Jack McDevitt (born April 14, 1935) is an American Science Fiction writer, known for mixing future-archeology in with his SF.
He has two extended series of novels: the Alex Benedict series about the titular antiquities dealer/investigator and his pilot and business partner, Chase Kolpath, and the Priscilla Hutchins series about a pilot who works for a xeno-archeology Academy (they investigate alien ruins). He also has about a half-dozen standalone novels covering subjects ranging from First Contact to After the End.
- The Alex Benedict series:
- Ancient Shores
- The Cassandra Project (with Mike Resnick)
- Eternity Road
- The Further Adventures of Batman — contributed "Happy Birthday" with Mark L Van Name
- The Hercules Text
- Infinity Beach
- The Priscilla Hutchins series (aka The Academy Novels)
Tropes used in his works:
- Detonation Moon: In the novel Moonfall, the moon is smashed into itty-bitty bits by a mysterious giant comet just days after a commercial moonbase has been built there.
- First Contact: The Hercules Text, published almost simultaneously with Carl Sagan's Contact, has a very similar premise to that novel: signals are received by Earth via a radio telescope which contain mathematical information that turn out to be the key to a later transmission containing a great deal of scientific information. The effect of all this on the peoples of Earth is dramatic.
- Innocent Aliens: In the short story "Cryptic", the director of a SETI project is a great believer in this trope, and this causes him to hide some excellent candidate signals because they imply that a war is going on out there. This is only discovered after his death.
- Retroactive Preparation: Time Travelers Never Die makes extensive use of this principle.
- San Dimas Time: Averted almost to the point of subversion in Time Travelers Never Die. The protagonists realize early on that the clock is not always running in San Dimas, and use that fact to prepare for time trips or to bail themselves out of dicey situations.
- Signature Style: A decades-old mystery revolving around someone suddenly acting in a way contrary to their entire life's work.