I am only somewhat familiar with author Jack McDevitt through his Alex Benedict series, which I have really been enjoying. When I saw the opportunity to read a collection of McDevitt’s short stories, I was eager to take advantage of it.
Most of the stories here have been published previously in a variety of magazines, the earliest being in 1986 and the most recent in 2017. Thirty years of solid science fiction is quite impressive!
I was mostly impressed with McDevitt’s writing. While I typically don’t go in for ‘hard’ science fiction, and I’ve always imagined Jack McDevitt as a hard scifi author, I really just found a lot of good stories, scifi in nature. The stories were interesting, with themes that caught my attention. I did notice that a number of the stories relied on a ‘surprise’ ending, but that’s probably not too unusual with short stories. My favorite story was probably “The Play’s the Thing” – which is probably not a surprise to those who know me – in which a highly authentic AI version of William Shakespeare is created and writes some new plays, including a comedy (in the Renaissance sense) of women living on the moon.
Overall this was a really solid collection, and unlike a lot of anthologies, there wasn’t anything here that I disliked. If you want to break up your novel reading, consider these stories.
The title story is an Alex Benedict story, but, as a fan of the book series, it didn’t really excite me. It was fine a a short story, but I didn’t see anything special about it being part of the Alex Benedict series.
This book contains the following:
Jack McDevitt, History Builder by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Searching For Oz ”
“The Law of Gravity Isn’t Working on Rainbow Bridge”
“The Adventure of the Southsea Trunk”
“It’s a Long Way to Alpha Centauri”
“Listen Up, Nitwits”
“The Lost Equation”
“Blood Will Tell” (Co-written with Tom Easton)
“Friends in High Places”
“Waiting at the Altar”
“The Play’s the Thing”
“Good Intentions” (with Stanley Schmidt)
“Ships in the Night”
“The Pegasus Project”
“The Last Dance”
“A Voice in the Night”
Looking for a good book? A Voice in the Night is a collection of short stories by Jack McDevitt. It is a good, solid set of short stories that really ought to be enjoyed by anyone who likes good science fiction.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
A Voice in the Night
author: Jack McDevitt
hardcover, 464 pages