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Hello Out There Paperback – 21 Dec 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.; First Edition First Printing edition (21 Dec. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892065231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892065230
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15.3 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,026,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is an omnibus edition of Mcdevitt's first two books (his first, Hercules Text, won the Philip K. Dick Award). The Hercules Text has been re-writen to fit with todays future (It was writen while russia was the USSR and so it has some cold war elements that have been revised). It involves the reception of radio signals from space and manages some origional twists with a well-used topic. Talent utilizes McDevitt's love for archeology (seen in many of his later books) as a hero of a past war is deconstructed. A worthwhile buy, but if you haven't read McDevitt, start whith The Engines of God, or Infinity Beach (Slow Lightning UK).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McDevitt's first two novels are as enthralling as any of his other works. He takes on notions, simple little ideas, and turns them into fabulous fiction. Where many SF writers forget characters and dialogue, McDevitt embraces them, and then uses them to draw you as deep he can into the story. His stories will keep you there because there is very little to second guess about this author. A superb storyteller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid science fiction 30 Oct. 2002
By Eric C. Welch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a nifty book. It consists of two novels: Hercules Text and A Talent for War. In an author's note, McDevitt writes that he has updated The Hercules Text from its original edition. It's a fine novel that raises all sorts of interesting issues.
Harry Carmichael is a respected administrator at a site called Skynet that examines space for evidence of other life forms. One day they see evidence that a million light years away, some alien intelligence has manipulated a star's light output in a pattern that can only be described as unnatural. A month later a stream of text from the Hercules nebula is received. Decoded, it consists of some mathematical and geometric symbols, a manual and what appear to be pictures of the beings who sent the message.
The president, worried about what else the message might contain, clamps a lid of secrecy on their facilities, irritating the scientists who work there and who feel that releasing the information can only be beneficial to the scientific community; after all, the humans never been enthusiastic about acting in concert as a species.
The religious community is divided on how to take this incontrovertible evidence that humans are not alone. One priest remarks, "How can we take seriously the agony of a God who repeats His passion? Who dies again and again in endless variations, on countless worlds, across a universe that may itself be infinite?", assuming that God had revealed Herself to the other worlds. And if not, why not? What did this do to human's perception of themselves as the primary focus of God? "If there were any truth at all to the old conviction that the universe had been designed for man, why was so much of its expanse beyond any hope of human perception? Forever.?"
As they learn more about the alien intelligence and begin to obtain information of value to the military, the scientific community begins to lose control of the information, and some of them want to have it destroyed. But they also learn something extraordinary about the intelligence that sent it to them millions of years before.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Changing the Past of our Future 1 May 2002
By Walter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've read "The Hercules Text" years ago when the cold war was still around the corner somewhere, and I thought that this was a great novel. Now, more than a decade later, the author re-wrote it in a way that makes me suspect that he liked "Contact" - the movie with Jodie Foster - a lot.
The story itself changed only a little but the surrounding world ... . The original THT had the cold war feeling of paranoia and priorities, politicians playing for global survival with implied threats and unspoken hopes. This new THT is taking place in a world of US hegemony - little threats but no hopes.
In the original the various heroes act within their characters: fanatical, timid, bureaucratic, lovingly ... Harry Carmichael acts against orders but he doesn't go to the President's face to tell him so and offer him a Clintonesque way out ...
The times they are changing, but still it would have been better if Jack McDevitt would have left the original text unchanged. Even the future has a past- and a lot of good scifi novels are products of their age - and one should respect the past and not try to alter or reinterpret it. This way a great novel (5 stars)became just a very good (4 stars) one.
As for the second novel - "A Talent for War" - the title is very hard to understand till one has finished the book and then it doesn't really fit. Overall it is vintage McDevitt: a man searching for clues and the truth, a voyage, danger and adventures. All of it very slowly evolving and sucking the reader in so that he has to finish it. When I closed the last page it was half past one in the morning - but it was worth it.
So my overall judgment: a great book, but if you can get "The Hercules Text" in the original version buy that instead.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello out there 28 April 2013
By Russ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jack McDevitt is a master of thoughtful science fiction combined with the touch of a detectives mystery. This double volume from early in his career will enthrall you with it's mystery and challenge your perception of not only the human condition but what the future could be like. By far and away he is my favorite author of any genre. Please give any of his books a try and you'll be pleasantly hooked.
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