Cover image for Deepsix
McDevitt, Jack.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : EOS, [2001]

Physical Description:
432 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



A spellbinding epic adventure of discovery, catastrophe, and survival from one of the most masterful storytellers in speculative fiction.

In the year 2204, tragedy and terror forced a scientific team to prematurely evacuate Maleiva III. Twenty-one years later, the opportunity for scientists to study this galactic rarity -- a life-supporting planet -- is about to vanish forever, as a rogue gas giant has invaded the planetary system on a deadly collision course with the world they are now calling Deepsix.

A superluminal pilot for the Academy of Science and Technology, Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins is the only even remotely qualified professional within lightyears of Deepsix. With less than three weeks left before the disaster, she and a small scientific team -- including Randall Nightingale, a survivor of the original expedition who was made the scapegoat for its failure -- must descend to the surface, and glean whatever they can about the doomed planet's lifeforms and lost civilizations.

There is more to this strange and complex world, however, than anyone could have imagined: hidden predators; stone cities under the ice; remnants of a warlike, primitive society, yet with inexplicable hints of an impossible technology buried in the rubble ... and in orbit around the soon to be demolished planet. The deeper Hutch and her team delve, the more puzzles are revealed within puzzles, and startling discoveries lead only to greater and more perplexing questions.

But then the unthinkable occurs. An earthquake destroys the explorers' only means of escape. As scientists and sightseers who have come to witness the spectacular end of Deepsix watch helplessly from miles above, Hutch and her people must survive somehow on a hostile planet going rapidly mad. And with the clock ticking relentlessly toward an unavoidable apocalypse, they must find some way, any way, to get off before Deepsix plunges like a pebble into the limitless depths of the rampaging gas giant.

From the acclaimed author of Infinity Beach comes the ultimate survival adventure -- a riveting, relentlessly suspenseful, awesomely possible tale with a firm foundation in hard science which showcases the best and the worst aspects of complex human nature. It is yet another stunning achievement by Jack McDevitt, proving without a doubt that he is indeed the true heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

Author Notes

Jack McDevitt (born 1935) is an American science fiction author whose novels frequently deal with attempts to make contact with alien races, and with archaeology or xenoarchaeology.

He attended La Salle University, where a short story of his won the annual Freshman Short Story Contest and was published in the school's literary magazine, Four Quarters. He received a Master's degree in literature from Wesleyan University in 1971. Before becoming a full-time author, he was an English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer.

His first published story was The Emerson Effect in The Twilight Zone Magazine in 1981. Two years later, he published his first novel, The Hercules Text, which won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. He won the 2006 Nebula Award for Best Novel for Seeker, the UPC International Prize for his novella Ships in the Night in 1991, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel for Omega in 2003.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In 2223, scientists, tourists, and reporters swarm to witness the destruction of Maleiva III, aka Deepsix, by the rogue gas giant, Morgan's World. Nineteen years earlier, the only expedition to search Deepsix for signs of intelligent life ended prematurely when killer birds attacked it. Now scientists awaiting the collision believe they have discovered a tower on Deepsix and other signs of civilization. Spaceship pilot Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins, the only person with archaeological experience capable of reaching Deepsix in time, leads a team intent on learning what those signs really portend. Disaster strikes when the mission lander is lost in an earthquake. The survivors must trek across the planet to find a lander stranded during the first expedition. McDevitt's captivating scenario plays out in a surprisingly relaxed, straightforward manner. His writing is sometimes a bit fulsome, but being able to follow a single story line to its conclusion, without numerous subplots and disjointed passages, is refreshing. Hopefully, McDevitt will give us more stories from this universe. --Bryan Baldus

Publisher's Weekly Review

Those who like their science hard and their alien adventures bloody will enjoy this latest from Philip K. Dick Award runner-up McDevitt (The Hercules Text). In the 23rd century Deepsix is a planet in deep trouble. In about three weeks a Jovian-sized world will collide with it. Although Deepsix is a treasure trove of life, it has been left unexplored for the last 20 years because hostile animals slaughtered most of the first human landing party. Now, with the discovery of traces of an advanced civilization on the planet, a new expedition hastily sets out to rescue bits and pieces of the culture before they are lost forever. To find the lander that was abandoned two decades earlier, the disgraced commander of the original expedition must make a deadly trek across Deepsix with (among others) two feisty women and a misogynistic celebrity writer who once pilloried the team leader in the press. Goaded by their off-planet superiors, they also have to solve the mystery inherent in the disappearance of Deepsix's civilization. McDevitt puts his characters into predictable jeopardies while methodically solving the conundrum of the missing aliens. Though the rigorous scientific explanations of the techniques used in the rescue are absorbing, the huge, mostly two-dimensional cast slows down the action. Sadly, McDevitt's world building is frequently sketchy and his otherworldly animals too terrestrial, although the sexual Venus's-flytrap segment does have its creative and amusing moments. 3-city author tour. Agent, Ralph Vicinanza. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Former planetary explorer Priscilla Hutchins receives a directive to make an emergency exploration of the planet Deepsix, a relatively unexplored world due to perish from an imminent collision with a wandering gas giant. When an unexpected earthquake destroys her only means of escape, Hutchins and her crew embark on a strenuous journey across the surface of a dying world in pursuit of an alien technology that just might provide them with their salvation. McDevitt's (Infinity Beach) vivid descriptions of alien landscapes and creatures as well as his harrowing images of a world on the verge of physical collapse heighten the inner turmoil his characters face as they struggle to come to terms with the unfinished business in their lives. With an expert sense of pacing and a knack for cliffhanging suspense, McDevitt has crafted a story of survival and personal redemption that belongs in most sf collections. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Tourists and scientists have all come to watch the destruction of Deepsix by a planetary collision. However, a few days before, signs of intelligent and technological life are found on the planet, and a team is sent to investigate. It includes Randall Nightingale, who led a previous, failed expedition to the planet years before; Priscilla Hutchins, a pilot who ends up in command; and Gregory MacAllister, a journalist who not only wrecked Nightingale's career with a series of articles, but who is also renowned for his sexism. The author makes the alien planet seem real, poses a compelling engineering challenge involving some of the minor characters, and describes a variety of interesting alien life-forms. The well-rounded characters grow through their adventures, without that growth seeming trite or inevitable. There's even some provocativesocial commentary. What makes this novel work, however, is the combination of an interesting mystery involving the planet's alien life-forms and the team's thrilling adventure as they try to escape the planet before it is destroyed. Set in the 23rd century, this fast-paced novel should appeal to readers interested in science and technology.-Paul Brink, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.