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The Devil's Voyage Hardcover – Jan 1981

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (January 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385152841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385152846
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb3f2a8f4) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
HASH(0xb40d1570) out of 5 stars A science fiction writer gives a brilliant account of a tragic epic of World War II Dec 22 2013
By Marshall Lord - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jack Chalker is a very prolific science fiction and fantasy writer and to the best of my knowledge this is the only one of about fifty-seven novels which he published (many of them best-sellers) which was based on a true story. It is totally different from anything else he wrote. And yet this is almost certainly his best book.

The opening paragraph of "The Devil's Voyage" is as follows:

"This is a story about intelligence and the lack of same; of The Bomb, and the bottom line of human courage and endurance; of the two sides of responsibility, the appetite of sharks, and the sharks who are human. Most of all, it's a tale about how a few hundred brave men might have been blown up, drowned, or eaten alive because Werner Von Braun read science fiction."

In 1944, "Astounding Science Fiction" published a story by Cleve Cartmill called "Deadline" in which, on a fictional planet, there is a war using atomic bombs. The story bore enough resemblance to the Manhattan Project which at the time was creating the first real atomic bombs that the United States War department investigated whether there might have been a leak. This is a matter of historical fact.

Chalker's novel has that investigation as a starting point, and postulates a series of events which might have led to the sinking of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis, the ship that carried the atomic bomb used on Nagasaki, shortly after she had delivered the bomb.

This novel also includes an extremely powerful account (and to the best of my knowledge, one which is extremely close to real historical events) of the tragic sequence of events which followed the sinking, one of the worst disasters in US naval history.

I can strongly recommend this novel.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb40d90d8) out of 5 stars A Harrowing account Dec 12 2006
By Fairportfan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just before this book came out, Jack and i talked at an SF convention, and he told me a few things.

According to him, at that time, Universal's plans for the next "Jaws" film were that it was to be a prequel, teeling the story of the "Indianopolis", with Quint being one of the survivors, thus setting up his lieflong hatred and fascination with sharks.

He also talked about how his research had revealed the shameful way that the Navy had treated the true heroes of the disaster, and that at least one person who had received a medal for his actions had, in fact, done something shameful and stupid that the Navy had covered up. And he said he named this person by name in the book. "And, if he wants to sue, I have the documentation to prove every word I said," he said, obviously hoping that the guy would sue.

Been years since i read it, but as i recall, the early part of the book involves a visit from the FBI to the New York offices of publsiher Street & Smith, to question John W. Campbell, Jr, editor of "Astounding) Science Fiction" (later "Analog") about a piece published in the magazine that basically described with some accuracy the enriched-uranium atomic bomb that the Manhattan Project was even then developing in secret.

This is a true story. Writer Cleve Cartmill had, strictly as a theoretical exercise, worked out how such a device might operate ("atomic" bombs ahd been staples of SF for some time). (Campbell convinced them that ordering the magazine kept off news stands after subscribers' and library copies had already been mailed might well cause someone to wonder why and lead to calling attention to the very item the FBI were trying to suppress...)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb40d19fc) out of 5 stars A powerful account of a very important set of events of WW2. March 23 1999
By Jhays@dot.co.pima.az.us - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a historical fiction account of the developement of the atomic bomb and the USS Indianapolis (the ship that delivered one of the bombs to the Pacific Theater). The author utilized all available historical records to add as much authenticity to the story as possible, and creates a very plausible storyline. The story of survival near the end of the book is enough to make you think twice of being in the water.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb40d94d4) out of 5 stars Fantastic factual account from a master of fantasy Dec 2 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a captivating portrayal of the largest secret operation that the us government has ever done and where it went wrong. This story leads you through the development, test, delivery and deployment of the first atomic bomb with its title referring to the warship that delivered it to the pacific theater of operations.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb40d9240) out of 5 stars Deep and incredibly interesting even though I never read it. Feb. 22 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It sounds cool so I'll probably read it someday when I get stranded on an island.