What happens when first contact goes horribly wrong? When that initial meeting between two sentient species leads to utter confusion and misunderstanding, murder and hijacking, and a tight-lipped coverup for years afterward? Jack McDevitt sets this situation up in Infinity Beach, describing humanity at the end of the third millennium as a solitary race, seemingly alone in the cosmos even after colonizing many worlds beyond Earth: "The universe has come to resemble a magnificent but sterile wilderness, an ocean which boasts no friendly coast, no sails, no sign that any have passed this way before." But a ship in search of life returned years earlier under suspicious circumstances, with two crew members missing, one presumed dead in an unexplained explosion, and the fourth retired into silence. Tales of apparitions, strange lights, and voices near the explosion site persist. No one's talking, but the scientist sister (and clone) of one of the missing shipmates starts asking questions and finds herself at the heart of a complex and frightening puzzle.
McDevitt, an accomplished storyteller and perennial Nebula runner-up, proves to have an excellent ear for such drama, telling a solid story that exudes mood and atmosphere while still staying tense enough to keep those pages turning. By turns a murder mystery, ghost story, and solid sci-fi thriller, Infinity Beach takes one of the genre's more prosaic schticks--first contact--and gives it a twist with style and skill: when you do make contact, what you find might scare you. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
HA thousand years in the future, on the terraformed planet Greenaway, humanity has everything to make itself comfortable and complacent--longevity, leisure and luxury are all readily available. But one question remains: Is humanity alone in the universe? Kimberly Brandywine doesn't necessarily believe in aliens, until she hears that her missing elder "sister," of whom she's a clone, may have been murdered, along with some crewmates, by celestial beings after a voyage aboard a space yacht. Her sister/clone's disappearance has long haunted Kim, whose search for the truth takes her underwater and into space, loses her a lover and causes her to commit crimes (including stealing a spaceship). Kim's efforts to solve the mystery of the vanishing and to make first contact with the aliens presumably behind it are hampered by the general malaise society has sunk into. And since death appears to follow in the wake of the aliens, Kim wavers about whether first contact will be beneficial or will destroy civilization as she knows it. McDevitt (Eternity Road) has created a future that is technologically sound and filled with hubristic, foolish people who make choices based more on how they will look to history than on what's best for it. Though his aliens are insubstantial (both physically and on the page), the mystery of what happened to Kim's sister and her fellow celestial seekers unfolds as precisely as an origami flower, and will hold readers in thrall. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I've liked every McDevitt book I've read so far including this one. In this case most of the story is enjoyable but every now and then it seems as if the characters are forced to... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2003 by A. Chisholm
Many of Jack McDevitt's novels revolve one way or another around mystery, and 'Infinity Beach' probably more than the others plays like a detective story, and a good one this... Read morePublished on July 9 2002 by Pablo Iglesias Alvarez
Jack McDevitt's books are as much mystery as science-fiction, and this time, the mystery is a doozy. Is humanity really alone in the universe? Read morePublished on June 6 2002 by kallan
Three quarters of the way through this one I was convinced it was destined for a three ("my better than a poke in the eye" category. Read morePublished on March 3 2002 by D. Austin
I am a big McDevitt fan, and Infinity Beach is no disappointment. McDevitt combines his interest in science, archaeology and humans having to deal with the "we are not... Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2001 by JLM
Infinity beach started great, but by the middle of the book it has transformed itself from greatness to below mediocre. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2001 by Justin LeCheminant
Sometime in the future... Earth's population spread out to nine planets, thanks to faster-than-light starships. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2001 by Pascal Thiel
Are we alone in the universe? What would be the consequences for humanity if we believed ourselves to be alone? These are questions McDevitt attempts to answer in Infinity Beach. Read morePublished on July 5 2001 by Bill Mac