Cultural Gutter: Archaeologists in Space


Over on The Cultural Gutter, I’m looking at two series of scifi novels by Jack McDevitt in Archaeologists in Space.

Author Jack McDevitt takes the guesswork, extrapolation, interpretation, and occasional total bullshit of assessing the meaning of ancient detritus and ruins and places them in the future, in a time when humanity has begun uncovering the ruins of long-vanished alien civilizations (and a few living ones, but mostly of a primitive nature). He adds more than a dash of adventure, usually in the form of a team of researchers landing on an unknown planet and stumbling into tons of horrible situations, and plenty of the bureaucratic frustration that makes the work of archaeology, often performed under the auspices of an academic institution full of bickering board members, so frustrating.

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