Ancient Shores

{4.5/5} “Look… it wouldn’t really matter whether you were building it out at Alpha Centauri. There are only a few designs for a practical sailboat. Somebody somewhere built this, and I can guarantee you it wasn’t anyone we’ve ever heard of.”

Tom, a farmer, discovers a boat buried in his field. The boat, once it’s cleaned off, looks new — but Tom’s family has lived on that land for decades. April, a chemist, does tests on the fabric of the sails and discovers it’s made out of something that no one on Earth knows how to make. Then an even more amazing discovery is made nearby — a buried building dubbed the Roundhouse that’s a portal to another world. The Roundhouse is on Sioux land and they get some extraordinary offers to buy it — but they’re not going to sell this time.

Ancient Shores by Jack McDevitt was published in 1996.

The book is reminiscent of Clifford D. Simak’s work. The beginning is intriguing, the middle is fascinating, and the end is exciting.

What would a sudden discovery of advanced technology do to the world’s economy?

In addition to the main characters, we see the reaction to the Roundhouse of a bunch of other characters, including the media and the president of the United States.

Some characters who are real people make a brief appearance — including science fiction authors Gregory Benford and Ursula K. Le Guin.

I’ve read one other book by McDevitt so far, Eternity Road.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 27th, 2013 at 12:02 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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