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  1. #1

    Question about McDevitt's Firebird

    Since I see this is nominated for an award I am interested in reading it. I read only one other of his books in this series (Seeker I think) and was a little disappointed because it did not resolve main questions posed.
    Question is this, is reading the other books in the series required in order to read this one? Does it answer some or all of the mysteries it invokes?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    All books in the Seeker series have the flaw of not resolving issues, and all have a fantastic premise ultimatly unexplored as the story is sidelined into a survival story.

    I gave up on that series early on. Arguably the best is, IIRC, the first one, The Engines of God.

    I do not know if the Alex Benedict series suffers from similar flaws. Anyone?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennarin View Post
    All books in the Seeker series have the flaw of not resolving issues, and all have a fantastic premise ultimatly unexplored as the story is sidelined into a survival story.

    I gave up on that series early on. Arguably the best is, IIRC, the first one, The Engines of God.

    I do not know if the Alex Benedict series suffers from similar flaws. Anyone?
    Actually Seeker is part of the Alex Benedict series that started years ago with A Talent for War and of which Firebird is (hopefully and plausibly based on the ending) the last as these really passed their expiration date, while the ones you are talking above are the Academy ones which i actually really enjoyed.

    As per Firebird, it is independent of the rest as all are set as Holmes/Watson mysteries in a 10k future that looks like the 50's US with a few extra gadgets; if you can stomach the very dated and homogeneous future, the book is among the best of its series though none compare to A Talent for War

    Anyway the Nebula is not called the Jack McDevitt appreciation prize for nothing so you can skip this one and read Engines of God or the original A talent for War which are excellent

  4. #4
    Thanks for the responses. It certainly seems like I would not end of satisfied with it. However, I do not understand the comment about the Nebula's being a Jack McDevitt appreciation award?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    Thanks for the responses. It certainly seems like I would not end of satisfied with it. However, I do not understand the comment about the Nebula's being a Jack McDevitt appreciation award?
    That has been a running joke for a few good years now as the Nebula shortlist seemed to have a McDevitt novel pretty much every year with only few exceptions; this year back to form...

  6. #6
    Jack McDevitt's Alex benedict series includes the following:

    A Talent for War
    Polaris
    Seeker
    The Devil's Eye
    Echo
    Firebird


    I've read all except Firebird. All of them can read as a standalone. They seem to follow a canned plotline, which almost seem formulaic (if that's a word). However, that being said I've enjoyed every one. It's almost like a guilty pleasure for me between really great space operas (which are few and far between). A Talent for War and Seeker were the two best in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krisbslick View Post
    Jack McDevitt's Alex benedict series includes the following:

    A Talent for War
    Polaris
    Seeker
    The Devil's Eye
    Echo
    Firebird


    I've read all except Firebird. All of them can read as a standalone. They seem to follow a canned plotline, which almost seem formulaic (if that's a word). However, that being said I've enjoyed every one. It's almost like a guilty pleasure for me between really great space operas (which are few and far between). A Talent for War and Seeker were the two best in my opinion.
    I really enjoyed Polaris and Seeker too in addition to A Talent for War which I read in the early 90's and made me a huge McDevitt fan (I read all his novels) and even Devil's Eye kept my interest, but with Echo the worldbuilding just came crashing down imho and while Firebird was better, I hope he will write something else - eg Time Travelers Never Die was light but funny and entertaining sf

  8. #8
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    My own 2 cents: I have never been dissatisfied with a McDevitt novel; I consider them all to be excellent.

    Thing is, McDevitt is simply not to everyone's taste. He doesn't write wildly dramatic or over-the-top sci fi, he doesn't populate his novels with exotic aliens all speaking English and fighting to rule the galaxy, and his characters don't have latent telepathic powers or cybernetic implants.

    What he does write is very intelligent and well-constructed stories, set in a believable future. If that appeals to you, you should read all of his work. Obviously, others agree, which is why he's been on the Nebula short list for so long.

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