M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Quest or Thriller: Does Genre Call the Shots? Review: Jack McDevitt's Seeker

Seeker (Alex Benedict, #3)Dug an interesting Science Fiction novel out of my to-read pile -- Jack McDevitt's Seeker. Took me a while to finish it, but I did. But while I was reading I kept thinking that if the book was fantasy, the main character would be on a quest -- only using space-ships-with-faster-than-light-drives-instead-of-horses...with no explanations. They just do it...like turning the key in your car's ignition.

And no. The book hadn't been festering there since 2005; I recently picked it up at a used book store.

I don't know why I picked it up. Until I read this book, I had never heard of Jack McDevitt. 

Maybe the reason I picked it up was the author recommendations. Both Harlan Ellison and Stephen King praised McDivett. King going to far to say: "The logical heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark."

I recognize the four other names listed, even have read many books by them. This has me wondering why I never heard of McDevitt, especially since he's known for his xeno-archaeology stories. To make matters worse for me, his Google listing says he's won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Feel like I should wash the sleep out of my eyes.
Seeker's the third book in McDevitt's Alex Benedict series about an antique dealer who scours the known universe in search of rarities. In archaeological parlance, he's a "pot hunter" who destroys scientific information. The narrator is Chase Kolpath, Benedict's girl-friday-space-pilot with gumption, who I found appealing until about half-way through the book. 

I realized none of the characters were growing.
The plot kept hitting the same, repetitive notes too

Kolpath's hopping from planet to planet, seeking clues to a space ship, missing for thousands of years. If they find it first, Benedict and she can clean up financially. The excitement comes from the people trying to stop them, but that became repetitive too ... since all the settings/rections of the various cultures were our current one roughly transplanted into a space opera. Even the emotional level remains static -- even when they are in danger of "sinking" into a dwarf star. 

About half-way through, I was ready to give this space opera a 3*** rating. Then, McDevitt redeemed himself with a neat solution to being marooned in space. 4****. 


Did a little exercise after I googled Jack McDevitt and learned
he's won the Nebula and Hugo awards...
when I stopped chuckling about a D-list writer almost giving him 3***.
I googled myself and learned something about marketing on social media.

A Google+ page is probably worth the effort to cultivate. Used to be when I did a search for myself, my name/links were scattered among listings for other relatives ... including a real estate agent. Now a page dedicated to me which shows my picture and a bunch of pitiful links pops up. Ahhh, the glories of being a D-list  Writer.

Goal for this week: Finish the story edits for The Ignoble Nobel Prize Winner. -- Then, there's the copy editing and formatting. Of course, that's after I get my section of Crossings edited for my critique group -- first.

Do you set writing goals for yourself?
Or, any other type of goals each week. Of, should I ask if you accomplish your goals.
I'll say up front: sometimes I do.

Oh. Did you notice the cover at the top of the page? While -- unsuccessfully -- trying to get some buttons up on my Facebook author page, I figured out how to transfer cover pics to my blog.

Lose some. Win some.

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