one of the authors. He’s a nice guy to sit and chat with, if you ever have a chance, and his books often have an old fashion pulp science fiction flavor that I rather like. The Cassandra project does, which is good in some ways, but in this particular case, I think the ending suffers as a result. I’ll try to explain why later without too many spoilers.

The story is set in the U.S.A. in 2019. The world economy is in the doldrums, the rich have
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Not McDevitt's best (I haven't read anything else by the co-author, I know nothing about what aspects the co-author contributed, though I certainly could spot McDevitt's hand at a number of points, especially his public relations plot point tendency--more so when it comes to a character going on a talk show with a vicious host)

So, I'll admit maybe I came in expecting more, maybe even more than I'd get in McDevitt's other books. In some ways this reads like the sort of mystery I've seen a number
Jeff Raymond
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-sci-fi
Closer to a 3.5, I think. I love first contact novels, I love government conspiracies, and The Cassandra Project combines both together for a fairly quick novel. It's not going to win any writing awards, for sure, but as a quick bit of riveting escapism, I'm glad I grabbed this.

The book takes place in the near future, where NASA is underfunded as is the rest of the government as the nation continues to come out of the economic doldrums. Our main character, a high-ranking NASA official, trips up
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
This was a book that was not what I usually think of as science-fiction. It was more like a political thriller or mystery. It does a good job of incorporating reality and creating a very near, very realistic future. It uses real history and real people to drive the story (such as Nixon). There is no action or alien beings (on-screen, at least).
J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Solid 3.5 stars.

The low rating had me concerned, but I'm a McDevitt fan so I had to give it a shot.

I enjoyed it. It could've been considerably shorter, things dragged out a bit.

(view spoiler)
Steve Creech
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Science fiction story about whether or not there was two lunar landing missions before 1969 when Armstrong first landed.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One leaked audio file ignites a controversy that involves NASA, private enterprise, the President of the United States, present and past, and a decades old scandal. One question, who was the first man to walk on the Moon?, sparks many more questions and piece by piece the Cassandra Project is revealed. The idea another mission, half a year before Apollo XI and another man, Sydney Myshko, might have landed on the Moon before Neil Armstrong seems like fiction and many regard it as just that. But a ...more
Arabella Thorne
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it

What if Neil Armstrong was not the first man on the moon?
That’s the question these two superb authors play with in this novel.
Jerry Culpepper is the public face of NASA. He does what he can to keep the flame of space exploration alive and in the public eye---and hopefully keep the government interested enough to keep funding the almost moribund space program. The time line is a few years in the future.
Bit by bit, Culpepper becomes aware of a very whacked-out conspiracy: Neil Armstrong was NOT t
Joe  Noir
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely stunning novel from two science fiction masters. 4.5 stars.

What if, in the very near future, among an abundance of material released by NASA to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Neil Armstrong moon landing, there were found a couple of items that seem to indicate there had been moon landings prior to Armstrong’s that were covered up? What if the media got ahold of the story and wouldn’t let it go; and a PR man from NASA stumbled across additional clues that this might
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2013 added it
Shelves: science_fiction
It's the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and mystifying evidence emerges that indicates another crew of NASA astronauts actually landed on the moon six months before Apollo 11. Why would NASA and the astronauts on the mission have kept it a secret?

It's a great hook. What possible reason could there have been for such a cover up? What did the real first moon walkers find? Unfortunately the book can't live up to the concept. The main characters, a NASA spokesperson and a billionaire who want
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Was Neil Armstrong really the first man to walk on the moon? Why would the United States hide actual moon landings that happened before Apollo 11 on the back side of the moon? How was it possible to cover up something so amazing and why would anyone want to? All these questions are answered in Jack McDevitt's and Mike Resnick's "The Cassandra Project."

It took awhile for this book to get going. At first I kept reading it because I really liked the character, Jerry. He was written very well and I
Richard Radgoski
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books. You will either like it, as I did, or not. I don't think there is a middle ground. Unfortunately, those who ultimately dislike it have three places to make that decision ... Before reading it (not my thing) during the middle (it's kinda slow) or after the reveal (nope, I ain't buying it). For those of us that do like it, we gotta wade through all these. I was initially interested because it is a near contemporary story that revolves around a NASA mystery. I love the s ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this up at the library, but I ended up being surprised. It was a pleasant surprise, so that's a good thing.

This is less science fiction than detective story wrapped in science fiction clothing (a la "The Caves of Steel" by Asimov), and it works pretty well as a page-turner: Sarah tonight asked me "what the heck is in that book that you keep picking it up? [instead of finishing cleaning for Passover]"

I think the world-building is pretty good: Bucky
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
I enjoy McDevitt's space operas, and while they usually interweave some of his personal political views, Cassandra Project, which takes place in 2019, seems to have been written mainly to express those views. Part of his view, of course, is criticism of the waning of our manned NASA space program. The novel does succeed in making a strong plea for the return of NASA's glory days when we first landed on the Moon in 1969. The premise that there was a conspiracy that preceded Armstrong's walk keeps ...more
Jack Cheng
This book was a waste of my time. There's a great hook -- a really good one -- about secret Apollo missions and what happened on the dark side of the moon. However, the ultimate mystery, the why and not the what, remains unsolved, hidden behind a final twist that was a hoary chestnut when Heinlein and Asimov were writing.

Speaking of the writing, it is terribly pedestrian, the kind of linear exposition that only hard science fiction tolerates. Plus, there's the Ayn Randian billionaire protagonist
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Great concept, but huge disappointment overall that both authors seem to be phoning it in. My recommendation - look at the premise of this book and then spend an hour or so a day thinking about the implications and dreaming up your own plotline about how a story like this should play out. This will be a huge amount more enjoyable than working through this book.

For a book that takes on a huge conspiracy theory like this, the plot rumbles along with little or no thought about how a political consp
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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

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