Something very strange has turned up in Tom Lasker's wheat field: a ten-thousand-year-old sailboat made of an unknown substance. And then there's the Roundhouse, apparently a doorway to another world, sitting squarely on Sioux reservation land. How did they get there, and what do they signify for the people embroiled in their discovery? This is sci-fi on a grand scale by the author of The Engines of God.
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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I wanted to like this book. Like other reviewers pointed out, the first few chapters were compelling enough to keep me reading. Read morePublished on April 29 2004
This is one of those novels that seemed to have been written in a single burst of creative energy. It is much simpler than his later novels (particularly the "Hutch"... Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2004 by Avid Reader
This book is a true page-turner. I simply couldn't put it down.
It is a "true McDevitt" book. Very entertaining, and a very original storyline. Read more
This is a true page turner in Jack McDevitt's typical style. Just when you thing "two more pages and I will stop reading at the end of the chapter... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2003 by Markus Egger
Too much, yet not enough. That is the way I would describe my feelings about this book. On the one hand, McDevitt once again has an interesting idea. Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2002 by Stefan Thys
The story is about finding ancient technology in the form of a portal to other worlds. The author makes no effort to explore these other worlds and leaves the reader wondering what... Read morePublished on July 25 2002 by Moongirl2001
I was recommended this book by a friend and enjoyed it enough that I want to read some other works by Jack. Fantastic plot and believable characters. Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2002 by Erik1988