Thursday, November 3, 2011


Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer, and motivational trainer. Many of his works--Infinity Beach, Ancient Shores, “Time Travelers Never Die,” Moonfall, “Good Intentions” (cowritten with Stanley Schmidt), “Nothing Ever Happens in Rock City,” Chindi, Omega, and Polaris, "Henry James, This One's for You," and Seeker--have been Nebula Award finalists.

His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series, and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, he won the first $10,000 UPC International Prize for his novella “Ships in the Night.” The Engines of God was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and his novella “Time Travelers Never Die” was nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula. Omega received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel, 2003.

McDevitt applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel Firebird, and reported the following:
In the far future world of Alex Benedict, a physicist had returned from a brief jaunt off world, was dropped off outside his home on Virginia Island, but somehow never made it inside. Years later, he is still missing.

Chase Kolpath, representing antiquarian Alex Benedict, is on Virginia Island looking for a clue to what might have happened. On page 69, she is questioning Father Everett, the local priest. Father Everett recalls that the physicist had been an atheist with exquisite musical taste. The police suspected his wife of being involved in his disappearance, but no evidence ever surfaced. And there was something odd: He kept buying yachts (interstellar vehicles) and losing them. He and his associate would take them out and just lose them. They’d ride back in the associate’s yacht. The story always was that they’d broken down or something. But of course it made no sense.
Learn more about the book and author at Jack McDevitt's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue