Ancient Shores

Jack McDevitt, Author
Jack McDevitt, Author HarperPrism $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-105207-1
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 372 pages - 978-0-06-105426-6
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-156760-5
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-156763-6
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-180210-2
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Early in the next century, outside a North Dakota town, farmer Tom Lasker digs up a boat on his land. Not only is the vessel crafted from an unknown element, but Lasker's farm is on land that has been dry for 10,000 years. A search for further artifacts unearths a building of the same material and age that turns out to be an interdimensional transportation device. The building sits on land owned by the Sioux, who want to use it to regain their old way of life on another world; meanwhile, the U.S. government, fearful of change, wants to destroy the building. Right up to the climax, McDevitt (Engines of God) tells his complex and suspenseful story with meticulous attention to detail, deft characterizations and graceful prose. That climax, though, is another matter, featuring out-of-the-blue heroic intervention in a conflict between the feds and the Indians by, among others, astronaut Walter Schirra, cosmologist Stephen Hawking and SF writers Ursula K. LeGuin, Carl Sagan and Gregory Benford. ""If the government wants to kill anyone else, it'll have to start with us,"" announces Stephen Jay Gould. That absurdity aside, this is the big-vision, large-scale novel McDevitt's readers have been waiting for. (Apr.)
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